Hangover Half Marathon
The Hangover Half was run on an absolutely beautiful New Year’s day—I think it was in the high 40s and sunny—which is why, in the below pictures, you might see me running without a shirt. Please understand that I don’t normally do that—I try not to be “that guy” who feels the need to run shirtless for any (or no) good reason. But the weather was so nice, and my run was going so well, that in a moment of impulsive judgement I decided to go ahead with it. (That is me back behind the guy in the yellow with my shirt still on.)
The Race The course started by the SUNY RACC building; we did a counterclockwise loop around the tennis courts, bringing us back to the start; then we wound our way through the SUNY campus to the State Office Campus; the course then took a series of turns from the outer loop to the inner loop and then to a turn around near the start.
As I started I had no intention of pushing my pace. I had had a lingering tightness in my calves, so I thought that I might go out cautiously. I followed this plan until I realized how good I felt: so why not pick it up a bit? By the turn around at mile 6 I was not only feeling good, but I was also getting a bit overheated. So I kept my Buff headband and my gloves on, but shed my two shirt. I actually meant to keep my short sleeve shirt on, but the cool air and my endorphins lead to my decision to leave it behind.
It wasn’t until mile 10 that my legs really started to feel tired—my toes, especially, were beginning to hurt. I knew that I would have some blisters after I was done, and I was right (though they weren’t that bad). I ran the long final straightaway with a few other runners, and saved myself for a strong push. I tried to finish in the 1:30’s it proved a bit too much for me, and I finished in 1:41:04, which is still a PR. And, to make things even better, I did all this on not much training. Compared to the first half marathon where I became injured and could barely walk afterwards, this race left me tired and sore but definitely nowhere near the pain I felt the first time. I will chalk this improvement up to three things: most importantly, better form and better shoes (or less shoes, to be specific). Running in a more minimal shoe forces you to be conscious of your form, helping to save your hips, knees, and leg muscles. Also, Katie and I had built a really good base from the summer and fall; so even though our weekly mileage is low, we are still in great shape—enough for both of us to have PR’d races throughout the late fall and winter.
So here is some of the video from the run. The only place you can see me is briefly at the end (minute 10:00) when the winner, Tom O’Grady, finishes. I’m the guy passing Tom in the background with no shirt on. I’m crazy—I know.