I have been a bit silent on the blog lately. The fact is that after the last race I came down with a gnarly case of plantar fasciitis. That stuff is no fun. Two day so not being able to walk on my right foot. Two weeks of painful steps. Four weeks of no running. Followed by four weeks of slow going, very cautious miles. All the while I was planning on running back to back half marathons the last weekend of March. I had off and on pain up until the week before the race. The last week I’ve been pf pain-free. You think it’s never going to go away and then one day…or maybe two runs in, you realize you don’t feel it anymore. So, I was a bit cautious going into the race weekend, but at the same time hoping that both runs went well.
I’ll start with the Bentonville Half Marathon. The morning was chilly and the sky spit on us the entire time. About 10-12 folks from our Mustache Running Club came out to run the first race of our double weekend. I ran with my friend, Megan, the entire race. We started slow, but by mile 5 picked it back up to a comfortable pace. We were so slow at the start I knew we’d be hurting at the finish if we kept that pace! The course weather stayed gray the entire time, with the clouds breaking a few minutes after we finished. We made two big loops around Bentonville, AR. The crowd support was great and the city seemed very happy to see us. There were a couple of hills, but overall it was a pretty flat course. We clocked in at 2:12. This was my first half marathon race in years and coming off the foot issues, I was very happy with that time. Plus, I was pain-free!
Sunday we woke up to a gorgeous, cool morning. The half weather was perfect – upper 40’s, sun, light south wind. Very enjoyable! I was still pain-free this morning and had hardly any soreness. I was ready to go! I got to the start and realized I had left my bib and chip at my house. First time I’ve ever done this. Oh well – I’m not setting any records here! I stayed with Megan again this entire race. The plan was to run it as strong as the previous day. The course was very familiar – we run parts of it every week. I guess that’s the good and bad of a local race – you know what to expect…and you know what to expect! The first half was great – we saw friends along the course and chatted the entire way. The second half warmed up a bit with the bright sun and I was wishing that I had put sunscreen on! This course was much hillier than the previous day, but not quite as supported along the course. We got to the last four miles and I run them almost every run, so things got long! I started to feel the back to back long runs around mile 11, but powered through. I mean, what’s two miles?! We crossed the finish line in 2:05. I believe we negative split both days, so I’ll take that as a win. 20 minutes off a PR, but still a very successful race. No pain in the foot and still no soreness today. April Marathon, here I come!