My Half Marathon running has come of age: Coyote Hill Half Marathon

I completed half marathon #21 yesterday!
It’s only half as crazy as it sounds. I know people who have run that many FULL marathons. So no biggie.

Yesterday’s Coyote Hill Half Marathon was in fact my very first trail half marathon and it was 2-lap run:

We were a team on 6 Team in Training buddies who met up at this race. Christina, Chris and I started together and decided to take it easy as this was our first half of the year and for me a training run for the upcoming Austin Half Marathon.
As always mile 1-3 were sluggish. Whenever I start a half marathon I question my sanity during those first 3 miles. It takes me a while before I get going. Somewhere between mile 4-6 I found my groove and as we finished the first lap, I bid Christina and Chris a temporary good-bye and headed out ahead of them. Not only was this a 2-lap race, there also was a part that went out and back, so we got to see a bunch of runners and not just their backs. 🙂  Mile 7-8 went well, but after mile 9 I wondered if I should have stayed with my buddies. It got a little lonely. I started to cheer on all oncoming runners, so that was a nice way to spend the time. Mile 11 had the last aid station, so I took another strawberry & banana GU (my favorite) and made my way to the last climb of the day. We had to run through a short patch of a very much single file trail that took us to a rock we had to climb. Well, the trail got steep for 2 yards and then opened up to beautiful views:

There was supposed to be water around, but you could tell that we are in a drought period. The lake was dry, just dry. You can see a little of that in the background of this photo:

After this last climb and the gorgeous view it was all downhill (and don’t you like it that this just means something great and positive in running?!).
I managed to sprint the last bit to the finish line and took another great medal into my collection:

According to my Garmin it was overall a little over 1000 feet elevation gain.

This was somewhat unexpected. One of my running buddies told me before the race that this was one of the flatter Brazen races. I have to admit I was skeptical, but I will have to confess he was right. All the hills were little rolling hills and surprisingly I only added about 25 minutes to my regular half marathon time. Now I say surprisingly, because – if you have paid attention – I have run a few trail 10k and with those ones I have always added 30 minutes to my street race 10k-time. So I am pretty happy with the result and will certify it wasn’t really that hilly.



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