Monday, October 03, 2011

Applefest!

I decided not to run a fall marathon awhile ago, knowing that Scott's schedule would be rough over the summer and I wouldn't have the time needed to train properly. I opted for a half-marathon instead, and selected the Applefest Half-Marathon in New Hampshire as my fall goal.

We made a family trip out of it, and Scott, his sister (Nancy, in town for a PA school interview), Bruce, and Phoebe piled in the car and drove the hour with me up to Hollis, NH. The town is tiny (one street light), and the race is relatively large (1200 runners), so we had to park in a lot far from everything and take a bus to the start line. Phoebe loved the yellow school bus experience and Bruce decided that he wasn't missing much by walking to school every day.

While I got my bib number, warmed up, and psyched out, Scott and the posse headed to Mile 2.5 for breakfast at the town's only restaurant. They ordered greasy breakfast food and jumped out of their seats to run across the restaurant parking lot and cheer me on. Mile 1 was too fast: another woman started at the front and I hung by her, not realizing how quick the pace was. When I saw 6:00 on my watch at the mile, I slowed down. She did too. We went through Mile 2 at 6:40. Too slow.

The race was very hilly and Mile 3 was almost entirely downhill. I took advantage of the downhill and some guys who were breaking away. I went with them and picked up the pace again. The course went up and down hilly country roads; we went past farms, lots of trees with yellow-tipped leaves, a few spectators here and there. I passed Mile 6.5, where a bunch of relay runners were waiting. A mile later, a woman from a relay passed me; from then on, spectators kept yelling at me that I was the "number two female" and to "go get her." I knew she was a relay runner though: she had a different color of bib number, and she was way too fresh when she ran by me.
Mile 9 was all uphill (see elevation chart above!). It was raining hard, which felt good and even made me feel a little tougher. I pushed onward and around Mile 11, got an urge to pick up the pace. As I did, my right calf cramped. It stayed cramped through the very end, but I held the pace and finished in 1:24:45. I walk-jogged my cooldown, cheering on a few friends that were racing too. I ate two bowls of apple crisp and won a huge basket of apples to make some more. I also won some $ to fund this ridiculous habit of mine (and to pay for the calf support sleeve that I purchased to soothe my achy muscle!). Next up is the Tufts 10K, one of my all-time favorite races. It's one week from today, so I'm taking it easy for the next few days so my calf will be fully functional by then.

(Photo at mile 4 by Steve Wolfe)

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2 Comments:

Blogger Eisha said...

....so you took first place?

7:31 AM  
Blogger Leslie Barton said...

I want to comment on how amazing you are, but i have to notice that guys face in front of you...maybe a little bit scary looking???

I'm probably going to sign up for the big St. George 1/2 marathon in January...anyway I can convince you guys to come up then?

12:12 PM  

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