Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Half At The Hamptons: the no snowbank edition.

The weather cooperated brilliantly last weekend and we were able to enjoy a super day of half marathoning in Hampton.

We all know that the weather for this race can be horrific! It was nothing short of a miracle to have a day with (mostly) glorious sun, (mostly) no wind and (mostly, actually- completely) perfect temps. It was about 35 degrees and in my opinion that's ideal. Sometimes you show up in for this race and it is -12 degrees with a 50 MPH wind and the snowbanks are about 30 feet high and it is awful. That was not the case on this day, and for that we were grateful.

We packed up in the kind of slacky way that you can for a one day race and off we went!

Slacker packing.
We got to the venue nice and early because I had to run a couple pre race miles and because Eric likes to get places early (like, hours early.) Parking was easy because for the first time in the history of this race there was nary a snowbank in sight. (miraculous)

We got our bibs, I ate a sandwich and went out to run a couple miles. (an actual couple. two. that's it.)

Sandwich 2 of 2 for the morning
I felt great during the warm up miles. There were pretty things to look at and for the first time in this training cycle I was going into a race/longish run day on fresh legs (meaning, they had a day off on Saturday.) All of my previous long runs have been after a heavy load of big workouts. It's just the way things are working out this time and I certainly noticed some extra pep in my step thanks to the day off.

Pretty beach
After finishing my warm up, and with loads of time in hand (3 minutes)  I dropped my warm up clothes off, ran to the bathroom and made it to the start in plenty of time (30 seconds.)

Last one to the start as usual!
Even though I was late (ish) I managed to find Eric and take a selfie which is VERY important.

My goal going into this race was simple. Run the best half marathon that I can at this time. No slower. No faster. Finish on tired legs. Don't finish throwing up or hurt. Easy, right?

 Actually, yeah... It was indeed.

This is a horrible blog. I need to start making stuff up just to be more interesting. 

I saw a cardinal at mile 6 and this made me very happy! Now THAT's interesting!

**this is the part where I try to add substance to a race recap**
The rest of the run was just so basic. I ran, I felt good, I made sure that I was running at a solid "working/hard" but not "suffering" pace and I tried to be as consistent in my effort as possible. There was a stretch of scary snowy road at mile 2, which was my slowest mile. (drama! that was the #struggle that I had to #digdeep to overcome!!) Other than that it was a very good race. There were some little hills at like miles 4/5/6 but no big deal.
This race has a strong pack of runners and I managed to position myself with other runners planning the same race/pace as I was. We were basically together the whole time. This was nice. I had fun, and many good miles!!  The end. I write quality, and thoughtful recaps.
**substance over**

With two miles to go I decided it was time to run as fast as I could to ensure that I met my goal of finishing good and tired. I got all excited, full of inspiration and desire to pass as many people as I could! Fueled by the kind of competitive attitude that only the most serious of mid pack runners can muster I cranked it up and literally flew past people for a full mile. Wow. Go me!!!

After that one fast mile I decided that my *big move* had come a bit early and I certainly could not maintain such a ridiculous pace. (please see mile "12" in pic below for evidence)  I laughed and laughed at myself, who makes a big bold move at mile 11? ME THAT'S WHO. Anyway, the good news is that I barely slowed down from my ridiculous 5K pace and nobody passed me (if anyone had they should have laughed at me and my aggressive behavior. Whatever, finishing a whole 10 places higher is worth running like an ass hat.)

Right. So the whole time I was running as fast as I could I was like "please have the clock at sub 1:43 please please have the clock at sub 1:43!!!!" (remember that I don't run with a watch so it's all a mystery!) The clock said 1:39:xx and you better believe that I scooted super fast to the finish before that damn clock clicked over to 1:40. Official finishing time: 1:39:18.

Mile 12 where I dropped the hammer. HAHA!!!!
Anyway I'm basically amazing and fast. That's like a 7:35 pace yo! That's stupid speedy! I haven't run such a fast half in over two years!
This is also most certainly NOT my marathon pace. However, I am going to claim this as fast because it really is. Watch the fuck out people, I'm about to win some races!!! (or... not. but that's cool.)

As I had hoped it was a very good and honest representation of where my current half marathon fitness is. I finished tired but not exhausted, a little sore but not hurt and not sick (which means I didn't race outside of my fitness ability.) Mission fucking accomplished! Time for a beer.

Pilsner... MEH.
So we had a beer like normal people and talked about our race experiences and it was a really good time. Both of us were completely happy with our results and there was no vomiting or aggressive pooping (on my part...) so that was awesome too.

Yay post race celebration!!
I like this race a lot, it's well run and the course is great. There is an abundance of free food (and beer so I will forgive the unoriginal pilsner choice...)  I'm very pleased to have run an age group PR and to have had a very drama free run.

We finished off the day with donuts as any good runner should.

I'll try to get it together with a weekly wrap up before the week is over. In short, I had another solid week of training and I am pleased with the way things are going. I'm also having fun which is important and am planning to keep it that way for the next 6 weeks!


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