Friday, March 2, 2012

Fitness Friday: Hyannis Half Marathon Recap

Oh yeah...I ran a half marathon on Sunday...might have forgotten to mention that too much in the past couple of weeks.  It is nothing personal, I just have had my head in the clouds a little bit lately, and I never wrote down my goals (I said them in my head, does that count?), I never mentioned that Luna Chix would be there to help with registration, I never mentioned that I was running with some awesome friends....so I guess now I should recap it a little, if not for you guys, for my future reference...because I will be signing up for this next year :)

The race weekend started off in a bit of an unconventional way....there was booze, cheese, cake, seafood...all the proper nutrition for a 13.1 mile race, right? Well, maybe not for a race, but to welcome in the 25th year of my life it sure was!
Huge birthday present! I got to see my long-lost bestie Ramah, her and her new boyfriend came to hang out for a while and drink some good wine! xoxo
 I turned the big 2-5 on Friday, I am now a quarter century old, but that is for another post :)  I hosted an intimate, tapas style party with some of my closest friends from the area Friday night...there was sangria, Spanish wine, tortilla espanola, garlicky shrimp, paella, mushroom risotto, spanish cheeses, steak tapas served two ways (crostini w/ goat cheese, roasted red peppers and peppered grilled steak, and port wine marinated grilled steak with a parsley dipping sauce...and cake :))
Look at that spread - and that was after some food was gone, you can see the race course cake a little clearer in this pic (bottom left)

I wish I had a better pic of the cake, but seriously, this was the best design ever! Our friend Christine is the cake queen, and she designed this to be a race course, with me on that purple podium (she had printed out a pic of me running and put a medal around the neck!).  There was a start and finish line, a course drawn out and the banner said "Happy Birthday"
After a very low activity (read: hungover/lazy/couch potato) Saturday, full of hydrating with proper liquids (read: water), I had a very sketchy pre-race meal of lobster, mussels, leftover mac n cheese and broccoli, washed down with a big slice of chocolate/fun fetti cake - although I felt ok throughout the evening and even when I woke up, I was so nervous this would backfire on me around mile 5.  My normal pre-race dinner is a simple pasta with chicken or shrimp and a light white wine sauce (no cream/cheese/butter overload). 

I packed up my race outfit and supplies bag and hit the hay early, which for me is 10 PM...oops...and was up and at em with my 5:30 AM wake up.  Our ride (my awesome friends Emma and Sam) picked us up at 6:15 sharp and we were off to Hyannis (on Cape Cod shores in Mass).  The wind advisory had been set the day before, to wind gusts up to 60 mph...seriously?! The weather was also supposed to be sunny and in the 40's though, so it was tough to dress for.  Lucky me, I had a good 2 1/2 hours to think about that while the Luna Chix helped work registration.  It was cool to get to be a part of the pre-race action and see so many nervous, excited, tired, wired faces coming through the doors!

At about 9:45 we headed into the cold - my legs felt good, my stomach felt good (surprisingly), and my race plan was to run with my buddy Chris for as long as both of us could stick with each other, starting out with an 8:00 min/mi pace and adjusting every couple of miles to see how we felt and how much we could push it.  I didn't really have an end-goal time, except to finish under 2 hours, and Chris admitted to me about 4 miles in, he was hoping for a sub-1:50 - perfect!
bad pic, but there were few to choose from...I took off the sweats and had full leggings underneath, but I was sweating by mile 4 with all of this on, a bit overdressed!
What wasn't perfect was the mess we made of the first couple of miles, which in our defense felt pretty easy.  There was an intense crowd at the starting line and Chris and I lined up BEHIND a barrier, so we were jammed into the pack as soon as we figured out how to get back on the right side of the wall, and were weaving pretty intensely for the first mile and a half.  We were also crushing the miles as we went...mile 1: 7:46, mile 2: 7:39.  We were  a bit faster than our plan of 8's, but we were cruising, so we didn't back off too much...

That was until we hit the first of the wind (which honestly wasn't as bad as we had expected it to be, but was not nice either). We kept it under 8's until mile 8, but then there was wind and hills...oh, the hills! The beginning of the race is pretty flat, almost downhillish, but then it starts a gradual uphill with only a few flatter breaks from miles 5 - 10. 

I lost Chris at a water stop around mile 9, on a hill.  I was having trouble with the first couple of hills, so I had made it my personal challenge to crush the next couple hills I encountered.  I turned on my ipod at this point and just pounded pavement, not worrying about the people next to me, or the hip pain that was starting to bud (but thankfully never fully flared).  I brought my pace down by 30 seconds and just powered through.  When I hit the final 5k point, I knew I was definitely under 1:50, and started calculating how long I could hold on to get around 1:40. 

When the road turned into more of a highway and we had to run on the side of it, blocked from traffic only by a string of cones and a few volunteers cheering us on and keeping us within the "barrier" I faltered a little bit - I would get up to a couple of runners and have to figure out how to get around them, then pick it back up again.  That speed/slow pattern can really mess with you, so I was trying to stay as focused as I could - this was by far the only bad part of the course, and the rest was pretty nice, so I will let it slide.
sprinting into the finish, I am the one in the pink shoes and no hat in back - I ripped my hat off at mile 10 and carried it in my hands the final 3.1 - didn't want to lose my Luna winter hat!!
My watch was a little bit ahead due to the weaving in the first two miles, so I was a little late for my final push - but I definitely left it all out on that race course, as I sprinted through the finish at 1:43:12.  I quickly grabbed some water and jogged back to the finish line area to catch Chris' sub-1:50 finish.  I know we were about 2:30 minutes off the start clock due to our less than ideal start, so I was beyond excited when I saw him rounding the final turn to the finish and crossing the tape at a 1:48:02 (the clock read 1:50, so I knew he had made it!)
Kinda of a positive split, into a negative split, into a positive? I am pretty much an expert at pacing and this should be used in all training plans...j/k!
I found Tripp, Sam, and Katie (Chris' wife) and we all went over to cheer in Emma, who finished under 2 hours as well! Overall, it was a successful and fun race, with some of my best running buddies! Also running the race was my friend Jessie (her first half since knee surgery in September!!), Julia, and Dutch.  This race gave me some confidence boosting I need going into the upcoming 2012 race season, as I was slow moving and healing post-marathon back in October!

I would recommend this race, as it was well run, the post-race amenities were great (massage booth, dunkin donuts booth, lots of food/snacks/re-hydration, vendors, live music), and you can't beat the Cape!
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4 comments:

  1. Congrats Danielle! That's a fabulous race, especially considering there was major wind and hills. You rocked it majorly.

    Wind is so hard for me to push through, as are hills, so I would have just been miserable the whole time. I need to do more hill workouts I guess?

    Anyway, SO proud of you!!

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  2. Annnnnd most importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

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  3. That sounds like one awesome bday - where to begin....LOVE your outfit, that one shoulder shirt is totally my style ;)

    your cake making friend is talented! I love that she made you on the podium lol and WOWOWOW look at those miles...and your pace! How was I not aware how fast you were.

    I am so happy for you Danielle! and that is a great race, especially considering the conditions.

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  4. Congrats on running this half marathon! You must be proud - that takes a lot of dedication!!

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