Carnage on the Course: A Post in Three Parts – The 2013 B.A.A. Half

Part One(Where I tell you my tale of Woe):

So, Sunday’s BAA Half Marathon was a bit of a mess. Everything was normal to start. You know, get to the race, get your free stuff. Stand in an inordinately long line for the bathrooms until someone comes along and says line up in front of all of them. Cattle call to the corrals. Star Spangled Banner. Gun. Start running.

Then things got good. I felt great for the first 8.5 miles. The first mile was an unnecessarily fast 6:14 aided by the downhill course. But, after that I settled into a groove of solid mid 6:40s splits setting a new 5 mile and 10K PR in the process. Then, the wheels came off. I started feeling really out of it and I could feel my kidneys morph into throbbing baseballs. So, I did something I’ve never done in a race: I walked. And then I ran and then I walked. And then I ran 2 more miles and then I walked. At one point I even walked with less than a mile to go. If I looked at a reflection of myself during the race, I would have denied it was me. I crossed the finish line on the track and went straight to the medical tent, another first for me. I was the second person to go in, right after Gebre Gebremariam, which puts me literally in elite company. After taking my vital signs and asking me a whole bunch of questions which they later categorized my answers as ‘entertaining’, I was diagnosed with moderate dehydration. They had me stick around for a bit longer drinking lots of water before releasing me. I walked out to wait for Angela at the finish line sporting my snazzy space blanket that people kept asking where I got and I kept answering that it was what they awarded you when you were lucky enough to go to the med tent. But, Angela was not to be found. At almost the exact time that I was leaving the tent, Ang was arriving with an elevated heart rate that she was soon sent to the
hospital for. (She’s fine and back home, nothing serious).

I wound up finishing, even with all the walking with a 1:35:04. After being disappointed I’ve decided to be happy with it. Goals are great. I already nailed my 5K goals for the year along with running so many great races. Once I cross the finish line in Central Park, I’m going to take some solid time off and refocus on what I want to accomplish next year and then do it.

Super Low Quality Image of before I died

Super Low Quality Image of before I died

*Part Two (for those doing Google searches in 2014 and beyond on what the course is like)

Course: The first four miles are almost all downhill. Right before mile one you’re on the bridge on the Arbor Way which has a slight incline and lots of potholes. But, mostly its dead flat going around Jamaica Pond and then downhill to the first turnaround at mile 4.75. It is a sharp turn around. Then it’s a slight incline climb with variable flats until a little after mile 7, at which point the rolling hills roll more up than down. The paths through Franklin Park could use some serious repaving so watch your footing. At the next turn around (sharp turn again), the rolling hills really start to feel tedious. Entering the Zoo is also still at an incline, and then you take a narrow winding path to the top of a hill before you start a slight descent. With about a mile to go, you hit your last long, straight climb before coming within sight of White Stadium, the track, and the finish.

Part Three (Exciting Stuff)!
Lineage Restaurant in Brookline has inadvertantly become the place where my sister and I tell each other things. It wasn’t always this way. We used to just go for dollar oysters. 2 weeks ago I just wanted oysters, so I went there with my sister. But that was the day I decided I was running the NYC Marathon. So I dropped that bomb. This past week my sister lured me there under the guise of ‘just oysters’. I had my suspicions, but hey, dollar oysters. Then she dropped her own bigger bomb: She’s running the 2014 Boston Marathon! Yep, that’s right — my sister. Running. The Boston Marathon. Awesome, right? She’s doing it for out adopted hometown Team Brookline. I couldn’t be more happy for her. It’s going to be a good winter.

And, speaking of marathons and charity, if you’d like to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association when I run NY in, oh, 17 days, just click here!


About Graham Runs Boston

Bostonian running around Boston. Team RaceMenu distance runner. Oyster appreciator, beer lover, outside all the time when I can, loosely pursuing a BQ
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One Response to Carnage on the Course: A Post in Three Parts – The 2013 B.A.A. Half

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