Happy Monday, everyone! I’ve got Adam on the blog today sharing all about his big race over the weekend! He ran Fort Worth’s Hell’s Half Acre 25K, and the kids and I could not be more proud of him. The race started late at night, so we stayed home and cheered him on from afar. He’s breaking down how the race went today, so keep on reading! Also, how cool are the medals??
Ever since I got into running earlier this year, I knew I needed something to work towards. A running partner of mine and absolute beast of a human being encouraged me to look into the 25k of the Hell’s Half Acre race as he was doing the 50k. I had run 10 miles before signing up for the race, so I was pretty sure that I could make an extra 5.5 miles. Since the decision was made in late March, there was plenty of time to get ready so I knew that this was the right race. It was hot, it was humid, it showed me my limits, and it was a blast.
I was a bit intimidated by the fact that I had only run one half marathon in my training and even that was months ago, but I was encouraged to just take my time and get it done. I got to the race, which started at 10 PM, at around 7 PM for packet pickup and to claim a spot for my gear close to the finish line. The race itself was a 5k loop on a paved path that followed the Trinity River in Fort Worth. It was nice to have all of our drinks and food waiting for us at the end of each 5k. After we set up, we chatted with some people around us including an 82 year old man who had run over 1,000 races and a 64 year old woman who had run 117 marathons. Everyone at the race was incredibly encouraging and inviting of the freaked out new kid (me). Around 9:40 PM, we made our way to the starting line and waited for the countdown.
The temperature was in the mid 80s but the humidity was terrible. At 10 PM, the buzzer sounded and we were off. My friend who was running the 50k was at the front of the line and that’s where he stayed for the next five hours. As for me and my other friend who was running with me, we stayed in the middle of the pack and tried to find a comfortable pace around a 10 minute mile. It was pretty obvious that both of us were caught up in the heat of the moment since every time we looked at our watches on the first lap, we were in the low 9s. After the first lap, my shirt was already drenched, so I ditched it with my gear and felt like a new man.
The next three laps were pretty uneventful. We chatted with runners around us and took our time. Every time we passed the finish line for another lap, we gulped down some BodyArmor, ate a handful of granola, then kept on trucking. It was about mile 11 that I started really questioning why I was doing this to myself. My feet were starting to hurt and I really didn’t know if I had another four miles in me.
Lap five started as the rest did, with some drinks and snacks but at this point, we were not ashamed to add another 30 seconds to our walk. Aid stations were almost at each mile marker, so we used those as motivation to keep going. We would take breaks at the stations then keep going until I had to stop again. Right before mile 15, something happened that was expected but still a shock…my friend who was running the 50k lapped us. This gave me a shot of adrenaline to my brain…but not my legs. I picked up the pace to try to not let him lap me and my legs cramped up so bad I might as well have been standing in concrete. I had to take the next 20 seconds to stretch enough just to walk. I finally got loose enough to get back into a stride and finish looking like I was an actual runner. I passed the finish line and my watch said 15.1 miles so I couldn’t finish like that, how will I make an Instagram post like that? I kept running for .3 miles then turned around and ran back towards the finish line until I hit 15.51 and it was over.
My chip time was 2:47:36 but since my watch didn’t say I was done, I had to keep running and my final time was 2:52:41. Here are my splits:
- Mile 1 – 9:12
- Mile 2 – 9:22
- Mile 3 – 9:40
- Mile 4 – 11:27
- Mile 5 – 9:46
- Mile 6 – 9:35
- Mile 7 – 10:17
- Mile 8 – 10:04
- Mile 9 – 10:20
- Mile 10 – 12:02
- Mile 11 – 11:53
- Mile 12 – 12:34
- Mile 13 – 13:58
- Mile 14 – 12:19
- Mile 15 – 13:20
My feet were not very happy with me, but oddly enough, I didn’t feel too bad. I tried to stay standing for as long as possible but when I finally sat, I had eaten and drank enough to not cramp too bad. The 50k was barely past the halfway point, so I headed back to my truck to use a leg compression massager and it was a life-saver. As I walked back to the finish line to provide what encouragement I could for the 50k runners, I was feeling pretty fresh.
When all was said and done, I placed 26th out of 152 overall and felt incredibly good about what I had just accomplished. If you would have told me at the end of last year when I was pushing 230 lbs that I would be running 15 miles at one time in just six months, I would have thought you were crazy. The race was an absolute blast and I will absolutely be running it next year.
Have you raced in a 25K before?