Iron Horse 1/2 marathon: Registering for races without your friends
Hey you all . . . LA here . . . So I registered for the Iron Horse half marathon . . . a local race in Midway, Kentucky. I guess I’m usually busy this time of year, because I’ve never run this race before. [Editor’s note: Yes, LA is usually busy, this race is almost always is the same weekend as the Bourbon Chase! And this is our first year NOT doing the ‘Chase.]
Registration: Another Half, No Biggie.
I registered and NO ONE joined me! I was in this one ALONE. I’ve run plenty of 1/2 marathons, so I wasn’t too worried (well, maybe a little). Keep in mind this is a Kentucky “rolling” hill course. It’s not terrible, but it’s not a super easy course either. (Unless you are visiting from Florida, and then you will think you are climbing Mt. Everest.)
When I told my coach (yes, Coach Erin) that I added this race to my schedule she said to use it as a training run . . . Run about 9:15ish per mile, but slow down when going up the hills. OK, I can do that.
Race Day: Where Oh Where are my Friends?
I had to go to packet pick up all alone. I had to get to this race all alone. I had to find the bathrooms all alone. No Pre-race selfie, no showing off matching Ponya Bands, no Pro Compression sock picture, because . . . no friends. Luckily, I did run into some Bluegrass Runner friends at the start . . . Bob C. and Mindy M. . . . who assured me the course wasn’t that bad compared to my normal long run course.
This was an absolutely beautiful course full of horses. They even ran next to me at times, which if you run around horses, you know they mostly just stare at you (like you are crazy or wondering why in the heck you are there and not providing any sugar lumps).
I did not take any photos of the horses, because I was serious about this race . . . for absolutely NO reason.
The Race: Why, Why Didn’t I Listen to My Coach?
Remember what my coach said? I didn’t listen. I ran at a 8:40-8:50 pace for the first seven miles. See MB’s blog on “ How to Sabotage Your Coached Workouts“. I don’t know why I did this except all I can say is, “I was feeling good.” The weather was perfect, the music was good, and I had no friends yelling at me to slow down.
And I felt good, that is, until mile 7 . . . when I bonked.
(So, how were the last 6 miles?) Where were my friends? Oh . . . I messed up and signed up for this alone . . . yeah big mistake. I don’t know why I did that. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The moral of this story is, when your friends jump off a bridge, you’d better jump too. Don’t ever jump over that bridge by yourself. And NEVER sign up for a half marathon without one of them.*
*this includes Mike