Hangover Half Marathon – Albany, NY

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Hangoer Half Marathon

As I prepare for my 15th half marathon, I reflect on my last half marathon I completed in January.

The Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club organizes a half marathon and 3.5 mile timed run on January 1 every year. This was my first year running the event after years of having it on my list. 

 I do not really have a ton of photos. I went out sort of haphazardly. I was trapped inside for the prior two weeks with a sick child.  My longest run was 8 miles since September so I was not prepared. But it was a beautiful day and I had boot camp and tabata conditioning on my side so off I went.
The course is not the prettiest route, unless your viewing pleasure consists of empty parking lots and 1960’s architecture. The race is also very bare bones. No bibs, no gatorade/electrolytes, water starts around the 4/5 mile mark, no time chips, no spectators and gasp!!–NO porta-potties. Now normally I do not need a port-a-potty but Murphy’s Law always seems to come in play when I least need it.
These runners that run this race are FAST! At 5 ft 4 inches I was a running midget among the 6 ft + star runners. My attire of  free pink Dunkin’ Donuts hat, fleece gloves, long pants, winter jacket definitely made me stand out among the high school and college cross country jersey’s and Boston Qualifier shirts. But hey, I could always implement Operation Sneak Out and quietly slip out on one of the many loops and enjoy some free coffee or 15 bean soup . After all, I did not glowing announce to my friends and family on facebook that I was even up yet, much less running a half marthon. But, it was a fantastic winter day in upstate NY and my fan club consisting of my husband and two boys were ready to cheer me on the course. So, off I went.
I made my way to the start line, a light pole next to a driveway to the track. A man on a bull horn gets on. I can’t hear what he says, but we all turn around and start walking the other way. Then we turn back around. He makes a comment about a “very important annoucement”. After that he sounds like the teacher in Charlie Brown. My pink fleece hat, the ear buds in my ears, the chatter around me, I couldn’t hear. I am a rule girl, I need to know the rules, but no one else seemed to be as concerned. Then we were running.
 Twenty yards into it, I am thinking maybe this was not such a good idea.
If at first you commit, don’t quit!
Ok, I think I made that title off of a bungling of several legitimate famous quotes but it worked for me. I was running and at a relatively decent pace to have me on track for a PR.  Note, I am one to stop and take pictures of scenery, pick daiseys and enjoy the water stops as if there were my personal cocktail hour. There were none of these things to otherwise cause me to wander off in ADD splendor. I was left with the desire to just finish it and be done. A host of wind tunnel winds, water cup droughts, missing porta-potties, hunger and desire to stop running in circles greatly contributed to my best overall finish. At mile 9/10 i really needed to find a bathroom. (Why did I try that recipe for Kale chips just before heading out the door????). But alas, my options were to tough if out or bail.  My ego won and I kept going.
PR Baaaabbbyyyy
Ok, my PR is not going in the record books. But for me, I nailed it. Despite my 2:25:33 respectable pace beating my previous PR by almost 2 minutes, I was almost dead last at 368 out of 385. This group is fast!!!
 Why do it?
  • The cost – it is free to Hudson Mohawk Road Running Club members and $5 for non-members.
  • The ease – it is an easy in and out at the SUNY Ablany campus.
  • Food – The food and liquid on the course is light but the before and after spread is pretty good for a small low-key race. They had 15-bean soup, a coffee spread, cookies, bananas, and pizza afterwards.
PR – 2:25:33
Overall: 368 out of 385
Average Pace: 11:07
Like I said earlier, this was a FAST group. The last person came in at 2:40:55.  Of course, I saw quite a few implementing Operation Sneak Out…
Next up, the Yuengling Half Marathon in Virginia Beach in March!

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