ING Hartford Half Marathon: Complete

October 15, 2011

After starting in March of this year, I wanted to set (what I thought) was a semi-impossible goal: run a half marathon this year. After a few 5Ks and a cancelled 10K, today I was able to sock away basically the perfect-for-me performance on my first half marathon in Hartford.

We got in a bit early because we were concerned about the road closures. That gave me more than enough time to get read. I forgot, though, I didn’t have a coffee! We tried to go up to Dunkin Donuts in two locations but… alas, no coffee. How is this even possible? I took a few caffeine Sport Beans instead.

Got up to the starting line and I wasn’t as nervous as I usually am. The last two months of training have been complete trash. Work travel wreaked havoc on my training so I probably should have been a bit more nervous than I was.

Off the start, felt great. The first few miles were amazing. It really hit me that running is such a unique sport. Yes, there is a first place, second place, and third place. But all the runnings, logistical staff, and residents all support the runners. Even in little old Hartford.

I knocked out the first 5K at a pretty easy pace that was a lot faster than my race plan. I was lucky to really add to that over the next 7 miles or so. At about 10 miles, we were coming out of Elizabeth Park and I had to fight a little hard for those near 9 minute/miles. But I was able to hold it together and get it done. I fought by a few groups of people and tried to really turn it on toward the last mile.

I knew that I was going way faster than my race plan which had me getting in at between 2:15 and 2:20. I didn’t click my watch to the actual time until I only had about .75 mile to go. I realized I *might* be able to sneak away for sub-2:10 but I didn’t quite have it in me. I fought all the way down the hill and into the arches at 2:10:43. I was ecstatic with that time.

This was my first half marathon but I was really impressed with the race logistics compared to my other races. ING did a great job of getting the crowd excited, almost all of the water/Gatorade stations were well staffed, and there were a ton of signs and ING staff/volunteers at our disposal. My wife was also happy with the overall organization and it wasn’t too boring for her given they have a 5K and a Half Marathon. She had more than enough to watch.

This November I have a 10K and a 5 mile road race. Then I have a bit of downtime (will probably pick up a few small races) before what may be one of my A races which is the Ragnar in May in Cape Cod.

Thanks for everyone’s support while training, running, and organizing for this race!