Asheville Half Marathon Course is hilly
Okay, folks. I had driven the course several times, even running the first 8 miles of the course, but running the whole thing is an entirely different story! Last Sunday, my friend Bob and I met at 6:30am at the start of the Asheville 1/2 Marathon course. It was still dark out as we did our Body Looseners, and I was very excited to get going…
It is very helpful to run with a friend, especially when they are familiar with Chi Running. Bob and I were able to remind each other of various focuses throughout the run, and that made for excellent moral support.
We always start running slowly and take it easy, letting our bodies warm up. Takes both of us about 3 miles to properly get into the groove, and by that time, we’d scaled a couple significant climbs.
I took the metronome, and we used an 89 SPM cadence, but set it for a waltz beat, so we didn’t have to listen to it beep crazily the entire time we were running. It really was helpful in keeping a somewhat ambient background noise that we both recognized helped us stay rhythmic. I really focused on maintaining my running cadence during the steep uphills, regulating my stride length to match the beep.
Mile 9 is a long haul up Lookout Mountain, so by the time we reached the top, I was feeling pretty spent. I don’t think it was the hill itself (I actually enjoyed running up it) but it’s location in the course is what did me in: Miles 10 -> 13 were pretty tough for me. At one point I told Bob I felt like I was running through water. In all likliehood, it was because the day before, I had run a (fast) 5K as part of a group relay triathlon at Lake Lure. Lesson learned: don’t run fast the day before a long run.
I really knew better than to do that, but I was aware of my choices and knew that the 13 miler run was going to be a challenge for me… but I have to say, all considering, it ROCKED! After Mile 10, to minimize the feeling that I was running in water, I just kept my stride short, kept my core engaged and tried to RELAX my entire body and just let gravity do the work. It worked.
I was hardly sort the days following that run — my calves were slightly tight, but my hip was perfectly fine, as was my knee. Whoop whoop! I can’t wait for the race… only 2 weeks to go!
- race-specific training,
- half marathon training,
- hill training