B.A.A. Half Marathon
On Sunday, October 9th, I ran the B.A.A. Half Marathon in Boston. This was the third and last race of the B.A.A. Distance Medley, which consisted of a 5k, 10k, and now the half. I’ve been wanting to run this half marathon for a while, so I was really excited.
A few of my coworkers were also running this race in memory of a colleague who recently lost his life to leukemia, and were raising money for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I ordered a team t-shirt and hat so I could join in the spirit and run in his memory.
On Sunday, I woke up at 4:45am to find that it was pouring rain. It made my heart sink a little bit, but at the same time I felt like I was due for a rainy race day considering I hadn’t had one yet. Luckily, I felt prepared to race in the rain. My motto is that if you can’t pick and choose your weather for race day, don’t pick and choose it for your long runs! I’ve had my fair share of rainy 18-mile training runs, so I felt this wouldn’t be too bad.
I ate what I usually eat before long runs…bagel with peanut butter. I’ve also started adding Nuun to my water. Each tablet provides you with electrolytes but only 1g of sugar. Win.
The course was an out and back course. It started at the Franklin Park, took runners out almost to Fenway Park, and then back to Franklin Park. Because parking is so limited there, we were able to take shuttle buses to the start. Usually I’m not a huge fan of out and back courses because they make the run seem 10x longer, but I actually really liked this one.
It was still pouring rain when we got to the starting area. Kyle is such a trooper for cheering me on at all races despite the weather.
Runners lined up, listened to the National Anthem, and took off. As soon as I crossed the starting line, I got up to a comfortable pace and ignored everyone around me. I kept telling myself, “Let people pass you, let people pass you..”. It’s so easy to start a race too quickly because you’re tapered and excited, but it definitely backfires (I’ve done it way too many times!). It’s also important to not get caught up in what everyone else is doing, which is why I kept repeating to myself to let people pass me. I knew if I conserved energy now, I’d be able to push it hard towards the end.
Just after passing mile 2, I saw a bunch of coworkers cheering us all on in the rain. They are so supportive!
My first 5 miles felt pretty good. My average pace was 8:18 min/mile. There were a few rolling hills but nothing super steep. I didn’t want to waste time dodging puddles, so I just ran through them (making each sneaker weigh about 10 lb.) 🙂
Just after passing mile 7, I passed my coworkers again. Yay!
My backside 🙂
At mile 7.5, I got hit with the worst side stitch I’ve ever had. Usually I can just jog them off, but this was worse. Every step felt like a knife was piercing my side. I had to veer off to the side of the road, stop, and stretch (which didn’t help). Because stretching wasn’t doing anything, I started slowly jogging again, but knew at this point any chance of a PR was pretty much gone.
So many people were asking if I was okay and giving me advice on what to do. This is one of the many reasons I love running – the community is so supportive.
The side stitch continued through miles 8 and 9. Mile 9 was 11:07 minutes…womp womp. So not what I trained for, but I tried to not let it get me down.
Finally, it started fading going into mile 10, so I picked it back up. I was able to run the rest of the miles pain free.
The highlight of this run was seeing so many coworkers cheering for the runners. It’s amazing how seeing people you know gives you so much extra energy and happiness. It was so awesome of all of them to stick it out in the rain (plus tons and tons of other supporters! I mean the crowd turnout was huge for such gloomy weather). I also loved finding other racers who were also running in memory of my coworker. Many of them had a picture of him pinned to their shirt so it was easy to spot them.
Approaching the finish line. Absolutely soaked but in my element.
Getting one step closer to that BQ!
Burgers were served at the finish line…day made.
Even in the pouring rain, I LOVED this run! The course, spirit, how well it was organized…I will definitely be running the B.A.A. Half Marathon again, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s considering it!
I hung these very proudly on my medal rack.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!