My training plan lists week 12 as a recovery week. That means the weekend long run was “only” 12 miles. I signed up for the Hamptons Half because I figured 13.1 was close enough to 12 and using the water stations that a race provides would be good practice. The race is something of a tradition in my little group of friends. Here’s a recap of the race in 2014 and this is a recap of when I ran the Hamptons 5K in 2015 post-ankle injury. (I skipped it in 2016 to participate in Dare to Bare.)
After running 15 miles and 16 miles the last two weekends, I think it’s safe to say I took for granted how tough a half marathon can be. While I didn’t race the distance, 13 miles is still freaking far.
This half marathon course (and full marathon course) runs through Southampton and we had a warm, sunshine-filled, blue sky day, which for runners, can be terrible. I prefer a little cloud cover, maybe a nice chill in the air? Light rain would be agreeable, too. This sport can bring out the vampire in you.
We drove to the race, found parking and waited on the porta potty line. There are so many humbling things in the marathon training experience and porta potty lines are one of them. Using a porta potty is an attack on your senses and your emotional well-being, especially for a claustrophobic like me. I spent the time waiting remembering scenes from last season’s Orange is the New Black (kinda SPOILER ALERT) and the damage done in “the poo.”
Anyway, this is a small race and not long after the whistle was blown, I crossed the start line. Some guy next to me was running barefoot. Like totally barefoot.
For the first two miles I experienced a new-to me pain. My left shin felt like someone was beating it with a wooden stick. All of my injuries have been on my right leg, so this was a nice change. I stopped a few times to try to shake it off but nothing really helped. I told myself to go just a little further and see if it went away, otherwise I was sure I would need to stop. I peeled down my compression sock on my left side to give my shin some breathing room. By mile 3 the pain was gone.
Lots of love to our friends and family who captured these shots of me, Matt and Jon.
This was the first half marathon I’ve run but didn’t race. I didn’t want to go all out because I’m trying to closely follow my training plan and this was meant to be a down week. More than that, I didn’t train for a half. I’m training for a full marathon. And I wanted to be able to get back to big runs this week without any time off for recovery. Still, it was a weird challenge mentally to know I wouldn’t be even trying to beat my own PR (set at the Brooklyn Half in 2015).
The course takes you through gorgeous houses guarded by thick hedges. At a few turns you can glimpse the ocean and for a very short stretch, run right by it.
My goal was to run at an average pace of 9:30min per mile and that’s exactly what I did. Though it was not easy. The race setting changed my expectations from “just run easy” to constantly questioning whether I should push harder.
Either way, I’m pleased as punch to have 13 miles in the books. I’m not usually one for a post-race ice bath, but when in Rome.
One of the best things about this race is the great pre-race hype up from the Run the Hamptons team. They offer group runs and lots of motivation in the months leading up to race weekend. You should check them out here. Plus, their medals and loot couldn’t be cuter.
Did you run a race this weekend? Do you run races when training for a marathon?