I went into the Narragansett Bay Half Marathon without any expectations. I hadn’t properly trained for the race but did have a enough of a base that I knew I could cover the distance without killing myself in the process. Like usual there were a lot of factors that could have messed with my performance (the weather, traveling, having cramps all week), so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But sometimes, those races happen to turn out pretty good.
The race was probably the smallest I’ve ever run (917 participants) and I liked it for a change. For once I didn’t have to pick up my race bib the night before at a huge, overwhelming expo (cough, Disney). My cousin and I left her house at about 5:30 to drive to the race, which was about 30 minutes away. Parking was easy, getting our bibs was a breeze and, other than a 10 minute delay start, pre-race was perfect.
I also met up with Sarah one last time before she took off with the front of the pack ;)
-It was a mix of both an out-and-back and a loop. We ran some parts twice (like a killer hill) but most of it was loop-like.
-Hills….there were a few decent sized hills from miles 0-3, but it was relatively flat for most of the race. At the end (mile 11-12), there was a steep hill that we repeated from the beginning of the course. That wasn’t too much fun.
-We ran half in neighborhoods and half on a bike path. I did not like the bike path because of the direct sun and what felt like an endless view of what’s ahead.
-There were mile markers but no clocks so I ran “blindly” (see below).
-There were plenty of water stations (which I walk through) and bands played live music.
-I didn’t run with my normal RunKeeper app, I don’t own a watch (in the market to buy one though) and there weren’t any clocks, so I really had no idea of my pace. I *think* I had a negative split (second half of the race was faster than the first) but I’m not positive.
-The first 7 miles were rough mentally and I just wanted to get past the halfway point. I don’t know what “clicked” but I felt more awake after that. Probably mind over matter.
-I had the best course support! My aunts and uncles came to cheer on my cousin and me. I didn’t know where they would be standing so it was a very pleasant surprise to see them along the way.
-Funny story…my aunts (my mom’s sisters) look so much like my mom that I thought they were her. After I saw the second one I ended up calling my mom and jokingly asked if she was at the finish line (she wasn’t). Yes, I talked to my parents on the phone during the race. I needed some distraction from mile 11 to 12. It worked.
-The heat was rough but didn’t get to me until the last 4 miles. I’m surprised I didn’t feel more of the effects because it’s been two months since I’ve run in that type of heat and humidity. I’m in for it when I go back to Florida next week.
-Final time: 1:49:04; 8:18 min/mile.
-I had a water (x3) a banana and a Justin’s squeeze pack. There was also free chocolate milk for runners and tons of carnival food to purchase (not sure why someone would want that stuff at 9 a.m. after running, but whatever).
-I wish there was a longer chute at the finish and/or they ushered people out. It was an abrupt stop.
-The medal is really official for a smaller race. That was a nice surprise.
-My rat’s nest of a ponytail is making me want to chop my hair off again. I did it last summer before marathon training and I’m feeling the need to do it again.
-I love doing races with my cousins. I want to rope them into doing a Ragnar Relay next year.
-Brunch is awesome. I don’t go to brunch too often (I get hungry before then) but I might make it a thing now. We went to The Grange in Providence and I had the best quinoa salad with sweet potatoes, beets, avocado and sunflower seeds. Plus a kale, apple and lemon juice. Don’t worry, I got my watermelon fill later that night.
-I’m pretty excited to see what I can do with some proper training, hydration, rest/recovery. With the traveling I did this weekend I was more worn out than normal. So take that out of the picture and I hope I’ll feel even better next time.