The Shelburne Half Marathon was a battle. On coach’s request I ran it “blind,” no live splits data from my watch. Running by feel, throwing caution to the wind. I’m still processing whether that worked to my benefit or not. The jury is out.

One water station on the entire route, and all they had was water. I should have known this from the race email, but I didn’t notice it. Perhaps read over it without believing it. Surely there wouldn’t actually be only one aid station over 13 miles. Surely they would have gatorade, gels, something. I could have used some electrolytes. Some salt. Maybe literally anything. I had pockets but they were empty. I guess Ironman has made me soft. Ironic. My fault, in the end.
I started to slow down around mile 9 or 10. No kick to speak of, but I didn’t fully bonk. Just kept pushing what I had, as it got harder and harder. Longest final mile I’ve run in a long time.
Across the line and my legs gave up finally, nearly completely seizing. My hamstrings wanted no part of being upright, or even sitting. They cramped hard, and I was suddenly curled up in a ball on the ground, prompting a med check by race officials. It was only then that I noticed my thighs had chafed themselves bloody, too.
After a long while my legs started to cooperate and I could gather my wits about what I had managed to do.
A new 13.1 PR, and on the podium in 2nd for my age group (alas, only virtually due to covid protocols; nobody was allowed to congregate for awards).
It was hard won. And I will take it.

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