Friday, September 20, 2013

A Good Weekend

Here it is almost the weekend again and I'm just getting around to writing about last weekend! It was a great two days running-wise, though, so I figure it's worth recounting. (Plus, let's be honest, I didn't have time to come up with any poetry for this week).

A beautiful sight in my inbox!
First, on Saturday I got my Boston confirmation email from the BAA.  Last Friday, Boston Marathon registration opened for people who had met their qualifying standard by five minutes or more. Thanks to my time at Philly last November, I was in this camp for the second time.* I can't say this made me any less nervous--I spent most of Friday afternoon constantily checking my inbox--and when the email finally came in, I did a little dance breathed a sigh of relief.

My heart goes out to all of you who registered this week and have to wait until this weekend to find out whether or not you're in.

On Sunday I ran the NYCRuns Narrows Half for the second year in a row. Last year I ran it as a tune-up for New York and ended up surprising myself by finishing 12th overall and winning a 3rd place age group award. This year I wasn't expecting to do as well but I really wanted a flat course as a tune-up for Chicago so I decided to return.

The Whippets (runners and cheerers)
In addition to allowing me to practice racing on a flat course, the half forced me to get up at an unholy hour let me practice waking up at 4:30 a.m. for an early race. I will likely be waking up at 4:30 for Chicago, which also starts at 7:30, and New York, which doesn't start until 10.

I also managed to recruit several teammates to run this year which made waiting for the start a lot more fun, even if none of us ended up racing together. We couldn't have asked for better weather either: it was in the low-50s with clear skies and a very light breeze.

How did the race go? I ran fairly even splits, averaging a 6:32 pace for the race which led me to a 1:25:38 finish. That was about thirty second slower than my time from from last year.

I felt good the good the whole time, though I wish I had been able to push myself a bit more. Honestly, I'm not sure what kept me from going faster. Part of the issue is that there was a long distance between me and the runners ahead of me. After the first 5 or 6 miles, I couldn't even really see them. I also had a very comfortable lead on the runners behind me. (I won't have either issue at Chicago). Without no one around to really "race" it was all too easy to settle into a steady relaxed pace.
Somehow my time was good enough for a 5th place finish and a first in age group award (I'm guessing all the faster runners were in Philadelphia this weekend). I've come in second or third before, but I think this might have been my first AG win.

My teammates also did very well: we had two big PRs, one teammate finished 3rd overall, and another also placed in her age group. Certainly not a bad showing from my team!

After the race I had brunch with my friends Jeff and Michelle (of Tiny Kitchen fame). If I didn't feel like a winner when I crossed that finish line, I sure did after eating their delicious cooking.

After such a great weekend, I have a feeling I'll be back at this race again next year.

P.S. A shout-out to my friend Emily who posted all the photos from Sunday.

Horsing around after the race.

*The first year that the BAA introduced the new staggered registration, they kept the old qualifying times. That meant I needed a sub-3:05 to be in the BQ-5 camp, last year I was in the BQ-3:** camp so I had to wait until the second week to register.

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