Over the weekend I ran the Berry Half Marathon at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. The campus is stunning, truly a gem and quite historic because it’s so old. Rome is about an hour and a half from my house, so it was an early Saturday morning. Our wake up call came early at 4:50am. The Mr. and I arrived at the college’s student center, picked up our bibs and waited in our car until it was closer to start time.
After a couple weeks of temps in the 70s, it was around 30 degrees on race morning. It was partly cloudy and downright cold for most of the race.
It was a pretty small race which I loved. The Mr. was running the 5k that started a little later. He kissed me goodbye, told me good luck then I was off.
The first couple miles clicked off alright, but I was struggling a little bit. From the very beginning I couldn’t keep my heartrate down which was boggling me. I usually like to run easy for the first couple miles to get warmed up, especially in cold weather, but I couldn’t keep my heart rate below my aerobic max. It was frustrating because my pace was really really easy, but my heart rate and body weren’t responding.
I didn’t want to blow up during the race and had been sick the day before.
I think I was a little surprised by the hills and I wasn’t really warmed up too. I finally got sick of watching my heart rate and decided to just go with it. I could feel my heart beat in my ears, but was hopeful it would go away. Thankfully it did.
I stopped for a bathroom break around mile 5 which was right before all the big hills.
There were so many huge hills during the middle miles. I was so tired of them, but stayed true to my 10:1 run/walk intervals. I decided this was my best strategy for the terrain especially since I just wanted to use this as a way to judge my fitness. I also thought this would be the best thing for my heart rate given the beginning of the race.
The mill is one of the famous stops on the course. It was beautiful and tucked back on a gravel road. The course includes over two miles of loose gravel.
When we got to the last hill climb, we ran through a stunning stretch of campus then started the downhill descent. The below picture is what it looked like after we ran through all the buildings and around this small lake.
After all the hills were over, I ran the heck out of the downhill stretch. Downhill running is my favorite even though it wrecks the quads. I took advantage of the chance to make up some time and test out my legs for my goal race next month.
The last miles were on a stretch of what I would call power line greenway. It was a narrow ish asphalt trail with woods on both sides right next to the power line run. The course was filled with lots of little rolling hills through this section.
I kept running hard and was still pleased to see some fast paces on my watch and even better I was maintaining those paces. I had done what I set out to do, was so tired and decided to take the last mile as a cool down.
After the race, I met up with the Mr., ate a mini muffin and then we decided to go get some lunch. It was cold and we were both so tired.
In the week leading up to the race, I searched places on Yelp that we might want to try for lunch. We ended up at Harvest Moon Café in downtown Rome and it did not disappoint! I love old buildings that serve delicious food.
We had their famous wicked pimina cheese dip, which was incredible and I had a turkey Rueben with homemade sweet potato chips. I normally wouldn’t eat this much after a race, but I was so hungry.
We got back to ATL, ran a couple errands, then snagged these tasty cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes for the weekend. They were the perfect way to end our very long, but super fun day! I spent most of the rest of the day lounging on the couch and napping.
I really surprised myself with this race and I’m glad I gutted it out. This training run was a total success. I’ve got one more half marathon then it’s on to Edinburgh Marathon at the end of May!
Did you race over the weekend?
What’s your favorite post race indulgence?