This past weekend I ran the Uncorked Half Marathon out at New Kent Winery and wanted to share my race recap. As I mentioned in my Let’s Talk Tuesday post last week, I hadn’t trained very well so I was apprehensive going into the race. Prepared or not, I knew I’d cross the finish line one way or another!
The morning started off at the crack of dawn and my friend Shannon was generous enough to pick me up to head out to the race. Both of our husbands were on baby duty and coming a little later so it was nice to get to catch up on the ride out to the race.
Once we got there and got parked, it was around 7:00am and the race didn’t start until 8:00am so we had plenty of time to kill. We both made a bee line for the port-o-potties. Have you ever been to a race and not had to wait in an obnoxiously long line to use the bathroom? Well, now I can say I have and have photo evidence to prove it! We both got in and out in relatively clean port-o-potties in no time.
I can’t say the same for all of the people who waited to get in line until right before the race started. Holy line!
This was definitely one of the smallest races I’ve run with just under 500 runners overall but it was refreshing since the last race I ran was the Monument Avenue 10k which had 40,000 runners! Big difference!
We met up with Tyler, Liam and my Mom just before the race started. Perfect timing too so I could drop off my jacket and we could have them snap a pre-race photo before we took off! We cut it a little close though because literally right after we took this the race started so we had to run over to take off. Whoops!
This was a beautiful, rural race with lots of gorgeous homes and farms to lust over as we ran. It was a major change up from the heavily populated runs I’ve done previously.
I can also definitely say that running past a heard of cows was a race first. They weren’t the best cheerleaders though.
So, right after the cows, around mile 3, was when things got a little rough. The picture below really shows what most of the race was like. While running in a smaller race is nice because you’re not bobbing and weaving in and out of people to get past those slower than you, running a small, rural race like this is reeeeeally boring once everyone spaces out. Again, we had beautiful scenery to look at and a nice canopy of trees. I really could have gone for a band or local cheering squad every so often though to liven things up a bit.
Right around this point it also starting lightly raining. Oddly enough, there was zero rain in the forecast so I have absolutely no idea where it came from. It was nice because it wasn’t too heavy but was enough to cool you off a bit and the canopy from the trees helped keep it off of us as well.
Right after mile 4 I stopped at a water stop to use the restroom which I think slowed me down a bit. Once I got back on the road, I started noticing what felt like a blister on the side of my right foot. Finally at mile 6 I knew I had a full blown blister so I stopped at the next water stop and asked for a band aid. Unfortunately, there were no band aids to be had so I ran up a bit to a guard rail and decided to take care of the situation myself. Nothing says you’re a true runner until you’ve popped a blister on your foot with one of the safety pins that was holding your race bib on!
Fortunately, as I was starting to put my sock and shoe back on, another runner ran by and asked if I needed some moleskin. If you’re like me, you may have initially thought of the Moleskine Notebooks. She assured me it was great for blisters so I happily accepted and applied it to my foot, put my sock and shoe back on and got back up and running.
Side note: The running community is truly amazing! There is so much comradery between fellow runners whether you know each other or not. I made conversation with people who were running a similar pace to myself and we encouraged each other throughout the race. It’s always nice to know there will be someone to help pick you up mentally at a race like this.
I then decided that since I was about halfway, it was time to refuel with a Slam. I popped it and got on my way. Compact energy for the win!
And then I arrived at this beautiful
horrendous sight at mile 7. Ugh.
Y’all. This picture truly doesn’t do this hill justice. It was easily the biggest hill I’ve ever run in my life. And I use the term “run” loosely since it majorly kicked my booty and I had to walk a little.
I was very happy that they had a group of volunteers on this hill with music playing to help cheer everyone on because it was so, so necessary. Seriously, with the blister on my foot and this hill I was mentally ready to call Tyler and have him come pick me up.
But, I got up the hill and caught my breath a bit and got back at it. I was dying for some fuel though. I had breakfast (Ezekiel toast with PB and 1/2 a banana) at about 6:15 and had easily burned through that by now. A lot of races have some candy or pretzels at water stops so I kept an eye out for them but didn’t see anything until mile 8 when they had grapes and gel’s for some refueling.
I grabbed two cups of grapes and walked a bit to eat them. They were nice and cold which was refreshing and helped give me some easy sugar to get my body going again. As for the gel, I took it for some reason but never used it and still have it in my Spibelt at home. I tried one during my first half marathon training team back in 2009 and gagged on it. Never again.
At this point in the race I knew I was over halfway so there was no turning back but I was on the struggle bus. My blister was killing me and I had another one on my pinky toe. My hair was tied too tight so I had a headache. I was just done.
This is where the mental side of running is so key. I knew my body could physically do this but mentally I just had to get myself there. I was texting Tyler giving him periodic updates and he reminded me that I had this in the bag.
At this point, I hit a water stop around mile 10.5 with wet wash cloths that were cold and lavender scented. Man on man is it nice to wipe off your face with a cool towel when your sweat has dried to your face. It felt amazing and helped revive me a bit.
The last 3 miles were rough. I knew I was nearing the finish line and I could hear the crowd and all of the events as we got closer. My my foot was seriously killing me. I finally kicked it into gear at mile 12 and ran it in back to the finish line where I was cheered on by my Mom, Tyler and Liam as well as my friend Shannon and her family. They even called my name as I crossed the finish line! Perks of a small race but hey, I’ll take it!
And then I got to snuggle this sweet peanut. 🙂
All in all, the race was definitely not my best. I walked a LOT. It was honestly really disheartening but at the end of the day, my body carried a beautiful baby boy for 9 months and delivered him 7 months ago. So, while I wasn’t setting a PR by any stretch of the imagination, I was still proud of myself (and my body) none the less.
After we snapped some pictures and caught up post-race, we made our way inside the winery to, duh, drink wine! Finishers got a stemless wine glass so we got a bottle of Chardonnay and a meat and cheese plate and chatted and played with the babies until it was naptime and we decided to get on our way.
Once we got home, my Mom offered to watch Liam and get him down for a nap while I took a much needed shower. Once I was out and my Mom left, I enjoyed a quick 30 minute cat nap which was glorious!
What were your best and worst races you’ve run?