Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fall goal #1 - check!!!

Saturday was the Heroes on Hines, a half marathon to benefit the First Responders memorial on Hines Drive at Haggerty in Plymouth. For me, it was fall race #1, with the goal of finishing under 2:20.

The memorial
When I woke up it was raining. While driving to Plymouth, it began pouring and thundering and lightning. Obviously the race was on Hines - it wouldn't be Hines without heavy rain and the strong possibility of flooding...

Thankfully by the time I parked, it had largely dissipated to a mist then to 98% humidity. Whether the rain continued or not, I knew I was going to be wet the whole time, so I left my camera in the car.

I had picked up my "packet" on Friday, but I completely could / should have done it on Saturday morning. I got a shirt and a number. It was a Running Fit event, but they didn't give us buttons, like they did at the Martian and the Legend. I was bummed about that. Equally bum-worthy is the size of the shirt. I ordered a medium, and I'm not sure who is the model for the shirts because my "medium" would fit Hagrid... I asked if I could swap it for a small, knowing races order extra shirts for the last minute and day-of entrants. They were out of smalls. I asked for an x-small. Yep, those were gone too. Mind you I picked up my packet less than an hour after they opened. So that's annoying. If the shirts are enormous, say so on your website and we can order appropriate sizes. Not only is the shirt 3 sizes too big for me, it's white, so I'll probably never wear it. It's too bad because the design is nice.
Shirt, medal, number

Back of the shirt - names from the Memorial
Pick up btw was super easy. It was at Burroughs in Plymouth. They had a huge parking lot, and there was no expo, just a tent set up in the parking lot.

Headed to the start line and met Stephanie, another blogger from my home town. She wound up winning 2nd place in our age group :D

The race started and I went out a little fast, but it felt good. I know this is a bad idea, but it wasn't too disastrous today. We did a mini out and back on Hines, then went through a small neighborhood, then back to Hines for a longer out and back. Not a great course, but it was traffic free. Unfortunately it was also largely people free, and it was on the hilly end of Hines.

I really wanted to break 2:20. I've had two splits under 2:20, but both my half races were slower than that. My pace was good - mostly 10s and low 11s, and I didn't have any excessively slow miles. More importantly, I felt STRONG!!! Even better, there was NO PAIN!!!! Well, the normal exhaustion and run pain, but no pain of something being wrong. I had taken 2 Salsalate at home and packed a baggie of more Salsalate and acetaminophen in my pocket because my ankle has been hurting as soon as I hit 60 minutes of every run, but I never had to hit the supply.

Volunteers distributed Gu at three different points. I don't normally use any during a half, but I always took one, tucking it in my pocket for future marathons. At $1.25 each, I need to take all the "free" ones I'm offered :)

Mile 13. I think there were more on the right side later.
There was a girl in a dark violet shirt that said "Run Free" on the back. I'm not sure if she was aware, but we were racing :) It seemed we kept exchanging the lead, but I really wanted to finish ahead of her. I don't even know who she is, just someone who seemed to be running a similar race. I did wind up finishing before she did.

I hit mile 11 just around 2:00 and I knew I'd have to book it to finish under 2:20. I didn't want to get so close and fail yet another time. I ran a 9:38 for the final mile, then at the very end, the last 0.1 was lined with fire trucks, police cars and ambulances, and I coasted through that at a 7:48 pace.

By my watch I finished in 2:19:51. YES!!!!!!! The big finish line clock turned to 2:20 just as I finished and I knew I wasn't right at the start line, so my official time should should should have been just under 2:20. I got home and even before I showered, I looked up my official time: 2:19:53.4 YAY!!!!!!!!!!! (Average pace was 10:40)

Despite the weather, it was a really good race and it gave me a ton of confidence for my full marathons. I was a little leery of my training, between my ankle and downgrading both of my 20-milers, but I felt great today. Well, my knees were a little wobbly and my calves a little rubbery at the end, but I was running a 7:48 pace after 13 miles!!!

The medal is great. It's 95% of the reason I did the race. It's 2-sided and heavy!! I love every single one of my marathon medals, but this half one is aesthetically and constructionally better than some of those. 

Happy happy happy!!!

Medal front

Medal back. 2-sided medals rule!!

My time splits, per baby Carmen


  1. I'm so impressed with your running & your writing!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. It was so nice to finally meet you in person, after being a follower of your blog!! Glad you had such a great race and met your goal of 2:20!! My shirt is huge too and I got a small. :-/

    1. Great meeting you too! Congrats on your second place :)

  3. By the way, I saw some great photos of you on the course!