Every year, the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club puts on the Winter Series, a series of free races for its members ($5 for non-members). On New Year’s Day, starting at noon, they offer the Hangover Half or 3.5 Bill Hogan Run as Winter Series #2.
I had planned to run the 3.5 mile race. That was before the 15k that went surprisingly well. Since then I have run 11 mile and 12 mile long runs (which didn’t go as well.)
So I decided that 13.1 miles would not be a stretch and that it would be motivating to have people around (and food after.)
For New Year’s Eve, my hubby and I had a quiet evening – just dinner out and a movie. We usually go Lake George on New Year’s Day but my hubby didn’t want to and I was fine with it.
So when I arrived at the race on New Year’s Day, I switched my registration to the half marathon.
We had been enjoying unseasonably warm winter weather. Well, that ended. It was cold today and WINDY so back to those layers.
I arrived at UAlbany early and was surprised at how many people were running on New Year’s Day. There were over 300 running the half marathon.
I bumped into to several SRMs, some runners from the Turkey Trot training group and Judy whom I have run with recently. Judy & I hung out and chatted util the race began.
As I have previously mentioned, the course is horribly boring (and ugly) and there is no crowd support.
It is pretty much 13.1 miles of me with my own thoughts and nothing to look at besides the backs of the fast runners lapping me. Yes, three laps of the same boring loop for the whole 13.1 miles.
Sounds like torture?
And it was.
I ran without walking until the first water stop at around 4 miles. It was so tough running into the wind. There were times that I was barely moving forward. My lips were getting wind burned and I was cold.Then when the wind was at our backs (not often enough), I unzipped my jacket and took off my gloves. This was the story of the whole race.
Unfortunately after mile 5, my lower back and left arm started bothering me. My legs were fine but the wind was slowing me down and I began to walk.
As in the previous HMRRC Winter series race, I was running alone most of the time.The speedy runners kept passing me but each one seem to say “Good job or you’re doing great.” That was nice. I, however, did not pass anyone.
I just kept plugging along trying to maintain good running form and minimize my arm & back ache.
The last 4 miles were the hardest. It seemed that every runner that passed me by was on their last lap but I had to run one more grueling lap.
This is when I start counting my steps to keep up the pace.
Finally the end was near but 279 runners (out of 309) were done and when I came to the next to last turn, there was no volunteer and I went straight instead of turning left. Luckily I realized my mistake and turned around. To make mattes worse, at the last turn, I had no idea whether to turn left or go straight so I waited until the next runner (an old guy) came so I would not run the wrong way again.
I tried to make up time for my mistakes and sprinted across the finish line at 2:18:33.
Believe it or not, that was a PR!!
Although, this was a tough race for me with the wind, I was happy that I didn’t quit.
Inside, I had some soup, bread, pizza and hot chocolate before I ventured out into the cold again. I knew I didn’t win a age group award. The majority of the runners finished under 2 hours and the slowest, I think finished in 2:30.
Race Splits: (my Garmin actually worked)
mile 1 – 9:54
mile 2 – 10:05
mile 3 – 9:52
mile 4 – 10:04
mile 5 – 10:54 (water & gu)
mile 6 – 10:32
mile 7 – 10:36
mile 8 – 11:28 (water & gu)
mile 9 – 10:32
mile 10 – 10:54
mile 11 – 11:03 (water)
mile 12 – 10:54
mile 13- 10:47
.23 – 8:44
If only I was strong enough to run without walking, I would have a faster finish time.
My goal was to get through the race without too much pain and boredom. A PR was a plus!
I am glad that I started the new year with a race.
Now I have to stay healthy for 16 more days!
Happy Running! Did you run on New Year’s Day?