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1000 Miles for 2014: September, October, and a last minute half

I accidentally skipped September’s post, but I am proud to say that I logged 108.0 miles that month,  pulling me well away from the pace bunny.  October has been a little more difficult in getting runs in because my husband is in fire school which is every other weekend. He leaves at 6am and gets back around 6pm. And it’s been getting darker, causing me to skip runs in favor of safety. Still, I did manage to pull out 90.9 miles for the month of October.

I also learned about a local half marathon that was held on the Airline Trail about three weeks ago. I decided at the last minute to do it.  I was a little nervous about not actually training or preparing for it, and the fact that I could only pull off long runs every other week, I still went for it.  I calmed my nerves by trying to tell myself that it was an up tempo long run that I would be doing anyway…I would just be doing it with other people. As much as my competitive side wanted to win, I knew that having never raced a half marathon before would be difficult.  I decided that my goal time would be an hour forty,  with an ideal time of an hour thirty. My strategy was to go fairly easy for the first ten (around 7:30 mile pace) and kick out the last three.  The course was advertised as being flat and fast since the trail was an old rail road bed.  Should be easy, right?

Weeelll…..I started out comfortably near the back of the front pack. I was a little boxed in, but felt fine. I blistered through the first mile marker at 6:30.  Oops. I tried to slow down. The second marker came and went at 12:38.  Agk! I got through the five mile mark at exactly 35:00.  I still felt fine, and it was flat, so I we t with it. But just has the sixth mile marker came up I lost my footing on a rock and yanked my left hamstring.  I felt it all the way up into my back.  Then at mile seven the hill started.  It was a hill that took me all the way up to the finish line! So much for flat and fast!  Despite my soreness and fatigue, I was able to pull out a moderate kick and finish strong.

I am still waiting for official results to be posted online but I came through with a 1:35:47! Not too bad for my first time. I believe I finished 28th over all, and as the 5th female. I was 3rd inthe female submasters group and got a nifty wooden train whistle as my trophy. 

RACE RESULTS
Overall, I finished 28th out of 256.
I was the 5th female out of 130.
In the 30-39 age group, I finished 3rd out of 39.

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I do have to say that the race management was amazing! The towns of Hebron, Colchester, and East Haddam were fantastic. All along the trail, at every street crossing, there was police presence,  flashing lights, stop signs, yellow vests…everything to keep the runners safe.  There were also a ton of spectators that I wasn’t anticipating.  Whistles and bells, hand made signs, water stations….it was very encouraging.  There was a great post race party going on a thte finish line as well.  The finish line was at the East Haddam elementary school, so the kids got to play with my dad while I ran. The  when I crossed the line, we went to the big tent where they had a DJ, snacks & Gatorade, and hot dogs & chilly for all!  I even got a wicked cool day glow long sleeve (IN A SIZE SMALL!).  It really doesn’t get any better than that.

All in all the race was a great experience and I’m excited to come back next year to do better.
I’m also excited to be so close to the end of my 1000 mile goal! I’m currently at 896.6 miles with two months to go.
Keep on running, friends!

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