=PR= Leesburg 20k Race Report

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First, let me just say, there was one word to describe the race ….UPHILL! Both ways, in the snow, barefoot.

Ok, now let’s back track. I woke up and checked the weather to discover it was raining ….and not all that warm. It was seriously hard to believe that it is August. I was happy about the cool temperatures though….not so much about the rain and high humidity. I got to the race site early and waited for my big brother. This was my first time running a race with him. I was nervous because I know his pace it’s much faster than mine and my training has been terrible lately so I’m running much slower than I was last year at this time. Anyway, despite all of that I figured it would at least be fun.

After we finally met up we made our way to start line with 2 or 3 minutes to spare. The start was fast…..probably too fast for me. I never control my speed in the beginning and I wear myself out way too soon. I swear I’m going to start working on consistency.

We were running with a pack as we made our way through the first couple of miles. Things shook out quickly and my concerns about the majority of this race being on a narrow trail were not really an issue. People shook out and found their own pace. As we hit the trail we began to really feel the uphill nature of the course. The trail is a steady uphill for quite some time. And it was tiring. My pace kept getting slower and slower as I mixed walking with running. I never walked at a recovery pace so I kept slowing down. My brother was talking me through the entire thing which was very helpful.

The out and back portion along the trail seemed to go on forever. My buddy dashed from the start line to his car to meet us along the trail. Seeing him was a boost of energy for a minute.

After we got past him we hit the worst hill of the course and eventually made it out to the turn around. We knew at that point we had completed over half of the race and we had a big downhill coming up. We made our way back through the tough hills in the middle and the passed my buddy one more time. I made sure we were running as we passed him. Didn’t want him to see me walking.

And then it was a fight to the finish line. I was tired and everything hurt. I wanted to walk more than I wanted to run but I really didn’t want my pace to get any worse than it was. At each water station I was taking water….most of it was getting dumped on my head. The downhill sure didn’t feel like it…..it felt like we were still running uphill.

Despite the fact that I know I was completely dead at this point I think this is a great picture of us.

We finally turned the corner and saw the finish line and I could not wait to get there. Unfortunately it was uphill!!

I had one little tiny last kick for the end but I left everything else on the course.

I didn’t have the time I wanted but I trained for and finished a loooong race in the summer and that alone is an accomplishment. Overall I’m happy, I ran, I finished, and I spent time with my brother.

And I got another medal and another pin to add to my collection. :-)