Thursday, October 8, 2015

Race Recapping: Narraganett Bay (RI) Half Marathon

When I decided to start my "50 in 50 Before 50" Challenge, I knew I better get a move on!! And with moving to Boston, and so many states sooooo close together, this was a great opportunity to get a lot of them done. I could drive 3 hours and be in a number of states in any direction.  We've lived in Texas where you joke that you can drive 8 hours and still be in the same state. Sad...because it's true.

I started scouting out races in the New England area, and found several different websites that offered a variety of races in the states I was looking to check off my list.  One of the first ones I placed on my calendar was The Narragansett Bay Half Marathon in Rhode Island. I knew I needed to run several races during the summer season, since winter (November through April) can be brutal up here in Boston.  Not knowing the summer weather, thinking it would be mild and enjoyable, I registered the race and marked in on the calendar.  I called my in-laws and asked if they could watch the kiddos an extra week, and that would make this trip a little more enjoyable.  Traveling with my husband without kid? YEA PLEASE!

Having not lived in the Northeastern part of the country, I truly did not know what to expect for summertime weather.  But I have lived in deep South Texas, where temperatures can to 110-degrees in the summer, and we wore shorts 10 months out of the year.  I was not prepared in the slightest for 90-degree temperatures in an area that does not have central air conditioning. So on this particular Sunday, the temperatures were already at 72-degrees when the race started 7am.  Looking at the race course elevation online, I was prepared to walk the BIG HILL after the first mile. Ugh, it was pretty big, but sadly, I have experience worse. And I did experience worse in this race.

The race was actually very nice (I can say that since it has been almost three months--HA!), as we ran through neighborhoods and along walking trails.  Though I do have say that the "musicians" the race director advertised were, at time, lame.  And that would be a generous term to describe them.  Don't get me wrong, I love listening to bands along race courses, but when a garage band comes out to entertain runners for several hours, please do something other than just playing cords.  Music gets a lot of us motivated and pumped up to run, and it is so depressing to see three guys sitting on milk crates using this time to get their name out and not doing their best.  OK--rant over.

As we were running along the course, it came. It was huge.  And I had to remind myself, "This is a race. This is not a training run.  You cannot stop and you cannot stop your watch."  It was....THE HILL. Looking on the map, it shoots straight up, and it was just as brutal in person as you see on the map.  But you talk to yourself, encouraging yourself to get through it, and I was relieved when I completed it.  I rounded the corner, and do you know how depressing it is to pass your car?? Seriously, I ran past the parking lot and saw our car! It was so tempeting to cross the street to get to it, climb in, and leave. And then I remembered that Joel had the keys! HA!  So no luck for me.

The runners kept trucking on along, and then we ran down a steep hill....only to turn around and run right back up it.  Who thought that having hills at mil markers 10 and 11 was a good idea? Seriously, people!

My May half-marathon in Kentucky was my worst one (2:45:28), and on this hot and humid day in July, I thought had I done better than that one.  But once again I was wrong.  My final time was 2:48:40. Disappointing, but with moving 1200 miles, my training the few weeks before was also disappointing.  It was a lesson that you reap what you sow....or now.

Rhode Island is marked off my bucket list.  Three states down, forty-seven more to go.

See that tiny piece of red? Well, I ran that state!

Nice piece of bling!

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