18th Annual BOSTON PREP 16 MILER Race Recap

Isn't it amazing how one little thing can completely turn something awful into something great?

As I said earlier this week, I was not even a little excited for the 18th Annual BOSTON PREP 16 MILER. It has been bitterly cold and windy, I have been feeling super low energy, I've been eating very poorly, and this race looked hard.

But, I was already signed up and I hate to waste good money (plus I had already arranged to stay over night with an old friend who I hadn't seen in ages who loves right by the race) so I headed to New Hampshire Saturday night.

I have been running for more than 10 years, but I still get intimidated at races. Everyone else just looks like such a serious runner. I figured since this was billed as Boston prep race most of these people were Boston qualifiers. AKA they were all going to leave me totally in the dust and I'd be running alone.

they all looked so hard core
There was no line for bib pick-up, so I grabbed my packet right away and headed straight for the bathroom line since I had already downed 2 coffees and a water. In line, I checked out the loot. We got a nice technical long sleeve shirt, a pedometer, and some really cute gloves.






I huddled inside the warm gym until the very last minute. It was COLD. I woke up to an email from the race director saying that with the wind it would feel about 1 degree. Anyone in shorts or a singlet would be pulled off the course.

Just the 5 minute walk to the start was enough to turn my toes into ice cubes. I couldn't feel my feet the first 20 minutes. We started uphill which I actually didn't mind because it warmed me up fast.

My  surprise came at mile 2 when I ran into a former Reach the Beach teammate, Michele. There was just something about seeing a smiling, familiar, friendly face that totally turned my day around. We didn't run together the whole race, but we were always within a minute of each other so we could keep exchanging encouragement.

Michele and I post race

The race actually went by fairly quickly, which was a pleasant surprise. It was hilly, but the hills didn't bother me as much as I expected. The most brutal hills were from miles 10-12, which is a hard point in any race. But I stuck to my 4 minute run, 1 minute walk plan for most of them. I only had to take one extra walk break on the steepest, longest hill.

Even though it was really windy, it was also sunny and the course was pretty. We went through a lot of rolling farmland and forested area. And the views from the tops of the hills was pretty spectacular.

oh you know, just a FEW hills

The only bummer was that I wasted nearly 5 minutes with a bathroom break. I skipped the port-a-pottie at mile 4 because there was a long, and by the time I hit the second one at mile 10, there was no way I could keep going. There were 5 women in front of me and I hopped around trying to stay warm. But oh well. I really was just running this as a long training run and my time didn't really matter.

Michele and I ran the last 3 miles together. And, I wasn't alone as I had feared. There was still a good group of people around us and we exchanged encouragement on the last few hills.

I crossed the line in 2:41:11, which if you subtract the bathroom break means I ran a sub 10 minute/mile pace. That's all I could ask for, especially considering the hills.

As soon as I crossed the line, I headed straight inside. I changed into warm, dry clothes and then headed straight for the food. I wasn't hungry yet, but the warm soup and coffee was calling my name. I grabbed some snacks for later and then downed 2 cups of soup. It warmed me right up.

oh chicken noodle, how wonderful you were

 The last thing I did before heading out was go print out my results on this cool little station they had set-up. You just typed in your number or last name and it immediately printed out a little paper with your race results. Such a great idea!!

every race should have this
 Overall I feel like the race was really well organized was hugely helpful in getting in a challenging long run that will really help me in my marathon(s??) this spring.

Comments

  1. LOL, I cannot believe they had to say anyone in shorts or a singlet would be pulled off the course. LOL! Only the hard core!

    So happy it ended up being fun and that you ran in to someone you knew!

    I love it when races have computers where you can enter your bib# to get your time on site!

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