Oof, what a mixed bag this race was…
After Boston, I thought to myself – well, there’s no way that conditions can be worse than this. Then leading up to the Cape, the weather forecast went from perfect to a friggin hurricane on the way. Really?…that would’ve been awful, but thankfully the storm held off until the following day. The weather was fairly temperate, but ranged from fairly-windy to stupid-effin-wind-windy. Better than 90 though, so I can’t really complain.
The first eight miles went by at a solid clip, with minimal issues except for a slight pain in my butt. I’m not sure where that came from or what caused it, but for the most part it didn’t bother me. Six of the first eight miles were into that “fairly-windy” headwind. Not too noticeable at the time, but likely contributing to some late-race wear down.
Probably one of the toughest things to endure was running alone the entire time. No headphones (not that I ever wear them anyways). No pack of runners to tag along with. No one that I could trade places with and do some drafting. During that first eight miles it seemed like maybe a pack would form, but I ended up being the “lead” runner (not actually leading) without ever being able to enjoy the benefits of the pack. Some of those middle miles became pretty tedious.
From mile 8-24 I received a steady diet of hills. I handled the majority of those miles well, but I began to slowly unravel from mile 18-21. Mile 22 was a struggle, but not nearly as ugly as 23 to the finish. And just when I had begun to really unravel, the winds picked up tremendously. Those final miles are all along the coast, and the head wind was just…well, it f*****g sucked. At one point during those final ~4 miles there was a crow circling me. And not long after that a relay runner ran by me and said, “c’mon buddy, follow me and I’ll handle the wind!”…thanks, but that was too little too late at that point. Seemed like an unintentionally cruel joke.
In the end I finished in 3:25:20. I’d like to be happy about that, but I can’t say that I am. It was a tough course with tough winds at times, but I can tell that something was missing. I will do a lot of things differently the next time around both in training and during the race. I call that a learning experience. A painful one.
Also thought I’d mention – what an awesome course. Very few, if any, “boring” sections, and the run along the water was pretty amazing with waves from the oncoming storm already creating a bit of ocean spray. Even while hurting I was able to find some enjoyment in that.
Here are some pics:
By Patrick Bugbee