Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Another month, another half-marathon!

In the least unflattering photo of several taken during the race, I'm about to cross the finish line.

It was a few days ago now. But this is to note that I ran in and finished the half-marathon version of this year's Manchester (N.H.) City Marathon.

The race, held Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, attracted 344 entrants for the half-marathon of 13.1 miles, vs. about 200 for the full 26.2-mile marathon.

In a race this long, most of my effort goes into carefully pacing myself so as not to become hobbled prior to finishing.

The Manchester course contains quite a few ups and downs, and I have to be very careful not to overdo it on the downs, as this is where bodily stress accumulates fast.

Also, there's a short section of trail running in Livingston Park, which is beautiful to look at, but can trigger problems as my feet hit the rocky surface. So I take it especially slow during that stretch.

But I did manage to keep stride the whole time, not stopping once. I finished at 2 hours, 43 minutes, and 41 seconds, for an overall pace of 12:29 per mile.

That was good enough for 323rd place out of 344 finishers, which is a victory for me in the sense that avoided coming in dead last.

It was my slowest half-marathon yet, but the silver lining is that afterwards I felt only minimal soreness in my feet, ankles, and legs.

After two half-marathons in the last month, could I be building up my ability to run longer distances?

And could that possibly lead to trying to run a full 26.2-mile marathon one of these days?

Time will tell.

Next up: an attempt to add Nevada to the list of states in which I've run a minimum of 10K.

I was hoping October would allow me to add Vermont, but a flat tire and other misadventures during a swing through the Green Mountain State prevented that from happening.

And also, I find I've been missing races in N.H. towns that I could still use.

Just this past month, 5K races were run in Walpole and Holderness, two towns I've wanted to get for a long time. Grrrrrr.

I used to rely on for race listings, but a recent "upgrade" to the site has rendered the "upcoming events" much harder to use and a lot less comprehensive, apparently.

However, the site still carries results of races, which is how I found out about the ones I missed.

So I'll have to reverse-engineer the process, reviewing results from this year and then searching to see if the race will be run next year.

No one said this was supposed to be easy. But sometimes it's harder to find out about races than actually run in them!

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