Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bucks County Half Marathon: race report

Woke up at 5:30 this morning and drove out to Bucks County, PA for the 2nd annual Bucks County Half-Marathon, located in beautiful Tyler State Park.  This was the starting line:

A fellow teacher told me about this less than a week ago, and I decided to sign up with her.  She picked up my race packet at the expo for me yesterday, but told me she wouldn't be running afterall because she was sick.  Her husband would run in her place and meet me before the start to give me my packet.

Everything went swimmingly for most of the race.  All anyone could talk about beforehand were the hills, and I was glad that this gave me an excuse to not stress over chasing down a PR.  In my opinion, it's important to decide weeks beforehand if you're going to attempt a PR and prepare accordingly.  Or just have one of those lucky days when running feels effortless and the PR is broken with barely a thought afforded it.  I didn't do the former, and I wasn't counting on the latter.

When I hit mile three of the race, it dawned on me that I had forgotten to apply bandaids and Bodyglide, and forgot to put a Powergel in my shorts pocket.  It was straight up amateur hour out on the course today.  Fortunately I managed to sneak by with only light chaffing.  I have no idea if not having the Powergel in the middle of the race made a difference or not.

When I crossed the halfway point, I realized I was on track to set a PR by 2 minutes.  I felt great for the next several miles, but the hills from miles 10 - 12 killed my pace.  I was gritting my teeth and wincing from the pain in the last half mile from running so hard, and I finished in 1:35:46, just over a minute over my PR from last fall.  I finished 15th overall out of close to 400 runners, and 7th in my age group.

Knowing I gave it my all is all that matters.

One word: layers

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