Monday, September 26, 2011

Adirondack half marathon race report.

Let's cut right to the chase: I did not meet my goal of 1:46:14  in yesterday's half marathon and I am completely, 100% OK with that.

Why? Because I set what I thought was an achievable but challenging goal and even though I didn't reach it, I went for it. I ran hard and as well as I could yesterday. With the exception of a one mile stretch where I almost let my mind get the best of me, I ran strong, in pursuit of my goal.

I fell short.

No excuses -- it just wasn't the day or the race for me to get the time I know I will ultimately run in the half.

So, how was the race? Read on . . .

The Adirondack half marathon (and marathon) is in Schroon Lake, NY, about 90 minutes north of where I live. I met up with Bridget, Janis and Amanda at 6:15 Sunday morning to ride up to the race together. We had a nice little ride and got into town with plenty of time to spare. We picked up our packets (packet pickup ended at 8:15) and then waited for the buses to take us to the start line (they began transporting people at 8:50).

It was around 9:15 or so when we got to the start area and we soon met up with Darlene. Here we are pre-race:

Darlene, Bridget, Janis, me, Amanda.
We were excited for the race because we had no idea how tough it would be. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss!

At 10:00, we took off.

The first mile felt great. I had been worried about my toe, especially because it was hurting while we were walking around prior to the race, but it didn't hurt at all for the first mile. Ten minutes into the race, however, I felt it. Yeah, it hurt. I told myself this was to be expected so I just had to ignore it and run on. And that's more or less what I did. I know that I ran a little awkwardly because the side of my foot and my shin felt strained after the race. So, I must have altered my gait while running because pushing off on my big toe hurt.

Aside from the toe, the first few miles were fine. I was on pace and feeling good.

Then we left the shade and the sun started to beat me down.

Fortunately, about a half mile after things got really sunny, we entered the Word of Life campus and that was an incredible part of the race. The residents (campers?) at Word of Life were amazing cheerers. It felt like an upstate NY version of what I imagine the Wellesley Scream Tunnel  must be like at the Boston Marathon.

Anyway, those kids lifted my spirits and helped me ignore the sun and how hot I was starting to feel. Once we turned out of the campus and on to dreary Route 9, however, I lost the lift.

The sun was hot. The hills were killers. I was pushing myself but not keeping my pace. I simply couldn't push up the hills and maintain an 8:06 pace. I didn't have it in me yesterday.

Around mile 8, I started to think I should just walk. Just walk?!?! What in the what?!?! Exactly. It was a struggle to get back into the racing mind-set during that mile but at some point I did and I picked up the pace again. I felt pretty sick to my stomach for the last 4 miles but I held on.

Once we entered the village of Schroon Lake (which is really quite cute), I knew the finish line was near and I tried to really press it. But, for some reason, I thought the finish line was right on Rt 9 -- the road we were running on -- but it wasn't. So, when I entered the village and couldn't see the finish line ahead, I freaked a little.  I thought it must have been so far out of sight and I just didn't think I had enough left in the tank to get there.

Then I saw that we had to turn on a little side road and that the finish line was right around the corner. Phew! I dug deep and sprinted (as well as I could at that point) to the finish and crossed the line in 1:48:27.

Really?? 1:48:27??

That time, my friends, is a 1:02 PR!!! I was thrilled.

It was a tough, tough race. I fell short of my overall goal. But I set a new PR and I am super happy about that!

I met up with my friends, including Elisa who ran 8 miles before the half and Andrea from Age Groups Rock, and some of us gave our achy legs a break in the cool water of Schroon Lake:

Darlene, me, Elisa, Amanda, Janis, Bridget

It was a well-organized finish area with lots of refreshments and, yes, the beautiful lake.

And then . . . I ended up placing second in my age group! Here I am collecting my award -- a bottle of Adirondack maple syrup. Yum, yum!

All in all, a good but hard race. I won't run it again but I am glad I did it. Now I just need to figure out where to run my next half . . .

Here are my race stats:

Finish time: 1:48:27 (8:16 pace)
Age-group place (female 40-44): 2nd out of 37
Female place: 14th out of 311
Overall place: 50th out of 498

Hope you all had a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice


Marlene said...

Congrats Felice! It may not have been the day/course/conditions for a 1:46 but that's a nice PR and bonus on the AG prize!!

Manderz said...

Fall Foliage??? HA Just Joking!! I looked at the elevation profile yesterday - NO THANK YOU. I am so proud to call you my friend. You kicked butt yesterday.

Julie D said...

Hey, that's a great time, anyway! Congrats!

Kathy said...

GREAT job! A PR and and age group award - nice!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Hills and heat and you still got a PR and 2nd place! And a very nice prize, too - love maple syrup! Congrats!

Unknown said...

Wow! Awesome race - congrats on the award, I love maple syrup :) That is a fantastic PR too! You rocked that, and now you know the 1:46 is that much more attainable!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Congrats! I'd say that was a great race.

Darlene said...

You'll do it next time. That was a tough race! I'm glad I ran it too.

Anonymous said...

Great job! That's still a fabulous time and considering hills, a hurt toe, etc., I'd be VERY happy! Also, great job on PRing. :)

Unknown said...


ajh said...

It was nice to meet you. I wrote about the spectators at Word of Life too. That was a very pleasant surprise. It was a very fun section. I didn't think of comparing it to Wellsley! You had an awesome time and placement. Congrats!

Lisa said...

Congrats on your PR and your AG placement, but most of all, for leaving it all out on the race course. Must feel fantastic :)

Lisa said...

Congrats on your PR and your AG placement, but most of all, for leaving it all out on the race course. Must feel fantastic :)

Quix said...

Sorry you didn't meet your goal but a PR and a 2nd place AG? You rock. You'll get it another day!

J said...

Congrats on the PR Felice! You did awesome - that course is so tough and so hilly. But schroon lake really is beautiful!

Suzy said...

Congratulations Felice! I am so happy you had a good, albeit hard, race.

Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen said...

Congrats! That's an awesome time and an even awesomer (is that a word?) attitude about falling short of your goal. I admire people who can make challenging goals and then have perspective if they don't meet them!

Mel said...

congrats on your PR and you winning an AG award!

Loved your race report!

Sabrina Hayes said...

Wow! Great job! Thanks for sharing!!! Enjoy your yummy syrup!

Spartan ab workout said...

Congratulations for a great job well done. Looking forward always. Nice pics anyways.

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