On a running/training high earlier this spring, I signed up for the Mohawk Hudson River Half-Marathon the week before the Shamrock Marathon. Not knowing how running during Step 1 studying and starting rotations would go (lol surgery), I didn’t want to commit to a fall marathon (that kinda training is time/mind consuming!), even though I had been feeling awesome leading up to Shamrock and ultimately ended up rocking the race. This race literally ends 3 miles from my house and a good portion of it takes place on the bike path that I run on at least once a week. It’s pretty neat knowing exactly where you are during a race!
I ran the Mohawk-Hudson Half last year in what, at the time, I thought was an awesome time of 1:41:27 (7:45 pace). I would have called you absolutely crazy if you told me what my time this year was, but that’s the cool thing about running: if you put the miles in, a lot of the time, you’ll be rewarded with fast and happy PRs!
I learned from the Hogsback Half a couple weeks ago that eating a lot of food the night before your race at 8:30PM is not a good idea, so I made sure to eat dinner at 6PMish to give the ole GI system some extra time to work its magic. The night before I was up pretty late studying (got through a record number of UWorld question bank questions! #anothercrazysaturdaynight) but when I got in bed around 10PM, I couldn’t get to sleep! Must have been too excited. Or, more likely, had too much computer screen time whilst studying.
I woke up at 5:15AM, got dressed (phew! Found that missing singlet!), packed some extra warm clothes for after the race, had half of a sesame seed bagel with a liiiiiittle schmear of peanut butter on it, and grabbed my watch that had been charging the entire last day…only to find that it hadn’t been charging at all! After an fjdakeowdksonmWHYYYYYY moment, I plugged it back in and willed it to charge as quickly as it could in the next 15 minutes. By some miracle, I was in the car by 6:15AM with a not-so-reliable Garmin with one battery bar on my wrist heading down to State Street where the bus shuttles were lined up. Good. To. Go!
We arrived at the start at Colonie Town Park on da skool bus about an hour before the race would start at 8AM, so I killed some time chatting with some kiddos on my college cross country team who were volunteering at the race (you know you’re getting old when you only know, like, two people on the team…and are calling them kiddos), some Oiselle teammates, and other friends, and then made the decision to stand in the incredibly and ridiculously long line for the actual bathrooms because 1) they were warm, and 2) I still had a half an hour to kill. After the little pit stop, I was chatting with a friend, Maria, about ten minutes before the start when she went to sync her watch. Which made me realize I hadn’t synced mine. Ya know, that same watch that was casually dying a slow and painful death on my wrist and also takes half an hour sometimes to sync. NO JOKE. I pressed that little pink button and prayed prayed prayed that it would get its act together in time.
It didn’t. I was not impressed. I’m in the market for a new one. Maybe for Christmas. Hint, nudge, Dad! 😉 Anyway, I had this vague premonition that the watch was going to die, so I started my Fitbit a little after I pressed the start on my Garmin for some security. And after like two miles the darn watch did die. #shocker
It was a funny thing running a race without knowing what pace I was running. In fact, I’m not even really sure what to write about in this Race Recap because I usually write about mile splits and pace and numbers and blah blah blah. Luckily, each mile on the course was marked well, and my rusty mental math skills gave me some idea of what was going on in the world. It was oddly freeing and terrifying to not be able to look at the times I was running, but it seemed to work out okay in the end!
My goal was to PR ( with a far-off, distant, starry-eyed goal of sub-1:33), and my gameplan was to stay relaxed through the first 10K (no faster than 7:10 pace), pick it up the next 4 miles, and then bring it home the last 3 miles. My first mile was 7:25ish and knew I was going to have to start moving if I wanted a chance at a PR. I did a good job of staying relaxed the first part of the race (too good of a job?!), but once we left the road and hit the bike path, I started to push some more. I didn’t feel as fresh as I did at Hogsback two weeks ago, but I felt okay until probably the last 2ish miles and honestly don’t remember much of the race after that. At that point, I had a lot of runners around me, which was encouraging in the last bit of the race. It’s actually one of my biggest pet peeves when people get paced by friends in the last few miles of a race (like, we all just ran 10 miles, and you’re making this look easy…is that really nice?! Also, I’m stubborn/independent and try to do things on my own), but it seemed to work to my advantage this time and push me towards a great final time, crazay negative splits, and a shiny new PR.
What a crazy transformation from last year (precisely an 8 minutes and 25 seconds, 20 pounds lost, and a much happier mental state due to finally being in third year difference!):
[And for my own bookkeeping purposes and because if I don’t, I will continue to overanalyze these very strangely selected splits (2015/2016): 4.9 miles (7:56/7:23), 6.9 miles (7:37/7:10), last 10K (7:53/7:01)].
After the race, I
ran walked back to my car to change clothes, got some Doritos and a chocolate milk, and jogged over to the 25.5 mile point on the marathon course to cheer on the other runners, most especially my best friend, Moira, who was running her second marathon! And like a boss, she PR’ed, too!
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Continue to be obsessed with this very awesome and super speedy best friend of mine! Huge #PR for @moiraleigh03 at the #mohawkhudsonmarathon this morning + a PR for me in the #halfmarathon makes for two happy (and exhausted) training partners! Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend! #runningfriendsarethebestfriends #solesisters #oisellevolée #capitalregionbirds #womensrunningcommunity
After, I put some desperately needed gas in my car (forreal, the thing was gonna break down in about 3 miles when I finally got to the gas station) and found out the Co Op already ran out of my favorite sweet potato/egg/black bean breakfast burritos 😦 , came home, took a shower, and prepped food for the crockpot this week, I reviewed results on my bed and was faced with the age old dilemma: am I more tired or hungry right now? Luckily, Phil came to pick me up at home to go to Salsa Latina for some delicious Mexican food! Because he’s da best!
I was originally planning on canning the racing until Boston next April, but I may look into a November or even December half if I can find one. It would be nice to get back into a more regimented training schedule because it did me so well in preparation for my BQ at Shamrock and see where it takes me, but focusing on enjoying the awesomeness that is running without too much stress for the next couple months and then focusing on Boston (…and school, ya know?) starting in December also sounds really appealing. Who knows what else the rest of the year has in store for me running-wise! Stay tuned! 😀
2016 Mohawk Hudson Half-Marathon
Time: 1:32:52 (7:06 pace) was a PR!
Overall Place: 52/915
Gender Place: 20/605
Age Group (25-29) Place: 3/69