On Sunday I finally ran my first half marathon of the year, the Half at the Hamptons! I had been really looking forward to this race as it was my first half marathon (in 2010). I was ready to go back fully in love with running and properly trained.
The training plan: I set up my own training plan, borrowing a basic framework from Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan. I added in a speed work/tempo day that alternated each week and had 4 scheduled runs a week. I know my body runs great at 3 runs a week, but I wanted to challenge myself more to make those gains.
Everything was great for the whole month of January, then it wasn’t. I don’t know what it was – the increase in yoga (did I maybe pull/strain something?), or increasing my intervals to 800’s from 400’s (very new to me), but something started feeling wrong in my right quad and increasing ITB pain. After an awful long run the first week of February, the leg kept feeling worse and worse.
Three weeks before the race I took a really easy week. It honestly didn’t change much with the quad pain that eventually spread to my hip, and my ITB pain has gone through ebbs and flows since high school (even when I did marching band). The quad bothered me when sitting at work all day, but once I started to run it didn’t hurt at all. I cut out the speed work to keep my leg from getting worse while I monitored it. My longest long run for the race ended up being 9 miles. The last three weeks I ran easy, knowing if the pain got worse while running I’d stop and make a Dr.’s appointment.
I ran a total of 132.55 miles while training for this race. I wish it had been at least 150, but I was smart and listened to my body so I could make that start/finish line.
While it wasn’t the perfect build-up, I’m still proud of that first month – sticking to the training plan I made and having a month of fantastic runs.
The weather for race day was a high of about 40 degrees. In New Hampshire there can be a warm 40, and a cold 40, especially by the ocean. I had no idea what to pack. On Friday I set out my Flat Sam and packed up, but also brought two other shirts and a vest with me.
Since the race was on Sunday and it was about 2.5 hours from where I live, I left Saturday and spent the night with my uncle in nearby Newcastle, New Hampshire. My mom was coming for the race too, and we spent the afternoon shopping and seeing Eddie the Eagle at the nicest movie theater ever.
When I got to my uncle’s he had beer ready for me as we got ready to go to dinner at the fanciest place I’ve ever been (I didn’t even dare to take my phone out to take a picture, can’t find any online). After a dinner of chicken and potatoes (HOLY DELICIOUS), citrus sorbet and prosecco, I was in bed and ready for the morning ahead of me!