this was my 4th time climbing the hills of boston build-up 25k course. my last time over this course, in 2006, netted a 1:48:36 - and was a minute better than 2005's 1:49:41. i missed the 25k for the last 2 years because of the caumsett park 50k. that couple of years away from the hills was just enough time for me to forget the nitty gritty details of the brutal climbs on this course. just a general sense of "it's definitely hilly" was all i managed to conjure up.
there was zero likelihood that i'd break 1:50 this time around. in fact, there was just as little likelihood that i'd hit a 1:53:06 (my slowest bb 25k). instead, i targeted a sub 2 hour finish, and hoped to push on the second (in bound) half for a negative split. this would turn out be a hard training run for me.
aside from the race, the event was also a social event because it was don's 60th birthday! emmy made a great happy birthday poster and card for don. jim planned to lead the runners on a chorus of happy birthday at the start. all we needed was don - who, in a rariety, entirely missed the start. he took the course 10 minutes after everyone had left! the birthday celebration took place post-race.
there were so many friends and familiar faces lined up. aside from emmy, rob, and kate - who, together with don, originally planned to run the celebrate life half marathon in sullivan county before the race was rescheduled last weekend - just a quick sample: jill, anton, luann, joe h., joe v., torpedo, brian, marty, roy, ted, evan, and noonie. emmy and noonie had both done the 50k on long island the week before.
as for the race itself, had my math skills be up to elementary school levels, i wouldn't have stressed out the pacing as much as did. for some bizarre reason, i kept thinking an 8 minute pace worked out to a 2 hour finish (instead of a 2:04). it led me to distraction when i'd mentally recalculate my projected finish - and constantly find it above 2 hours! it was maddening!
here are my splits:
i was very pleased with this outcome - especially with the negative split and having picked up the pace over the last 3+ miles. i was also glad to have switched into a long-sleeve tech from the short sleeve i had on before the race. despite the sunshine, the wind kept me from warming up at any point on the course! throwing that same temperature caution to the wind, rob ran the entire race shirtless! ironically, rob finished right behind me - and, at that point, i was also shirtless (having just ditched my soaked shirt once i crossed the finish)!
afterwards, we gave don a lot of grief for oversleeping! also, somehow i managed to snap a lot of pictures of runners with bagels - ha. inside the school gym, with all the massage tables set up in orderly rows, it looked like a scene from a m.a.s.h. unit! all in all, it was perfect day to be out on the roads running!
i love this elevation profile (courtesy of raceslikeagirl)!
my race photos.
emmy's race photos (and report).
julie's race report.
ken's race report.
and, last but not least, video clip and press coverage from the stamford advocate.
next up: nyrr 8000 and trrc st. patrick's day 10K