Friday, November 18, 2011

Race Report: Monson Memorial Classic Half Marathon

Mike has been trying to get the Anskys up to Amherst, MA for Shabbat for quite some time. Our families became fast friends after spending Shabbat together in Burlington the weekend of the Vermont City Marathon. A little while ago, he tweeted about a local half marathon on Nov. 13. Since Friday was Veteran's Day, I thought it be the perfect weekend go up and visit. The Mrs. and I were both off from work and with Shabbat starting early, we didn't mind Lil Ansky missing a day of school. After Shabbat Mike and I took a tour of the course courtesy of Google Earth. He ran the race last year and pointed out to me where the hills where and where the flats and downhills were to pick up the pace.

The race had an unusual 12:00 p.m. start. Mike said it was to give time time for the black ice to thaw. I joked that if that were the case, then New Englanders were a bunch of sissies. New York Road Runners starts all of their race early in the morning, even in the winter. Being that the race was in a small New England Town, I thought the 12:00 p.m. start had more to do with church than black ice. In any event, I didn't mind it. The late start allowed me to sleep in and to enjoy breakfast with the family. The late start also allowed me to run in short sleeves rather than long. It was 55 degrees when the horn went off.

It's been a while since I toed the line in a race so my only 2 goals were to have fun and finish strong. I've had some setbacks the past few months, culminating with deferring the Marine Corps Marathon. I was looking forward to running a race just for fun with no time goal pressures. The first 7.5 miles were mostly uphill. I should mention that my Garmin lost it's charge before the race even started (not quite sure how that happened) so I ran by feel and recorded my splits with a basic Timex stopwatch that Mike had brought with him. This helped me relax and enjoy the incredibly scenic course. None of the hills were particularly steep, there were just a lot of them. What goes up must come down right? The second half of the race was mostly downhill. I picked up the pace but did not hammer them. I wanted to have something left in the tank for a strong finish. I finished in 1:48:37, definitely not a PR but that wasn't the goal. I accomplished what I wanted to, I had fun, and I finished strong. Overall, the race was well organized. There were plenty of volunteers on the course showing us where to go. The course was not closed to traffic but the Monson police did a great job keep the runners safe. My only complaint was there was no Gatorade on the course. There was water but I could have used the electrolytes. Here are my race splits:

8:04
8:22
8:16
8:23
8:30
8:59
8:51
8:35
7:52
8:08
8:21
7:52
8:29 (last 1.1 miles)


 Running and finishing this race did a lot for my psyche. I feel like I finally found my running mojo again. I have a few fun things planned to close out the year then I will start thinking about spring 2012. I'm also hoping that now that I've found my running mojo, I'll also get my blogging mojo back. It's been a while since I posted primarily because there hasn't been much to write about.



Mike ran a great race finishing around 1:40. Since he finished before me, he was able to shoot this short video of me racing towards the finish.
video
 Here are some race photos:






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