Search This Blog

Monday, February 25, 2013

Colchester Half Marathon- the RUNdown

Saturday marked my third attempt at 13.1 
and my first time running the Colchester Half Marathon. 

 Some of my "running friends" talked about Colchester and how hard/fun of a half marathon it was.  This concept of hard and fun always confused and scared me so I never signed up for this race. 

Until I saw the price.

My goal for the West Haven half coming up in March (which was supposed to be my third half) was to run a sub 2 hour half marathon.

  I ran the Niantic Bay Half Marathon (my second) basically untrained in 2 hours and 54 seconds.  But... this was a really flat course with good weather, and I was fairly certain I was going to collapse and die the last three miles. 

After running Niantic in 2:00:54 with little to no training...
 I figured West Haven should be doable. 

 However, the West Haven half has some pretty brutal hills, so I decided to use the Colchester half as a great training tool for finally getting my sub 2 hour half at West Haven.  I told myself "it's fifteen dollars.... pre and post race massages, it's close, and you can do it nice and slow and use it as a training tool" 
$15 dollars and good food had me convinced so I signed up stepped up my treadmill incline and hill workouts.  

Friday night, the night before the race, I met my picky and large family for dinner.  While my mother wanted Brazilian or Mexican, I reminded her that I was running a half marathon in the morning and would prefer to cross the finish line without feeling the urge to expel this lovely dinner we were about to share. 

When I think of Brazilian all I can picture is the scene from Bridesmaids where they all have food poisoning while dress shopping.  
No thanks..... 
This movie may have ruined Brazilian food for me for eternity. 

After a serious debate via text messages, we settled on Alforno's Italian Restaurant in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.  I decided on a simple ziti dish for some delicious "night before the race carbs".  

While the inner fat kid in me thought my plate should have been twice the size, the runner in me was glad it wasn't.
And the sauce was d e l i c i o u s . 

After a plate of ziti and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and I was ready for an early bed time and 13.1 miles.

What I wore:  
With a forecast of high 30's/low forties and a wintry mix, it took me a bit to decide what to wear.  Initially I wanted to wear shorts and my lime green compression socks, but I didn't want to ruin my socks on the muddy course, or get too chilly.   I finally settled on capris, a tank top, my light Lululemon coat, Asics socks, Newton Gravity sneakers, and Lululemon head/sweat band paired with my Nike arm band and Garmin :) 

What I ate:
For breakfast I decided on a bagel with two eggs and an avocado, with water and coffee.  Next time I am going to try half an avocado.  Burping up avocado for 13 miles sucked.  Another one of my favorite pre race breakfasts is just an english muffin with peanut butter and a banana if you are a little turned off by the avocado. 

Directly after crossing the finish line I grabbed a banana and some water. 
 A few minutes after I quickly grabbed two different types of pasta, bread, and green beans.  
The food was absolutely delicious and much needed.
I certainly embraced the carbs.... 

A few hours after the race I was still starving so I had a roast beef sandwich, cheese-its, a pickle, and half an apple.  After I made it and had to rush out the door....I decided I could not wait a second longer to eat it so I attempted to chow on this sandwich while driving.  This poor choice resulted in some nice grease stains on my new blouse.  

A few hours after that I was... surprise....still starving.... 
Running longer distances turns my stomach into a bottomless pit.
Everything I ate seemed to just make me hungrier so I ended the day with an abundance of pizza.  
Messages like this one will make a tired runner very very happy.  

What number

Last name beginning with an A has some serious advantage- Single digit race numbers!

What the course was like

Going in to the race I knew this was going to be a challenging course.  I knew there were going to be a lot of hills (sigh) and I knew it was going to end up hill (grunt).   I will admit the hills and the different terrain broke up the monotony of running for two hours, and made the course challenging yet enjoyable.  Miles 2, 6, 8, and 11 had some tough inclines and I even included my thoughts for your reading pleasure below.  

The race was everything they promised.... dirt roads, lots of cows, lots of hills, and an awesome bunch of runners and volunteers.  

When I finished

After a really hard hilly course, I finally got my sub 2 hour half marathon.... with a minute to spare!  My miles averaged a 9 minute per mile pace.  I was averaging 8 to 9's on the flat stretches and downhill and about 10 on the up hill.  I know its not as fast as most of the other bloggers....but given the course and my training... I was really happy to finally cross that finish line in under two hours :) 

Who showed up

At first I was kind of bummed about going to the race alone.  I have always had a running buddy or two to at least drive and start the race with.  To my surprise it was pretty awesome doing everything on my own and at my own pace.  I got there early enough for a pre race massage (heaven) and met some nice runners along the way.  

After the race an older gentleman stopped to congratulate me.  He said his goal the entire race was to try to keep up with me.  He had even knick named me Yipes Stripes in honor of my new striped coat.  He shook my hand with a smile and told me that I kept him going and kept a good pace for him.   Why are some runners so dang sweet.  This old sweaty man and his kind words really made my day....along with all of the nice text messages and notes from all of my friends like this one :)

What I did after

Earlier in the week, I had a really bad toothache that would not go away.  I called the dentist and guess when their soonest appointment was? Yes.. you guessed that correctly....  Two and a half hours after the start of a half marathon that was at least a half hour away, and that would take me at least two hours to finish. 

So much for my leisurely slow training run.  I had to run a sub 2 hour half marathon, and keep running to my car just so I could make it to the dentist to be poked prodded and x rayed.  

The awkward finish line photo. 

(serious sloppy heel striking going on here...oops....)

And the best part?  
After driving to my dentist appointment like a (sweaty) bat out of hell they found the problem.   That pain wasn't going away until all of my wisdom teeth were yanked out of my jaw.  

Needless to say, finish line celebrations lasted about 25 seconds and was crushed by the idea of having to make an appointment for a gross dental surgery and days of recovery.  
This is seriously going to cut into my marathon training.  

Anyone had their wisdom teeth out?  
Was it as bad as they say and how long were you out for?


  1. Awesome job!!!

    I had my wisdom teeth out in HS and they were impacted and had to be drilled out, but it only took me out for a day or two.

  2. Thanks! Its taking some time but slowly getting faster. Good luck on your upcoming marathon-

    A day or two? Hmm that's not too bad. I guess I should stop being such a baby.

  3. You did SO good! But don't compare your time to other bloggers, I've had to learn that too. I read this somewhere, "don't compare yourself to other runners, compare yourself to the runner you were yesterday". My best Half time was 2:23. I can't wait to get under 2:00!
    All of your food looks so yummy! I'm the same way after a long run, I feel like I just can't get full!
    I had my wisdom teeth taken out about 20 years ago. I don't remember much about it, but I know it wasn't that bad at all!

  4. Thanks Katie! Great advice- Sometimes I get a little discouraged when people my monthly mileage matches others WEEKLY mileage but hey I will get there!

    Finally getting under 2:00 was a great feeling! Can't wait for you to get there!

    And ugh... the wisdom teeth... I decided to suck it up make the appointment and have them knock me out cold. Is it bad that my first thought was "NO! My marathon training!"


Let's Chat!