Hey there! Nora’s mom and the other half of 2 Generations Running here posting today!
Since running the Augusta half nearly 3 weeks ago, Nora’s schedule has kept her super busy, so I thought I would do a quick guest post, and let her catch her breath.
The very next Sunday after Augusta, we tackled Stu’s 30K in Clinton, MA. Nora and I had done this as a relay, but neither of us had ever run the entire 18.9 miles! It was a lovely day, sunny and about 40 degrees, so nice for running. We decided we wouldn’t run this one together, because we were going to try to maintain our marathon paces, and Nora’s is a good bit faster than mine. (I was hoping to have an average pace of something between 9:30 and 9:15) The start of this race was pretty informal: no mat, just an air horn, and we were off!
So let me say that we knew this was a hilly course, but “rolling hills” does not begin to describe it. From the very first, it’s a constant up and down, and I for one really struggled to find, and maintain a comfortable rhythm.
I tried to concentrate on the views. There are some pretty views of the reservoir in the first nine miles, but the second half seemed to be a lot of highway with trees on one side and a brief view of the dam, until, at just before mile 18, you are back in Clinton and going up that last hill to the finish.
At this point the sidewalk was pitted and crumbling and I was tired and cranky and began to walk. Then I looked up and saw Nora running towards me and I thought, “She’s come to rescue me!!” Well, it wasn’t Nora, but another young blond runner, running back along the course to shout encouragement at all us tired runners. It helped me tremendously and I started running again and managed that last mile at 9:15, crossing the finish with a 2:56:35 at a 9:25 pace. Initially, I was a bit disappointed. I had met my goal, technically, but felt completely drained and felt that this did not bode well since I would need to do another eight miles for the marathon. But as I thought about it, I realized the course had been super challenging, and that I had run pretty well and kept it together “mentally” . Mostly. (Thank God for that young mystery runner!) So in the end, I decided, it was not a bad result, and that I had learned plenty!
And Nora did equally well, with a finish of 2:41 and an average pace of 8:35.
Afterwards, we had some delicious clam chowder and bagels in the school cafeteria as we listened to the distribution of the awards (we didn’t win anything) before heading home.
Overall, another fun race! If you have to do 18 miles, might as well do it with a whole bunch of other people and get a medal for it at the end. 🙂