Race Recap: 2015 Mad Anthony Half Marathon

Before I hit the recap, it may make more sense to explain the days leading up to the race.

First, let's rewind back to Saturday's 24 miler. Although I finished and felt great about what I had accomplished, I experienced some intense pain in my left foot afterwards. Unfortunately, this pain is not a stranger to me. This is a reoccurring injury that I have had twice in the past. I self-diagnoised it as Sesamoiditis before, but because I was training for an ultra this time around, I had to be 100% certain.

I met with the sports doc on Friday. She x-rayed my foot and it came back to show there was nothing serious. She confirmed my self-diagnosis and suggested I either get cortisone shots to alleviate pain or get the sesamoids removed in the future. I was also given the go-ahead to continue running. Yay!

The half was the next morning and I was more worried/nervous than ever before. I had little to no training that entire week. I tried to think of it as a taper, but I still didn't know if I should race it or just hang back and enjoy the sites.

The next morning I popped a few anti-inflammatories. It definitely seemed to help mask the pain by the time we arrived to Waynesboro that morning. Still, I was not sure how the foot would feel the second I took my first running step.

I lined up with my friend Carly at the start. She and I finished in the top of our age group last year (I was in first, she was in second).

We joked about maintaining our spots in our age group, but I was confident Carly had me this year. Not because of the foot though. I truly believe she is a stronger runner than me. She gets sub-4 marathons and I have yet to achieve that.

Peter was also competing himself. He was racing off of a deferred entry from last year and because he has already ran one half, I knew that he was going to do even better this time!

When the race began, I hung behind Carly. I wasn't trying to stay close to her to try to beat her at the end. I was more using her as my pacer. I wanted to focus less on my time since I was worried about my foot, which thankfully was not giving me grief.

I stayed with her for the first 4 miles, but when we arrived to what they call "The Bridge to Nowhere," I lost her. 

I hate the terrain in this section. Because gravel and potholes are all over, you have to really focus on your footing. 

I went to about a 9:30 pace and Carly was barely in my site. I had a feeling I would not be seeing her again.

Once making it back to the main road, I regained some of my speed. I settled into a good rhythm and let my mind wander. I mostly thought of Peter and how he was doing. I wondered if he hated the "Bridge to Nowhere" like I did and if he would run the entire hill at mile 6 .

I did with much groaning, but still smiled at the crest.

What's great about the Mad Anthony is that once you are halfway through, the miles FLY. I find the course is relatively flat or you seem to be going downhill. It's easy to regain any energy that may have been lost from the mile 6 hill.

I found myself smiling or even joking with the volunteers.  Just before hitting the known uphill at mile 11, I sarcastically asked a volunteer if it's all downhill from here. I  am still not sure if they thought I was serious. 

Just as I asked about it being downhill...
When I hit this particular hill, I push through despite my exhaustion. At this point of the race, you are less than 2 miles away from the finish and this is the last obstacle. If you can stay strong, then you are good till the end.

I crossed the finish line in 1:53.

As soon as I crossed, I wasted no time in turning back and to look for Peter. I wanted to make it a point to see him finish. He was aiming to finish faster than his pub run time (2:24), but then again, we never know how things will go on race day so I was not certain how long I was going to wait.

It wasn't long though! Around 2:10, I saw Peter at the top of the hill that led runners towards the finish line. My jaw about dropped because I had no idea he would be arriving 14 minutes faster than his last time.

I told him to sprint.

His exact finish time was 2:10:59!!! I was so happy for him!

We both seemed to have excellent races and were very proud of ourselves.

Hell, I even got an age group award on a bum foot! I came in second while Carly took her rightful position in first!

Like every year, I give CFAR's Mad Anthony Half Marathon high marks. This was my 3rd year doing it and I am sure I will be back for more in the future. The course is great because not only is it a challenge, but the scenery is so refreshing! It really helps the miles cruise by! The course support and volunteers are also extremely friendly and motivating! You can't find too many better than this when it comes to friendly people.

Anyway, I feel like this recap has gone a lot longer than expected! I even took some things out to keep it down on word count! I hope it wasn't too much though! Definitely worth writing about regardless :)

Have you ever been diagnosed with sesamoid issues? How did you overcome it?

Have you ever raced on an injury? How did you get through it? Did you do well?

What race have done that had amazing volunteers? 

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