Thursday, December 16, 2021

Swamp Stomp Half Marathon 2021

Another day, another post about racing! It does my heart a lot of good to see races making their comeback. It's just been too long without them! 

As part of my training cycle for Princess, I had a 12 mile training run scheduled for the first weekend of December. Although that Saturday was smack in the middle of two very long and very early Grinch performances, I knew I had to sign myself up for this race or I'd never run the 12 on my own.

Luckily for my friends who are also training for Princess, they had an 11 mile training run that weekend and had never completed a half marathon. So, I somehow convinced them this would be good practice for Princess and they listened to me and registered! What's 13 miles when you're already doing 11, right? Am I right? :)

Although the name of the race is a familiar one, the venue was completely different and I loved it!

We ran through a large new-to-me neighborhood and it was perfect! 

One of the highlights was this giant Grinch I spotted along the way! A friend of mine took her 12 foot skeleton from Halloween and turned him into a Grinch!

A lot of this route was winding through roads, neighborhoods, and a lot of looping around.

I didn't mind the looping around so much until the end. Around mile 8, things really started to get tough.  The humidity as VERY high this day and although the course was flat, this race was just a tough one in general for me. It was a mental battle from mile 8/9, but things like the Just Breathe sign below really helped keep me going!

Signs like this were located all throughout the course and it was fabulous!

Some of it was desolate as there were only about 200 runners running this race and I was somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Don't think I didn't forget the traditional mile 12 sign photo!!

Mile 12 and literally almost done!

I tried to keep a consistent 9:30 pace as long as I could. It worked out really well until about mile 9...then all went downhill from there. Even so, my goal was to finish below 2 hours and 15 minutes and I made it! I was very proud of this time because I worked hard to get there!

All done! I kept reminding myself that I could sit down and relax when I finished running! Hah!

To the left of this photos is the physical therapist who helped with my last round of PT to my hamstring. She truly helped me get back to running and I'm forever grateful to her for that!

I was so proud of my friends for conquering something that seemed like such a huge obstacle for so long! They did great!!

My own little cheer squad was out there to cheer me on, too! Loved having them there!

After the race, we stopped by a local coffee shop for post-race brunch and it was SO good! 

Overall, it was a great race despite the humidity, but no one can control that factor. I loved running through this new-to-me neighborhood and being with my friends! It's so great to have racing back!!

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