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|
|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 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!|
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!!|
|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 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!