The Allstate Boston 13.1 half marathon was this past weekend. I ran this race last year, so I had a sense of what I would be working with. My overall impressions last year were that this race was organized very well and getting in and out of the race site was very easy, the course was on a super flat road along the ocean which can be pretty, yes, but I personally found it more boring. After running along the water (which makes up the bulk of the course), there were a couple of trails that definitely weren’t big enough to accommodate the number of runners trying to get through, but overall a good race. I’ve never repeated a half marathon race before, but the timing was right this year to get a half in as part of marathon training and this race worked out for my training schedule.
The race was organized just as well this year if not better, I’m glad they changed the packet pickup location since last year’s was less than ideal. It was just as easy to get to the race location, get parked, and get to the bathrooms – all good things. The weather was great, temps in the 50s and sunny blue skies. The course itself was changed a bit, all for the better if you ask me. This year they put runners on a different trail much earlier into the course and it was a pleasant surprise, a much larger trail too which was actually really nice to run through. I was definitely happy when I noticed that! Then it was back onto the pavement for the rest of the course where local music performers were playing throughout the route. Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers took part in the race, and for each runner that finished before either of them US Road Sports is donating $10 to the One Fund which I thought was a nice touch. Also, Big Bird was there cheering us on. The finish line at the race is what you would expect, medals, waters, and there’s a celebration afterwards where you can get a free beer (I never stay for those since it usually involves crowds and long lines. I prefer to go have my own celebration. And sleep.)
Personally, this was not my best half physically or mentally. To start, I was doing it as part of a bigger training plan, so I was coming at it with a different mentality. Also, my training has been focusing more on increasing my distance, not my speed, and that definitely showed. I finished in 1:50:59 and my PR from earlier this year is 1:47:53. I started out at a 7:50 pace out and that felt normal but I could tell I would not be able to maintain that pace for this one. Actually, I didn’t really start to feel good until mile 6, up until then it felt like a constant push. The point was to finish it, which I knew wouldn’t be an issue, but I’ve done better.