Posts Tagged ‘2011 Hyannis Half Marathon’

7 Weeks to Boston:

It turns out that my last post about delayed onset muscle soreness was very applicable for me over the past couple of days.  I ran the Hyannis Half Marathon this past Sunday which was a combination of (don’t try this at home) my first race and my longest run since returning to running 6 weeks ago.  As a result, I spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday hobbling about with the grace of a geriatric orangutan.  Was it worth it?  Definitely!

A snowy start

Every run, even an easy training run, should have a goal associated with it.  The goal can be a basic as: to clear your mind, enjoy the nice weather, see how your new shoes feel.  Or a goal can be an intensity run with specific time and/or distance, or focusing on form while doing hill repeats.  I had no idea what to expect going into this half marathon, but I needed to set a goal or two.

My first goal was to stay focused, pace myself well and run consistent for the entire race.  After that, I thought a reasonable second goal would be to run somewhere just under 1 hr 20 minutes.  Lastly, after looking through the results from last year I thought it would be nice to be in the top 10, but that was a long shot.

Inov-8 F-lite 220

I decided to wear my Inov-8 F-lite 220’s for the race.  This was the first long race for me wearing a minimal style shoe.  My slow adaptation to these shoes is working quite well, I had no issues with them.

The temperature was in the mid 30’s and we started out with some moderate but wet falling snow.  The kind of snow that hits your glasses and makes them fog up really fast, leading to the following inner debate- Should I run with (a) impaired vision from fog & snow? or (b) impaired vision from not wearing glasses and poor eyesight in general?   I chose (b).  Next, should I (a) carry them in my hand? or (b) set them down along the course?   Carrying them in my hand was the first choice, but considering the number of people behind me, if I dropped them they’d undoubtedly have the same fate as a squirrel that got himself caught between jersey barriers at the intersection of Route 93 and the Mass Pike just south of Boston, not a chance.  Just as I decided to set them down somewhere, I noticed the snow had let up significantly.  I was able to return them to safety on my head but did have to play this game one or two more times during the race.  Then I passed the 3 mile mark, a quarter of the race was already over.

At about mile 4 I found my friend John Spinney and decided to run next to him.  Running with a familiar face gives you that strength-in-numbers feeling, like you can conquer anything…except the first place woman slowly closing in on you.  We soon became aware that the encouragement and cheering for the first place woman was slowly gaining on us, which meant so was she.  Either we were slowing down or she was getting faster.  When I asked John about his thoughts on this, he only said 3 words. “That’s Cait Snow.”  Caitlin Snow is a professional triathlete who ran a 2:56 marathon after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles in the 2010 Ironman world championships, coming in 12th for women.  She’s fast.

As a physical therapist who does a lot of gait analysis, I have a strong interest in how these exceptionally fast people move when they run.  The most notable aspects to her running gait were the rapid cadence and the stability of her hips and core.  I was able to observe Caitlin’s running style for about 5 miles while also appreciating of the swell of applause that was present, even if it wasn’t directed at me.

I felt surprisingly good at mile 10 and managed to pick up my pace a little more and carry it to the finish.  Much to my surprise, when the timing clock came into view it was still at 1:16! I crossed the line at 1:16:52 which was good enough for 10th place.  I managed to achieve all 3 goals, it was a very good day.

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