Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Boston's Run to Remember Half Marathon

Hi, can we go back to the long weekend? I really enjoyed my Monday. Sleeping in, watching Law & Order reruns, and reading. Ah good times.

Not good times? My half marathon this weekend. It was certainly a lovely race that I would probably do again, but personally, Sunday's race was just a flop for me.

Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early and headed out to the expo. I knew Jane was going early too, so I was hoping to see her. She beat me there and was in and out in no time.

Once I got there, I saw why. It was a really tiny expo with only a handful of tables. Really easy to pick-up your number and t-shirt. It seemed like a fun place for families as there was a kids section with bounce houses. Never have seen those at an expo!

I was in and out in no time. Usually I am torn at expos. I want to walk around and see everything but know I should rest my feet. This race expo at least made that choice easy!

The race had a 7am start which meant an early wake-up, so I was exhausted before the race had even started. I had usual pre-race jitters which didn't help. Plus my ride had fallen through, and I was unsure of how to get to the start.

I ended up making it to the start with some time to spare. The corral was crowded and I ended up starting farther back than I had hoped. As the race started I tried to remember to hold back and not go out too fast. The course was pretty crowded so this wasn't too much of a problem.
I love the cityscape on the bib!

I am usually super excited at the start of a race. I love taking in the sights and the sounds. The cool morning air energizes me, and I fall in love with running all over again. For whatever reason, I didn't feel that way on Sunday. I felt sluggish and tired. Recently I haven't been using an ipod for races, but that morning, the thought of running without it scared me. Mentally, I couldn't get my head into the game.

It's a shame as it's truly an amazing course I saw the Boston Harbor Hotel ahead (site of my wedding), and I was sure that would give me a boost. Nope. I had to fight the urge to run in and curl up on a plush couch in the lobby. After running by the water, you run by Mass General and head over to the esplanade and run by the river, which is one of my favorite spots to run in Boston.

The spectators were amazing, and definitely keep me pushing myself. I was wearing my new I <3 Sweat" shirt, and plenty of people shouted at me about my sweaty love. One girl even yelled "You don't look sweaty. You look AWESOME!" That seriously made me laugh.

At one point we ran by a hotel where a guest was standing in front of his window watching the race...totally naked! Definitely a surprise!

There were moments where I felt good and thought, "I got this." Unfortunately, they were too few and far between to make it the epic race I had hoped for. I got a low battery message from my Garmin around mile 9. All I could think was if this dies, then I give-up! But then I realized I am better than that and how silly would that be! Luckily the Garmin held in until the end, because my bratty half was in full force. I might thrown the clunky watch at some innocent spectator.

Speaking of my Garmin, it was about two tenths of a mile off of what the course markers were. It was a little disheartening as I'd think I was at mile 11 and realize that it was actually around the corner. It was also a little unnerving when I saw several runners passed out on the sidelines. The heat was a bit brutal, and some of the water stops were congested or were just trying to keep up with the demand. I wouldn't be surprised if people opt to skip the stations despite their thirst.

I had take a couple of walking breaks around the water stations, but at mile 11, I vowed just to keep at it. Ideally, I would have gone hard, but I just didn't have it in me. The last half mile I kept wanting to quit, and if I hadn't been so close, I might have.

My Garmin was showing that the finish should be approaching, but I couldn't see the finish line. I didn't want to go all out without having my eye on the prize. It wasn't until I was at the timing mat that I realize I was at the finish. There was no marker other than the mat and a clock. No big sign or dangling carrot. It was one of the most anticlimactic finishes I've ever experiences.

My final time was 2:13:12. Disappointing as my training runs had me going at a much quicker pace. I guess this race just wasn't meant to be a big success for me. I would do this race again. It's for a good cause and the course is awesome. Sunday just wasn't my day.

I survived!

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