Sunday, October 26, 2014

Running a Trifecta - Race #2

The Hartford Half Marathon is done and it's onward to the next of three races for this trip.  I'd been dreading doing these two races on back to back days, but I felt surprisingly good after finishing the Hartford race.  I had walked back to the hotel, taken a quick shower, and then checked out of the hotel to get on the road toward Newport.

My drive from the airport near Providence RI was hurried and I paid little attention to the scenery on my way to Hartford.  Now, as I drove back to RI, taking a slightly different route as I headed toward Newport, I wasn't in such a hurry and I could enjoy the beautiful fall leaves, which were in full color in many areas.  This is a dense hardwood forest region and the colors ranged from yellow through deep red.  Beautiful!

After living in Texas for so many years, it's easy to forget how close everything is in New England.  I very quickly found myself driving across the bridge into Newport.  I skirted the downtown area and very soon arrived at Second Beach to pick up my race packet.  The wind was sharp and cold as I stood in line to get my packet.  Now I just had an easy, short drive to the Comfort Inn near Easton's Beach, where I will be staying for two nights.  I had a great corner room with partial view of the water and several little restaurants within walking distance, including a coffee house.

As soon as I checked in, I walked across the street to the Atlantic Beach Club for an early dinner so that I could chill out for the rest of the evening, get off my feet, and recover/re-hydrate before the next morning's half marathon.
Dessert and sparkly to celebrate post-Hartford race

It was nice that the Newport race had an 8 AM start; even nicer that it was starting right across the street at Easton's Beach.  As soon as I arrived at the start line I immediately found our small group of Half Fanatics. The wind still had a bit of a "bite" to it, though it promised to be a gorgeous day, perfect for running.  I'd saved my "space" blanket from the Hartford race and used it to keep warm until the race started.

Half Fanatics/50 Staters at the start line
One of the gals in our group - Sandy - started out with me, but decided she wanted to go at a little bit faster pace, so I found myself running along by myself until about mile 3 or 4, when I caught up with a young lady I didn't know, but fell in with her.  She was struggling a bit, and I could tell she wanted to slow down, so I stayed with her for the  next 7 miles chatting and encouraging her to keep her mind distracted.  Her name was Lisa and she was from Pennsylvania.  I enjoyed her company and it kept my mind occupied as well.  Nothing hurt after yesterday's race in Hartford but my legs felt leaden and heavy with so little recovery time.

Running with Lisa somewhere along the route between
miles 7 and 9

The route was gorgeous!!  It took us past the harbor, through a park, along the coastline for miles, then past the major mansions including The Breakers and others.  Simply stunning!! Eventually Lisa confessed that she could no longer keep the pace and didn't want me to slow down for her, so I told her how much I enjoyed running with her, wished her a good finish to the race and pulled ahead of her.

The spectacular race route; data from my Garmin GPS watch

As the route turned away from the coast and entered the mansions section, I caught up with Sandy, who had slowed a bit, and we ran the last 3 miles to the finish line together.

With Sandy and our finisher medals at the finish line
I did it!!  I ran a Double - two half marathons on back-to-back days!  And I really was none the worse for wear, surprisingly.
Newport Half Marathon finisher medal

I had tucked some money into my pocket and on the way back to the hotel I stopped at the little coffee house and bought a cappuccino to take back to the hotel room with me.  I was in no hurry, since I was staying another night at the Comfort Inn.  I took my time getting showered and dressed.  I was meeting a friend who lives near Jamestown for a late lunch at the Atlantic Grille.  We had a great meal and got caught up on things, since it had been a while since we'd seen each other.

I was tired, but I was also "pumped" that I'd done what I wasn't sure I could do.  And nothing hurt, no major aches or pains.  I felt great!  Later that evening I walked down the street to a Subway shop and picked up a sandwich for dinner, then crossed the street to a liquor store and bought a small split of cava wine and had a celebratory dinner.

Next up:  Drive to Burlington MA and spend a few days visiting, shopping, sightseeing before the third of three races in the Trifecta.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to you for doing the back to back races. You are awesome!!