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Monday, September 30, 2013

Hogsback Half Marathon - (another) 13.1

Good Morning!

I started the weekend off with a half marathon Saturday morning.
I spent the entire week excited for my fourth half marathon.
Until Stacie reminded me this was the FIFTH! And my third this year!  
I somehow forgot a race!

3/24/2012   2:07:21    Savinrock Half (FIRST HALF!) 
9/23/2012   2:00:45    Niantic Half (Under trained- flat boring course)  
3/23/2013   2:01:59    Savinrock Half   (ran 3 before- 16 miles for marathon training)
2/23/2013   1:59:50    Colchester Half  (Hilliest hardest course, best time!) 
9/28/2013   2:02:13    Hogsback Half (Under trained  hard and hilly at the end) 

Yep that's five!  
Now, Back to this one!

Saturday I ran the Hogsback Half Marathon, 13.1 miles where the entry fee went to support a charity I fundraise for, Running For Rescues.  Running For Rescues uses the money to help out the shelters and organazations pulling shelter Dogs and Cats from death row.  Money raised goes to medical fees, transport, boarding, food, you name it.  It is a cause near and dear to my heart so I could not wait to run this raise and support RFR!

The race was held on a sunny Saturday morning 
in the most northern portion of Connecticut.
Think  fall foliage, state parks, rivers, bridges, and picnics.
Below is an image of the course map and the elevation chart.

It was a beautiful scenic run, changing leaves, fishermen fly fishing in the rivers, beautiful bridges, and lots of critters.  It was an hour and a half from home but worth the drive.  I love life on the shoreline but it was nice to see a part of the state I had never been to.  And what is the best way to check out a new area?  
On foot. 

There were so many little details that made the race awesome.  
There were special cookies made- Dogs wearing piggy snouts.  
(Fundraising was for the pups and its the "hogsback half" .... get it?)

The shirts were AWESOME-  Long sleeve tech t-shirts.  Rare find!)
The medals?  Just as awesome- Piggy medals on a hot pink ribbon. 

I was runner number 13 (Last names Arruda)  and chose to wear my tank top, Nike shorts, pink ProCompression socks, and my beloved Newtons.  I saw a lot of Newtons at this race- they are starting to become more popular! 

I was a hodge podge of bright colors and patterns- typical.

The race started and ended at the Hogsback Falls/Goodwin Dam.
The race director even included picture and turn by turn instructions of the route. 

The route started off mostly downhill.  Stacie started off the race cruising so I enjoyed the downhill and ran with Stacie the first four miles.  After mile four I was feeling great!  (All of the downhill tricked my body into thinking I was a faster more prepared runner than I really was).   

 I pushed on keeping my pace below 9:10 minute miles, to keep on track for a sub 2 hour half marathon and a new PR
.... a goal I decided I wanted to achieve at mile 3.  

I was feeling pretty good until about mile 7.  Miles 8 10 and 12 all got increasingly harder.  I had only been running 3 days a week and my longest run was 10.5.  My lack of training was rearing its ugly head at the end of my run. 

 I felt every little hill and was really struggling to stay at a 9:10 pace.  By mile 12 I was so happy for the "1 mile left feeling".  I was pushing hard and on track until 12.8 miles.  At 12.8 miles I came across a HUGE hill.  Can I call it a mountain (check the elevation chart and you can decide).  

I saw it and I started swearing my heart sank.  I had ran the whole race, every hill, charged up them all, but had to stop and walk a part of this hill.  Even when I ran the rest, I think I was moving just as slow as the people walking it (most were).

  I was struggling to even walk it the incline was that bad.  Tired legs, and a sharp incline meant I fell off my 9:10 pace.  Even after I got up the hill I still had some distance left and could not move my legs.   I fell off so bad that I finished my race in 2:02 instead of my projected 1:59.  2:02 is still a great time, but it was really disappointing to work so hard for 12.8 miles and lose it in the last .3 miles.  

(This was taken right before the finish line- can you see the pain in my face? Although I was excited to pass this girl making me 15/37 in the 25-29 age group)

It wasn't the hills fault, it was my fault.  
I should have trained harder to achieve the PR, or ran the race slower and enjoyed the run.  Lesson learned?  
Train harder or race slower.  
I can't expect to train at a 10:00 - 10:30 pace and race at a 9:00 pace. 

All in all the course was gorgeous, the weather was beautiful, and the medals and shirts were awesome.  The race was only $30 and supported my favorite organization.  The finish line food was amazing:  salad, chicken, potatoes, lasagna, ziti, bagels, peanut butter, cookies, oranges, brownies.   I had a little bit of everything. 

I said this was my last half.  
Maybe it is, Maybe it isn't.  
I am going to take some time off, and stick to runs that are 5 miles or less.  
I usually run more in the winter (what else is there to do?)  so we shall see if I pick up any more races before then. 

For now, its the Zombie 5k and the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5 miler.  
If these screamin calves and aching feet ever let up....


  1. Wow, awesome job Katie!! That really sucks about the hill (mountain) at the end though. Why do they do that???
    Looks like a beautiful race too. I have family in CT, I would love to visit someday! You need to do at least one more so you can get that 1:59! ;)

  2. Thanks friends! Not a PR but another race under the belt! I got the 1:59 during my hardest race! does that make sense? haha and yes come to CT to visit! We will plan out some scenic runs!


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