This was the 30th year of the Wheeling WV Road Race.
I ran this last year, and this year's course continued to be the same-the "easy" course. (Due to road construction, several of the killer hills were removed.)
This leaves the Bethlehem hill, which is a nice 1.2 mile uphill, and then a tiny little hill about mile 11.7.
I decided to run this as my hill workout. I didn't get over to Wheeling as early as I wanted, and then the timing chips weren't available right away.So I got a 2 mile slow run in before the race.
The weather was beautiful, maybe 60'ish and kind of humid at the start. But it seemed like a cool breeze kept blowing throughout the race, really holding the humidity back.
Although my time was about 17 minutes slower than last year, I felt I had a better race. I just felt good, and happy! throughout the entire run.
These first miles are through a somewhat quiet industrial section of Wheeling. But what was different this year, besides no pouring cold rain, was spectators!! It was so abandoned last year, with the rain, that it was nice and surprising to see all the folks out, saying hello and cheering us on. One man offered us a cigarette around mile 3, and he then cracked up when a fellow runner quipped back that they'd be back in 2 hours!
Mile 4-- the infamous hill begins here. I kept wondering whether I should try and run it, or just assume ultrarunning status and power walk. I kept running, because I wasn't having that much difficulty. I was reduced to a small baby step turnover, but I kept my head and shoulders upright. I did turn it into a power walk briefly, but then hit a 'relative' flat spot and began running some more. Don't get me wrong, it was little more than a power shuffle. I saw so many people just fighting the hil and expending so much energy flailing their arms--it's not worth it!! Save your energy!
Mile 5- 13.53 The rest of the hill
Mile 6 11.20 The long downhill, about 1 mile downhill. I began chatting with a nice man, Mike, from the Pittsburgh area.
Mile 7- 9.46 this must be the rest of the downhill area. I lose Mike at a water station and continue on. I am feeling really strong, really good, and just so darn cheerful!
Mile 8. 10.37 We enter a bike path, which is flat, but it's not that bad. I have caught up to the walkers (there was also a 20K walk, which started 1/2 hour before us.) It seems like there are many more walkers these race, probaly due to the nice weather. It's not so lonely out there, and much easier to pick people off!
Mile 9 10.43. I take my lone gel around here, without any water, and my stomach makes some growls like that wasn't the best idea.
Mile 10 11.17
Mile 11 10.32
Mile 12 11.37
All around a good race. I saw some friends pre-race and had time to chat with them.
I didn't stick around for the free luncheon, it was still about 1.5 hours until noon, and I knew I would be home in 1.5 hours.
I got home right at noon and did my ice bath, and my legs feel better already.