An 8 mile recovery run, or a cool down that I didn’t get a chance to do after the half marathon yesterday. Felt alright, the big blister on the bottom of the left foot being the biggest source of pain. This summer of heat and humidity seems to have gotten me into good shape, as this post-half marathon felt almost less taxing than after some of this summer’s brutally hot 5k’s.
As I mentioned yesterday, this new Rochester Half course was very hilly, the toughest half marathon course I’ve experienced. There were 5 steep hills – a couple that were at least a 1/4 mile long – that I remember, and probably a couple more that I forgot. There were a couple steep downhills, but it’s the uphills we remember.
The most memorable uphill came at around 3 miles, unexpected, when I was starting to get into a groove. It was the kind of hill where you had to cock your head back to see the top. When I got to the top – about 200 yards – I felt taxed and this early in the race, I was concerned. Was able to gather myself and utilize the summer training to get through the rest of the course, including a stretch of dirt/gravel trail around mile 11. With all the hilly interruptions throughout the race, I was pleasantly surprised to see the clock around 1:17 when I finished. Finishing 9th felt great, as the competition improved greatly from last year.
I felt really bad for the full marathoners as they had to basically do the half marathon loop twice. Definitely not the best course for BQ. I think the race organizers will get lots of thumbs down for this new course and may have to go back to the previous one. The new course didn’t really add anything – certainly not more scenic as the organizers promised – except for the hills.
For me, how I ran the race suggests my fitness is good right now, that the painfully hot summer races are paying off during these cool fall ones.