So, If you haven't figured it out yet, this is part 4 (day 3) of a seven part (6 day) set of entries.
*****I have to start by saying that the race course at Belle Fourche, South Dakota was probably my favorite course out of the 5 races put on by Mainly Marathons. It wasn't really that pretty, and we ran on concrete pathways for most of the course, but it was fairly flat, and there was a lot of shade to be had. The course started next to the Belle Fourche chamber of commerce, ran down a path lined with flags from each state ("avenue of flags?"), and past the Center of the Nation monument. From there, we turned down a path along the river and the rest of the race continued either on this path or up a short street nearby. It was a 2+ mile out and back where half marathoners were expected to pick up 5 rubber bands and then do a victory lap.
What was different about this run than the day before was that runners all recognized on another and the comeraderie had grown exponentially. Runners high fived one another non stop, encouraged one another, smiled, cheered one another along, and really got into the running community spirit.
|Fellow runner Sam stopping for a photo with me|
Up until this race I had always been acutely aware of just how long a half marathon was. I had always rolled my eyes thinking that there was still XXX miles left, and I still had so much more to do. This was the first race I have ever run where I suddenly looked down at my garmin and said "seriously? how did I already get to 7 miles?" and "wow, eleven miles, already????" It was like some kind of switch had been flipped, and suddenly a half marathon didn't seem so long. and an hour and a half of running would fly by like nothing. It was unreal.
I think passing the time was also made easier by pennies.
|Brina, Oblivious to the fact I just dropped 3 pennies at her feet|
After finishing the Bowman race the day before, Brina had confided that she had a tough run and that she felt like she was struggling. She said she was looking for pennies on the run but hadn't found any and that maybe that might have made her feel more confident or stronger.
|Me with only 0.1 miles to go|
Anyway... It was a good run. I felt relaxed and in touch with my own body mechanics. I felt encouraged and strong. I loved the weather (especially after it went from jacket/gloves weather to tanktop weather), and I felt good. I don't really have much more to say about the actual race though.
|At Mt. Rushmore|
And still enough energy leftover to visit Mt. Rushmore!
39.3 miles down, 39.3 miles to go.
...to be continued...