Ever since I finished the Boston Marathon this year, I was excited to run another BAA.org race. This year, the BAA Half boasted a crowd of 8,000 runners, and covered 13.1 miles of the Emerald Necklace park starting in Franklin Park. Since Roo just moved into the sickest apartment ever in Dorchester, we had a sleepover there the night before, complete with the best. dinner. ever.
We woke up at 6am, and munched on bagels, pb and bananas. We opted to drive to Bayside Expo Center and take the shuttle buses from there, which was only about 5 minutes away. There was absolutely no parking available at Franklin Park, but they did offer two different shuttle options. We got on our shuttle at about 7:30, and made it up to Franklin Park just before 8:00am. It was chilly, and I totally wished I had more than just one layer of throw-away shirt, but the weather report said it was supposed to get to 60 degrees, so I didn’t want to overdress. Ah, #runnerprobz.
We got in line around the 10:00 min mile marker, and tried to take our minds off the chill. Training for Boston in the SNOW was colder than this, so we sucked it up. At 8:30, the starting gun went off, and off we went. Not! The starting line corrals had a really tight turn, and it was almost like tip-toeing up to the start line. It took us about 22 minutes to get to the start, and it was slow goings for the first half a mile for sure. I stuck to the sides and tried to stay with a nice even pace of about 9:50/10:00 while my body warmed up. Roo and I fist bumped and picked a spot to meet after the race.
I absolutely loved the first uphill which was across the William Casey overpass. There were amazing views of Boston, and we were up higher than the trees. It was a climb for sure, but it didn’t bother me too much and I even got the courage to take off my long sleeve and drop it on the side. The weather was warming up!
Around mile 4, I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was my work friend/client, Jess! We have done Flywheel together a couple times and I should have known she would be running today. It was about the time that I saw her that we took a turn back towards the start line. I’ve never been in a race that had such tight 180 degree turns. You really had to watch your step so you wouldn’t get trampled from behind or from the front. I picked it up for miles 5-9 and felt really good, really strong. I was probably hitting just under a 9 minute mile. At mile 6, I decided to go for my Gu Chomps. I always (always, always) open the bag up before I start running, but for some reason I totally forgot. I tried to rip into the bag while running, and I couldn’t get it open. My hands were sweaty, and this thing WAS NOT opening. I was expending too much energy and getting frustrated, so I just pocketed the Gu Chomps and welcomed the PowerGels that they were handing out at mile 7. I got vanilla and it was actually really delicious. Thanks for handing those out! I totally needed something, and I’ll never not open my GuChomps in advance again. Jeesh.
So they weren’t joking when they said this course has rolling hills. Its all either up hill or down hill all the time. Like the whole time. And the last 3 miles especially, weren’t even on concrete the whole time. It was like a 10 mile road race with a 3 mile trail race to finish up. I felt good the whole time, and I knew coming into the final 800 meters that was I close to the two hour mark. I knew I wasn’t going to be close to my half marathon PR from NYC, but this wasn’t a course to PR on at all. Not even close. I was PSYCHED to be close to 2:00, and finished with an official time of 2:03. I got my awesome BAA medal, and meandered through the bagels, bananas and PowerBar line. I was hungry, but I didn’t want to eat too quickly so I just had a quarter of a bagel and waited to get a text from Roo. She finished at 2:25 and we met up at the family meeting area.
I will definitely keep this on my race calendar for 2015, as it was well-run, and the shirts were AWESOME. It was a lot of ppl and course was tight and hilly, but I absolutely love the half marathon distance so much. See ya next year, Franklin Park!