It’s been 8 days since I ran it, but here is my Bands on the Run 2013 race report.
First, I guess, you shouldn’t be surprised that it’s been 8 days since I ran this race that I took to deliver the report because, well, that was that attitude I took towards mounting this challenge: Just as long as it gets done.
I toyed with the idea of racing the Bay of Fundy marathon on June 23 but abandoned it after we chose to move to Bangor. I got to the 17-miler week of marathon training and abruptly dropped off; I did not run more than 8 miles at a time once in the three weeks between moving and this race.
I never have high hopes for this course anyway — it’s uphill, it’s on trails, it’s during the hot season, did I mention the hills? — so I was just happy to show up. This was my ninth half-marathon and I don’t get race anxious like I used to (cue sweaty nightmares and racing heartbeat to the start line). For some strange reason, despite the fact I was pretty certain I was going to run this race, like, more than a month ago, I didn’t even register until race day.
The race was in Lewiston and, now living in Bangor, we had to leave by 5:30 a.m. to guarantee I’d get there with plenty of room for start time. I’d gone to the Bangor Brew Festival the day before and was a little peaked when I hit the sat. We left at 5:55 a.m. (Tony drove like a speed demon). Two years ago I would have died from the stress of potentially missing the race but I was very zen about it this time around.
It ended up working out fine; Tony dropped me off near the start tent at 7:30 with plenty of time to buy a bib, pee, and meet up with friends. My only folly was that I forgot some nutrition and it had been almost 3 hours between when I had eaten breakfast (the ceremonial two Pop-Tarts) and the start of the race.
I met up with my friend Steve at the start and he was aiming for a similar time to what I wanted — 1:55 — so I tried to stick with him through the race. At about mile 3 I lost him. I just did not feel the will to run very hard at that moment. I knew I could keep going but not at an 8:25 pace.
I tried to enjoy it after that. I was running through my old stomping grounds, routes and trails I’d learned to love since I was exposed to them in last year’s race. It was emotional, especially the trails on the Lewiston side for miles 9-12. This was where I used to run during my lunch hour, where I worked out solutions to hard problems or burned off steam or celebrated good news.
Final time: 2:00:32. Not my best, not my worst, but 15 minutes better than last year, which was almost the same course. Granted, last year I was coming off a marathon and the weather was SOO hot, so I think that’s a hollow victory, but … lets be honest. I didn’t want it as hard this year, either.
And that’s OK.
- The race food this year was phenomenal. They had Subway Spicy Italians with mayo on the white bread. It was divine. I had like, 500 of them.
- I usually take 3 gels during a half-marathon race and, like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t remember any nutrition for this race. I could tell that hurt my performance; Gatorade at every stop wasn’t much of a help, and I was starving at the end. I don’t think I’d ever even done a training run this long without nutrition.
- I love the bands idea of this race. I didn’t wear my headphones. I appreciated everyone around me. It’s one of the reasons why I love this race and I’ll keep coming back for it.
- I’d rather wear race clothes that are comfortable than photogenic. Does that make me old?
- I didn’t buy a shirt at the start and at the end, they had TWO SHIRTS LEFT and one of them was in MY SIZE. It fits perfectly and is my new favorite running shirt. How is that for fate?