At a glance, it may look like I have weird ideas, but I usually have a plan and purpose to what I do. Before the Irving (half) marathon was in the works, I wanted to run a half marathon in the spring. When the Capital 10k (in Austin) went virtual, my weekend opened up and I found a race close to home. Actually two races.
There were incentives to running both races. They were less than 30 minutes away, fairly inexpensive, and an added opportunity to earn an extra medal for running both. The Bluebonnet half on Saturday had a 5k and half marathon. The Towne Lake race on Sunday had a 5k, 10k, and half marathon option. Since I am training for my second ultra, running both races would add to my training, and I wanted to support the smaller, local race companies that are coming back.
I first thought about running back to back half marathons. I’ve never done that before! Then I remembered it’s springtime in Texas, and there is a 50/50 shot at having a warm, humid race. So I settled on the half on Saturday for Bluebonnet and the 10k at Towne Lake. That way if my legs or the weather didn’t cooperate, I could turn it into a recovery run.
I barely had to talk my friend into it, and she was on board too. She’s usually up for my crazy ideas – not all of them – but she has jumped into her share of adventures with me.
The weather for Saturday morning was nice and cool, but a little windy. Temperatures were in the mid 50s and I hoped it would hold steady for the morning. The race winds through the McKinney park system with some of the course going through school parking lots. I was familiar with this course from some other races, and from running this same race in 2018. This was also kind of a redemption for that one because I hobbled through the final miles in 2018 thanks to my plantar fasciitis flareup.
The first mile was a little slower than I planned, just due to some congestion from the start and the width of the path. I didn’t want to go around in the grass because it was a little high. We were also behind two runners who were running with American flags, and the wind was whipping the flags back to us. So we waited until it opened up and then picked up the pace.
My goal for this race was to better my time from Irving (2:03:54) and get myself closer to the two hour mark. I ran steady through this race, most of my paces were 9:15s-9:20s. The wind was a factor in the last couple of miles, and my stomach started rumbling a little, but I tried stay steady. Then there was a little hill to climb to finish and whew! Done.
2:02:07 according to my Garmin. Faster than my finish time in Irving and closer to two hours. Goal accomplished.
The rest of the day, I focused on recovery. Refueling with carbs and a little protein, and resting my legs as much as a mom can do on a Saturday.
Sunday morning, a group of us headed back to McKinney for the Towne Lake race. Two of us were running the 10k, and two were running the half marathon. I was so glad I didn’t register for the half, only because I didn’t want to run that far. 🙂
The weather was still nice. Cool and not nearly as windy. We saw our friends start the half, and then waited for our start window with a warmup mile. The first mile, I could feel the miles from the day before, but I settled into a comfortably hard pace. My goal was to run under 55 minutes as long as my legs held up. I decided to carry my bottle with me and was so glad I did.
The 10k course was an out and back with the turnaround at the halfway point. My breathing was pretty hard before the turnaround, but I kept pushing as long as I could. Some of the course was the same as the day before, but the start was from a different location so it felt different. I saw one of my friends from our running group out cheering around mile 2.5 and again after the turnaround. That’s always fun!
At mile 5, my legs started to complain and it was my slowest mile. But I reminded myself to hang on for one more mile. I couldn’t quite get my pace down to where I wanted, but I was trying. I ended up running just over my goal time, but on the day after a half marathon, I was satisfied with it.
And I ran almost even splits for each half.
The best part was since we ran the 10k, we were able to cheer in our runners in the half marathon. That was so much fun!
And we all placed in our age groups.
It was a fun weekend, and I achieved my training purpose by racing on tired legs and putting in some longer miles with the added bonus of medals, shirts, and snacks. 🙂