Why people run half marathons in July, I do not understand. Throughout the process of finding one, signing up for it, and actually running it, I kept asking myself “Why the hell does anyone think it’s a good idea to run 13.1 miles in July in New England where it is 80+ degrees with way too much humidity?”
But, I still did it. And I finished. And it wasn’t my worst time.
It was Sarah’s turn to visit and we’re both so busy that this weekend was the most free weekend we had available, so instead of ditching my half-marathon, I signed her up for the 10K. After a day of shopping nonstop on Saturday, we went out in Davis Square for some gluten-free pizza (I know, I know… I’m not ‘gluten-free’… I prefer to say that I’m ‘low-wheat’… just trying to take in fewer carbs and unnecessary treats, and the ability to say ‘oh shit, that has wheat/gluten in it’ helps me to not eat them).
We arrived an hour and 15 minutes before the race was going to start – giving us plenty of time to park, get our bibs, drop off our race t-shirts at the car, stretch, pee (twice), and take pictures. Funny enough, we ended up with almost matching bib numbers.There were three races taking place – the 5K started at 8am, half marathon at 8:15, and 10K at 8:30. Things ran a little late (no doubt due to the ridiculous parking situation – there was only one road leading to the parking lot so the line of cars was out of control).
Because the half marathon and 10K courses were different, Sarah and I weren’t able to run together. Instead, we called each other throughout the race and chatted via speakerphone. The race officials made it very clear that they didn’t want runners running with headphones, so I left mine at home. It was a good choice, because we did run around a lot of residential areas and we needed to be wary of cars.The route was a combo loop/out-and-back. Families living in the area were fantastic and provided runners with “cooling stations” where they kept their sprinklers on for us to run through. One house even set up their own water station, passing out water with red Solo cups and using their recycling bins for trash.
I tried to stay nice and slow (my current m.o.) and it wasn’t until mile 8 or so that I had to take a few walk breaks. Unlike the 10K route, the half marathon was fairly shady – until the last 2 miles which were completely in the sun. And that awkward moment where we ran (mostly) around the Stonehill College track. I ended up finishing in about 2:21 (not my worst, not my best). Sarah was waiting for me at the top of the last hill and was able to snap some pictures and then met me at the finish line. There was lots of drinks and foods after the race, including Yasso popsicles, KIND bars, and, of course, Narragansett beer.