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Hyannis Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Hyannis, Massachusetts
United States
B.A. Event Promotions
30F / -1C
Total Time = 2h 16m 6s
Overall Rank = 2172/2694
Age Group = W40-49
Age Group Rank = 234/317
Pre-race routine:

Friday started with a 14inch dump of snow and me obsessively checking the weather both at home and in far, everything looked good - clear and sunny on Saturday (which would make for a pleasant drive) and snowing lightly Sunday morning with all precipitation stopping by 7am - well before the 10am gun time. Living almost 250 miles away from the race location meant driving down on Saturday. I was traveling and running with a wickedly fast friend - Theresa (she qualified for Boston and was using this as a training day). Because the weather reports had been so unstable, I decided to go against my usual anal-retentive method of packing - a single set of clothes for each event - and went instead with the kit-and-caboodle method - if I had worn it running, it came on the trip. This way I could decide at the last minute what to wear and would have every possible choice (suddenly, the 12 suitcases for a week long trip makes more sense).

We got in the car first thing Saturday morning because we wanted to be on the Cape by mid-afternoon in time to get our bib numbers/t-shirts, etc. It was startling how much snow was on the ground in Maine – as I said, we got 14 inches on Friday, and it looked like most of the state was dumped on equally. As we crossed from New Hampshire into Massachusetts, the amount of snow on the ground was drastically reduced and by the time we got to the Cape, there was almost no snow to speak of. The roads were dry – it looked like spring. Whew! What a relief. I had visions of running in slush, snow, ice and here it was clear, dry, not windy at all, sunny and beautiful.

We stopped at the conference center to register, got a copy of the route map and decided to drive it to get an idea of the course. It was much flatter than where I live, just a couple of slight inclines, through some lovely neighborhoods, down next to the water, past some old cemeteries…picturesque. At this point – a lot of my anxiety about the race dissipated – the weather was going to be good, the roads were nice and dry with no ice/snow on the edges to navigate, the route was completely doable, I had an idea of what I was going to wear – it’s all good!

We got to the hotel, checked in, poked around in the room for a bit and then decided to have dinner, catch a movie and make an early night of it – all quite civilized.

Theresa had arranged to meet with some other barefoot runners (yes, you read that right – she runs barefoot) at 7am Sunday, so we got up and looked out the window – snow coming down, but we knew it was going to stop by 7am, so nothing to worry about, right?

I got dressed in tights, running skirt, wool socks, baseball cap, compression top and a fleece over that. At the last minute, I grabbed a windbreaker to wear as we walked from the car to breakfast because the snow hadn’t quite stopped and there was about an inch on the ground.

We drove to the conference center, found a great parking spot and started to walk back to where Theresa was meeting her friends – through the snow. Wait, it’s 7:30 – wasn’t it supposed to stop by now? Theresa had the wrong address for the restaurant, she contacted her friends and they said it was about a mile walk from where we were. I was cold and decided to let Theresa go join her friends and I would just hang out at the hotel, have a cup of coffee and a small muffin and wait for the start of the race. She tromped off down the road.

It’s 9am and still snowing…and the roads are wet. Blergh. I connect up with KOM, Isis and Mav in the ballroom while waiting for the event to get started. KevinG shows up a bit later with one of his daughters and we all chat a bit. Kathy was doing the 10K with KevinG and Isis also doing the half. Physically, I’m feeling pretty good – it’s really warm in the ballroom, my legs are feeling loose, I’ve gone to the bathroom, I’m not hungry or thirsty…things will be good.

Event warmup:

About 9:30, I decide to go outside, take one last run at the porta-potties and go stand in line to start the race…but the lines at the porta-potties are moving at a glacial pace. Someone in line suggested an automatic timer that would fling the door open after you had been in there for more than 45 seconds, whether you were done or not. Snerk. At 9:55, I was one person back from the front of the line. I had my windbreaker still on to try to keep me dry while waiting because it was still snowing. Finally got into the porta-pottie, tried to keep it within the 45 second limit and dashed out to get in line. I wove my way up to the 11-10 minute pace group just in time for the gun. We shuffled off and I hit my timer on my watch as I crossed the start line.
  • 2h 16m 6s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 23s  min/mile

Started out good – it was very crowded (about 4500 total runners at the start), so there was a lot of jockeying for position. I just kept at my own pace and chugged along. I caught up to Kathy (KOM) and ran with her for the first mile or so, then she stopped to walk a minute and I continued on. I checked my pace – right where I wanted it to be to meet my goal. Chugged along, walking the water stops. I started feeling pretty warm around mile two, so I took off the outer fleece and put my windbreaker back on, tying the fleece around my waist – this turned out to be the perfect clothes combination – not too cold and keeping me moderately dry. Got to the 10K split and was right at 58:00. I was hoping it would thin out a bit, but still pretty crowded.

We were looping around lovely Cape Cod neighborhoods, down next to the water a couple of times (it is really strange to see snow covering the sand). The entire time, it is changing between rain and snow and sleet – I was wearing a baseball cap and am very thankful I chose that because it helped to keep my face a little protected.

Mile 9. Sigh. Almost right as we hit mile 9, my left hamstring started to feel like it was going to cramp up, very tight. I haven’t had cramping issues before so this caught me completely off guard. I moved over to the side and did some very brief stretching (the whole time I am thinking – don’t stop too long, but stop long enough to work this out). As soon as I started running again, it started hurting again. This slowed me down. When we hit the 10 mile marker and I knew it was a 5K back to the finish, I looked at my watch – 1:42…if I could run a 28:00 5K, I could make my goal time…but that would be one of the fastest 5Ks I have run (not as part of a half marathon).

The combination of the rain/snow/sleet and hamstring slowed me down enough that I realized I just wouldn’t be able to make it. So frustrating since the course is such a flat course.

Ran to the finish with a chip time of 2:16:06…where am I going to find those extra 6 minutes? (or the extra 11 minutes for my 2:05 goal?). I was very comfortable with my training going into the race, just disappointed in the overall outcome.

I need to remind myself that not many folks would be outside in those conditions, much less running and even less running a half marathon. I truly did HTFU and got it done.

What would you do differently?:

Leave the outer fleece in the car, stretch the legs out a little more before the race, pray to the weather gods for better weather, eat a banana right before the start of the race.
Post race
Warm down:

Already frozen – no need to cool off. Went inside to touch base with the BT folks – MAV was sitting at a table where we all met up. The rest of the group went to lunch and I waited for Theresa to finish the marathon. I went to the car to grab a dry shirt and then back to the conference center to change. I kept ducking outside to see when Theresa would come in…I kept standing outside until I started shivering, then would go back inside to warm up, back outside…She finally came in at 3:58 and change…much slower than her usual pace as well. Sat in the ballroom for a bit for her to warm up, then back to the car, hotel, shower then LONG drive home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I don’t know. I’m going to have to think about this. Gut says hamstring cramping and weather. Head says training and genetics.

Event comments:

Average organization - we got there early so didn't have to deal with traffic at all but heard quite a bit of grumbling about parking/traffic/etc. - the biggest challenge was the weather and I have yet to meet a race director that can affect that!

Last updated: 2010-11-18 12:00 AM
02:16:06 | 13.1 miles | 10m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 234/317
Overall: 317/2694
Performance: Below average
Course: Fairly flat course winding through traditional New England coastal town. The race headquarters was a conference center in Hyannis, not too far from the coast. Running along the water a couple of times and through delightful neighborhoods to the finish. It was a loopy figure eight, with the 10K runners peeling off before the half marathoners did the bottom half of the eight. The lucky marathoners got to do two full figure eights.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2011-03-01 7:09 AM

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Midcoast Maine
Subject: Hyannis Half Marathon

2011-03-01 10:02 AM
in reply to: #3376871

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Subject: RE: Hyannis Half Marathon
Great job Jennifer in some really tough conditions!  I hope it is nothing too serious with your hamstring pain and that heals up quickly.  I couldn't imagine training in those conditions, let alone have to race in them, you definitely are a tough cookie!  You are certainly ready for anything this race season puts your way of a mental test.
2011-03-01 10:19 AM
in reply to: #3376871

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Bedford, NH
Subject: RE: Hyannis Half Marathon
Nice work Jennifer!  Sorry to hear about the hamstring issue.  Its very frustrating when something like that happens when you never had that issue during training.  Nonetheless, it sounds like you did right thing when you felt it coming on.

I'm sorry to hear that you didn't reach your goal, but those were definitely not the ideal conditions to reach goals.  Regardless, you did it!  You should be very proud of your effort.

To respond to your comments on my RR, yes, I'm a huge advocate of the run-walk method.  There is an awesome guy names Bobby McGee that introduced the power of it to me at my USAT coaching certification course.  If you're interested, talk a look this link for me info on it.
2011-03-01 11:39 AM
in reply to: #3376871

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Subject: RE: Hyannis Half Marathon
Great job Jennifer!
Way to push through despite the weather!
2011-03-01 2:31 PM
in reply to: #3376871

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West Grove, PA
Subject: RE: Hyannis Half Marathon
Great race and great RR, Jennifer.  Don't be too hard on yourself.  You were only slightly off your goal and in some pretty tough conditions.  You should be proud of your accomplishment!  Well done!
2011-03-01 5:59 PM
in reply to: #3376871

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Severna Park, MD
Subject: RE: Hyannis Half Marathon

Awesome Job Jennifer!!! Congratulations on an outstanding race and race report! The weather conditions are outta your control.  You did a great job in those conditions and with the hamstring issue, which could also be related to the weather...I'm not a doctor, but did stay at a Holiday Inn...does that count??Laughing   You were able to tough it out and finish strong...way to go!



2011-03-01 6:54 PM
in reply to: #3376871

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Subject: RE: Hyannis Half Marathon

I too am a big fan of run/walk and have read/listened to all I can from Bobby McGee..good stuff.

I was looking forward to meeting you....but it will be at another race or tri.
2011-03-01 7:15 PM
in reply to: #3376871

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East Side of the Bay
Subject: RE: Hyannis Half Marathon
Nice race Jennifer.  It was great to meet you!  Training and racing in the snow is tough.  You did a commendable job on both!! Sorry you missed the Vitamin G recovery time!
2011-03-01 8:00 PM
in reply to: #3376871

Subject: RE: Hyannis Half Marathon
YAY Jennifer!!!!!!!!!Great race in way less than ideal conditions.

SO Nice to meet you. Hopefully next race you can join us for cheer and beer
2011-03-02 7:49 AM
in reply to: #3376871

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Subject: RE: Hyannis Half Marathon
What a great race.  Those conditions were nasty - and you perservered through that and the cramps.  Hope the hammy was just a one time thing and keep truckin.  There's nothing that can stop you on your way to the 70.3 finish line!
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