It’s almost a given that on the heels of running a half, I’m itching to do another. I blame runners high and the endorphins. After I finished the Fountain Head Half in May (and once the soreness passed) I found myself searching for another race. A road half this time since Fountain Head was off road an that was a totally different ball game.
This time around I also wanted DH to be able to run with me. It’s fun to do those types of things as a couple (at least for us). So I had to find something close to one of the grands so we’d have kid coverage. Pittsburgh was too far off date wise so I was looking around Lancaster. I stumbled on Hershey and I’m so happy I did. How could you go wrong running through an amusement park and having a chocolate stop at mile 12?
I worked out perfectly. We left the kids with DH’s parents and drove the 45 min up to Hershey for the race.
It was an early morning because we had to pick up our packets prior to the race and of course Lia woke as we were trying to leave so we had to wake my MIL to hang with here. We arrived in Hershey just before 6am and scored what we thought was a primo spot right at the front (which turned out not to be – we waited a long time to leave!).
Packet pick up took 10 min which is good because at 6am it was COLD and blustery!! I worried that I had enough layers on to run this race. DH had brought trash bags to try to keep warm prior to the start of the race but unfortunately for him they were kitchen sized and he’s not. So, he had a trash bag scarf to wear – so not effective. Anyways, we ran back to the car and waited out the 90 min until the start in the comfort of our warm car.
Around 7:15 we made our way over for a quick potty stop but after 15 min in line we still weren’t even close to the front and the race had started so we abandoned that idea and just started to run. That was a fun first mile! Thankfully we were able to make a pit stop at mile 1 and continue on our way – much lighter.
The first 4 miles were pretty quick. We spent 2 working our way around the parking lots and Hersheypark drive and on into the park. We ran a mile through the park and then on out into some of the neighborhoods around Hershey. By mile 5 we hit a groove and things flew by. We ran past the country club which was really pretty.
Running down Chocolate Ave was cool – the road surface was actually brown. Then we ran into the campus for the Milton Hershey School. What was neat about this was that all the kids that live on campus there had come out of their houses and set up camp on the roadside to cheer people on. By the time we got around to them they had to have been there for at least and hour and were still excited and yelling. The had to be exhausted after the race was over!
The last 3 miles hurt pretty badly. My legs were done. I could feel the blisters on the feet and my knees were pretty sore but I looked at our time and realized that we could make this race under 2:20 if we kept up our pace. So I looked at DH and asked if he could push it for these last three. It was only 30 min…I can hurt for 30 min I kept thinking. So we kicked in whatever afterburner we had and tried to book it in under 2:20.
At the top of the hill at mile 12 there was chocolate which I thought I’d love but I was so parched that it was like chewing sand. Oh well…the little bit of sugar had a nice kick. As we rounded the stadium DH grabbed my hand thinking we could cross together holding hands…only, we still had about .2 miles to go. He was a little premature in his celebration.
The last .1 or so was around and into the stadium. That’s the fastest I think I’ve ever run. I left it all on that track (my GPS said I was an 8:30 pace which for me is crazy fast!). Crossing the finish line and looking up to see 2:22 on the clock was a little disappointing (I totally forgot that that was total time elapsed – not my time) but a good show none the less considering how much we trained. It wasn’t until I checked my email as we sat down to stretch that I saw we actually came in under 2:20:) 2:19 and a few milliseconds. Not a PR but one of my better times (my RnR race was 2:19 as well). I was definitely happy with that race.
We milled about for a bit cooling down and refueling. We took a few pictures but were anxious to get back to the kids so we headed out. It took about 45 min just to get out of the parking lot but once we were through (and a quick Dunkin stop) we were on our way home.
The rest of the day was rough – we still had to drive back to DC so when we all passed out at 9:30pm I was not surprised. It only took a few days for the soreness to go away which is good – I have to get back on the training wagon – Richmond is in 3 weeks!!
(and just so I have this somewhere…)
3/22/2009 VA Beach Shamrock Half (pre kids – trained to 8) – 2:15
5/15/2011 Pittsburgh Half (A year after Noah’s birth – trained to 8) – 2:20
5/5/2013 Pittsburgh Half (9 months after Lia’s birth – no training) – 2:40
3/15/2014 Rock and Roll USA (first half by myself – trained to 11mi) – 2:19
5/18/2014 Fountainhead Off-Road Half (first trail half – totally different ball game) – 2:49
10/14/2014 Hershey Half (trained to 8) – 2:19
11/15/2014 Richmond Half – shooting for 2:15!!