Race Recap: Running with the Cows

I did this race last year and let me tell ya, they have the best post race #eeeats! RWTC is the major fundraiser for Queen of the Holy Rosary School. The race is part of the Heartland 39.3 series so 500+ usually run the half. The majority run the 5k. This race also has the cutest swag: tech shirt + medal. is the official race mascot. The race weekend forecast was nutty. At one point it said 100% severe weather. I prepared for the worst and had all my rain gear lined up and crossed my fingers it wouldn’t be rained out. Long story short, my “no rain” dance worked and we had a dry race.

Here’s where the story gets interesting. It’s race day and I’m lined up with the 1:50 pace group. (My respiratory infection was still lingering so I wanted to start slow and then feel it out.) National anthem, done. Count down, done. I go to turn on my wireless headphones AND… they don’t freakin’ work! Yep, I ran all 13.1 miles without music and never knew my pace. My nightmare! I have to admit, miles 1-6 flew by. I stayed with the 1:50 pace group until mile 5. I asked the pacer for our warmup pace and it seemed a little slow but I felt good so I took off. At the turnaround point I felt really close to the 1:45 group so I tried to catch up. I was getting some 7:50/8min splits in during the middle miles (6-9). They say on the site that the course is flat, which I don’t agree with. I would say the course is predominately rolling hills. Miles 10-13 were tough. I think they changed the course this year, it felt more hilly. It was really hard for me to remain focused those last three miles. Music really helps me race… I listen to high tempo music and when I can’t focus I match my cadence to the beat of the music. For me to catch up to the 1:45 group, I would have needed to crush it miles 10-12. My warmup was slow, so I had a feeling I wasn’t going to get there. I finished 1:49 AGAIN, which I’ve gotten the last four races. Super frustrating. I’m not getting slower but I’m not getting faster either. I ran a super mindful race though, I listened to the frogs + cows, talked to a lot of strangers, and focused on my breathing. I had to trust my instincts and listen to my body but I can’t help but wonder what my race would have looked like with music + MapMyRun coaching (or my Garmin).

I’m looking at race options before Portland in October. I think Hospital Hill is too soon for me to realistically PR. I need to take another look at my training. I’m seriously considering REVEL Rockies in Denver – what do you think? If all goes as planned, I’ll have 10 halfs under my belt by 2016 & hopefully that 1:45!

If you have some training tips for me, leave them in the comment section below.

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