Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Tyranena Half Barrel Race Report
Beer at the finish line.
That's one way to make running 13.1 miles an enjoyable experience. Another one? The promise of getting to hang out with a ton of runner friends.
That was the key for the Tyranena Half Barrel Run, a 13.1 mile jaunt around Rock Lake on Nov. 3. Beer. Friends. Fun. And since it was the sixth half marathon of the year, I had run my best race of the year at the Fox Cities Half Marathon at the end of September, my only goal going into Tyranena was to have fun.
And I did.
For starters, it's always a good race when you can sleep in until 7:30 a.m. on race morning, take your time getting ready and still make the 1.5 hour drive to the race and STILL have plenty of time to spare and meet up with friends. Yes. I think I loved that 11:30 a.m. start time.
Pretty soon, it was time to head to the starting corral. Like I said, no expectations. Just to run. Finish. So I lined up near the back, took my time and ran along with Kelsey for a bit. At some point, I was feeling good, so I pulled away a bit.
The first few miles were out of town, along a country road that ran along the lake. Scenic. I hit a water station and shortly after that I took a left turn and was greeted with the first of two hills that I'd been warned about. Steep. Short. Kind of a nasty incline.
Now, my IT band is still a bit cranky. I haven't run hills in ages and I didn't want to make it too mad at me 4 miles into a half marathon. If I was smart, I would have slowed up and walked the hill. But I'm stubborn. I ran it. And the second hill. Oops. This is a decision that will come back to haunt me.
I kept running. Through a very pretty lakeside residential area. There was even an "unofficial" beer stop somewhere around Mile 5. Yes. I stopped. It's important to hydrate while running. :) Through a park, out on a country road passed a farm and jumping onto the Glacial Drumlin Trail, where I'd run for the next 4 miles.
Now, the trail wasn't awful. But right around Mile 8 is when my stubbornness started to kick me in the backside. The IT band? Ooh, it was mad. And it let me know it. So I started to throw in some walking, all the while just wanting to be done. Unfortunately the finish line was still 5 miles away. Ugh.
So I ran some. I walked some. Right around Mile 10 we got to leave the trail and were in an industrial park - so much for scenery. I continued my run/walk strategy, because at this point, I just wanted to finish, get some beer and hang with friends.
After a walk during Mile 11.5, I glanced behind me and not too far behind me was Kelsey and Erica. At that point I decided to slow up, wait for them and finish this darn race with them. They were doing a run/walk method too and at least I'd have company for the final miles.
So that's what we did. We crossed the finish line, got our medals and then got in line for the huge lasagna post-race meal complete with beer and friends.
By far it wasn't my fastest half marathon of the year. But it was tons of fun. And I'll be back next year, because who can argue with a beautiful course (minus the industrial park), great friends and beer?