This past Saturday, I ran the Cape Cod Marathon Half for the first time in its five-year history. The weather was looking good into race weekend, and it certainly did not disappoint. I woke up to overcast skies and temperatures in the 40s with minimal wind–pretty much perfect running weather conditions.
I struggled the night before with what exactly I wanted to wear for maximum comfort. I tend to sweat a lot and run hot when I run; for some reason the 40s was making me feel cold, and I was nervous about wind since we would be running along the water. I made the call to wear shorts and a tank top, with arm warmers and gloves. It wound up being the perfect choice! I kept the arm warmers and gloves on for the whole race.
Since the start and finish of the race are literally about a three-minute walk from my house, I slept in as best I could and walked over to the start about 25 minutes prior to the gun. It was SO NICE to not have to wait in porta potty lines and stand around for too long! I had worn a throwaway sweatshirt that I stashed right before lining up.
I opted for no headphones for the race, since I’m trying to focus more on how my race “feels.” I was worried I might miss my usual half marathon playlist, but surprisingly I didn’t! My plan was to rein it in during the first 3 miles (about 10 seconds slower than my goal pace). My splits for miles 1-3 looked were 8:08, 8:05, and 7:56.
The course is one I have run in my regular training schedule many times, so it was kind of like putting on a comfy pair of sweats! 🙂 I passed my husband and kids spectating at about 1.25 miles. I fell into a groove, pretty much sticking with the same group of people for most of the race.
The course for this race is absolutely gorgeous. If you’re looking for a fall half marathon that is well-run and has a beautiful course, the Cape Cod Marathon Half has your name all over it. It starts at the Town Hall and then heads toward the water, where it follows along Nantucket Sound out to Menauhant Beach and then turns around and follows almost the same way back. I never take the beautiful view for granted, and it makes running 13.1 miles that much easier when you’ve got great scenery!
Miles 4, 5, and 6 were 7:58, 8:00, and 7:53. I felt like I was in a good holding pattern. I just wanted to hit 10 and know that I could push a little harder for the last 5k depending on how I felt at that point. Miles 7, 8, and 9 were 7:50, 8:02 and 7:45. You hit mile 10 when you’re about to circle back around the harbor.
There was a girl in front of me who I was trying to stick with, and she definitely helped me press on for the last few miles. I finished 10, 11, 12 and 13 in 7:56, 8:04, 7:48, and 7:51 I crossed the finish line in 1:45:17 (8:02 average pace). I was secretly hoping to dip under 1:45, but I’m super happy with the time and the new PR. I won’t deny playing the whole game of “If I just pushed a little harder in the last mile, I might have snuck under.” However, I’m thrilled and it gives me motivation for the next half!
I LOVE the medals for this year! After donning the medal and a space blanket, I headed through to grab a pumpkin donut and some popcorn before walking home. A big thanks to my fellow Falmouth Track Club members for putting on an awesome race! It continues to grow each year, and it always sells out. Put it on your calendar and sign up when registration opens! 🙂