Saturday - ING Hartford Half Marathon, Connecticut
Sunday - UHC Newport Half Marathon, Rhode Island
Unfortunately, I wasn't as well trained for this double as I was for the Southern Double (Alabama/Georgia) last spring. I knew I had to run smart in order to survive both races. I was told ahead of time that both courses were "rolling", which to this flatland Illinois gal, that means hills. I decided to run my typical comfort pace of 10 min/miles, hoping to bring home both 13.1's in under 2:15. I wanted to run as consistent as possible, take in the scenery of new states and
Hubby and I flew into Hartford on Friday evening and headed straight to the packet pickup at the XL Center. We arrived right around 7pm, when evidently a hockey game was also starting - so parking was a slow congested expensive P.I.T.A. Once we got into the expo hall, we grabbed our bibs and quickly veered thru the vendors - only to come upon the shirt nightmare happening at the back of the building. They were OUT of shirts... well everything except women's XS and S. There were a ton of pissed runners and volunteers doing their best to pacify. After standing in a long line, I was given the option to wait for the 3-mth reorder (and it would be mailed to me) or accept one of their black 20th anniversary shirts... which I had been oogling online anyway. Easy decision - and honestly, I think I won in that disastrophe.
|ING Hartford swag|
Saturday morning was absolutely gorgeous outside - sunny 50's. Chilly at first, but ideal running weather. We had no idea where we were driving and yet somehow stumbled upon a parking spot right next to the start line... seriously, less than a block away. Score!
We arrived in plenty of time, so hubs and I huddled in the car to keep warm. After a quick line for the portapotties, a walk back to the car to ditch the jacket, I tried to find Kim by the starting line. Oh-wait, there are two different starting lines! Thank goodness I caught on because I was hanging out by the 5K start! Geesh! By time I walked a block over to the marathon starting line, it was jam packed. I squeezed my way into the corrals just in time for the singing of the National Anthem and an ode to Boston "Sweet Caroline". The whole crowd singing this song was a really neat moment.
|Now THIS was my correct starting line!|
Mile 1 - 9:47
Mile 2 - 9:26
Mile 3 - 9:53
Mile 4 - 9:52
|The sun was wicked bright and I warmed up quickly once we started running.|
Mile 5 - 10:13
Mile 6 - 10:01
Mile 7 - 10:02
Mile 8 - 10:14
|Such pretty fall colors...|
Mile 9 - 10:19
Mile 10 - 10:11
Mile 11 - 9:58
When we hit the 11th mile marker, I remember thinking, "I've never felt this good before at 11." Typically I'm exhausted and starting the final countdown by 9 or 10, but today I was in a comfortable place. It felt good to run 13.1 this way and not be pushing against the clock. Of course, then I decided to step it up for the end... you know, since I was feeling so good and all.
|Running thru Elizabeth Park|
Mile 12 - 9:49
Mile 13 - 9:31
The ending stretch was really quite nice... except for the gal being loaded onto a stretcher. The
I guzzled water from the row of water bubblers (green thumbs-up!) and made my way thru the chute to receive my finisher's medal, a cool souvenir water bottle and bag of snacks. (There was also a food tent a.k.a. the 27th mile party, but we hurried back to our hotel in order to snag an ice bath & shower before hotel checkout.)
State #17 Connecticut
Official Chip Time 2:11:37
average pace 10:03 min/mile
Overall #3849 out of 6562
Female #1888 out of 3898