The Paducah Iron Mom Half Marathon was supposed to be back in May, but the wicked flooding on the Ohio River made the race directors postpone it until today. This morning, I was thinking this race was cursed, because today's weather forecast was predicting serious thunderstorms. Fortunately, no thunderstorms occurred during the race, though there was rain and wind throughout. The rain I referred to as "God's Water Station." I really enjoyed the race--it was flat, and had lovely sections that took the runners through the Paducah Greenway and Bob Noble Park. If I lived in Paducah, those would be regular running spots for me.
I had no trouble spots during the race, but my overall time was slower than any half I'd done before, somewhere around 2:12. I am disappointed, but I have to ask myself, what is it that I am running for? Is it for the end product (fast times, personal records, etc) or is it for the journey? I would have to say that it's for the journey, for the feeling I get of freedom as my body's in motion, for the scenery that changes as I pass by and as time passes by, and for the notion that I can really get somewhere--physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually-- if I just put one foot in front of the other.
The actual race was sweet: lots of enthusiastic volunteers, water stations at every mile, GU available on the course (I still have a heck of a time choking that stuff down, but it does help). My main problem was with the pace groups--there was one available at a 2 hr half pace and another at a 2 hr 20 min half pace. I guess it's not easy to find pacers! My last half in Madison had a 2:10 pace group, which was perfect for me. Had I had the same sort of pace group in Paducah, would I have done better? Who's to know and who really cares? In the end, I had a great run in a pretty little city by a river, and I didn't get hurt or even really get tired.
My next half marathon will be in another pretty little city by a river, the City of Roses Half Marathon in Cape Girardeau, MO. It's not until September though, so I have a bit more time to chase that elusive PR.