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B.A.A. Half Marathon...what goes down must go up

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Today I ran my 6th half marathon and definitely my toughest. This course was hilly through out. Even the supposed flat stretches were rolling hills. I knew right away that this would not be my best day but made it through. I finished well over what I did in my half in June, but that course was much easier. Every time we went downhill we went right backup up. Ugh, it was a killer.

But the course itself was very nice with the fall colors starting to really show. There was lots of spectator support and the race was very well run. There were 6000 runners and everything ran very smoothly.

I started by parking at UMASS Boston and taking a shuttle from there to the start which is Franklin Park Zoo. I'm so glad I got there early. I got there around 7 and just drove in and parked and got on the shuttle. As we were leaving we saw three lines of cars coming in to park. Whew...missed the rush.

I got to field around 7:30...an hour before the race. We totally lucked out with the weather. Originally it was supposed to be in the 40s and raining. It ended up being in the low 50 with bright sunshine. I had dressed well and didn't feel cold at all.

I headed to the start at 8 and again was glad I did and the corrals quickly filled up and those who showed up at the last minute had to fight their way in. I like getting places early...less stressful.

It took me about 4 minutes to get to start. Not bad considering I was pretty much at the back of the pack. Ok, so here comes the reason for the title of my blog. It does refer to the hills on the course as we kept going down and up. But it also refers to an incident at the beginning. I was about a half mile into the race and BOOM...I found myself on the ground! I stepped wrong on the side of my foot and before I knew it had fallen. I've seen people in other races fall but this is the first time it happened to me. It was so weird...I didn't trip over someone, there was not pothole or stick or acorn or anything. I just stepped wrong. A nice runner stood above me to make sure no one ran into me. I quickly got up and tried out my foot. Thank goodness my ankle was fine...I hadn't twisted it all at. I also ended up landing on a nice meaty part of my upper thigh and not my knees. So the top of my right foot and upper left thigh felt pretty sore, but I didn't appear to be injured. I jogged for a little while and then started full out running. After the race I could see I have a pretty bad bruise on top of my foot but I don't think I didn't any real damage. I would think I would have been in serious pain running if I had. We'll see how I feel in a couple of days. Luckily I'm not signed up for any more races at the moment so I can take it easy.

So as you can see I got right back up and kept going. The thoughts were going through my head that I had training for months and it was almost for nothing before the first mile!! Thank goodness I fell well! It could have been much worse.

I ran straight for 3.5 miles and then took a walk break to have some gummies and drink. I brought my own fluids but didn't drink too much because it was so cool. I kept hydrated but didn't need to down it like I do in the middle of summer.

Around mile 4 you see the people coming back at you as the turn around is almost at mile 5. Once I made the turn around I got to see if there was anyone behind me. Thankfully there were a few people. This half has a more stringent time limit than others I have done. No walkers allowed. I saw the last few people coming up about a mile behind me.

The next 4 miles I ran/walked/ran/walked the best I could up and down all those hills. At mile 9 we entered the park again and were off the city streets. That was good because they do open up the course quickly if you are at the end so I didn't have to worry about traffic. Again we headed down an out and back where we could see the other runners coming at us. That stretch was 2 miles and when I made the turn at mile 10 again I could see how many were behind me. Still more up and down and up and down.

When I finally got to mile 12 we actually entered the zoo itself. That was pretty cool although I think most of the animals were sleep. I saw some nice birds but not too much more. The run through the zoo is about a half mile and then the last stretch. The race finished in a stadium on a track. I was so happy to have it done. I really struggled to get through it. Again, wasn't my worst half and considering the course I was fine with my finish.

I got my medal and then got a second bigger medal. This race was a part of a series for the B.A.A. (Boston Athletic Association). I ran the 5K in April, the 10K in June, and this Half. It was pretty cool to be a part of the medley.

I grabbed a quick snack, got my bag, and headed out. All in all I would say the race was a success. I'm glad I ran it but most likely would not do this one again.

Now I can relax for a while. If my foot heals quickly I plan to do a 10K at the end of the month, but besides that I'm done for the year.

Time to chill.
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