October 24, 2013

Sunday was race day!

The Baystate Half Marathon was a race I had been anticipating all summer.  This race has the kind of course that is perfect for a PR. It is also a race that many marathoners run to try to qualify for Boston. Best of all, I was running this race with my sister Alison.

Normally on race morning, I am up way too early and Sunday was no exception. 4:00am was my first wake up and after checking the Red Sox score on my phone and a quick pit stop, I went back to bed and slept until 5:00am. This time, I got up and started my race morning preparations.  Besides eating an English muffin with peanut butter and a banana washed down with a little Gatorade, it meant at least 25 trips to the bathroom!  Okay, so I am good at exaggerating.

Flat Pam ready to race!

We got in the car just before 6:00am and drove to Lowell for the race.  We found a parking garage and then proceeded to the porta potties before making our way to Lowell High School.  The race organizers made arrangements with the high school to not only be open for the expo, but also on race morning so runners have a place to relax before the race begins. Finally it was time to make our way to the starting line. As we arrived at the half marathon area, I heard my name being called and one of our Facebook pals, Kathianne was there with her husband to cheer on her friend Susan.  She was so sweet and also included my name and number on her poster, but sadly it was hidden in this photo.

Waiting for the start and it was cold!

With no designated corrals, we lined up between the 9 and 10 minute mile place, closer to the 10.  Soon we heard the "ready, set, go" by the race announcer and we got started.  Alison and I kept together or within 5-10 feet of each other for most of the race.  We made some small talk, but the morning was beautiful and we both were enjoying our run.

Our pace started off a bit slow with a 9:30 first mile and then 9:20 for mile 2.  I picked up our pace and we settled in around 9:05-15 for the next 8 miles  By the time we hit mile 10, I knew that a possible PR and breaking 2 hours was a possibility. However, my pace would have to quicken and it was go time.  I told Alison I was taking off and she encouraged me to go for it.  My brain was not working out the math at all, but my body was telling me to just get my a** to the finish line as fast as possible.  The final 3 miles clicked in at about 8:45 pace. When I finally reached the 13 mile marker it was time to pick up the pace. Thank goodness my legs still had a little kick and so I sprinted the last .16 at 7:16 pace! My official time was one second quicker than my Garmin at 1:59.49!



This was the race I had been hoping for all year.  My big goal for 2013 was to break 2 hours in the half marathon and I feel so blessed that everything came together for me on race day.  The weather was perfect, my body cooperated and running with my sister made it a great combination.  I am so lucky to have not one but two family members who run races with me.  Alison completed the race in 2:00.21 and will be receiving a first place prize in the mail soon having won her age group by over 9 minutes!

Have you had a special race this year?
(Pam)

32 comments:

  1. Love that skirt- congrats on a great race Pam!

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    1. Thanks Kat....I love those Sparkle Skirts too....they hold a picnic in the gigantic shorts pockets!

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  2. Congrats on making the time you wanted for this race! That's always exciting when that happens! Congrats to your sister too for placing! You gals are two speedy ladies!

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    1. Thanks so much. It was such a fun day and Alison (my sister) is already looking at races for next year!

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  3. Congrats on breaking 2 hours. That is such a huge accomplishment! Keep up the hard work and keep smiling.

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    1. Thanks Amanda. If I never break 2 hours again it will be okay. Just happy it happened once!

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  4. CONGRATULATIONS! I have been chasing 2 hours, also. This is totally the inspiration needed to keep pushing toward that goal! Maybe at Wine & Dine?!?!?

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    1. You definitely can do it Aly. I was really careful with race week preparations and the weather really helped too. I race best in cooler weather.

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  5. Congrats Pam!! I am so excited to hear you accomplished your goal!! :0)

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    1. Thanks Lauren. It was a real thrill to see that number 1 in front of my finish time!

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  6. WOOT! Awesome! Congrats on a great race!
    You already read about my special race. :)

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    1. Yes I did Jamie. I loved that the Columbus Marathon had those gorgeous medals with the pretty blue ribbon!

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  7. Yeah, so excited you got your sub-2 half marathon goal! I really think weather plays such a huge part in races...just a touch too warm and (for me at least!) it's all out the window! Congrats!

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    1. Thanks Danielle, Can't wait to follow you and C this weekend!

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  8. A big Whoop! Whoop! for the sub 2 hr PR! I love that you ran this in Lowell. My dad was born there and even though he is no longer with us, Lowell will always hold a special place in my heart because of him. Maybe he was giving you just that last little push to beat 2 hours??? It's fun to at least think so. :)

    Kimberley :)

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    1. Thanks Kymberley, I thought about my Dad during the race and perhaps your dad helped too. It was really a special race day for me and I would highly recommend the Baystate Half or Full Marathon.

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  9. Awesome race, Pam...congrats on breaking two hours!

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    1. Thanks Vic. Hope to see you at the Wine and Dine weekend coming up!

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  11. Wow!! Congratulations! That is so exciting! I'm nowhere near fast enough for a sub 2 half, but maybe one day!

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    1. Thanks so much Jamie, I worked so hard for this and if I never do it again that is okay!

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  12. So awesome, Pam! Congratulations on such a great accomplishment!! I have the same goal as you...hopefully I'll reach it one day! :0)

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    1. Thanks Karen. I thought you already had run sub 2 hours.

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  13. I have heard great things about BayState and I hope to run it next year.

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    1. Pretty sure my sister and I will be running this again next year. It was really fun, such a reasonably priced race and the food after was really good!

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  14. Congratulations! I'm still chasing a 2:30 half. I'm envious that you're so fast!

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  16. Great job! Breaking 2 hours is my goal next year :) I've already picked the race! Rachel, Toronto CANADA

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    1. Good luck Rachel. Alot of training and mental confidence is what got me there. My next goal will be a bit harder to achieve but I know I can do it and so can you get your sub 2 half.

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  17. I would love to get to a sub-2 half! That's my goal (in the next 5 years lol). Congrats on your amazing race and your awesome finish!

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    1. Kellie, It is great to have a goal and I wish you luck. I have already come up with a new goal for myself and it might take me 5 years to achieve. Have fun running!

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