Quick Heartbreak Hill Update

20140609-124855-46135190.jpgI have so much I want to say about my weekend in Newton, Mass, but I’m a little overwhelmed? Ambivalent? I’m sorting through my feelings, and the first thing that comes to mind is the advice from Dave McGillivray, race director for this event and the Boston Marathon, who said in the course strategy seminar that to be disappointed in your results is being selfish towards those who are unable to do this sort of event.

The short story is that it was an incredible experience and I highly recommend the whole event. The courses were great and some of the harder ones I’ve done in my brief running career. My right hip/groin area is paying for it. I’ve been having niggles there for a little while, and the up and downhills seem to have aggravated it. It was tough getting up to walk after driving home, but today it feels somewhat better. I’m pretty worried about it, though; I have another half marathon on my schedule in less than 2 weeks. My whole right leg feels sort of twitchy, all the way down to my ankle.

My favorite moment was running past Newton-Wellesley hospital where I was born. I might’ve gotten choked up there. All I could think was: “I’m back” and “This is mine now.”

No PRs, which I didn’t expect. My performance was solidly in the middle of my best and worst times. I think I might’ve been able to PR in the 5k if that had been my only race for the weekend, but I had to rein (or rather yank) it all in the last mile, which was uphill, because I remembered that I had another, hillier, race in just around 30 minutes and the half marathon the next morning.

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The Hills of Newton

Heartbreak Hill was tough, especially given our course for the half mimicked the elevation profile of the Boston Marathon with us running primarily downhill the first half and up the second. But the first hill right after the famous fire station was the hardest hill in my opinion. Maybe I felt more confident on Heartbreak because I’d run it during the 10k. One thing different than the Boston Marathon was knowing the finish line was only a half mile away from the top of the hill. You’ve still got a ways to go during the marathon.

My overall Hat Trick standing put me in 15th place out of 80 (or so. I think some people dropped trying the Hat Trick because of the course difficulty and/or the heat and did fewer of the races.) in my age group. In each race, I was in the top 19-22% in my age group. I was triumphant as hell crossing the finish line of the half knowing I’d made it through with my hip being in pain. Even though my time was mediocre, I fucking did it. My last .2 was in the 7:45/mile range, which — given that my right leg was not its best — made me happy. I’m pretty sure there will be a goofy picture or two of me in that last half mile. I was grinning like a doofus and throwing my arms in the air.

I also just found out I won the silent auction for some shirts signed by Katherine Switzer, who was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon (and nearly got thrown out for doing it. Click here to read about this inspirational woman.) The money goes to the Boston Children’s Hospital, which is where a family friend’s daughter received a heart transplant.

22.5 miles in the bag.

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15 thoughts on “Quick Heartbreak Hill Update

  1. Wow!! You did great! 15 out of 80, in such a hard challenge!! 3 back to back races is a very tough thing to do, you have to be proud of what you did.
    I think it’s OK to be disappointed when we don’t preform as we wanted or expected, sure, it’s very important to think of those who can’t run or can’t afford this kind of experience, but that doesn’t mean you can have expectations for yourself, I think that’s exactly what keeps pushing us forward.

  2. That elevation profile is INTENSE. It sounds like you handled it beautifully though (and I know you would!) It is my dream to do something like this! 🙂

    That’s so cool that you got to run by the hospital where you were born and I love your reaction to it. Inspirational. 🙂

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