New England Series: Massachusetts
May 18, 2016
What I wore: hat, tank top, a half zip, a Skirt Sports Happy Girl skirt, compression socks, and Altra One 2.5
This was race four of the New England Series. (Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont preceded it.) The race took place at the Northfield Mountain Recreation Center. My quad was feeling a bit sore, but otherwise I felt pretty good at the start line.
(Apparently I planned to sleep-run this one)
Then we began moving and I realized my legs were pretty fatigued. And then we turned onto the grass field. Running on grass is a special kind of hell. This was thick, in need of a mow, grass.
I felt like my feet got stuck with every step. It was exhausting! I kept thinking that we had to get off of it soon. But then we turned a corner and had to run up a hill. On grass. With tree roots. To say I hated this course would be an understatement. And we got to do it 9 times. Obviously I’d gotten too cocky and needed to be put in my place.
My only goal was to keep all of my miles below 12 minutes. Not because I had any real time goal (I was certainly not going to PR), but because we had breakfast back at the B&B at 9am. I needed to be done in under 2:40:00.
I struggled each lap with thick grass section and the uphill portion, but I tried to make up some time on the downhills. With each lap, I got more tired and more crabby and more likely to hurt myself on the uneven ground.
This picture perfectly illustrates how I felt.
Finally, with 2 laps left to go, Beer Geek joined me. I was in such a crabby mood that he only lasted about a tenth of a mile in the second to the last lap before realizing he needed to just let me go by myself. (Me yelling at him to get out of my way may have had something to do with that decision. Yes, I had my bitch pants on.) I managed to survive that lap and picked up Beer Geek for the final lap. Somehow, surviving the second to the last lap worked wonders on my mood, so I was in a pretty good mood for the last one. We had a pretty decent pace for that lap and when we headed back onto the pavement, I realized I could come in under 2:40:00 so we booked it to the finish. I was ok with my finish time, given the awfulness that was the course and the fact that it ran a half mile long.
We did make it back to the B&B for breakfast, which was quite tasty.
Then it was off to find the MA/CT/RI tri- point and the RI highpoint.
Yes, I did hike a mile and a half round trip on a hilly and rocky path after running a half marathon in the morning. No, I didn’t really enjoy it, but we all make our sacrifices for the sake of a happy marriage…
For dinner, we hit another brewpub, Brutopia. The beer was tasty and I had an amazing arugula salad with sirloin. I’d been craving red meat after the race, so I couldn’t resist.
- Umm, I’m sure there was something? Ok, I finished and I did not break or sprain anything. I never even fell, although I did have a few close calls.
- The people. As always, the people make the whole thing worthwhile. I never would have survived this course without the smiles and comments from the other runners.
- This course was really really hard.
- My quads at the end – totally trashed.
- My poor toe – I have one toe that gets sore if I run too many miles and I managed to trip over a stick and jab it into that toe. Ow!
- The grass field. It was the worst running surface ever.
Would I do it again?
No, no, and again NO. I may have to someday if we decide to do all the Mainly Marathon races in a year, but I certainly won’t be happy about it. Obviously the food and the people were as awesome as usual, but I’m a pavement runner. I don’t do well on trails and grass just sucks the energy right out of me.
28 states (plus DC) done on my quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states! 17 of 23 states done in my journey to Mercury!