Half marathon number two is in the books! While I'd like to say it was all roses and I PR'd (anything but), I did have a great time overall.
I woke up at 5:30 after a semi-restless night, dressed, ate my standard PB toast, and hurried Ian and the boys out to the car in their PJ's to get up to Augusta. I still needed to pick up my race packet and didn't know how parking would be, but it ended up being perfect timing.
Driving there, I realized that I was going to have to switch up my skirt. I was wearing my purple Target one, but it doesn't have pockets for my fuel. So I changed in the car into my ChocoFleurs Running Skirt with my new Tommie Copper compression shorts underneath. Yeah, I've never worn these shorts running, but in wearing them around the house since I got them in the mail, I knew they were going to perform fine. I got my bib and swag bag and met up with Jill, Jen, and Michelle.
|Jill, me, Michelle, Jen Photo courtesy Michelle Bouchard|
We waited in the slowest moving port-o-potty lines ever. There were only two for over 200 people, but you'd think runners would be the fastest people to go #1 and #2... Anyway, we got to the starting line in time and said good luck to Michelle who was running the 5K to be done in time for her son's ju-jitsu tournament (which he rocked...read about it here). After two misfires of the musket, the race director just had to shout go, and we were off.
Jen and and her friend Leslie were running up ahead and I kept them in my sights as we approached the trail head. It was definitely warming up quickly after some overnight rain with temps in the low seventies. I was trying to take it easy and not go out super quick like I mistakenly did in my first half, but was still running at close to an 8-minute mile pace. I was also concerned about overheating, but decided to wear my Camelbak so I wouldn't have to stop to walk through the aid stations or even wait until I got to one when I found myself thirsty.
Mile one - 8:05
I'm feeling good. The one thing that was bothering me was my Camelbak. It felt heavy on my back and I was already beginning to wonder if it really was a good idea to wear it. Running with it at a training pace is much different than at race pace. It seemed to swing from side to side a bit on my back, but I couldn't be bothered to stop to adjust it.
Mile two - 8:02 (There was no mile marker, so I just averaged miles two and three)
Mile three - 8:03
Jen's husband, Ward, was cheering in downtown Hallowell, so I got a bit of a pick-me-up here before heading up the big hill, thankful we were getting it done near the beginning.
Mile four - 8:25
My legs were starting to feel a bit fatigued at this point...yeah, I know...I still have 10 miles to go. And it was flipping hot! I knew I was going to have to take in some fuel soon. I had lemon flavored PowerBar Energy Blasts for this race. I haven't experimented much with them, but so far hadn't had any issues with any on-the-go fuel, so I went with what I had on hand. And even though I had my Camelbak so I wouldn't have to walk, I did so I could refuel without choking and cool down a bit. It got me down a little mentally because it is so hard on my legs to get moving again after I slow down. I don't think I would ever be able to do the Galloway method of run/walk. A whole slew of people passed me, but I quickly caught back up to them over the next mile.
|Still smiling! Photo courtesy Stacy Chubbuck|
Mile five - 8:56
It was at this point that I'd be looking for the mile markers, see them, and them pass them without hitting the split button on my watch, so the times from now on out are general times. Jill's husband, Wade, was manning the course with cold sponges, but saw him too late. We were close to the turn around so I told him I'd catch him on the way back.
Mile six - 8:16
Finally! I reached the Hannaford parking lot in Gardiner, the turnaround point of the race. I was thankful that I was halfway done, but at the same time we usually start and end our rail trail runs at this location, so it was tough heading back out in the other direction. At least every step I took was one step closer to the finish line.
Mile seven - 8:56-ish
I reached Wade again and he handed me a wet sponge while trying to stop a wild Scout from running into traffic. Ahhh...I tried putting it under my hat, but I couldn't get it to stay on so I stuck it on my neck under my shirt. It wasn't very comfortable so I switched it to the front...a bright green ascot sticking out of my Team Tough Chik tank. It was great! Every so often I'd squeeze it a little to get some more of the cool goodness.
I did walk again to fuel, but not before I reached Stacy, who was our personal photographer for the day.
|Can you spot the sponge? Photo courtesy Stacy Chubbuck|
Mile eight - 10:00-ish (due to a semi-long walk break at the beginning)
Mile nine - 8:45
And yet another walk break for more fuel. I was sweating more than I'm used to, so I wanted to make sure I could finish strong. I knew I wasn't going to PR, in different conditions I probably still could have, but I was trying to run on feel and run smart. I finished the last of my Energy Blasts and started running again before hitting the big hill down that leads to downtown Hallowell. A 5K to go, I've got this.
Mile ten - 10:14-ish
Wade and Stacy joined up with Ward and I got to switch out my sponge for two heavenly bright pink ones. One went on my neck and the other down the front of my shirt. These sponges were the best things ever!
There was an water station right before heading back on the trail where I passed a woman I had been leapfrogging for the last few miles. She walked a bit to drink, wished me luck, but then I walked a tad on a last blip of a hill and she passed me back. I missed the mile markers from here to the finish. I knew there was one at mile eleven because there was a water station there on the way out, but it was gone on the way back. That was okay, though, because I was using the last 3.1 miles as my 5K for Running, Loving, Living's virtual race.
I was just cruising along, trying to keep a steady pace and keep that woman in my sights. I was secretly hoping I'd have enough kick to pass her at the end...something I have loved doing since high school - hold back just enough and then kick it into high gear. My legs were toast since about mile eight and my knees were starting to ache, but there was no way I was stopping now.
Then I got to the parking lot and I saw the finish line. I saw Jen (who PR'd the course), with everyone else and shot off like a rocket.
|I've still got some speed in these ol' legs. Photo courtesy Stacy Chubbuck|
It felt so good to run fast and really get my legs moving. It was surprising given how I had just been feeling. I guess I did leave a little too much in the tank...oops, just another one of those learning things to change for next time. I do remember thinking at several points in the race that I was breathing fairly easy, but I was afraid to really push it due to the heat.
Last 3.1 miles - 27:15
Final time - 1:55:05, 8:47 pace
88 out of 175 overall, 35 out of 85 women, 17 out of 35 in AG (30-39)
A great race overall, despite slightly ugly race shirts and no medal at the end, but I was happy to run this race on such a beautiful day. My father is on the Board of Directors for the Kennebec River Rail Trail and I was happy to be supporting the organization who provides us with such a great place to run. And I got to see my personal cheering squad at the finish!
|The best family in the world! Photo courtesy Stacy Chubbuck|