When I picked up my number, I was surprised at the writing on the tag. I had completely forgotten that I had it customized when I showed up for the race! I know that no one could read this while I ran by, but it was fun having the LLS shout-out on my chest for the run.
I was accompanied by Claire and Vivienne. It was a gorgeous day, clear skies, perfect temperatures. Unlike Hampton, no need for a long sleeve shirt. Unlike Hampton, I brought a long sleeve shirt with me just in case. You live, you learn…
Anyway, thanks to my girls for coming out to cheer me on, and for their shadow puppet cheering.
Before I forget, huge shout-out to the team at Eyelook Optical. Claire and I buy our glasses there, and they hooked me up with these new glasses the day before the race. I’ve been running without sunglasses (my only other pair is not something you’d wear while running). These made a huge difference – I was much more comfortable with the added protection.
The race started off well. I don’t know if you can make out all the runners in my sunglasses reflection… but this was in mile two, when I still was feeling pretty good.
Before the music started to get to me.
No ear buds.
I know, some people need their music. It provides an extra kick when you need it. I’ve been there. I’ve had Ali In The Jungle come on my iPhone in the last half mile, and only finished my run because, “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” That said, I know for a fact that all of you don’t like The Hours. That’s my music. Which means, if I’m going to listen to it in a throng of thousands, I’m going to wear my ear buds. Merideth, here, on the other hand, listens to her music on her arm. I’m glad she had a strong finish. I hope she had a good run, but her taste in music does not match mine… and for most of miles two through four, we seemed destined to finish the race arm in arm. I’d pull ahead, then we’d hit a hill. She’d attack the hill, and pass me. I’d catch up. We connected and separated innumerable times, all the while her tunes inspiring her, and grating on my nerves.
I must get over this… she wasn’t the only one, but truly, I think this is a huge faux pas. Either wear buds or don’t race with music. Enough said? End of rant…
Fun tidbit of the day – I met Lee, my former trainer/coach from the Beverly YMCA at about mile ten. Lee was taking a stretch break when I caught up to her, then we chatted briefly before she left me in the dust. It was pretty sweet meeting her on the course, and the pick-me-up gave me a little more fuel to keep going.
But not for long, unfortunately. The hills… oh, the hills.
This is not the hilliest course I’ve ever navigated, but it sure is the fastest I’ve ever run hills like this… and I paid for it.
Like, completely crashed. Had to walk. I bonked hard. For you Oatmeal fans, the Blerch caught up to me. I walked to the nearest water stand, hydrated, and decided to walk faster. Here’s my pace chart for this race with Hampton overlaid. You can see that I was going faster than Hampton initially (mistake), and then, of course, the crash.
At about 12.5, Mary Tetsa caught up to me. Mary was having a really rough time, but she was moving faster than me. I said to her, “I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to ride your coat tails for a little while.” She told me she didn’t think she had much, that the tank was on empty, but we could run together for a while. About a quarter mile later, it was her turn to walk. By that time we knew each others’ names, and I told her I’d be waiting for her at the finish line.
I did manage to keep up a slow jog for the last part of the race, and Mary finished just seconds behind me. We high fived, and all of the sudden, the pain and misery that was the last mile and a half completely evaporated.
Final times: 13.1 miles in 2:01:48. 6.45 MPH, or 9:18 minutes per mile. That’s nine seconds a mile slower than my last half, but considering the extra 284 feet in elevation climb, I’ll take it.
Thanks to Kate, Rob, Mary, Lee, Merideth, Claire, and Vivienne for being part of my Newburport Green Stride Half Marathon journey today.