It was a beautiful day for a run.
I signed up for the Great Bay Half several months ago… September, maybe? I looked at my Boston Marathon training calendar and saw that two weeks before the race, we were scheduled for 12 miles. 13.1 is close to 12, so I decided to run a race instead. It’s as close to home as I can get, too, so that was a draw.
Plus, it’s pretty scenic in that area, right?
If you remember my post from the Jones 10 Miler, I came away from the roughly 700 feet in elevation gain feeling drained, and frankly, thinking I needed more hill work. Well today I got it!
When I saw the shirt, I knew it was going to be a very hilly day, and the course did not disappoint. My watch recorded 991 feet in elevation gain. As I write this, I’m feeling it!
I planned on making this race a casual warm up, but when I started the run, I knew I wanted a strong performance. My first mile came in at 9:19, and from there they were mostly faster than that until mile 12, which had the steepest hill on the course. I’d been trying to finish strong (8:47 for mile 11), but mile 12 was my slowest at 9:23. I shook off that final hill and sprinted to the finish.
I shaved over 90 seconds off my personal best, finishing at about 1:58:20. I’ll update this post when I get my official time from the race director. If it holds, that’s 9:01 per mile… but I think I might actually end up a second or two faster.
Maybe it was my new lucky shirt? 🙂
Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t recommend racing a half marathon two weeks before your first marathon, but it turned out okay for me. In spite of the new personal record, I really was paying very close attention to my body and how it was responding to the course. With the calf problems I’ve been having, I was especially cognizant of how they were faring. I was ready to drop to a walk at the first sign of knotting up, and paid special attention to my form to prevent injury. Tonight I spent extra time rolling out my muscles so I won’t be tight tomorrow. And I was lucky, too.
Then again, the harder I work, the luckier I get.