Welcome to my final Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival recap: the half marathon race recap! I did the “Hat Trick” (5k + 10k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday), so if you missed my first post recapping the 5k and 10k, check that out first.
The half marathon took place bright and early on Sunday morning! When I first woke up I was definitely feeling less than stellar, but once I shook out my legs a little and had some caffeine (and another bagel that I confiscated from the post-race area the day before) things were looking up. Elevator selfie – let’s do this!
The half marathon starting corrals were significantly more crowded than the 5k and 10k had been, so we waited just off the side of the 9 minute area (with lots of other people) until everyone started moving and we could make our way in. Worked out just fine!
Hello again, starting line. We missed you.
Despite the fact that my legs were tired and it was hot out, this actually ended up being my favorite race of the weekend by far! It felt kind of like one big party since I had so many blogger buddies out on the course, and we spent the whole time chatting away, probably to the huge annoyance of anyone around us.
There was also that cool moment in mile 1 where Shalane Flanagan passed me. Nbd. I let her pass me, obviously. We thought it was so cool that she was out running with us commoners and not up at the front!
The course was a kind of combination of the 5k and 10k with some extras thrown in, too.
Look, we found Theodora, too!
All of us kept it casual on pace and strolled through the water stops. I decided not to wear my standard hydration vest since we weren’t worried about time, and it was nice to take our time hydrating instead of rushing back off. I did a mix of water and Gatorade (which I don’t normally love because of the food dye/color, but I needed the salt/carbs and it tasted like magic in the hot weather. p.s. Dear Gatorade, please remove dyes/artificial coloring from your products. Love, Anne).
In addition to the Gatorade and water, I also snagged two margarita shot bloks from Theodora that I ate around miles 4 and 6. I planned to buy some gels/bloks at the expo but Clif wasn’t selling any! But they did they did say they would be out at mile 10 on the course with gels. Yay!
It was also fun to be able to stop for photos without worrying about pace! Dani and I snagged a photo in front of the Newton Fire Department around mile 9ish. She said they were out all winter long offering water and fuel to runners during Boston Marathon training runs. Amazing!
Here we go again, Heartbreak Hill!
Clif was at mile 10, just like they promised. Hizzah!
I snagged my fave – a mocha Clif shot gel. Caffeine me, please! The only bummer was that there wasn’t another water stop for about a mile – next time I’d recommend having one with or shortly after the gels, because they make you thirsty.
By around mile 11, Dani, Theodora, and I had also been joined by Amanda, and we all stopped for a selfie with Heartbreak Bill from Heartbreak Hill Running Company. Apparently he was out all winter cheering on the runners while they trained, too! Such a supportive community. Also, this photo cracks me up.
Mile 12 – almost there!
More hills – bring it on! I think doing the hill of death up to my apartment a lot at the end of long runs really prepared me for this. I wasn’t fast but I felt fine and didn’t need to walk. Proud to have conquered Heartbreak Hill not once but twice in one weekend!
In a serendipitous moment, Amanda, whose blog is called Run to the Finish, and I found ourselves running to the finish together. Even though we kept it casual during the whole race, we still sprinted (or at least ran faster… we were saying how sometimes at the end of a race you feel like you’re sprinting/flying but you’re totally not, lol) when we reached the finish chute. As I’ve said before, there’s nothing quite like finishing a race! You feel like such a rock star.
I did it – Hat Trick success!
We all definitely earned this medal – that was a HOT race! I was really glad I wasn’t trying to push it on pace because I don’t think I could have in that heat, anyway. As for how I felt after having done a hill workout on Friday and a 5k and 10k on Saturday before doing this half marathon on Sunday – well, I surprised myself by feeling better than I thought I would! Again, I certainly couldn’t have set a PR, but in terms of doing the distance, we all made it fun and it was a good reminder that sometimes you can do more than you think you can.
Official half marathon finish time: 2:08:34 (9:49 min/mile average).
I immediately attacked these Cape Cod potato chips. Salt and carbs, yes please.
So proud of myself, my fellow bloggers, and everyone else who was out there this weekend! What a blast. Gorgeous medals, too – the Boston heart in the center of the medals even spun around!
Loved the post-race festival that Runner’s World put on, too. We were all completely endorphin wasted, as Theodora would say, and had fun playing in the grass and listening to the music after the race.
Another big thank you to Runner’s World for sponsoring my trip to their festival! I also wanted to say a special thank you again to the volunteers who supported us and to the race sponsors for their generosity. A few specific shout outs/thank yous go to:
- Poland Spring for hooking us all up with lots of water on the course – we needed it in the heat!
- Finagle a Bagel for fueling all the runners up post-run with all the carbs.
- Clif for handing out my favorite gels on the course!
- New Balance for gifting the bloggers with the Impact Tunic Tank (I’m wearing it in the 5k and 10k race photos – LOVED it)
- The Stick for gifting the bloggers with a stick of our choice – I went for the “little stick” so I can travel with it and am pumped to have this in my suitcase for race weekends! It was a lifesaver. I also bought myself their trigger wheel at the expo – this thing feels AMAZING on my super tight neck/shoulders/chest.
- Wild Planet for the tuna samples – the packets made for amazing post-race protein snacks!
- Running Skirts for the awesome stars & stripes compression socks – these were a lifesaver post-race.
- Balega for the socks – their socks are tied with these Brooks running socks as my absolute favorite running socks!
- Health Warrior for the chia bar samples – excited to try them!
- Sparkly Soul for the cute sparkly headband! Because everyone knows that looking cute makes you run faster.
And another thank you to my fellow bloggers for making this weekend such a fun one (and to Presley for being my weekend roomie – loved meeting you girl)! Here’s hoping we all find ourselves running together again sooner than later. (Photo via Heather!)
Can’t wait until the next Hat Trick! Who’s with me?! (Psst: sign up here to receive alerts about the 2015 Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon!) And if you were in Boston this past weekend too, how’d it go?
What’s the hottest race you’ve ever done? Mine is hands down my first half marathon back in 2010! It was brutalllll.