So… I did it! I ran a gorgeous seven mile race.. and actually enjoyed it! Last Sunday was the New Balance Falmouth Road Race, as I’ve mentioned on here a few times lately. Will and I were able to spend a beautiful weekend down on Cape Cod before the race, a perfect end-of-summer get away before the craziness of the fall season starts.
The beginning of the weekend was spent resting my legs, enjoying the beach (you can’t go to The Cape and not hit up the beach!), checking out the race expo, eating lots of great food, and even enjoying a surprise late-night swag bag delivery to my room!
Thanks for the swag NB! Race day outfit — Absolutely in love with these running shorts, despite being nervous at first to run in them! After buying them (I bought them in 2 colors), they quickly became a regular in my running outfit rotation.
Race day began with an early start. With 12,000 runners, I knew I would have to get to the drop-off area for shuttle buses to the start nice and early. I was up at 5:30 am for coffee, some breakfast, and a little walk along the beach to get my mind ready. My biggest problem here was timing– eating my breakfast at 6 am with the race at 9 left a much bigger gap between eating and running than I’m used to. I made a rookie mistake with this one, not bringing a snack with me to the shuttle bus to have about an hour before start time. Because of this, I was hungry before the race even started. Womp womp. If I do this again next year, I’ll know that even if I feel full after breakfast, I should bring a small snack with me to the start line, as sitting around hungry for an hour before race time does not bode well for a good race time!
The gorgeous area around the starting line
Anyway, the starting area of the race was absolutely beautiful, which was a perfect preview of the rest of the course. The first three miles of the race were pretty shaded, along narrow streets with repeating rolling hills, plus a gorgeous stretch up to a classic New England lighthouse. The final four miles opened up along the coast and made for some breathtaking views — there were a few times I just wanted to stop and take a picture! Starting out, I felt pretty good despite being hungry. It was hot that day, about 80 degrees and mildly humid. The shade throughout the first few miles helped though, and I actually felt excellent throughout the hilly section. My splits were a little bit slower than I wanted at that point, but I figured that I would speed up a little bit once I got to the flatter section of the race.
One of the first wonderful views, heading up to the light house — and the only time I took my phone out to snap a pic.
Boy was I wrong. Once the course opened out onto the flats along the coast, the shade was 100% gone, which left the sun beating down directly onto the runners. It definitely could have been worse, but the sun was not my friend that day. Throughout almost the entire race, my legs felt good and strong, I just could not physically make myself move any faster. I saw Will and my good friend Amanda at about Mile 5.5 which did give me a bit of a boost, but I nearly hit a wall about 5 minutes after seeing them. Around the 10k mark, the heat really started to get to me, but I was able to finish strong, and my legs even felt pretty good with the final big hill that sits right before the finish line.
I ended up with a time that was not what I was hoping for. At 1:10:44, I was a little disappointed seeing as my best training run time for seven miles was 1:05. Despite the slower time, throughout the race I was confident that I had trained well — my legs felt great on those hills! I really think it was the sun, heat, and my food mistake that did me in. I’m still proud of my time, since I’m a very inexperienced runner, but I know that if I do this race again next year, I can do better!
Overall, the race was awesome. The course was beautiful, and the fans along the course were full of energy which definitely helped me through some rough points. There were people playing live music, some great signs, and just a ton of positive energy to help the runners through. If I get the opportunity to do this race again next year (and I hope I do!), I will definitely jump at the chance. And not only was the race itself awesome, but the entire weekend was great as well. The town of Falmouth had an adorable little downtown area where Will and I enjoyed some wonderful meals, and New Balance had some great events set up throughout the weekend to keep runners pumped up for race time. The best thing about the Falmouth Road Race is that it’s not just a race, it’s a whole community event with a lot of history and pride surrounding it, and it’s something that I’m proud to say that I’ve been a part of!
And now it’s time for a photo dump. 🙂
5:30 Sunrise on race day!
Pre-race beach selfies of course
Will took these pictures along the course (I’m not in here). Look at that view!
Done.. and happy to be done!
Mile 5.5… A happy High Five, a creepy blown kiss to Will, and some smiles!
Disclaimer: New Balance provided me with my bib number and provided lodging for the weekend, as well as the goodie bag mentioned above. I was not otherwise compensated by New Balance for this event or for my training. The decision to train and race was my own, as are all opinions about this event.