Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Race Report: BAA Half Marathon

In keeping with my "who needs training" philosophy, I ran the BAA Half Marathon this past weekend without running longer than a 10K practice run. My final time was 1:53:09, so almost spot on with my first half marathon. Though in actuality this one was about 2.5 minutes slower, since I didn't stop to pee 4K in.

The extension of my "who needs training " attitude leads to forgetfulness for the race itself. Sunday morning I forgot to change out the laces in my shoes. This sounds funny, but for tri's a wear elastic laces, and the previous weekend I had had issues with the right one loosening. I was able to force them closed, so it wasn't that big of a deal in the end. I also managed to forget my pre-race water bottle, my post-race snack and my sunnies. To be fair, it's tough to remember sunnies when it's still night outside when you leave the house, but I really did look at my visor and think, I need to bring that, then promptly left without it.

One thing I didn't forget was my ipod. Other races have rules against ipods, and this one does too: you can't win the race wearing an ipod. Since there's a very low risk of that I opted for the tunes. Getting to the start line, I pop in the headphones and hit play. Mmm, great song... that is not on my ipod. Turns out I had grabbed Paul's ipod (they are exactly the same model - why did I get him a different color?) So it was sorta like having Paul run along with me. Biggest surprise on the playlist: the Devil went down to Georgia. Loved it.

The race started near fenway and wound it's way along the parks of Boston's Emerald Necklace to the Franklin Park Zoo. We even did a small loop through the zoo. I didn't see any animals there, but I did note that we ran along the "outback trail," which made me smile.

What does one think about for two hours of running? I do math. I know, not a huge surprise, right? But I find that my poor ability to do math in my head is severely hampered when I'm running. This means that math can distract me for quite a while. So, I manage my watch, compute splits, convert to metric, convert back. (There is something that makes 10 miles seem so much closer to 13.1 miles than 16K does to 21K.) And though I was ready to be done running around mile 9, I maintained a really consistent pace between 8:25 and 8:30 minute miles.

Finally, two days after the half marathon my knees hurt. In fact going into the race my left knee was hurting (I blame sitting at my desk so much with this broadband paper). But coming out of the race it was the IT band connections to the knee that really killed me. Now that's settled down, left knee is still sore, but I'm pretty happy about that. Why? Cause my shins don't hurt. I ran 21K and not even a twinge. I don't think I'll ever be 100% shin splint-free, but I think having some really long recovery has made a lot of difference.


Dave October 17, 2009 at 1:24 AM  

Nice work, Laura! That's a great time! 5 minutes faster than my first training half of the season last weekend. Though my times have been on fire lately (without me knowing until I click the watch at the end) so I might get you soon. I got accepted (272,000 applicants for 32,000 spots) into and signed up for Tokyo again this year. Late February. My times right now are where I usually am in January so that bodes well, though I have three weeks off starting next week.

You take 2.5 minutes to pee?

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