On Friday evening I made my way with Lauren up to New Hampshire because, oh yeah, I was registered to run a half marathon on Saturday morning. I wasn't sure if I'd run and figured I would see how I felt in the morning. I woke up on Saturday feeling... alright. Not too much better, but luckily not worse. My general rule of thumb is that as long as the congestion isn't in my chest that it's usually fine to run. Did I want to be running a half marathon at that point? Hell no. Was I totally stoned on Pseudoephedrine? Pretty much. Was I going to run this bitch? Totally.
The Applefest half marathon has a really pretty course. Typical New England, really. There were a few times during the race where the leaves were coming down around us like rain. It would have been really peaceful if I'd been out for a morning stroll and not running 13.1 miles. Also, I don't ever look at elevation charts. Mostly because I have no concept of how to translate those numbers into whether or not I should be scared shitless. I'd heard from friends who have done this race before that it's a challenging course and I think I'd read somewhere that the hills started around mile 9 or 10. My strategy going into this race was two-fold: 1. to not pass out and die and 2. to make up as much time as I could in the flat miles because I knew the hills would probably kill me.
|See? I look at this and am like.. is this hard? Looks scary, I guess?|
I spent the first nine or so miles praying that Gangnam Style would come on my iPod and thinking about how good my legs felt. I started marathon training a little over three months ago and I pretty much haven't felt well-rested since then. I settled into a comfortable pace and was pretty shocked to see that I was averaging 10:30's (give or take a few seconds). My hydration was good and so was my fueling, which is shocking considering how little I'd eaten in the days leading up to the race. The first hill -- actually mountain -- came in mile 10. That beauty left me with a 12:03 mile. Oops? I tried to keep running up that hill, I really did. But my lungs were just not having any of it, so I had to do a little walking. I was having some difficulty breathing, and that freaked me out a little bit. At that point it became a mental game to keep myself calm. Somehow I managed to keep myself together for the rest of the race and ended up finishing in 2:19:06 with an average pace of 10:39.
Oh yea, did I mention that it was my second fastest half marathon? Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.
I woke up on Sunday morning feeling as though someone had repeatedly punched me in the quads. Cute, right? Even better when I realized that I was running the Tufts 10k on Monday. Stay tuned for that race recap!