Adirondack Half Marathon – climb every mountain

Seriously – every mountain. Lol

For some silly goofy reason on the drive up to the race that morning I was admiring the foliage and beauty of the Adirondacks and started singing “climb every mountain”. And knew that it was not only appropriate but would fit my blog.

The Adirondack half is a very hilly course. But an absolutely beautiful one. This was my third year in a row participating.

The first year I paced my aunt through most of it to her PR (I finished in a decent 2:04). Last year, as I wasn’t yet cleared to run, I walked it with a friend. And we came in last. And it was fabulous.

This year, I wanted to have post-injury PR. But as the forecast climbed, my chances lowered. So I decided I would just run my best and see what happened. I don’t do heat well.

It was almost 70 when I started and almost 80 when I finished. Not what you’d expect in the mountains in late September.

I went out a little fast, with the theory of how ever much I can get in before it gets too warm will help. And my friend Larry happened to be at that same pace. We ended up running together for about 10.5 miles. Some of it I paced him, some of it he was pacing me, though he might not have realized it.

As the temps climbed, so did my pace. A few seconds each mile. My effort didn’t change, but my body was just not happy. From mile oh, 6 to the end was freshly paved road. Nice and smooth – but fresh black pavement and hot sun? Was like running in an oven. Ick. I looked at the lake and the trees and the beautiful blue sky and tried to ignore the sweat pouring out of me.

Around mile 9 I wanted to walk. But I refused to. Around mile 10 my left leg started to cramp. That’s a new one. At mile 10.5 I approached the line of stupid. But I refused to cross it.

I sent Larry on and took a short walk break. Just a few seconds to have some water and lower my heart rate. And knew that finish time no longer mattered. Not becoming a medical emergency did. Lol

For the next two miles – the hilliest two actually – I continued the battle of wills between my legs and my heart. The legs wanted to go and too fast for the rest of me. So I would let the legs go until the heart needed to lower and then back along. Oddly – I was running the hills and walking the flats.

Just around mile 13 I saw a hilarious sign. “Run like you just got picked for the hunger games”. As I was thinking omg I love this, I realized it was my friends holding it. (Seriously Megan – you will never realize how much it meant to me to see you guys there!) I had been about to walk until I saw it. I stopped for a picture and a hug and continued on.

Walked for a brief couple seconds by the Taiko drummers. Because they are amazing and I wanted to watch them. Then, the turn to the finish and the last .1.

My husband waited along there and high fived me. Yay!

And shortly before the finish I crossed a timing mat, which gave the announcer my name. And then, somehow, I found my kick and flew to the finish. As I passed the announcer I heard him say “now that’s the way to finish Kelly”. Woohoo!!

Of course, by doing that I almost felt like I was gonna drop. Got a water, my medal hung around my neck and then walked it off with Larry. Who had finished a mere 20 seconds before me.

Found my husband, watched my aunt finish, met back up with my friends and then Oh My God foot cramp!!!!!!!

Seriously the worst one ever. Apparently I got REALLY dehydrated. Lol I took my can of coke and went knee high into the ice cold lake. Felt amazing. 🙂

A couple points of interest…

Mile 4.5 – 5ish goes through the word of life bible school campus. Best part of any race (and yes, I’ve seen the Wellesley girls) for me. These kids cheer and yell and jump and play music and are so excited for you. I high-fived a whole line of them because their energy is infectious. They made me smile.

And, in addition to my awesome sign from my friends, my favorites were “relax, someone already won” at mile 11, “the end is near” at mile 12 and “no one ever drowned in sweat” at I think mile 7.

A congratulations also to Larry who set a new PR and my aunt who placed third in her age group. Nice work!!

It truly is a great race. And, I think I may run the full marathon next year. Because while I won’t cross the line of stupid. I will cross the one of crazy. LolIMG_6287.PNGIMG_6277.JPG

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