I finished Sunday’s Fairfield Half Marathon in under two hours, shaving more than four minutes off my previous time in 2011 when I ran the morning after Mrs. Kuhl’s big birthday party with a case of the Irish flu.
Never say never but I think that will be the last time I run the course. This year I made sure to train for the hills but I realize now it’s not the elevation (pdf) — it’s the heat. There’s just no way you’re going to run a half in late June and not become dehydrated. I GUed every two miles and gulped water at almost every station but I was a wreck in the last 5K (one old lady hosing the runners by the curb told her friends, “This guy looks like he needs some water,” before blasting me). If you ran the same course in October it would be a completely different race. Although some people can clearly handle it: a friend of mine finished in 1:37, an inconceivable time for me. Then again I have another friend who didn’t finish at all. People were dropping left and right; I saw EMTs assisting a girl flat on her back before mile 4 and I heard that at the end the medical tent was so full, organizers were discouraging people from seeking treatment unless they were in serious distress. I implemented my usual recovery, which is to grab as much water as I can carry and go soak in the ice-bath of Long Island Sound. I swear that sensation makes the entire race worth it.
A huge thank you to everyone who came out to cheer, clap, hose, wave signs (“Worst Parade Ever!”), hand out water, and sweep up our garbage. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We could not run without the volunteers.
Of my four half-marathons, this was my second-best time — and only two minutes longer than my PR. I’m already looking forward to shifting into 5K mode and my first zombie race is next month.
All I need is a week off and a bottle of Advil.