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Flower City Challenge -Half Marathon Recap

If you've been following my Instagram story, you know that I spent this past weekend in Rochester, NY for the Flower City Challenge Half Marathon.  (And if you haven't been following me on Instagram, you should Follow me!) This is a race that I've run before, and on any given day this course can be very challenging.
I should call this recap Murphy's law.  Anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong during this race.  Nicole wasn't feeling well, so she opted to skip this one, so I headed to the start line solo.  The first mile felt great and I was moving along at a good clip.  But from mile 2 on, it was one thing after another.  Starting in mile 2, I felt pain in my foot.  Of course, I didn't stop or even look at my shoes.  If I had, I would have noticed that one of my shoelaces had snapped.  No wonder my foot was killing me, I was essentially running with floppy shoes! 
I must have changed my stride due to the foot pain, because around mile 4 I started to get back pain as well.  I'm used to some lower back pain at the end of races where I really push myself, but not upper back pain, and definitely not this early in a race.  There's nothing worse than hurting and realizing you still have more than 9 miles to go.  Ick.  I was lucky that I saw some friends along the course.  Seeing spectators always puts a little more pep in my step.
The Start Line
Around mile 7 of the course, you head into the hills of Mt. Hope Cemetery.  It's a particularly brutal part of the course because it's so hilly and quiet and also in a cemetery.  I was also not feeling well at this point and actually yakked.  Like I said, it's a brutal stretch of the race.
After heading out of the cemetery, there's about 3 miles to go along the canal path.  This was a familiar route as I used to run it all the time in Rochester.  Finally around mile 12, I was starting to feel a little better.  Better late than never I guess.
But the good news is that I finished!  It's easy to get consumed by time goals and training and forget that finishing is also an accomplishment, especially on days like this one.  This goes to show, no matter how many half marathons you do (this I think is either 26 or 27), you can still get eaten up by the course.
Luckily, I get a do-over this weekend with the NJ Half Marathon!

Have you ever had a race where it seemed like everything went wrong?  How do you push through tough races?

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