Sunday morning Marisa, Lindsey and I run the Chilly 1/2 Marathon in Newton with the Catz Team to help support the American Liver Foundation. All the donations we collected went direct to the Liver Life Challenge and the American Liver Foundation.
The Chilly Half-Marathon had an ungodly 7:30 a.m. start, which meant Dustin & I had to get up at 5:15! We got to the race course early, and got a great parking spot. My foot was still hurting me for almost a week but that didn’t stop me from running hard=) The race began and ended at the Newton South High School, which was great to have a structure to wait in and indoor plumbing! I caught up with Marisa, Lindsey and with two of the girls that I trained to run the 10K Tufts back in October, Leah and Aimee. This was Aimee first Half Marathon and considering that when I start train her in August she’s never run more than 3 miles it was so great to see her finishing successfully this great milestone! Before we knew it, it was time to head for the start line. After the October storm trauma, November has gifted us with great running weather, so we had a perfect morning for a run and the foliage was really pretty!!
Let me tell you about the course. It would be a difficult feat to run a fully flat race within the city limits of Newton, and the Chilly Half Marathon ( or as I’ve heard it referred to as the Chilly Hilly Half) has a few rolling hills (the region is known as “The Newton Hills”), but the race was designed purposefully to include a nice level start and finish. We left from Newton South High School and briefly head south in the Chestnut Hill Village section, before turning north under Route 9, then across Beacon Street in the Waban neighborhood. At about Mile 4 the course goes into the clockwise loop section along Lowell and Cabot Streets and turns east toward the grand Chestnut Hill neighborhood. Then the gradual climb starts after Mile 5 to eventually crest the top of Heartbreak near Boston College at Mile 8 before the swoop down to Mile 10. At this point on the course, we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the Boston skyline. The final leg repeats the gentle start near the Charles River Country Club. The course got particularly steep around miles 6-8. Fortunately, I had hill after hill to enjoy beautifully high vistas on sleepy…and yes, very quiet Newton and Watertown. Around mile 9, we went down a long descent: Heartbreak Hill in the reverse direction. My pace had a good groove, I was running in the 7:15-7:25 range. I knew I wasn’t going to PR, as the course was really challenging but when I look at my watch and see that I was cruising I started to think Yes, yes, yes. I down-shifted and ran wide to the guy in front of me right and passed him on the final uphill before the inflatable finish line. When I saw Dustin I knew I was very close and I sprinted to the end especially when I saw the time that was around 1:35. Holy cannoli, yes, I did it! I finally had PR and it was on a hard course!
My foot felt ok throughout the race. Not recovered, but it didn’t bother me. What was bothering the most was definitely my right hamstring, yes the one that has been hurting me since before the Boston Marathon! I think it is time for me to use that massage that my hubby gave me for my birthday and to try to get back to pain-free running.
I came in in 1:35:53 giving me a 7:19 pace per mile. One minute faster than my previous PR. And I came 3rd in my age group 30-39 but I didn’t stick around for the awards though, with apparently merchandize prizes donated by City Sports. However, I waited for Marisa and Lindsey to cross the finish line, gave them a big hug and head over to Castle Island in Boston, to join Dustin’s dad Tom and hundreds of participants in the ALS Association Walk to Defeat ALS.
We spent the rest of the day reconnecting with family and it was just great and refreshing!
Few photos the photographer did on the course!
Women 30-39 Age Group Place: 3rd out of 157
Women Overall place: 14th
Overall place: 80th out of 1115
Average Pace: 7:19