Sunday, February 19, 2017

Adams County Run with the Amish

Better late than never??

I ran the Adams County Run with the Amish 1/2 Marathon on September 24, 2016.  It was 1/2 marathon #14. I was really looking forward to traveling with my friends (about 2 hours southwest of Columbus) and getting a 24 hour "vacation" from real life.  Something doesn't quite sound right about that when I consider running a 1/2 marathon a vacation.  But when you have a 3 year old at home who never stops talking, getting to spend time with grown ups is amazing, no matter what we may be doing during that time!

I knew this race was going to be a challenge just based on the location.  Southwestern Ohio has hills. Lots of hills.  Especially when you consider just how flat Central Ohio is.  It's hard to get much hill work in during training in Columbus.  Having said that though, I had a plan to train on the available hills.  But that plan just didn't work out how I had hoped.  So while I went into this race with adequate distance training, I knew I wasn't fully prepared for the hills.

Testing out the Amish furniture
That ended up being an understatement.  This was by far the most difficult race course I had ever done.  The 1/2 I ran while pregnant might have been slightly more difficult since I had the first trimester fatigue to content with, this one kicked my butt just as much.  I realized quickly that I couldn't run down hardly any of the hills.  There were too steep and it hurt my knee with each steps.  So I ended up running as much as I could but then walking down every hill.  Not the best strategy but that's what I had to do to keep going.

The night before the race, we all met up at a local Amish bakery/furniture store where the Amish had the most amazing pasta dinner I've ever had.  We ate in a barn and it was bare bones but it was by far the best pasta I've ever had in my life (probably not hard to beat store bought.  I doubt I've ever had homemade pasta before and this was obviously homemade).  I was just enjoying being in the company of my friends and none of them made me cut up their food and they didn't throw noodles at me.  After dinner we made our way to a state park about 30 minutes away.  We ended up renting several cabins for the night.  Normally I would be in bed early the night before the race but we ended up staying up way too late but had a blast.  Have I mentioned how excited I was to have grown up time??

The next morning we were up early to carpool back to the race start.  I loved how basic everything was.  When you've done as many races as we have, you don't always need fireworks and a a live band at the start.  So we were impressed with the hand drawn course map and the horses hanging out in the pasture across from the race start.  It is a beautiful part of our state, that's for sure!

Three of us started together but by about mile 6 or so, we all had split up.  My friend Kim was race walking and was easily out walking me on the downhills.  Given how small the race was, I had a feeling she could place in the race walk division if she stopped waiting for me so I told her to leave me behind.  I knew I would finish.  I felt fine, the course was just hard.  Plus there was also a full marathon so that meant I had plenty of time to finish the half.
Hills for days
The race was fully supported by the Amish Community in the area so they organized all of the water stops.  The water stops were great and there were plenty of them, which surprised me because it was such a small race (fewer than 500 people to my knowledge).  There wasn't the yelling and cheering I'm used to at the big city races but it was a nice change of pace (no pun intended).  I really enjoyed the first 1/2 of the race.  The hills were a challenge but manageable.  It was right about the rime I was thinking "this isn't so bad" that we hit an uphill that I was convinced was 3 miles long.  In reality it was probably less than a mile but it was so long and so steep/  I had to take a break when I finally got to the top...

The second 1/2 of the course really felt like one hill after another.  I still felt ok other than being tired (spending time with friends was still worth the extra late bed time, no matter how tired I was!).  At one point during the race, we saw some friends driving the course.  They either weren't racing due to injury or did the 5k so they came out to check on the rest of us.  It was a little strange to be in the middle of farm country and then a mini van full of friends comes driving around the bend honking the horn and yelling out the windows.  It was perfect though!  Towards the end, there is a short out and back section of the course which was nice because I got to see some of my friends that were ahead of me.  Seeing familiar faces goes a long way when you really want to be finished!

Even more friends were lined up in the last mile and by that point, I was walking more than running. Everything hurt.  Seeing them was another welcome sight.  They got me up one last hill and my friend Sarah crossed the finish line with me.  It felt like I had been out there for 3 days but I somehow managed to finish under 3 hours.  2:56:50 was my final time.  Not my worst!  Haha.

The finish line is at the same Amish Bakery that the pasta party was and when you have a bunch of hungry marathoners finishing a race, you load up on baked goods.  Oops.  I probably didn't burn that many calories. b The race "medal" was realy unique also.  It was a wooden "basket" made by a local Amish person. Their name was on the back even!

It was such a fun trip!  Unfortunately they aren't hosting the race again next year.  I'm not sure if I would do it again but I'm sure if all my friends were in, I'd go along with it.  It wasn't THAT terrible.  Ha!

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