Traveler Beer, Millennium Running, New England Half Marathon, October 1, 2017

4 Oct

Sunday, October 1, 2017

1:49:54, Age-grade result: 1:35:29, Age-performance %: 68.29%

Photo courtesy Millennium Running

One of my favorite races.   A point-to-point 13.1 mile course from the NH Motor Speedway in Loudon to the golden dome at NH State House in Concord.   The “rolling hills” and dirt roads in the first 10k and a long downhill stretch into Concord before beautiful finish on N. Main St.

For me these days, a half marathon isn’t really something you can just “jump” into without a bit of mileage and forethought.   Earlier this year, I wasn’t sure I could even complete the distance.   I recently had 20 ml of fluid aspirated from right knee and 15 ml from left knee, then 4 weeks of Euflexxa injections, both knees. I’m feeling super grateful to just be running right now.

Logistically, you need to think about a point-to-point and longer distance race more than just a 5K too.   Saturday, I picked up race number at Millennium Running Retail Store in Bedford.   My hamstrings have been incredibly tight, so I used gift certificate I had won towards a TriggerPoint “Grid Vibe” foam roller  and used it as soon as I got home.

New Trigger Point Foam Roller

 

Race morning, alarm went off at 5:15 – water, coffee & more foam rolling. I strategically planned parking (north) for easy in/out driving and caught the shuttlebus beside the NH State House to the NH Motor Speedway.  I used Biofreeze and Aquaphor to work on tight leg muscles during the shuttlebus ride.   Chilly morning, 2 jackets, warm Sporthill pants, throw away shirt, arm warmers, gloves.

I had never used Millennium’s bag check, but decided to for the logistics of this race. I went to the table in the tented registration area and got my bag tag and large, clear plastic bag.  I didn’t do a extensive warm-up, just some “dynamic stretching” to try to get legs loose.  Crap, right thigh muscles felt so tight, I’d have to pay attention & hope they wouldn’t seize up.

We lined up and were off. Speedy friends were out of sight early on Route 106.   I’d just run my own race, stay loose and try to get this body through it.   The miles were clicking by pretty fast. I never felt the need for any water, Gatorade, GU, etc.   I was having so much fun out there, the miles were ticking by and I didn’t want the race to end.

Having fun

Camraderie on the hills – Millennium runner, Luis Figueroa, thanked me on FaceBook afterwards “for the push …!!!”

Old Shaker Rd (dirt), having too much fun! Photo courtesy Luis

Gorgeous Millennium inflatable arches and 5k, 10K & 10 mile splits. Spectators cheering at Old Shaker Rd and Clough Pond, Loudon (3.4 m.); Flagg Rd, Loudon (4.2 m); Shaker Rd & School St, Concord (6.2 m) YAY, now on my training route!!!

I caught up to friend, Greg Audet, gutting it out after a week of being ill.  We were within view of my alpaca & cashmere goat friends at Executive Council Andru Volinsky’s house – Greg heard me yell to them: “Buck, Cody, Mike, Scooter!!!” and they answered me back!!! I think Greg got a laugh!

Alpacas: Buck, Cody, Mike & cashmere goat: Scooter! Seeing them is a reward during long runs!

I loved seeing a biking neighbor 3-4 times who gave me strength and encouragement at top of Shaker Hill.   He said he’s been seeing me out there for years and I was the smoothest runner he’d seen (exactly 24 years on those roads!)   Cute x-c girls at Shaker School water stop – one called me out by name, seeing my name on race number, it warmed my heart.   Even more fun, at 10 mile mark I saw running friend, Tim Pifer, cheering me.  Then at 11 miles, Eastman St @ Portsmouth Ave., (our awesome new roundabout) high fives from Dana Breeden and John Mortimer himself.

I couldn’t get over my body’s ability to keep it going, no issues, so I was getting ready to plan a strong finish.   Strategically, I love the “danger” of moving up a few places on the pedestrian bridge over Merrimack River.  The little bridge is narrow & moves a bit high above the River. “Go, Sarah, visualize finishing strong at 28 marathons (15 Boston Qualifiers), you know what to do body.”  Another fun x-c girls water stop & (I think) live radio broadcast new Delta Dental.

Would the “final hill” up to highway & North Main tighten me?  Keep loose, keep passing.  The beautiful straightaway – downtown Main Street, paying attention to form – Amber, then Eric Eastman yelled out to me, that fabulous, huge black & white inflatable finish arch, timing clock, announcer WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton’s generously kind, enthusiastic shout out, fantastic as always!! Keep form, finish strong and done!!!   Woooooo!!!!! What a feeling!!!

Towards finish line

Received my medal, water and kept moving, the post race endorphins felt super.   Pretty seamlessly picked up my bag a gear check, had a few photos with friends. Main Street was buzzing with fun!

WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton and Millennium Running Owner & Founder, John Mortimer, both do a fantastic job!!!

Complimentary Stonyfield yogurt products, Powerade, Muscle Milk bars & drink, American Flat Bread Pizza with portable wood fired oven. There was a great live band, tents with give-aways (new toothbrush, little toothpaste, floss, spike bag, white Wayfarer style sunglasses for a co-worker friend!) Apples, bananas, string cheese.

Knees held up! Both aspirated & 4 weeks of Euflexxa injections

Checking in with friends how their races went.  I checked results on the screens at timing trailer and was thrilled for a top 5 finish in such a competitive field!!  I’d hoped for top 8-10 out there today.

With Millennium Running friend, Eric

Sponsor Traveler Beer was doing promotions, so I posed for a photo with a fake mustache.

Traveler Promotion with ‘stache

The reps said that in a few minutes they were going over to The Crazy Goat, promoting Traveler, with complimentary beer pint glasses, etc, and suggested I go over.   I gently stretched in front of The Crazy Goat (love the name) and heard that Margaritas Mexican Restaurant (the other post-race spot) was packed.

Cool swag: high quality fleece jacket!! Medals and Traveler Beer New England Half glass post-race from The Crazy Goat!! Love it!

My stomach didn’t feel up to eating or drinking anything more than water so I headed home for 2 NUUN electrolyte tablets x 32 oz water…  and an ICE BATH!!! Yes!!! The old routine!!  Everything I could do to aid postrace recovery.  Later, compression socks, taking it easy (at least easy for me), did some grocery shopping & when I finally got hungry, put together a really healthy post-race celebration meal.   Plus fresh tuna. Massage the next day.

Postrace kick of anti-inflammation: fresh garlic, Vidalia onion, turmeric, zucchini, summer squash, rainbow chard greens, 5 varieties of my own homegrown tomatoes, my fresh grown parsley & Greek oregano, asparagus & green beans = YUM!!!

I feel so fortunate and grateful, it could not have been a better day. Living the dream!!

 

Long run friend, Jim, texted this photo early race morning

 

Points Chase Standings, as of Traveler Beer New England Half Marathon, updated and emailed to us the next day.   Hanging in there!

Points Chase F50-59.fw

Points Chase Standings F50-59. Still doing well in standings with great ladies

 

 

 

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