Going into this race, I did not feel as trained as I would have liked. I did not do as many long runs as I wanted to. I found it hard to train as most of March was crappy, and that was when I started upping my mileage.
Anyway - I was as trained as I could be and race day had arrived! It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the low 80's. Great temps if you are sitting by a pool. Not so great if you have to run 13 miles. The race started at 9:30 AM - which in my eyes - was a huge drawback. That is very late for a race to begin. An ideal time would be 8 AM. By 9 AM, the sun was blazing down on us as we waited to start. I slathered myself with sun lotion and anxiously waited to start.
At 9:30 we were off. The route brought us around the Berkshire Mall twice. Then we were on the bike path for the remaining 11 miles. It actually was a great course. The bike path was mostly shady, and it had amazing views of the Berkshire mountains, and streams, lakes and creeks. In fact, I felt like I was running on our own Albany bike path - but with much prettier views.
My plan was to run-walk the race. And so that's what I did. Starting at mile 1, I walked for one minute. This definitely helped me keep my pace. I was actually going way faster than I wanted to be going. But the walk was helping me get that much needed break. At around mile 4, I was hot. Really hot. I had my water bottle and I was trying to stay hydrated. The water stops were every two miles, and I was really glad I had my water bottle. I was finding myself filling it up at every water stop, which meant I was drinking most of my water in 2 mile increments. (I personally feel they should have added more water stops given the fact that the temperature was so high.)
By mile 8, I was hot and tired and my legs hurt. In fact, I kind of was feeling like I had never run a half before. This race was pushing me to the limit. I decided to start taking a walk break every half mile. That seemed to help. At mile 10, the path started to wind along a lovely creek. Suddenly the air felt cooler, and the course became more of a downhill. I tried to pick up the pace to make up some time. Glancing at my watch, I knew this would not be a PR for me.
I hadn't seen any of my running friends for most of the race. All of a sudden, at mile 12.4, my friend Jen came out of nowhere and whizzed by me. That made me pick it up a bit and I ran with her for a couple minutes. I was having trouble with my breathing, so I slowed it up and she kept going. I ended up crossing the finish line at 2:11:17. (Jen crossed 10 seconds before me and had a 4 minute PR! I was so happy for her!)
All in all - it was a race I would consider a "character building" race. The course was easy but the heat made it hard. I would definitely run it again and hope for lower temps. (Or an earlier race time).
No matter how many half marathons I run, it definitely is still a challenge. And crossing that finish line can still bring tears to my eyes. I worked hard for those miles and the feeling of accomplishment is always amazing. And that's what keeps me running...
10:01 pace overall
328 out of 606 people
170 out of 384 females
45 out of 95 in my age group
|The "Strong Running Mamas" before the race.|