Amish Country Half Marathon: A New P.R.
Monday, November 08, 2010
Saturday I ran in the 1st annual Amish Country H.M. in Bird-in-Hand, PA, with more than 1,300 other runners. It was fabulous!
The race is in the heart of Amish Country and a big tourist area. I arrived Friday afternoon and checked into my hotel in Intercourse. Then I made arrangements to meet a friend in Lancaster for First Friday. Stores, restaurants and galleries were open late and we browsed through several art galleries and walked the streets people watching.
Saturday morning at 8 a.m. it was a brisk 34 degrees. I ran in shorts, a long-sleeved shirt, a light windbreaker and mittens. It was overcast, but gradually the sun shone through warming it enough just to be comfortable.
The course, filled with constantly rolling hills, meandered by Amish farms. The scenery was beautiful. Horses, cows, buggies, clothes lines filled with clothes flapping in the breeze. A huge valley without a mountain in site. This was the most challenging H.M. course I've run. I loved the rolling hills--a big surprise. There was just enough variation that I never got bored and the change up in working quads vs. glutes kept my legs fresher than running on a flat course.
There were aid stations at miles 2.5, 5, 7, and at every mile after that until the finish. Amish children "manned" the stations, girls on one side; boys on the other, all enthusiastically calling out "water" or "Power Aid." At mile 11, two little blond girls had their hands extended waiting for high 5's from the passing runners.
I felt really, really strong through the race until the very end. I did my usual 8:2 run/walk and by mile 9 was passing runners I hadn't seen before. All that resting between half marathons must have paid off (my last one was 3 weeks ago). I was surprised then on Sunday to awaken to a swollen and sore right ankle. This ankle has been giving me troubles for about a year, so I got an x-ray this morning. There's a very slight chance of it being a stress fracture; the doctor thinks it's more likely to be inflamed tendons and muscles. Lots of RICE for the next couple of days. She also wrote out an order for physical therapy--something I've been wanting to have for quite some time. I have a long list of tight muscles, aches and pains that I'd like to resolve. So maybe the swollen ankle is a blessing in disguise. I am definitely going to be resting for awhile. I want to be in shape in January to start training for a 30K at the end of March.
Oh, my time? 2:16:29 -- a P.R. by 9 seconds.