I ran the South Shore Half Marathon over the weekend and, boy, was it fun! Well, you know what I mean, right? “Fun” like “damn, that was tough, but, wow, I feel accomplished.” Sometimes those are the best races.
Ok, recap time!
For such a new race (only in their second year), the South Shore Half Marathon totally nailed it. It’s like they’ve put on this race for decades now. From the swag and the after-party to the course and water stops… everything was awesome. I honestly don’t have a single complaint. I really loved it.
Bib pick-up was a piece of cake. We grabbed ours at Marathon Sports the day before, but there were zero lines on race day. Same goes for the porta-potties. There were lines, but they were relatively short and moved quickly.
The race kicked off promptly at 7:30 AM. It wasn’t a big half marathon, but it wasn’t a small one either with a little over 1,600 runners.
The first mile was somewhat crowded, but things spread out by mile 2 or so. The course itself is “NOT flat,” which is how the description online explains it, so I knew I was in for a challenge. Plus, my training totally fell apart in the last month or so. Life just got busy and my runs fell by the wayside. I was still running 1-2 times per week, but it wasn’t the training I had hoped for.
- Mile 1: 8:52
- Mile 2: 8:36
My plan for the start of the race was to stay at a comfortable pace. I knew there were plenty of hills ahead, so I didn’t want to smoke my legs right off the bat. I listened to Joy and Claire (Girls Gone WOD podcast) and tried to zone out and relax as much as possible. I knew if I freaked out about every incline, it’d be a rough race for me. I continued at this comfortable pace until about mile 7. I also stopped at every water stop (there were 11 total, 2 with Gatorade and fuel) just to make sure I was hydrated for the rest of the race.
- Mile 3: 8:59
- Mile 4: 8:58
- Mile 5: 9:03 <— GU
- Mile 6: 8:53
Mile 7 marked the start of some serious hills on the course. There were hills all along, but miles 7-11 were definitely the toughest part of the course. They just kept coming and coming, and, boy, my legs felt it. At this point, I turned on my music and tried to pick up my pace a little bit. I didn’t think a PR was possible, but I really wanted to break two hours, so I knew I needed to work for it.
Parts of the course were an out-and-back loop, so you got to see the speedy runners fly by, which is always so motivating for me. I was also excited to see Mal run by. He finished 49th overall with a 1:33… and practically no training. We joked that his “fresh legs” were what helped him run such a great race. Haha! Anyway, I started to get into a groove and fought my way up each and every one of those hills.
- Mile 7: 8:43
- Mile 8: 8:55
- Mile 9: 8:38 <— GU
- Mile 10: 9:12 <— huge, long hill
- Mile 11: 8:51
There was another good-size hill from mile 11.5 – 12.5, but it was all down hill after that, so I picked up the pace the best I could to finish strong. And, let me tell you, it was not easy. My legs were screaming for mercy!
- Mile 12: 8:21
- Mile 13: 8:20
- Mile 0.2: 7:39
Total time: 1:57:50 (8:59)
Even though it wasn’t a PR, I loved crossing the finish line knowing that I ran the best race I could. I’m still chasing a sub-1:54, so I’m already thinking about my next half.
Post-race, there was a great after-party with Sierra Nevada at McGreal’s Tavern. The medals were awesome too– high-quality, heavy ones with a nice thick ribbon.
All in all, it was it awesome, well-organized, and challenging race. I’ll definitely run it again next year!
Question of the Day
What’s the hilliest race you’ve ever run?
P.S. From now until Thursday (11/8), you can get 20% off all orders of $30 or more in the CNC Spreadshirt Shop with code JOY20 at checkout!