Happy Monday! I’m resting up after a great race day at this year’s Hyannis Half Marathon. I signed up for the race on a whim after last year’s was canceled due to the apocalyptic snow, and I couldn’t be happier that I did. The conditions were perfect–sunny and in the mid-40s with the only downside being some strong wind off the ocean.
J and I drove down the night before the race and treated ourselves to a hotel room–nothing like a solid night’s sleep before a race in a cozy king-size bed! The race doesn’t start til 10 (hurrah for winter running), so I got to sleep in and chow down on my favorite pre-run bread with peanut butter and banana before we scooted out the door around 9am. We took a quick swing by Marylou’s (seriously the yummiest flavored coffees) and then were at the Cape Code Resort and Conference Center a few minutes later. The parking lots were full but all convenient to the start, and the registration area was also packed but decently easy to navigate. There’s no bag check, just like at the Harwich Half, so luckily J was able to grab my last minute layers as I headed out to the race.
My brother A, who running Boston this year after re-qualifying at last year’s race, decided to come down and use the race as his long training run and offered to pace me. I was hoping to PR so he and I decided we would aim for a 1:40 finish as a reach goal, while I assumed I would drop back and aim for a 1:45. After squeezing our way into the 8:00 minute corral, we were off! The course runs along shared/open roads, but there were plenty of volunteers to keep things running smoothly. Especially considering the half, full, relay, and 10k all share the the same course, this was super impressive!
I didn’t take any photos while I was running since we were maximizing time and pace, but there were some gorgeous views of the ocean and pretty rolling hills throughout the local neighborhoods.
Thanks to A’s expert pacing and patient encouragement, we kicked things off with a few 7:30 miles and were able to keep that pace up pretty much throughout the race, with a few slightly slower miles in the middle when the wind was really strong. It was definitely a challenging pace for me to maintain, but I think the speedwork I’ve done over the past few months really paid off.
Despite having to drag myself mentally through the last few miles, I really feel like I left it all out there and was thrilled to hit a new PR of 1:40:27, which brought me in 36th in my division! It’s nuts to me to think that just a few years back I ran my first half in 2:15. Guess race number 8 (my lucky number) did the trick!
After the race we grabbed some snacks and drinks (there was a nice selection bananas were the only GF edible option) and then returned to the hotel for hot showers before lunch. I’ve never gotten a hotel room for a race before and it felt super duper luxurious–despite the fact that it didn’t have the hot tub I was hoping for. Ah, well. After a quick stop by Palio Pizzeria in Hyannis (highly recommend for gluten eaters and non-gluten eaters) we were back in the car for the easy drive back home.
Overall, this was a great race experience and the conditions could not have been better–judging from my Facebook feed, there were PRs happening for lots of my running friends. Can’t wait to be back on the Cape soon for my first Ragnar in May!
Now, off to spend some quality time with my foam roller…