Race Recap: Youngstown Half Marathon

I love racing. I love it. Even when I’m not pushing for time, I love the environment, the atmosphere, the thrill of the event, the bling at the end (can’t forget that now!). So no one should be surprised that I finished the Ogden (did I mention how amazing that was?) and pretty much immediately signed up for the inaugural Youngstown Half Marathon–because who doesn’t want to race every weekend? ┬áThat said, and I actually emailed the RD to make sure we could do it–race day pickup was my deal breaker. I was already making two trips to Ohio that week, a third was fine, but a fourth to pick up race packets was a non-starter. Fortunately, they said race day pickup was fine so the hubs and I signed up. A group from my running club was going, it was gonna be a good day.

Sunday morning we got up stupid early–really stupid early, like 3:30 AM–to get ready so we could head to Youngstown. Mind you the drive takes an hour 15 to an hour and a half, wanted to get there around 6 for packet pickup, race started at 7. So we left at 4:30. Which was slight overkill, but hey, live and learn. Got there, got our packets, got warmed up and ready, got the group photo for the running club, and soon we were in the street ready to start.

Great course, great great course. The half is mostly through Mill Creek park, which I have run before, though man, did I forget about the hills. Like I knew that hills were a thing, but after the Ogden last weekend I kind of brushed them off. MISTAKE. I struggled on this course, much more than I did at Ogden, largely because I underestimated the hills. Admittedly my nutrition has also been off balance lately, and I suffered for that as well. Plenty of good moments during this race, though. I flew on the downhills (that’s always been a strength of mine). And this bridge, in the middle of the park, which I LOVE:

It was the first year for this event and it was really well done–well organized, well executed, and I was overall pleased with the experience. The problems I had had zero to do with the race itself, and I would definitely consider this race again. Also…check out this medal! The photo does not do the glitter justice:

 

And in other news, when I went to update my stats on the Half Fanatics website I realized that I was soooo close to mooning up…I just needed one more race within a week. Sooooo I signed up for another half marathon this weekend. Closer to home on the GAP trail, a smaller event but it will still be nice and will get me that last race (4 half marathons in 37 days) I need to moon up.

Lots going on as I prepare for a round of full marathon training, but more on that later. Happy Monday, friends.

Going home/Coming home

My husband and I went to visit my family and best friend this weekend. I needed that more than I realized at the time. I don’t think I stopped smiling on Saturday. We went to the zoo with my parents, and it was great. I haven’t been to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in ages and it’s really a great zoo. It was a tad on the rainy side, though, and the animals were not as active as we’d hoped, but it was fun. We laughed a lot and joked with my parents, and I needed that happy time. I needed to be with them and my husband. We then spent the evening with my best friend and her husband. We were married at their house so it has lots of happy memories for us. Had a great meal, great drinks, and eventually my husband and my best friend passed out and I got to spend some time chatting with her husband (like we did back in the old days). After a good (if slightly broken) sleep, my husband went for a run while the three of us went on a nice long walk, we got breakfast from our favorite place, then we headed back to PA. The weekend was lovely, and I needed the time away with family and friends far more than I had realized going in. I needed the break in routine, the change of pace and scenery.

That said, going away for the weekend is always a little tough. Coming back to reality, without the usual weekend preparation time is difficult. I usually go into the next week a little frazzled and trying to play catch up. This is no different, though we did manage to do most of the grocery shopping, and some of the laundry which helps tremendously. I still feel behind the 8-ball. There were things I forgot about while I was gone that I’m now scrambling to take care of. My already tight schedule is going through the vise as I run additional errands and try to get just a little more done in the day. There’s always some kind of trade off, and I guess the point is that this time it is really worth it. Despite the pressures of not being where I want to be to start the week, I’m relaxed from the restorative time with family and friends. And ultimately, I know that the things that need to happen will. Either way, the week is starting whether I like it or not.

Ready, set, GO!