Races No. 23 and 24

Just when I think I’m done running half marathons, I convince myself to run “just one more.” When I learned that the Haunted Half Marathon in Jonesborough, Tennessee, had a black cat as part of its logo and medal, I knew I needed to run it. Lesli and I rode together to the oldest (and most haunted) town in Tennessee to enjoy a perfect autumn weekend right before Halloween.

Jonesborough is the *perfect* little town to visit in autumn. We were there on October 25 and 26.

The start of the race wasn’t until 9:30 a.m., which is the latest I’ve ever started a race. (Normally these things start at 7 or 8 in the morning.) I was plenty ready to get going (and finish) well before it was time to line up.

The race was incredibly difficult, and not just because I wasn’t as well-trained as usual. The Haunted Half was advertised as having a route with “rolling hills,” but I assure you there was nothing rolling about them. There were REGULAR HILLS, not cutesy little rolling hills. Everyone in my pace group complained about the hills because we were all caught off guard and gasping for breath.

I finished with my second slowest time ever, but it wasn’t because I wasn’t in shape or because I didn’t feel like running. I couldn’t run those monsters. It would’ve killed my knees.

It’s all about the medal though. All I have to do is finish.

I was pretty sore afterward and wondered, per usual, if my racing days were over. Naturally, I signed up for another race that week.

On Saturday, I ran the Secret City Half Marathon for the second time. I still wasn’t impressed with the route (not much to look at) or the bathrooms (there were too few of them), but it was a local race that I could drive to, run, and drive home afterward.

Actually, either my MapMyRun app is way off, or the race directors miscalculated. I ran more than 13.1 miles on Saturday morning!

At any rate, it’s about the medals. Cheers to No. 24!

Now that I’m at 24, it seems silly to not run a 25th. Right?

Secret City Half Marathon

I wanted to run one more race this year but didn’t want to fork over all the cash for traveling, hotels and high entry fees. Luckily, I found a “no frills” race in Oak Ridge (nicknamed the Secret City). Score! It was easy to get to and easy to maneuver. But when they say “no frills,” they really meant it. They meant only three water stations along the 13.1 mile route and NO BATHROOMS. It’s a good thing I didn’t have to go, because if I did, I would’ve had to squat in the bushes like the rest of the runners.

Which I’ve done before. Ahem.

Anyway, somehow I secured my fasted time ever – 2:07:06. With each race I’m getting faster, which is funny because I don’t feel like I’ve gotten faster by the time I’m dredging along mile 12. Still, I’m quite pleased, and I was even MORE pleased to see I had fans on the sidelines. What a treat!

This makes medal No. 11, which I am so proud to acquire. And now I’m on the lookout for my 12th race because even numbers are better than odd.