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.

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  • UROPA40
    Congratulations on your PR. Sorry to hear that your ankle hurts. Mine hurt after the 20 mile run and the 27 mile endurance run. I could walk without a problem but hurt to go up and down steps. It did calm down and feel only a twinge when I have been running trails. I have not signed up yet but think I will sign up for the 1/2 in March. Hope you are feeling better soon. Suzy
    3076 days ago
    I did this HM also, and also beat my time from my first HM, just 5 weeks earlierat Hands on House, Lancaster PA. It WAS cold, and the course WAS beautiful! The title caught my eye, and I just had to read your blog. I did one also, complete with pictures.
    3080 days ago
    Sounds great. I grew up in MD and we went to Lancaster for a field trip in Middle school Sounds like you had a great run.
    3083 days ago
    Beautiful description of your run! Congrats on finishing! Sorry about your ankle. Hope the therapist has all the answers you are looking for.
    3083 days ago
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