I'm feeling impatient right now. I have a terrible habit of starting my stopwatch after I've crossed the starting line or stopping it after I've crossed the finish line. My inability to hit that one little button at just the right moment often leaves me sitting at the computer refreshing CoolRunning for hours on end until I finally see my net race results. With that said, I know I PRed at today's Hyannis Half Marathon, the first race in the Cape Cod Half Marathon Trilogy.

It hasn't been the greatest week to end with a hard half marathon. I had a last minute business trip cut into my usual running schedule, which would have been fine if I hadn't tried to make up for the lost miles by running faster in the little time I did have to run. But no excuses. I was ready to PR at this half marathon. I was shooting for 1:40, which is 3:12 faster than my old PR.

On the drive down, my husband was asking how I ever found a race in Hyannis in February. I answered how not! Hyannis is probably the biggest race we've got going in New England until Boston Marathon. He still didn't quite believe me... until we got there.

Hyannis is not just the half marathon, but also a full marathon, marathon relay and 10K. It's also not just a race, but an expo and massive party. The event is hosted by the Hyannis Sheraton Conference Center. We arrived about an hour before the start to get my bib number and shirt, use the lavatory facilities in the Sheraton and stroll around the expo to some tunes. My husband was also thrilled to see Dunkin Donuts supplying fresh free donuts. I challenged him to eat a donut for every mile I'd run, but he didn't accept. Probably a good thing, even though I may have considered it myself at one point. Just not fair watching everyone eat donuts right before I had to run!

About 15 minutes before the start, I tore myself away from my husband and the Dunkin Donuts, and headed over to the crowded starting line. I lined up around the 8 minute mark to ensure I didn't start too fast, but we were asked to push back 10 feet about 10 times to fit all the late comers (and slower starters) in to the starting area. At least I didn't have to worry about being cold. I couldn't move an inch in any direction.

Just a few minutes passed 10 am (half hour after the marathon start), we were off and running! I crossed the start line about 20 seconds later to be greeted by a huge crowd of onlookers on either side of the street. It was exciting to see so many faces out on this nice crisp winter morning. We made our way through the streets of Hyannis and headed out toward the sea.

It was a crowded first few miles. I didn't bother to dart around too many people to save energy, but I tried to keep the pace steady, even and strong. Some people blew by me at mile 2-3 and I made a mental note to catch them later.

Around mile 3 I realized that I hadn't seen a mile marker. They're not the most noticeable markers, which was actually fine with me. I can't overthink my running when I don't know what mile I'm on. I did spot my a marker at mile 4 and was right around 30 minutes. I was happy with my pace so I kept it and started running along the water.

Many of the sights are beautiful in Hyannis. Not every mile has you seaside but you'll have your fair share of ocean views and spend most of the other miles running along quiet streets. That said we had to run with traffic at almost all times and we did have to run along a couple of very busy streets. It wasn't bad but not ideal.

Around mile 6 my legs started feeling stiff. I knew I should have rested more this week but it is what it is.

I welcomed the slight uphill and downhill stretches later. There are no big hills, but a few good slopes. It's just enough to keep you on your toes and engage some of the other muscles that were along for the ride. On these hills I was able to catch a few dozen people, including some of those who passed me at mile 2. :)

By mile 9 I just wanted to be in the double digits already. I was tired and my legs were ready to rest. I zoned out as best I could until I saw that happy # 10!

5K to go! That's just two laps around my house! I picked it up and lost the small pack of runners who I'd been drafting for a couple of miles. We made our way along the residential streets back toward the hotel and ran along some welcomed downhill stretches. I needed all I could get because I couldn't forget that this race ends on an incline.

More spectators started coming into view. I was at the last mile. Some guys caught up to me and I did my best to stay with them even though I was ready to puke. I just kept chugging along, focusing on my stride and maintaining my pace. I wanted to save a little bit in the tank for the last 1/4 mile.

After coming around one final turn, the finish area was ahead. Lots of spectators waiting. Lots of runners also ready to run the next leg of the marathon relay. I was glad not to be running the marathon today, but the race organizers and volunteers did a great job starting the half marathon, marathon relay and 10K all together. I was never once confused about which way to run, and appreciated the crowds at the relay handoffs - just enough to give me a boost.

Now it was time to run. The final stretch. I made a sharp turn into the hotel parking lot, trailing one woman I desperately wanted to catch (but didn't) and powered my way up the hill. My husband got it on video, which was kind of cool. I spotted the clock at the finish line at 1:42 even. No 1:40 today but I still broke my old PR of 1:43:12! My net time would be faster, which I will hopefully know very soon, but it's a PR anyway.

And when it was all over, I finally got that donut. :)

Thanks for the great race, Hyannis! See you at the Johnny Kelley Half in May!

Update: I finished in 1:41:23 - almost two minutes better than my old PR. YAY!


02/28/2010 15:29

Great job, Robyn!!


03/01/2010 05:39

Thanks Juan! I'll have to get you running this with me next year...

03/01/2010 10:13

Juan's running career is over. Hung 'em up.

03/04/2010 17:31

Nicely done Robyn! You're gonna rock Providence! We'll have to try to find each other for a celebratory beer!


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