Archive for November, 2012

Boston Half Marathon
November 7, 2012

Hey I ran Boston.  Ok, so not THE BOSTON, but I ran their little cousin, the Boston Half Marathon.  My neighbor runs it every year and always raved about it.  I also started going every year to visit my best friends from college in Boston, so I thought why not combine the two?  Plus it was an opportunity to finally meet my favorite triathlon/running power couple, Juls and Dutch at the race!! They were even more adorable in person, wish I could hang out and run with them more often (hint, they need to move down South!).

So here are my Top 10 thoughts about my experience with this race.

1. You have to stay on top of the registration date.  It’s always in July and it sells out in a couple hours.  Do NOT mess around with this.

2. It’s a really reasonable race price: $65.  C’mon where else can you get a high quality Half Marathon (with big name elites racing!) for that price?

3. The field is small and fast.  Granted it gets kind of congested in a few places, like the first mile or so, but they limit it to about 6,000 I believe.  And it is a fast field.  They do not play around with the timing of the race.  At the 2:30 mark, they start dismantling the finish line.  Yes, that is an average runner pace, and that is what they consider their last finisher time.  You can still run it at a slower pace, but expect that most course support will not be available.

4. People really run the entire thing.  I walk water stops regardless.  It gives me a break and I don’t spill fluids all over me.  But I hardly ever saw any walkers even near the end or the final hill.

5. It is a hilly course.  The course elevation profile doesn’t really accurately portray the course.  It is a constant roller.  You can ignore the profile that shows any flat portions or any really drastic hills.  The entire thing is up or down hill.  There are also a lot of u-turns and tight turns.  Make sure your ankles and calves and quads are prepared.  Training in Nashville will serve you well.

6. I PR’d!  Granted it was only by a minute, but this is a way harder course than Philly was (flat and straight).  I was aiming for a couple more minutes faster than that, but I started hurting near the end.  I’m actually pleased I got another sub-2 Half! Final time: 1:56:26, top 25% in age group. New PR!

7. I got very, very sick after the race.  For the first time, I hurled after a race.  Granted it was about an hour after running (and not at the finish line), but it was bad.  I got very cold after the race, despite changing and putting on warmer clothes, and had dark purple lips.  I didn’t properly rehydrate and fuel after the race (the post-race options were more like what you see at an expo).  Then we rode in the back of a school bus with the heater on to our drop off location.  All a very bad mixture.  It took me about 5 hours to recover and not look as much like a “corpse” as my friend put it.  On top of that I think I need to rethink my fueling and hydration plans for running.  This has been happening all too often, even with using Immodium (“runner’s little helper”) before and after the race.

8. The course is gorgeous.  It goes through some of the most beautiful areas of Boston and during fall with all the leaves changing, it’s just a scenic run!

9. Course support was very good.  I had water whenever I wanted it.  I carried my own nutrition with me so I didn’t take part in that.  I was a little perplexed by the gear check area, you just drop off your own bag and pick up your own bag, so no real security.  I kinda wish I had seen a little more medical at the finish, maybe I would have partaken, then again I could have just walked away from the area and didn’t notice.  The post-race food was meh – fruit, granola, powerbar, water, gatorade, but really it was all stuff you would have gotten at an expo, which they don’t have.  Think what I needed was some hot chicken broth like after Philly.  And since no expo, they send you your bib and info in the mail before the race, and you get your shirt at the race or the finish.  I kinda like this change.

10. The race shirt is awesome, Adidas long sleeve technical T.  And the race medal is some seriously heavy bling!  One of my favorites, not to mention it’s a 125th Anniversary of BAA, so it was a pretty cool year to run Boston.

Sorry no post race photos, they weren’t very flattering, more so than usual, so this will have to do.

A 5k and a hat trick
November 6, 2012

My racing season is winding down.  I can actually say I’m not sad about it.  I’ve been pushing non-stop for 5 months straight now.  I kinda want a little bit of a life back.  Maybe the occasional Friday or Saturday night where I can go out, or sleep in on a Saturday or Sunday morning and have a lazy breakfast.  And I have been taking advantage of some of these things.  So much so, I’ve been a little neglectful of my race reports.

A few weeks ago was the Shelby Bottoms Boogie.  I usually run the 15k every year because it’s a great race;  unique distance, benefits a great charity, and it takes place at the perfect time for training for a fall half marathon.  Except this year, it was scheduled for the week before the Boston Half Marathon.  That’s just a little too close for comfort, racing 9.3miles before a half marathon.  And there’s no way I would not race it.  It’s flat, fast, and I’m always looking for a PR.  So I decided to run the 5k instead.  I haven’t run a 5k since I started running again about 6 years ago.  Also, the 15k is a lot more popular so the 5k field is small and honestly a little slow. Not gonna lie, I was totally looking for a podium finish.  I also had the goal in mind of getting a sub 25-min 5k time.  A 5 or 6min PR over my last 5k.

I arrived for the race ready to go.  I know the course well, it’s the last 1/3 of the 15k course, the part I always hate, so I was ready to run it with fresh legs.  I quickly noticed that there were a lot of little kids in uniforms in the corral.  They were the cross country team from my middle school!  Wow, when I was in middle school we didn’t have cross country. I was on the track team, but we didn’t even have uniforms.  Guess they have come a long way.  We took off and a lot of the kids were sprinting hard, but slowed down after the first mile.  I just kept chugging along at a sub 8-ish pace hoping to reach my sub-25min pace, and I kept picking off other runners and the middle schoolers.  By the last mile I was in a pack of kids shorter than me (see I’m not the tiniest person running!), and slowly picked off a couple more and sprinted in with one of the lead kids, we had left most of the adults behind.

Shelby Bottoms Boogie 5k – 24:27 – 2nd AG!

So, not only did I get my goal time, but I also got second in my age group!! Woo hoo!  And a nice little tumbler with this year’s race logo on it.  So now that makes 3 podium finishes in my 3 different sports, running, duathlon, triathlon!  And all second place too, at least I’m consistent.  So, here’s my hat trick of age group awards.

My hat trick of podium finishes!

Since starting running (and other sports) as an adult I have never placed until this year.  Can’t wait to push it even harder next year!  Stay tuned, I’m planning to do an onslaught of all of my other races that I have done in my little blog-abatical.  Next up – Boston Half Marathon!