MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 6, 2009

Swanzey Covered Bridges Half Marathon

Filed under: Race Report — Tags: — marathonmaiden @ 14:57

was great.  At least that was the overall impression.  Definitely moments where I was questioning why I wanted to do this.

But let me back up. I had everything packed last night, put out my race day outfit and climbed into bed early. Since I knew that I wasn’t going to fall asleep early enough to get 8 hours so I watched some NCIS.

0321: Had to make a bathroom trip.  First thought “Time to get up?” Then “Ugh I’ve only been asleep for 4 hours?!” followed by “2 hours til the alarm!”

0519: Alarm goes off (and yes it was 0519 not 0520 because I’m weird and can’t stand waking up on on an even time).  Song is “Shipping up to Boston”. Although it’s early, not a bad way to wake up.  I jumped out of bed and was wide awake immediately. Finished making some food for post-race and hit the road by 0554.

I got to NH and the race site around 0715 and registered no problem.  Got my shirt and chip and medal.  Kind of weird getting the medal before the race starts.  And I like the races that give out the shirts at the end too, makes me feel like I really earned it. I hung out in my car for the next hour or so because it was FREEZING.  Well I exaggerate but it was 10* colder in NH at 0700 than it was at my house 1.5 hours south at 0530.  For reals. But this also meant that it was nice and cool for the race. Perfecto!

I also ate my packed breakfast: some cheerios and milk.  Just enough to give me a boost but not enough to sit in my stomach funny.  As it neared 0900 I hit up the (real) bathroom (a locker room in the H.S — yay no porta-potties!) and then stood in the sun to warm up a bit because there was no way I was covering up my cute new racing tank.  Yup, I am that vain haha.

Promptly at 0900 the gun went off.  I lined up near the front moreso because I headed over to the start at the first call rather than because I thought I would kick ass or anything.

I did go out a bit fast but not too fast.  But that brings me to another point: while the course was described as flat, it is better described as rolling hills.  My splits were all over the place! Especially for the first few miles while my legs were warming up (these were the moments where I was wondering why any sane person would want to race this kind of thing).  Now, I don’t have a garmin but I was wearing a watch so here are my rough splits (and while the numbers in my head are the overall times at each mile I was nice and calculated the min/mile for you)

  • 1: 740   (740)
  • 2: 1556 (816)
  • 3: 2354 (758)
  • 4: Unknown as I missed the marker
  • 5: 3932 (? Because I missed #4)
  • 6: 4720 (748)
  • 7: 5510 (750)
  • 8:   6300 (750)
  • 9:   7100 (800)
  • 10: 7840 (740)
  • 11: 8620 (740)
  • 12: 9400 (740)
  • 13: 101.15 (715)

Final (chip) time: 101:56 (1 hour 41 mins 56 seconds).  A 7:47 pace — whoo! I was the seventh female overall and the fourth in my age group.  Overall I was number 71 (stupid boys — errr men — being faster). So percentage wise I was top 14% A.G, top 25% overall.  No way to report my percent for all females unless I want to count the numbers.  And I may be nice but I’m not that nice 🙂

And I guess to be fair my splits don’t look that bad and miles 10,11,12 were dead on even.  It was just a little disheartening to see some 8 splits and to see my pace go up and down — even if it was only 10ish seconds each time. My previous PB was an 801 pace so I was afraid that one +8 split would snowball.I had wanted to lock into a pace and stay there so seeing not even splits made me feel uneasy.  I really wanted to set a PB.

Oh that’s another thing.  I smashed my old PB by a full 3 minutes.  Didn’t think that it would happen based on the first few miles but, like my marathon, after I relaxed my pace started improving and I started trucking. It is always a great feeling to be passing people in the last few miles.  Makes me feel strong! And it’s amazing how all those doubts I had in the first few miles dissipated once I started feeling strong.

Just a note on the race itself: well organized, nice shirt design, good crowd (although I think they were all volunteers) support and great BBQ afterwards .  I’m not a big bbq fan so I grabbed a bunch of waters, ate my PB&J & banana then hit the road for my 1.5 hour drive back home.  My legs are feeling pretty good right now.  I was thinking of hitting up a nice 3 to shake out that drive but the call of the shower was too great 🙂

Now I’m just putting my feet up, eating some good food and watching the L&O: SVU marathon.  Going to have to do some work later but for now I’m just basking in the post-race glow.


  1. Great race! Congrats on the PR. I’m glad your hard work is paying off. 🙂

    Comment by runjess — September 6, 2009 @ 15:04

  2. congrats on the pr! sounds like it was an excellent race. my half pr (from last september) must be around your old one – 1:44:08. i’m hoping to follow in your footsteps in a couple weeks and blast that outta the water too!

    Comment by emily — September 6, 2009 @ 19:15

  3. CONGRATS! although i know you have an even faster PB in there somewhere 🙂 trust me!

    Comment by sarah (ghost world) — September 6, 2009 @ 19:42

  4. Congrats on the race!

    Comment by Matt — September 6, 2009 @ 19:51

  5. Congrats on the race and new PR!

    Comment by Mark — September 6, 2009 @ 20:40

  6. Wow, you are quick- CONGRATS 🙂
    And ps, L&O:SVU is da shizzle, love that show to death 🙂

    Comment by Kathleen — September 6, 2009 @ 21:49

  7. AWESOME job on the PR!!!!

    Comment by aron — September 9, 2009 @ 16:20

  8. […] 281.5 (Beginning of the fall of racing. I did the Covered Bridges Half Marathon — and Lacey was there even though I didn’t know her yet! — and my first ever 5k […]

    Pingback by In with a Semi-Bang & 2009 Monthly Totals « MarathonMaiden's Blog — January 1, 2010 @ 16:40

  9. […] 2008 due to logistical issues with getting there and some school commitments.  But I ran it again last year and actually found out after the fact that Lacey was there! I didn’t know her at that point […]

    Pingback by Getting Ready To Put My Miles To Use « MarathonMaiden's Blog — September 4, 2010 @ 10:05

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