As I mentioned in my post on Saturday, I ran the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon on Sunday, June 8th. Wow, that was a Hilly, HOT Race! There were over 4,000 runners from 47 states at the event on Sunday. The event raised money for the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston’s Children Hospital.
The reason why I decided to register for the race was because of the name. I was drawn to run the race that tackles the famous Heartbreak Hill. I never knew what gave the famous hill its name. It was actually named by a sports editor describing how Johnny Kelley was passed by Ellison Brown in the 1936 Boston Marathon. When Brown passed Kelley, it broke Kelley’s heart.
I set my phone alarm for 4:00 a.m. because I trusted that alarm to work. I got up, ate 3 pieces of cinnamon toast to get my stomach working and hit the road around 4:40. The sun was just starting to light up the sky as I headed North.
I had my tea and my favorite pod casts loaded up to listen to for the almost 2 hour drive. I think I got up there in a little under 2 hours. When I got to the Boston College parking garage it was 6:40 and there was a line of cars to get into the garage. I ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and put on my sneakers while I waited. I was getting a little nervous and I knew I still had to go to the bathroom before the race and was afraid there would be long lines.
As I walked towards the starting are to meet up with Gail, Kim, Alison and Janice I saw the athletic building and went inside and was happy to find real bathrooms. I was able to go and then met up with the girls with about 8 minutes before the start!
The race began on the Boston College campus, which was so beautiful! I had never been there before. The sky was so blue and the buildings looked so beautiful against the blue sky. The temperatures at 7:30 a.m. was already 72 degrees with bright sunshine.
I went through a few struggles during the race. It was hot and it was hilly. I was pretty well trained for it. I did my last long training run as Jeff Galloway has instructed me to the previous Tuesday, but couldn’t do the 14 miles he had me do. I had to stop at 12 miles because a storm was coming and I was having intestinal issues. Having an evening long run instead of my usual morning long training runs may be something that I will consider for future long runs because it frees up my weekend days.
While running the race course, I had many different emotions. I was enjoying running parts of the course that many marathoners run on for the Boston Marathon. But I was also thinking to myself that I just don’t have what it takes to qualify to run the Boston marathon. I know I always says you can do what you want when you never give up. But I am also trying to be a realist. I still have to remind myself that I can’t give up. That is a hard race course, but I also remembered that you don’t qualify on that course. You qualify on courses that Jeff Galloway recommends.
It’s great for me to run with friends because they push me or pull me (I’m usually in the back of the pack). But I am able to get a faster time when running with them. We started out a little fast, and then with the heat, we slowed down our speed a bit. I was still a bit behind everyone but I was feeling ok. I was able to keep up. Then we hit the last part of the race and Gail kept reminding me of the Hills! It became a running joke throughout the race. The day before I sent them a message to see how the 5K and 10K were. Here’s where the conversation went:
So all throughout the race, Gail would turn around and say, “Hey Pam, did we tell you it was hot and hilly?” It was funny. I had no idea how hilly it was going to be. So yea, a PR wasn’t going to be possible for this race whatsoever. BUT, I did finish at 2:41, my last hilly half marathon that I did in 2002 was a 2:42 finish time and that’s when I was running my fastest.
This half marathon is my 4th state (CA, CT, FL, MA) and it was one of my hardest recently. I felt a lot more wiped out from it. More than when I got my PR at the Providence marathon. The dehydration really takes a lot out of me. I did have my Nuun with me on the race course and was drinking water at the water stops. I hydrated a lot the day before, but it was a hot race. That’s how they are sometimes. Because of that, I do feel more sore today and the hills didn’t help.
I did have a good time running this race. It is good to push myself and I always seem to do better when running with my friends. I’m looking forward to my future races and hopefully improving more and more! I also love the races because I can see other runDisney friends, too! We heard Rudy Novotny call out Michelle Scribner-MacLean’s name so we were able to see her cross the finish line and get a picture!
After the race I was able to shower at Gail’s hotel and then we went to lunch at a little Tapas restaurant in Waltham called Solea. The restaurant had windows that opened right up to the sidewalks and it was the perfect day for a lunch indoors/outdoors. The food was fantastic and it was fun to sit and eat, drink and chat!
We said our goodbyes and I hit the road with Kim to head back to CT and have a cookout at home with my parents. It was a busy weekend but a fun one! I enjoy getting in some local races in the states around CT in addition to the Disney races. It’s great that Gail’s work allows her to travel to Massachusetts and we can hook up with Kim for races in the area.