aka Elijah’s Race aka the Swanzey Covered Bridges Half Marathon
Thanks for all the kind words on my quick recap after the race. Y’all are great and I’m glad you had faith that I’d run well. Be still my heart!
So I guess by now you guys know that I spent the long weekend up in NH with Lacey doing fun things like racing. So I’ll just jump into the race report?
Since we were staying really close to the race I got to get up at 0715 on race day! It felt really good to be able to sleep. Because A) I’ve been a bit sleep deprived lately and B) race day. I ate a light pre-race meal and then we were off to register and race. We listened to this, which was in my head all 13.1 miles. It was fantastic. And no, that’s not sarcasm.
Annoyingly I can’t get the official video. Oops. But the song is still awesome regardless!
We wandered about the start / registration area a bit and while Lacey did some dynamic stretching in the gym (at the school where the start was) I contemplated what my race strategy would be. It’s obviously not a secret that I wasn’t “trained” for this race. Sure I have a bunch of miles under my belt butttt does that mean I was ready? I certainly had hoped so.
(Sidenote: I think the fact that I hadn’t trained for this race made it so that I could run it well. I definitely have shown up to…I want to say all…my races overtrained. Not the case here. It was just my body)
The weather was really amazing for running that morning too. Hurricane Earl didn’t hit us, like, at all. But the rain left FALL weather. The temp at the start was probably 55*. Ah-maz-ing.
My MO for races is to start out slowish and then progressively get faster. Lacey’s MO is to go out HARD and then hold on. I opted to go with her strategy today. I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to hold a really quick pace from the get-go but it was worth a shot.
I mean, as of last Wednesday of last week I wasn’t sure if I was going to even be racing this race or not.
The gun went off and we took off FAST. Like way fast.
Here are the splits with a little commentary:
Mile 1- 6:56 (whoa there!)
Mile 2- 7:29 (on a dirt path — definitely the best part of the race. Part of me wishes that we could run the race backward and END with the path).
Mile 3- 7:23 (just trying to keep up with Lacey — my thought process was keep to her because it’s easier to keep up a hard pace than try to make up ground)
Mile 4- 7:07 (off the dirt path and onto the scary highway)
Mile 5- 7:14 (the hills start here, and continue through mile 11. Pretty basically a really mentally hard stretch!).
Mile 6- 7:05 (this is where Lacey and I split up. Major props to her for pacing me SO WELL and getting me started to just go! And check out how the rest of her race went HERE. Not a spoiler per se but she did pretty effing awesome too. A real bamf!)
Mile 7- Unknown but likely somewhere between 7:00 and 7:30 (I tagged along with some guys that were running fast and clearly were good runners. We all pretty much took turns leading and lagging over the course of now until the end.)
Mile 8- 7:13
Mile 9- 7:24
Mile 10- 7:00 (Really thinking a PR was possible and a great one at that. Before this point I still was doubting.)
Mile 11- 7:08 (Ouch my quads really hurt. Like a lot. Tomorrow is going to suck)
Mile 12- 7:12 (ummmmm hello major hill. But I managed to power up it.)
Mile 13.1-6:55 (I’ve got the magic in me. I TOOK OFF)
A PR by 7 minutes and 59 seconds. If I had known I would have hauled a little more ass to get an even 8 minute PR!
- 4th Woman overall (out of an unknown amount)
- 3rd Just re-checked online and FIRST in my age group (out of 15)
- 32nd place overall (out of 201)
(stats according to what was posted when we left the race) Apparently I found out after later that night that I WON. But Lacey and I left after thinking neither of us placed or won anything. Oops. I feel like such an ass hahah. And an result reading loser because apparently double dipping does NOT occur with races and therefore the women who placed top 3 in the overall category do not place in the AG ones.
I guess if I really did win then I get a prize. I like prizes
Lacey awarded me one instead (edit: and we both emailed the race director who is WICKED nice and we’ll both be receiving our prizes shortly. Courtesy of pick up by Lacey’s mom. Thanks so much!)
But race thoughts:
So my splits were kind of all over the place. But the course is really hilly so I’m not worried about it / didn’t worry about it. Of course the average like I said yesterday was 7:10 for the whole 13.1 miles
We had driven the course the night before which was both good and bad. Bad because I realized just how long 13.1 miles is. And that hill at mile 12? Definitely is not present when driving because neither Lacey nor myself felt that it was there despite remembering it from years past. But good because I was mentally prepared for that looooooooooong rolling hill stretch from miles 5 to 11. It really was tough and hard to stay “on”
As far as my racing strategy went I’m very pleased with it. I’ve always been a self-doubter to some degree despite y’all and others trying to tell me otherwise. So I race that way I guess. I go out slower because I don’t want to crash and burn and I want to get faster over the course of the whole course.
Apparently no matter what pace I start at I go faster throughout. Something for me to think about.
I also think that I might have been able to go harder. Sure I wanted to vomit when I stopped but I think I could have held that pace for another couple miles. Maybe that’s just me being on cloud nice post-race though hahah. But my legs don’t actually really hurt either. I still consider myself a racing newbie so I’m not sure if that’s good or not. But no real soreness. I did ice down my shins after the race because they were bothering me a little from the hard effort (when was the last time I raced that hard?!) but nothing really says to me that I ran an 8 minute PR. Go figure.
After the race we chatted a bit with some of the other runners, congratulated those that we “knew” (Lacey actually knew them but I just did from tagging along with them this race) and then jumped into the local pond. It wasn’t really that cold but it felt good regardless and then we headed back to Lacey’s parent place (where we were staying over the weekend) to eat lots of pancakes, go apple picking, mini-golfing, drinking champagne while icing our legs then celebrating at a bar.
Whew. Here are the highlights in pictures.
On the wagon out to the field.
Reeeeeeeeeeeeach! And yes those are the socks I wore. Clearly I wasn’t thinking when I headed up to NH and didn’t bring pants.
FYI: I am a terrible mini-golfer. I think I’m too impatient for it.
I love us. And celebrating.
A very full and fun weekend!