27 March, 2011

Race Recap: Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon

Not sure if the running gods I prayed to before the race actually listened!

Yesterday I ran the Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon with my friends Tony and Patrick (Pat ran Goofy this past Jan so you might remember him from all my Disney pics!).  I mentioned in my last post that I honestly hadn't really ran in about a month.  Work, school, and India just got in the way and at most I ran 10 miles the whole month.

I knew this half marathon would be a challenge.  Not only due to the inconsistent training, but also because Sleepy Hollow is HILLLLY!  Everyone I talked to warned me about it so I was slightly nervous. 

Tony and I drove up bright and early and quickly went through packet pickup.  It was FREEEZING!  High of 40 was scheduled but at 8am, it was much lower than that.  The goody bag was pretty decent, especially for being an inaugural race: long sleeve tee, reusable shopping bag, water bottle, chap stick, protein bar, free coffee coupon, vitamin sample, and a few extra coupons and fliers.  The only thing we were slightly disappointed about was that there wasn't a Sleepy Hollow theme on the teeshirts.  We kinda were hoping for a headless horseman somewhere! :)

Stupid me didn't bring any gloves or a hat so when Tony went into the convenience store to grab coffee, I saw they were selling cheap gloves so I bought a pair.  We headed back to the car to warm up and get ready and talked with Pat to figure out where to meet.

About 30 mins before race time, we headed back to the start line and found Pat right away.  While on line for the porta-potties, we met a guy who has run Disney a few times and did Goofy the year before.  Always fun to talk to a Disney running fan!

Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon
Ready to race!
Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon
Race start under the huge flag

We headed towards the start line and got the Garmin ready.  After the National Anthem, we were off!  The first mile was a speedy blur.  Most of it was downhill as we headed towards the water so when the watch beeped at 8:45, I was amazed.

Mile 2 was still pretty speedy and beautiful right along the water.  Minus the crazy wind gusts and my frozen face, it was enjoyable!  However, my IT Band started acting up REALLY early in the race.  I had to stop a few times to adjust my IT strap hoping that would stop the pain but nothing worked.  SO FRUSTRATING!











Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon


Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon


Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon


Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon



Then Mile 3 is when the hills started. Ouch!  Was able to keep around a 10min pace though until Mile 6 when I really had to use a potty break (TMI, sorry...).  There were only 2 porta-potties and the line was CRAZY.  I knew though that there wasn't another toilet break until near the end so I had to suck it up and wait.  Mile 6 ended up being a 14+ minute mile due to the wait which annoyed me.

From there on out, I just couldn't get back in my groove.  I tried everything and just couldn't keep anything faster than an 11 minute mile.  My knee kept bothering me due to the crazy hills so that didn't help at all.

The hills!! I'd like to re-categorize them as mountains.  They were NEVER ending! There was one long, never ending climb up a highway that eventually turned around and backtracked down the highway.  Every time I thought the turnaround was coming, the hill just kept on going.  At one point I saw Tony on his way down the hill and pretty sure he shouted to me from across the way that he hated me for making him register for this race. The guy next to me laughed and commented that he hopes we're still friends after. 

Here's just a quick view of the elevation of the whole course...

Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon

My knee HATED the hills so I couldn't even pick up speed on the downhill parts.  Around Mile 10 I came to terms with myself that I just wanted to finish in one piece and to enjoy the rest of the race.  It really was a beautiful course so I tried to ignore the pain in my knee and look around a bit.

At Mile 12.5, the police on the course kept telling us that we were almost done.  Then with a quarter mile to go, there was the steepest hill we had seen yet!! REALLY?!! The girl next to me uttered a few choice words under her breath and we both laughed.  I think she's still on a hunt to find the guy that created the course.  :)

I 'sprinted' down the finish chute as fast as I could and crossed the finish line in 2:25:58.  Actually ended up being my 2nd fastest half marathon but it seemed like it took an eternity.  Glad it was over, I grabbed some water, a bagel, and banana and went to find Tony & Pat.

Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon


Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon


Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon


Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon
Started out speedy.... 
After putting warm clothes on, we headed to the bar in town and had a much needed beer or two and a cheesesteak.  Hey...I just burned at least 1300 calories and my body hurt...I deserved that cheesesteak! :) And it was fabulous!

Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon
Cold, tired, wind burnt, & in pain...but loving my Hennepin beer!

After we finished, Tony and I drove through Sleepy Hollow cemetery to take a look. Unfortunately my camera battery died so no cool pics but it was beautiful. Need to go back in the fall!

Overall it was a good race. It was my fault that I was under prepared. The hills were a killer but I think if properly trained, I would run this one again. The volunteers on the course were abundant and helpful. Always there to give an extra cheer to keep you going. The water stops were always stocked and the spectators on the course were always cheering even though there wasn't a HUGE amount of them. Loved the little kids giving runners high fives as we ran by...cute!

Now time to stretch, foam roll, and strengthen that IT Band again...*sigh* Stupid stupid IT Band...

10 comments

  1. those hills looked like monsters! good job on a tough race!

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  2. Good job on your run. It looks like it was a beautiful day for a race - great photos!

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  3. Great race - those hills look awful!

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  4. Congratulations on the race! You did amazing all considering! :-) The elevation chart looks horrible. And what do you mean you have to run a half marathon to justify the beer? My threshold is a 5K.. And the irrelevant observation: I love your running tights! What are they? I don't really wear long tights too often (gotta love the LA weather) but they do look so cute!

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  5. I agree with you .... as bad as the hills were, I would run this race again. I am glad I didn't see the elevation chart before the start!

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  6. Congratulations! And way to go on unexpectedly getting your second fastest time! Sounds like you scored on the goody bag - that's always nice.

    Just like Disney, you look so good while running. Not a double chin or funny face in sight! Great! ;) ... I'm a little jealous, dang it!

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  7. Wow, congrats on a great race! My knee hurts just looking at the elevation chart ;)

    Halloween trip to Sleepy Hollow is a great idea, too!

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  8. Thanks everyone! :)

    @melie... the running tights are CW-X Performx tights I think. They're compression tights that are supposed to help my quads and IT Bands. They usually work but not so much for this race.

    @Patrick...next year I will conquer those hills!

    @Fruitfly...haha, these were the best of the photos. There were definitely a few that I refuse to post. :)

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  9. Wow! What an intense race. The hills alone... but from the picture it also looks like the course was single-file for awhile? Good for you for doing on little training! I hope your IT band is feeling better :)

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  10. @kilax...yea, it was pretty much single file right by the water for a little bit, although you could run on the grass to pass people. IT Band is def feeling better, thanks!

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