Today was 10th race of the year. It was the Chilly Half Marathon and it was the hardest race I've done thus far. I'll admit that it wasn't my race to win. I battled with 13.1 miles a month ago at the BAA Half. This one was more than an after thought. The longest I ran since the half was a whopping 7 miles. I was supposed to do 10 miles last week, but got my ass handed to me on that run. Today was not much different. As my friend's husband once said, sometimes you are Freddie Mercury and sometimes you are Courtney Love. The first 6 miles, I channeled my inner Bono while I was Boy George on the second half.
It's called the Chilly not only because it happens in mid November, but it starts at 7:30am when the average temp west of Boston is 25-35 degrees. But the cold is not what makes this run hard - it is hilly. I've run hills. I've trained for hills. This was a roller coaster right from the start. It makes me want to never run another race west of Boston - you know - except for that Boston Marathon race.
Going into today's race, not only was I physically unprepared, I was burnt out. I gave everything in my October races and didn't have much in reserve tank. I moped to the race this morning feeling pretty bitter about leaving my warm bed. I met my friend C who had a much better outlook. I thought there were 6000 entries to this race and looking at the start I'd be shocked if there were 600.
We started out strong which I knew might come back to bite me. I battled from start to end. We had rolling hills for the first 5 miles. People whizzed by us and we were running a 9:30 mile. This is what they mean by a runner's race. Around mile 6, I knew I had to stop at the port-a-john. My bladder was full and my intestines were not happy. They managed to overpower the drugs I took to prevent an evacuation. There was a line, but I could not keep going. C went ahead while I waited. The bathroom stop took forever and I never quite found my groove again. I overheard a guy in the race talking about the race getting nasty after mile 5 and no words were truer. One hill was so steep, I looked for the stairs. I walked a good portion of the hills. I walked more than I'm proud of. My first half marathon, I prided myself for not walking at all. My second half marathon, I prided myself by finishing way ahead of my projected time. This race - pride went out the window.
I finished. My time wasn't terrible considering my 10 minute bathroom break and the fact that I had to walk a few feet at times. My legs hurt. My feet hurt. My shoulders were sore. My official time was 2:27. My GPS time was 2:17. I'm happy to not have a long race for my last race of 2010. If I decide to do the Chilly Half again (it was a pretty course when I wasn't wincing through the pain), I would definitely do more hill training so I can come back and give this course a nice crotch kick.