I slayed a dragon this Saturday. I did the Hamden Hills Half Marathon. This event was run for the first time (same as the Cheshire Half). It’s nice that there are these events in the area now. I wasn’t planning on doing this half. I have my friend Shannon to thank for this (especially as I hobble around today with such sore legs!) After I completed the Cheshire half I knew I wanted to do more. There was a flier on my car about this Hamden Hills half but the description said:
“The Innaugural Hamden Hills Half Marathon & 5K takes in the picturesque hills of Hamden’s back-country. The start/finish is at Quinnipiac University York Hill Campus. This is sure to be the TOUGHEST Half Marathon and 5K in Connecticut! I know you are up for this challenge!”
Yea the last think I thought I wanted to do was run the TOUGHEST half marathon in Connecticut. So I threw the flier away and went on with my vacation which was to start a week after I finished the Cheshire half. I hooked up with Shannon for a morning of pool time with our kids and we were talking about what races I want to do. She sent me a link later for halfmarathon.net and the hamden hills was on it. I told her I had to sleep on it and decide if I can do another one after just finishing my first. Plus it was hills and my first was mostly flat. Of course the next morning when I woke up I knew I had to do it. It was a challenge I couldn’t pass up. I was worried that having 2 weeks of vacation with light running while on it that I wouldn’t have my training up to par for this one. She told me that I was already trained and that I could do this. I waited until I got home to register. I did a 5K at home with just a decent hill and right after that race I went home and ran hills as well. Then during the week I did more hilll running. So I felt comfortable that I could at least finish.
My goal was to walk what I had to and I knew that I was going to be ok with a 3 hour finish cause I knew this was out of my league. I read a great article by Dr. Rachel Runs about having a personal worst and I was planning on this for the race result. I was anxious when I approached the race location. The drive up the hill felt like driving up Mount Washington! It circled around and kept climbing! Then at the top I felt like I was in the clouds! I had butterflies in my gut. I was anxious for the race to start. Once it did I settled down. The hills were hard, but I took some advise. Walk up the hills and run down the hills. 5 miles into the race I saw that it took me an hour. So I calculated that it took 60 minutes to do 5 miles, so 10 miles would be 2 hours and add 3 more to it and I’ll be close to a 2:45 finish. I was very surprised at that estimate. I texted Kevin to tell him when to expect to see me cross the finish line. The last hill was killer. It was impossible to run up. I would run a few steps, then walk. I mostly walked it, but I was determined to run past the finish line which I did. 2:42:49. I was very pleased with that time. Glad I did it, thanks Shannon!