If it doesn’t challenge you, then it doesn’t change you. I was looking for a change during the Citrus Heritage Half Marathon. I wanted to improve my finish time from the first time I ran the race in 2014 (2 hour, 17 minute finish). At about mile 8 of the race, I decided it was time to push out of my comfort zone and try for a new personal record. Not only did I set a new PR for this course I set a new PR for my best half marathon finish. I was able to cross the finish line in 2 hours, 13 minutes. Talk about getting a runner’s high!
The Citrus Heritage Half Marathon is so unique because the race course winds through the historic orange groves of The California Citrus Historic State Park in Riverside. You can actually smell the sweet scent of citrus while running the race. The course also has gorgeous views of the near by mountain ranges and the skyline is landscaped with tall palm trees that adds to the beauty of the run.
One of my favorite parts of this race are the several hydration stops that offer electrolytes and water. The highlight of these stops are the fresh orange slices that are offered to maintain the runners’ race endurance. I must admit, I ate a full orange by the time I crossed the finish line.
The finisher medals are one of my favorite medals. The bright colors of the cut citrus on the medal are an awesome addition to my collection. Right after you receive your finisher medal, the runners are given the normal water, banana, and bag of salty carbohydrates. The added touch at this race is the warm cup of chili. It was a perfect quick lunch to enjoy before heading home.
While driving home, I was surprised by the quick email notification of race results. It added to my runner’s high to see that my new half marathon finish time was definitely a PR.
So now as 2017 continues, I will chase my goals to complete a half marathon race in exactly 2 hours. I have been putting in the work to improve my speed endurance. Hope with the continued hard work, determination, and a bit of luck I will reach my 2017 goal. This is because if it doesn’t challenge you, then it doesn’t change you! So set your goals and make the change now for 2017.