Monday, February 26, 2018

Race Report: Hyannis Half Marathon

“Great things never come from comfort zones.”

I made a last minute decision to run the Hyannis Half Marathon on Sunday and with big risks comes with big rewards—I ran a PR!

If you’ve been following along you know I just finished up Week 9 of marathon training and I have been feeling freaking amazing.  I am running really well.  I am sticking to a consistent strength training schedule.  I’ve added the NormaTec to my Friday and Sunday routines.  I’m actually surprising myself with how motivated I am right now.

With that in mind, I had been thinking about the Hyannis Half Marathon for a few weeks wondering what I could do with nine solid weeks of marathon training under my belt.  My half marathon PR was back in 2015 at the Cape Cod Half while I was training for Houston.  Current solo long run paces have ranged from 7:20-7:30 and 7:10 for 13.1 miles would give me a new personal best.  In a race atmosphere, 7:10 seemed very realistic to me.

I waited until the last minute to sign up because I was worried about the weather.  This was a drop back week for my training so timing for this race was perfect however you never know what to expect for February on Cape Cod.  One year my dad was registered for this race but it was cancelled due to a blizzard!

The forecast showed rain for Sunday morning ALL WEEK.  I kept thinking it would change.  Every day around it changed a hundred times but Sunday morning rain and wind was consistent.  It originally called for 50 degrees but race morning was about 40 degrees, feels like 30.

I woke up Sunday morning to the sound of RAIN and wanted to stay curled up in bed for the rest of the day.  Danielle and Jason were texting me with talks of bailing on the race but I knew I had to do it.  I was not going to work on my requested day off to run 14 miles on the treadmill—especially because the day before I missed a perfect long run day of 50 degrees and sun.

SOOOO I sucked it up, got out of bed, ate breakfast, braided my hair and debated for about an hour what I was going to wear.  The race started at 10am so I had plenty of time to get ready.

I got to Hyannis a little before 9 and met up with Danielle, Jason and their friend Pat inside the conference center.  I found my friend Steve and his wife Courtney then met up with Chris.  We all went our separate ways with final bathroom breaks and headed to the start solo.  This is when I saw Samantha from Run Club so we waited together at the start line.  I was wearing a new rain jacket (thanks mom!) so my upper body was dry but I was starting to get worried about my socks and my legs.  Wet socks = nasty blisters.  Cool weather = mega cramping.  Remember my final miles in Miami?

There was no more time left to worry because the gun went off and it was go time! 

Mile 1- 7:13
Mile 2- 7:07
The first mile I was not happy.  There were so many puddles in the road and even if I avoided them everyone around me was splashing.  I was cold.  Everything was wet.  I tucked my head down and kept questioning why I was out there.

Mile 3- 6:56
Mile 4- 6:56
Mile 5- 7:00
I started to warm up about 3 miles in.  I knew when I hit 5 miles that I was already under goal pace by about 30 seconds and I tried to slow down a bit, worried I couldn’t maintain.  Around this time I also realized I wasn’t looking up AT ALL and I had no idea where I was.  Hyannis.  That’s all I knew.

Mile 6- 7:04
Mile 7- 6:58
Mile 8- 7:06
Mile 9- 7:01
Mile 10- 7:01
Still had no idea where I was or where the course was taking us.  I was just counting down the miles and battling the demons in my head that kept telling me to stop.  The rain was constant, the wind was nasty and the course was surprisingly hilly.  At one point we passed Craigville Beach and I was excited looking for my Run Club friends but they tricked me!  They were outside the liquor store a few miles later—BIG thanks Allison, Stacey and Gary!  So happy to see you guys out there!

Mile 11- 6:59
Mile 12- 6:51
Mile 13- 6:47
I started getting cold again but there was only about 3 miles to go.  22 minutes max.  The course took us out on busy, wind in your face Route 28 before tucking back into some neighborhoods to the finish.  I kept looking at my watch knowing that unless something terrible (cramps) happened I would be in the 1:32s.  I picked it up for the final two miles and crossed the finish line with the biggest smile on my face.

13.1 miles – 1:32:31

Average pace – 7:05

Overall I was extremely proud of myself.  So much of this race was about stepping out of my comfort zone.  I have lost the mental game in races too many times to count but not this day!

From the finish line I ran right to my car to get my bag then straight to the bathroom to peal off all my wet layers.  That was the worst.  I found Samantha and she also ran a PR!  We sat for a while and I enjoyed coffee and a donut before heading home to my couch and the pup.

Up next: Week 10 Boston Marathon Training!

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