This past weekend was my fourth running of the Hyannis Half Marathon, and it was by far my favorite one yet. The weather was an ideal 46 degrees and sunny, with a light breeze. After all the rotten snow and cold and ice of this winter, this run was a real treat! A bunch of us headed down to Hyannis on Saturday and spent the night in the hotel right at the start line. It's a huge convenience to stay right on property and I highly recommend it! We got to the hotel just before the race expo closed, grabbed our goods, and then checked into our rooms. We were all starved so we headed out to dinner, but then got turned away from two restaurants because of long waits, and ended up at a quiet bar and grille. We were a little skeptical because the place was nearly empty, but the food was great, the beer was great, and it was very reasonably priced!
|Chicken parm, yum!|
Sunday morning we all met up in the lobby for breakfast. We had all been worried about Julia, who had gone to a chiropractor earlier in the week for a calf issue, and walked out of there with a bruise covering the entire bottom half of her leg. It was (and I mean this with love, Julia) completely disgusting and horrifying. She had only just begun bearing full weight on the leg, and hadn't really run in a couple weeks. We were calling it her corpse leg, because it really looked like it belonged in a morgue. Julia went over to the Spaulding booth at the expo where they were offering kinesio taping, and they fixed her up with the most amazing tape job:
|Her leg looks like a Jackson Pollock painting!|
My breakfast consisted of a half bagel with peanut butter, a Starbucks breakfast blend, two doses of Pepto, and then a honey stinger waffle right before the race. That all seemed to do the trick, it gave me the perfect balance of energy without tummy troubles. Every time I run past a porta potty without stopping is like a personal victory to me!
We stopped just before the race for a quick photo op, then headed into the corral.
|The "before" shot|
My plan all along was to treat this race as a training run, since it was my longest run so far this season. To help me stick with my plan I wore my fuel belt and started pretty far back in the corral. I wanted to stick to 10 minute miles (or so) since that is my long slow distance pace. Some people say they get too caught up in the race to treat it like a training run, but I've been pretty disciplined this season on my road to recovery, and I really felt that I would stick to my plan. I started off the run with Ron, so that was nice to have some company. It was good for him too, since he's had some leg issues lately. Each of our miles were between 9:35-9:45, so we were cruising along a little faster than I expected but still totally acceptable. At about mile 8.5 I decided to take a short walk break to pull myself together a bit, take a good drink, and settle in. Ronnie kept running, and I walked for about 20 seconds and then continued on. The rest of my run was great, and I did stop one or two more times for short walk breaks. At mile 11 I started listening to my iPod, because I'm planning to do that towards the end of Boston. For some reason mile 11 seemed to take forever, but then I hit mile 12 and it seemed like instantly I was at the finish line. I was thrilled to cross the finish line feeling so good, strong, and not tired or nauseous! This was my best long run yet. I wish all my long runs could be races! My final time was 2:11 with a 9:55 pace, so I was very pleased to meet my pace goal.
I was thrilled that my foot held up so well on this run, and never really got too tight afterwards. The next morning it was tight, but no worse than any other shorter run. My quads were (and still are) a bit sore. I did a 4 mile recovery jog on the treadmill yesterday and then an hour of cycling, and the cycling really seemed to help. So, to everyone who was anxiously wondering if it was possible... the answer is yes, it is possible to run a half marathon with a longest run of less than 11 miles, and substituting several runs with snowshoeing and cycling!