On Sunday Joe, my uncle John and I met the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club buses at 5 am to head to Utica for the Boilermaker. This was our second time running it. Last year we missed it because we waited too long to sign up so this year we were sure to sign up early. Utica is about an hour and a half from Albany so taking the bus was a great idea. We got to relax and sleep a bit for the ride rather than worry about driving. The other great thing about taking the bus is that HMRRC already had all of our packets so once we got to the start we didn’t have to worry about packet pick up.
Once we arrived at the start we headed towards the bathrooms and looked for some of my Strong Running Mama friends that were running too. We easily found them and a lot of other friends from Albany that were there too. We all posed for some group pictures, wished each other luck and headed towards are corals.
|Strong Running Mamas Pre Race|
With so many runners (I think I heard that 13,000) had registered, they have to do a coral start. I guess the corals were by estimated finish time although I don’t remember entering that when we registered but it was quite a while ago. The coral that Joe, John and I were in didn’t cross the start line until over 6 minutes into the race. The announcers were saying that at that time the lead women were already past the 1 mile mark- Amazing!
Once we past the start I tried to find my pace which was difficult the first few miles because of the crowds. Finally I found my groove and before I knew it I was at the dreaded golf course hill. The last time I ran this race I was about 6 months post-partum and it was a ver hard race for me, although I did have a lot of fun. I remember hating this hill so much. This time, no problem, I charged that thing and loved every second of it. It felt so good to be able to do that. The best part of that hill was the downhill that followed. I was cruising for the next few miles and had some sub 8 minute miles!
While the race had started out overcast and with temperatures in the 60's, the sun came out halfway through the race and the humidity was really high. Around mile 7 the humidity hit me. I was still running fast but I felt like I was running in slow motion. I was drenched. I just tried to keep holding onto my pace because I knew if I ran strong the rest of the way I could PR. Those last 2 miles felt longer to me than the first 7 but eventually I crossed the finish line. My garmin said 1:18:47, my previous PR for a 15K was 1:19:25 at the 2011 Stockadeathon, so I was pretty sure I had it but wanted to wait to confirm with the official results before getting too excited. Regardless I was proud of my time and had a lot of fun on the course. There were so many great bands and DJ’s and the crowds are amazing. Utica knows how to put on a race!
After crossing the finish line I grabbed some water and a popsicle and looked for my friends and Joe. I found Sheila and Felice and eventually the rest of the crew. The ladies were driving back to Albany so Joe, John and I headed back to the bus to change and enjoy the post-race party. We had so much fun listening to the band and enjoying the free beer. We kept running into more people we knew too. Around noon the party ended so we headed back the bus and back to Albany. It was nice to get to spend the day with Joe running and having fun for a while after. He had been away the week before so it was a nice together for us. Plus on the bus ride home we found the official results online and I had in fact PR’d - 1:18:42!!!
|Joe and I enjoying post race beers|