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!
And don’t forget, Tuesday is Tuesdays on the Run and our topic is “Weather: What are your ideal temperatures/conditions for race day?” Join us!
Today I’m linking up with HoHo and Tricia for Weekly Wrap. Stop by the link up and see what everyone else is up to…
22 thoughts on “Lifetime Half #56, State #28: New England Series – Massachusetts”
I know what you mean about running on grass. It’s like you really have to pick up your feet so much higher or at least it feels like it. Ha I loved your comment about for the sake of a happy marriage. I know my hubs feels the same. I’m usually on the receiving end of things while he’s giving. Thanks Erika for linking up.
Wow this one looks brutal!! I can’t even imagine a half marathon on grass…
I did the New England Challenge this week, which was a similar half marathon/full marathon challenge across the New England States. I have to say I LOVED the Massachusetts course for NEC – would definitely recommend it!
It was tough, but there’s always a course in each series that doesn’t work for me. I love the Mainly Marathons races and have raced with them all over the country. Even a bad course is still fun with them – even when I’m feeling bitchy about it. It’s basically like racing with family. I won’t likely race up in New England again – I have all the states now.
Agreed. It’s the worst.
Your bitch pants are Psyched print. Good to know. 😉
Bitch pants. I’m so stealing that one. LOL. Who runs on grass? Nobody, that’s who. I would have not been happy with that loop — and 9 times over. What you do is so impressive. You are my half fanatic idol and rabbit. And even though I’ll still keep running them, I’ll never catch you. Thanks for linking with us Erika. I hope you are at home RESTING now.
I don’t know about weather but grass would certainly be my least desirable surface to run on. WTH? What were the course directors thinking?
Congrats on finishing all your races for another successful series!
I know some of it was to keep us off the roads as there was a lot of traffic nearby. Plus some people like a softer surface. All the courses vary, so some are awesome and some suck – and each person you ask will have a different opinion of which is which.
Ok what you said about running on grass literally made me laugh out loud!! I’m impressed that you hiked after that! Great job on finishing number 28! That is quite an accomplishment!
What you said about running on grass literally made me laugh out loud!! I’m impressed that you hiked after that! Great job on finishing number 28! That is quite an accomplishment!
I’ve found that keeping moving is actually the best way to be ready to run the next day. I just wasn’t excited about where we were hiking to LOL.
Grass is the worst! I am more likely to trip running in grass than on rough trails for some reason. Way to power through, and at least there was a tasty breakfast at the end!
I think it’s harder for two reasons – it’s squishy and you can’t see where the uneven parts are.
I really don’t like running in grass either and that sounds especially frustrating where they didn’t mow. Congrats on another checked off your list!
Oh, we took the TOTR theme the wrong way. We didn’t realize you meant “weather conditions”. Sorry.
No worries – we just throw out an idea to give people a starting point. Can’t wait to read your angle.
I can’t imagine. I have run 39 half marathons and have never ever run on grass. Even the few trail races I have done never had any grass portions. Glad you survived and got to have a delicious breakfast and a hike afterwards!! Congrats on knocking off all those states!
Wow, I can’t imagine running a half on thick grass. I’m impressed you hiked after that. Congrats on state #28!
OH I THINK YOU NAILED ME AS ID BE THE ENTIRE TIME WITH THE SENTENCES ABOUT THE SHORT SHORT RUN WITH BEER GEEK 🙂
Unless you and *I* could run together.
Then pinkyswear Id be sweetnesslightandpoopingrainbows.
Ugh to the grass. That is just horrendous. Well done on the race, crabby pants or not, and the BnB after looks really nice!
That’s one of the worst. I played sports on grass throughout high school, and I’m not sure which is worse: overgrown fields or fields that need serious maintenance. I roll my ankles on both fields, but at least if a field is mowed, I can see what I’m stepping in.
Great job hanging in there. I hate running in grass! It seems to suck all of my energy out of me. At my first 50K the very first mile was in grass, and I was seriously scared that it was going to ruin the entire race for me. I got through it, and it didn’t ruin anything, but boy do I hate grass!
That’s too bad that the race didn’t go as well as planned. I ran a 5K in the grass once and it was just really weird! I couldn’t imagine running several laps around it! Brutopia is a great name for a brewery…I bet the food and beer were great!
So jealous of your adventure – I want to do one of these four-day series, just can’t work it into my schedule yet! Congrats on state #28!