Thursday, May 22, 2014

Running for the Hills: Viola Valley Half Marathon

When I was working on my 2014 race schedule, I knew I wanted to run the Viola Valley Half Marathon. It's in a smallest town in Tennessee, and it's only 20 minutes from my house. My grandparents are from there & we have family reunions there every December at the Community Center. The race route is very hilly, rural, & goes through three counties in Tennessee. It was the 3rd Annual but my 1st time running. This was also my first race to get to run with my running buddy Demetria. We have been running together for almost a year now, but we've only been able to match up for one 5K last summer. She ran Viola last year, so she was able to mentally prep me for some of it. 

Leading up to the race, I didn't feel prepared. I hadn't had a "good" long run weekend since my last half in March. I wasn't doing my hill repeats once a week, and the last time I did them, I only made it up the hill 3 times instead of 6. My mileage was lower for April, but I was doing more Yoga. I had mentally prepared myself to not beat my PR from March (1:58) and probably not break 2hrs, just hadn't spoken it out loud. When I started running, I didn't quit. Even with all the hills, probably 2 per mile, I ran my most even paced run ever. Coming in with a new PR of 1:56! I guess I was more prepared than I thought. Running conditions really helped. The weather was in the low 50s  (way below average for May in TN), overcast with a breeze). It did threaten to rain a couple times at mile 5 & 8, but nothing more than a mist. Charlie said the radar looked really ugly a couple times, as he sat inside eating his breakfast on the square with Demetria's husband.

Here's a few shots from the race:

With Demetria before the race

And we are off!

5/17/14: New PR 1:56:09

After with our medals!

With the hubs

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