Cheshire Half Marathon Race Recap

This was the first year they put on this race and there were good numbers for the half marathon and 5k.  There were also some really incredible volunteers and decent course support.  The half started a few minutes late, but before I knew it we were off.  The course was pretty nice; after navigating through parts of Cheshire, a good portion of the race was on the bike path out there, so we were running through the woods and in mostly shady areas.  The course was supposed to be flat and fast, but I definitely felt like it was slightly hillier than I expected and am used to.  It wasn’t big hills, like the Newport Half, but there were a lot of smaller inclines, which sometimes I think is worse because you don’t even realize that you’re going uphill, but your body/legs certainly do.

I’m not sure what my splits were because I chose to wear a smaller watch instead of my Garmin, but the first four miles were approximately the following: 8:20, 8:20, 9:00, and 8:00.  Not quite sure how I pulled off an 8-minute pace at mile four, but somehow it happened and then after that, I kind of stopped caring because mentally, I began breaking down.

When I first set out for the race, I thought for sure after a couple of miles that my legs would loosen up and I’d begin to get into a groove.  Unfortunately, this never really happened for me and though at the halfway point, I was on track for a sub-2:00 half marathon, my mental breakdowns held me back from achieving that goal of mine.  I think that is probably what sucks more than anything else; I absolutely could have done it but I let myself become weak mentally and I even caught myself thinking of all the reasons why I couldn’t do it.  I even ended up taking Gu 30 minutes into the race because I felt so awful; then I took another around 65 minutes; and I took a third Gu around 1:35.  I usually can hold off until 50 minutes to take a Gu and also only take one or two at the most, depending on how I’m feeling…so that just goes to show how tired I felt so early on in and throughout the race, for whatever reason.

Additionally, I wore capris and a long-sleeve shirt because it was like 40 degrees at the start, but by the end it was close to 60 degrees.  In college, during our field hockey games at the end of the season, I was one of maybe two players that never wore Under Armour because I would get way too hot, and I think today was no different; my feet and hands were tingling throughout the last half of the race, and in the last quarter of the race, my feet felt like there were burning and as soon as I crossed the finish line, I took my shoes off.  I don’t know…I feel like I’m rambling and making excuses for my own mental struggles but anyway, here were my goals going into the race:

  1. Don’t walk at all, except through the water stations.  I failed at this and ended up walking more than I’d like to admit.  I got to the point where I actually was forcing myself to do running intervals because I just wanted the race to be over (3-5 minutes running, 30-60 secs walking, depending on how I felt).  It was awful and honestly, I’m really disappointed about this.
  2. Finish in less than 2 hours.  Failed.  As I mentioned, at the halfway point, I was on track to complete this goal, but my miles kept getting slower and slower after the half and I felt like I was struggling.
  3. PR.  Succeeded.  I told my friend Diana that at the very least, I wanted to PR and I didn’t want not getting sub-2:00 to take away from a PR.  So at the very least, I’m happy with this.

It was the first race of the season, and I haven’t been doing long runs consistently, so I don’t think I can be too upset with my time.  The end of the race finished around the track at the high school, which I thought was a lot of fun and which really pushed me to finish strong.

I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:06:59, which was 2 minutes faster than my time back in October in Newport.  Again, I would’ve loved to have gotten under 2 hours, and I definitely would’ve preferred shaving more time off of my former PR, but I can’t complain.  I’m happy I ran the race and I will definitely consider it next year, because it was a great race to start the season off with.

Friday Night

For dinner, I made chicken stuffed with spinach and feta, a delicious salad, and oven-roasted asparagus for dinner.  Quick side note: I forgot how absolutely amazing feta is.  Seriously.

But the best part?  Dessert: Peanut butter, complete with a spoon for easy eating straight from the jar…I mean…jars.

Off to my dad’s house for the rest of the day and the night…and the Cheshire Half Marathon in the morning.

Hoping for a PR!  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

No NYC, Yes Cocoa Almond Spread

So, I didn’t get into the NYC Marathon…but now I am considering running Savannah with Brenna. And either way, it is likely that I will be running Hartford in October anyway. Trying to fit in another in between October and the marathon in Vegas in December might be a bit much, so we’ll see.

In other news, my trip to Target yesterday ended the way it always does. By this I mean that I walked in with the intention of getting some sports bras and walked out with other miscellaneous items and a little over a hundred dollars poorer.

Then, since it was so close by, I made a trip to Trader Joe’s and found myself in front of the numerous “butters”…cookie butter, almond butter, peanut butter…mango and apple butters as well. And then despite my brain saying, “don’t do it!” my arm reached onto the shelf, my hand wrapped itself around a jar of goodness and then my arm moved itself back to its normal position. In the end, I had grabbed this:

20120426-131749.jpg

I have had it before and don’t regret buying it. I do regret opening it because now, less than a full day later, the jar is half empty. No, it’s half full! Optimism works, people.

I Am Easily Confused: Part 2

So turns out I was wrong again but right the first time?  Marathon Opening Day is happening right now and I can’t access the NYRR site, probably because of the billions of people watching.  Or thousands.

I opened up the NYC Marathon website registration section to find this:

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?

Yes I am yelling.

I was all mentally prepared to find out on Thursday.  Then I got confused (obviously) and excited and became mentally prepared to find out today.  And now I have to wait until tomorrow?

Umm…so…yeah.  I find out tomorrow morning.

I Am Easily Confused

Remember that time I said that I would be finding out about the NYC Marathon on Thursday?  I was wrong.

Sometimes I’m easily confused, especially when it comes to dates and times.  See that sidebar to the right?  It says I get lost easily.  And that doesn’t just mean I literally get lost walking around, it means I’m lost all the time.

This is from an email I got four days ago:

Spoiler alert: See where it says, Wednesday, April 25?

And this is the email I got 28 minutes ago (thanks Gmail for that handy timestamp):

Spoiler alert #2: See again, where it says Wednesday, April 25?

HOW DID I MISS THAT IN THE FIRST EMAIL I GOT FOUR DAYS AGO?

What is wrong with me?

But yeah.  In case the spoilers didn’t ruin it for you, I find out tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.

I Found a May Race!

Hooray.  So, I initially had this fun plan to run the following schedule of races for the next three months:

April
Sunday, April 29 – Cheshire Half Marathon – Cheshire, CT

May
Sunday, May 27 – Boston’s Run to Remember – Boston, MA **

June
Sunday, June 3 – Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon – Simsbury, CT

But now we can change May because…

I’m running the Brooklyn Half Marathon with Team For Kids.  Which is pretty exciting because:

1) The race sold out in 10 hours.  That’s right.  15,000 spots filled that quickly.

and

2) Running for a cause makes everything that much more meaningful.

If you’re feeling generous, you can make a donation through my fundraising page.  If not, that’s fine too (I hate asking people for money, even if it’s going to charity).  And if I don’t get into the NYC Marathon (I find out on Thursday!) I am considering running through a charity, because I already like the fact that I am running for an organization with a great mission.

I Got a Free Shirt and Signed Up For a Race.

Just read the title.  Or, read the brief post below.

Yesterday, because I was one of the first 2,000 to register for the Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon, I received my complimentary long-sleeved technical shirt from Competitor.

I love free things, especially when they involve running, clothes, and catchy phrases.  Overall, I am pleased.

I also might have finally done this…

There goes some more of my hard-earned money…but I have no problem with it because it’s money spent on something I love.

I’m now off to the gym and going hiking later.  Happy Friday!