June 02, 2021 - After a year break from serious half iron man training, I settled to do the half marathon that is after my birthday. It was a cold and wet day. This race was the happiest I have ever been Post race.
After a year hiatus from serious training for a Half Iron Man, I decided to jump back into my favorite running distance racing. This half marathon falls just a few days after my birthday (Whooo! 26 = Marathon Year) and I have ran this race two other times. I decided that this race was going to be the race that got me back into running my favorite distance once again. The Trent Waldron Half Marathon and 10k is a fast and easy out and back style race that has you running down the trail system throughout Anchorage. There are only 2 "big hills" and the rest is flat and fast, if you want to PR for the this distance, this is the course for you. The morning of the race I woke up to a cold and rainy morning (Does anyone else make Oregon jokes when it rains?) so I donned my new to me rain shell, my favorite quick dry pants and my trusty brooks shoes.
Now you are wondering, where are her tips for a good return to racing? Just wait I am getting there. The first thing that I do to prep for my races is always pack your favorite race nutrition and snacks. I always take a photo of GU gels that I have tried and actually liked (Gingerade, I am looking at you). If you know what doesn't make you sick during your run then you will be set for any race. And trust me I have a sensitive stomach and we usually don't get along on race mornings. Having a solid routine for each race makes life 100% easier.
Anyway, the morning of the race was a very cold and rainy day, so I took my time warming up and stretching and chowed down on a Smooth Cafeinator bar for energy. This year was different, we had a rolling start where you had time slots that you started whenever within the time window. I love it because it calms my nerves. This year I told myself that my goal was to just finish, not to get the best time, but to actually cross that finish line happy. I have spent too many races with tears in my eyes because I am not going the pace that I told myself I needed to hit. So as ran along the race it was great to cheer people on and see familar faces once again. I did finish this run in 2:29 with a left hamstring that cramped but I pushed myself to finish the race. This was first year that I was happy about my time. I was happy that I could get myself out there again. I was happy that even with a cramp in my leg, I crossed that finish line and people cheered my on. I was happy that I got to see myself back into a distance that I loved and I wasn't doing it for a coach. I was doing this race for me and that is the best feeling in the world.