Hi there blog readers:
I have so much to tell you, that I almost do not know where to start. First things first, I guess:
The good news is that I never came down with the cold that I thought I was getting!! Thank you zinc, vitamins B & C and echinacea. I know, a lot of people do not believe in these things, but I do! Along with a healthy diet, resting when you need to, and maybe I just had some really good luck, too!
Saturday was cold and there was a bit of a wind storm going on. I was really glad that I did not have to run on Saturday – but the weather that day made me a little nervous about what Sunday would bring. The other thing that made me nervous was that my disgusting old toenail fell off on Saturday night and my toe was in some pain. I sort of freaked out wondering how much pain I would be in on race day. Somehow I had myself so worked up that I was barely able to sleep the night before the race. Seriously, I think I got about three hours of sleep.
But back to Saturday. I drove down to the Cape with my running buddy / best friend. We picked up our bib numbers, toured the marathon Expo (I bought a hat on Saturday that I wore on Sunday and soon fell completely in love with. That is right. I fell in love with a hat.), watched some college basketball, had a beer, and then went to the pasta dinner where we sat almost right next to Joan Benoit Samuelson!! Literally, she was about 4 feet away from me, sitting at the next table and we were back to back. It was pretty cool to be sitting next to such an amazingly accomplished runner. Wow.
The morning of the race came and my alarm went off at 7 o’clock in the morning. The sun was out, and the wind was still whipping around a lot. It was about 27 degrees tonight and I did not want to know what the wind chill was. I wanted to stay in bed and watch TV or a movie – I did not want to run! Somehow I was able to drag my butt out of bed, I got dressed and headed downstairs to have breakfast.
The start time of the Hyannis marathon and half marathon is a bit strange – it is at 10am. This makes perfect sense because the race is in February and you have no need to beat the heat with an early start time. But it is the latest race I’ve ever run. I knew that because of the 10 AM start time I needed to eat breakfast. I went downstairs and had a small plate of eggs, three pieces of crispy bacon and toast. I thought this breakfast was a bit risky – but then I remembered that last weekend my sister made me scrambled eggs for breakfast (because she’s the best sister around!) and toast and two hours later I ran six and a half miles. So I figured this was about the same breakfast and the same timing, so I thought it would be ok. I had a small cup of coffee to help wake up, too.
The later than normal start time was definitely weird. After breakfast I went back to my hotel room and futzed around. I did not want to get dressed in my running clothes too early. I read my book for a little while. I stretched. I hydrated – but I did not want to drink too much because I did not want to have to use the port-a-potties on the course. Somehow I managed to do pretty well wasting some time.
I got dressed, layered up, put on my gloves, my new hat, my Brooks running jacket (I am so glad I bought that last weekend!!! Who knew the wind was going to be so crazy!?) and headed down to the lobby. I was so nervous – but I smiled for this picture:
I warmed up during the first couple of miles into the race, and had to discard my “throw away” layer maybe two or three miles into the race. A lot earlier than I thought I would need to. We ran through Hyannis, through Hyannisport, Barnstable, and Craigville beach. The course was really beautiful. For the most part the high winds really were not that bad. There was definitely a gust of wind where I got sand blown into my face (but thankfully not eyes or mouth) near the beaches! The joys of running on Cape Cod at any time of year :)
I definitely felt like a crazy person at times running this race. But it was an awesome experience. If you are thinking about running this race, I highly recommend it. It is a great course and really flat!
I also cannot say enough about my running buddy. While we do not train together, we check in with each other about how almost all of our training runs go. When I’m feeling less inspired, my running buddy will send me a cool text or a cool slogan that keeps me going – especially as my distances get longer than I am used to. While I have been thinking about running a marathon this slogan is key and I thought about it during the race yesterday:
(that arrived while I was running on a treadmill – my least favorite thing to do in the world! – one day via text message.) My point being, if you can talk a friend into running a race with you, go for it! I don’t run all of my race with my friend, but we enter races together, and sometimes we run our own races and other times we run together. It is a great mix, and it makes training more manageable and it makes running races a lot of fun. But of course you do not need a running buddy, but having supportive friends and family that help you reach your goals by supporting and encouraging you is a really great and important thing!
SO. A few miles into the half, we realized that I was on track to take off a good amount of time off of my previous half marathon time. I did not let myself think about it for a while, but when we got to mile 8 or 9 I really started thinking that this was a possibility. I relaxed for a mile. I was shocked by how quickly the time went by when I was not constantly thinking about breaking my PR. At mile 10 I almost panicked and then kicked it into a higher gear because I wanted to be sure to take a good chunk of time off of my time.
I finished the half marathon and I ended up taking 10 minutes and 15 seconds off of my previous time! I was pretty excited about the accomplishment. I felt a little bit beat at the very end of the race – but I recovered in a few minutes, the coconut water was really helpful! :)
I had a medal, wind burn and crazy hair.
So, that about sums up the half marathon. It was great! After the race I had a water, a coconut water, a donut and an hour later a bagel with peanut butter :) It all tasted really good, but I was a little let down because there was no pizza to be had!!
This morning I had a Marylou’s snicker-doodle coffee with milk and no sugar.
I had a busy day and I was sore. My legs hurt. My shoulders even hurt a bit – what’s up with that?? My feet felt great though :) In the afternoon I had lunch with Danielle. We had quiche, sweet potato, and curry quinoa. It was an amazing meal! I also brought over some treats from Seven Stars. I had half of a peanut butter cookie and half of a raspberry bar.
I got home around 3:45 and changed into comfy clothes and climbed into bed to read and respond to some e-mails. My mom came home and helped motivate me for the rest of the day. We had amazing salads for dinner:
Ok. That wraps up the last three days. I am exhausted, and I will see you tomorrow! I am crossing my fingers that I am in less pain tomorrow – let’s hope so!! I hope your week is off to a great start, too. See you soon!