Monday, November 24, 2014

Great Osprey 10K {race recap}

Seeing that I registered for my first race of 2015 this morning I suppose I should get around to posting the recap of my last race of 2014.

A couple few weeks ago I ran the Great Osprey 10K in Freeport. I ran this race back in 2011, about 9 months after I started running again and I earned a 10K PR of 50:11. I just missed going sub-50 because I walked the last hill. You can read that recap here.

Great Osprey 10K 2011
Photo Credit: Maine Running Photos

Since then I've only run a handful of 10K races and they have been in the heat of summer when I just can't manage to race well. After three years I was due to earn myself a new personal best. 

I wasn't stressing about the race at all. I am just getting back to building up my mileage before marathon training starts so I haven't been following any sort of training plan, I've just been running. That also means I haven't done any sort of speed work. I did surprise myself with a new 5K PR in October, but the course was pretty flat. The course at Great Osprey is anything but flat. While I was pretty sure I had a PR in me, I didn't want to worry about it and would be fine with whatever the day brought. 

I did convince Jen to run it with me...though it wasn't hard. You can read her recap here. We got there at the same exact time and she gave me my birthday present! I'm already having a winning day and the race hasn't even started yet! They are really awesome arm sleeves with thumbholes and my blog name down the side! I love them and immediately put them on. It was cold!

Pretty cool, huh?

We did a quick warm up and found a place at the starting line. My Garmin refused to find a satellite. Jen has the exact same Garmin as me (only purple), but mine would just not lock on in time. Now I knew I had to keep up with her if I wanted any stats! 

The beginning of the race is a bit of a bottleneck as the course first goes on a dirt path to get out of Wolfe Neck Woods State Park, but we managed to stick together however had no idea really how many people were ahead of us. We both commented that our pace seemed fast, but it was showing just over an 8-minute pace. I needed to average less than an 8:06 pace to PR.

We passed by David of Maine Running Photos. The things he and the whole crew that volunteers their time to give the runners of Maine free racing photos is just awesome and so appreciated!

Photo credit: Maine Running Photos

The first mile came in at 7:58, so we had banked a few seconds of time here, but knew that some good sized hills were coming. I was trying to stay relaxed and get into a good groove. Mile two split was 8:20, but there was a hill or two in there. I can definitely tell that I'm a much stronger runner both physically and mentally than I was three years ago with how much easier the hills felt. Jen and I seem to even each other out, I would pull Jen up on the incline and she would make sure we keep up the speed on the declines. We couldn't talk much because we were racing, but we were working together and I was having fun!

Miles three and four splits, 7:54 and 8:11, which meant I was currently on the pace for an equal time from three years ago...though my fuzzy runner's brain couldn't figure that out at the time. I knew that we were very close. 

A little before mile 5 we hit a dirt road that was a little tough on footing as well as having an overwhelming smell of cow manure. Ugh. Once we hit the mile marker and Jen announced a split of 7:35 I knew I had a PR. I may have done a little fist pump and jumped in the air at that point. I felt incredibly strong at this point and there was no slowing me down now. David was taking more photos at this location and there was no wiping the smile off my face.

All smiles! Go Team Spandits!
Photo credit: Maine Running Photos

There was one last hill to go, the one that my brain and lungs forced me to walk three years ago, but this time I charged up that sucker and did not turn back. I did feel a little guilty at this point only because Jen fell behind a bit and I had thought I should slow up so we could finish together. 

Soon I turned into the park with a quarter mile to go. I rounded the corner to the finish and saw 49:3x on the clock and was ecstatic! Not only would I PR, but I got that elusive sub-50. Jen finished just a few seconds behind me.

We grabbed some water and headed back to our cars to get warm thinking there was no way we placed. Ward, Jen's husband, told us that there weren't many women in front of us...maybe there was a chance. We made it back just in time to hear them call the third place woman's name and time in our age group and we had faster times! We collected our medals, squealed and hugged like a couple of teenagers (hey, it was exciting!) and then headed out.

Photo credit: Running With The Girls

Final stats:
49:41, 8:00 pace
45/202 overall
8/107 women
1/49 in AG (30-39)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Next 26.2 {and a discount code}

Hi everyone! I've got some news! While I've already posted it on Instagram, I've yet to fully make it blog official, but I'm happy to announce that I've decided on a spring marathon! It's been a great year of relaxed running with racing shorter distances and fairly lax training, but I'm again ready to step it up a notch and see what this gal can do!

My choice was between two races, the Maine Coast Marathon on May 10 or Sugarloaf on May 17. While I love the course at Sugarloaf (ran the 15K in 2013 and 14+ miles of the course with Stacy as she did the full this spring), I'd like to switch things up a bit and try something new. 2015 will be a building year, and maybe, just maybe, if all goes well I might just attempt to BQ at Sugarloaf in 2016. And if I did, I would be moving up to the next qualifying time. So far, this is the only thing I'm looking forward to about turning 40. ;-)

So Maine Coast Marathon it is! Originally founded as the Nike Maine Coast Marathon in 1980, it was dropped as a Maine race in 1988. It was brought back as the Maine Coast Marathon in 2013 using the same course as those early years. A point-to-point race in southern Maine from Kennebunk to Biddeford, the Maine Coast Marathon boasts some gorgeous coastline views. It's also a Boston Qualifier!

In addition to the full marathon, they've added a few other options this year including a half marathon and bosom buddy relay on Saturday, May 9. And if you're really daring, sign up for the Maine Coast 39.3 Challenge and run the Half Marathon on Saturday and tackle the Full Marathon on Sunday!

I've partnered up with the Maine Coast Marathon and am excited to offer you a discount code for any of the Maine Coast Marathon races! So if you'd like to join me for a fun race in Maine in May (the weather is usually perfect this time of year!), sign up and enter MMOTR for $5 off your race registration. The code does not expire and is good for any race distance, but will only be valid until the races are full! There is a cap of 1000 for the marathon and 1200 for the half/relay and the 2014 race sold out in February. I expect it to fill faster than that this year, so don't wait. The early registration prices go up at the end of the year, so now is the time to sign up and get the biggest bang for your buck!

I also plan on running a little giveaway to thank those who register using the discount code MMOTR, but I'm still working out the details so stay tuned. If you do register prior to me posting the giveaway, you will still be entered and have a chance to win!

For more information about the Maine Coast Marathon, visit their website at, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

MDI Marathon 2-Person Relay {Race Recap}

Okay, finally here's my recap of the 2014 MDI Marathon weekend!

Last year I ran the full marathon at MDI (read about it here), but this year I needed a break from the training. Not wanting to miss the chance of another girls' weekend on my birthday weekend, no less, we decided to run MDI as a relay, bringing two two-person teams: Kicks Ass and Takes Names!

Front of the awesome race shirt.

I rode up with Stacy, quickly picked up our race packets, and met up with Jen and Jill for dinner. We hit up Paddy's again for some yummy eats, did a little shopping for the kids and headed to our motel for the night and a marathon of Chopped on the Food Network.

We woke up, had some breakfast (with seriously the WORST coffee we have ever tasted) and headed to the start line.We ran into Gretchen, a runner Jen knows who just did the Maine Marathon two weeks prior. She's also a genius and had a space blanket wrapped around her. It was cold and extremely windy. The good news was that the wind would be at our backs. Jen and I who were taking the first leg of the relay decided that we would keep her company. Gretchen's pace would be right about what Jen and I are capable of at this moment and it was perfect.

Photo courtesy Jen @Running With The Girls
Photo courtesy Kevin Morris Photography

We took a couple of pictures at the starting line. Last year we all wore matching Spandits!, but this year decided to show the world a variety and all wore different Spandits! Soon Thunderstruck came over the speakers, the cannon shot and we were off.

Even though it was cloudy, the views of this course did not disappoint. It was nice having the wind at our backs on one of the biggest hills. It was literally pushing us up...mid-stride I could feel it shoving me forward. If we had wings, we most certainly would have been flying. Not surprising, this was our fastest mile.

Jen and I with Gretchen right behind.
Photo courtesy James Hines

The time seemed to fly by. Chatting with Gretchen, running at a comfortable pace, and the presence of aid stations every two miles made it go by fast. Toward the end of our leg I was certainly feeling the hills. I train on pretty large hills, but nothing like this course. For some reason I don't remember all the hills on the first half from last year. And as an example, one of my long runs where I made sure to hit every big hill had HALF the elevation gain of the first half of the MDI course!

Coming into the exchange

Anyway, before long we made it to the halfway point, said goodbye to Gretchen and a quick hello and goodbye to Stacy and Jill as they took over for the second half. 

Jill and Stacy by the famous tree at mile 15.4
Photo courtesy Stacy Chubbuck

Jen and I made our way to the cars and finally figured out how to get to the finish line. But not before we made a quick stop to take our picture with Wonder Woman.

Photo courtesy Jen @ Running With The Girls

Before long Stacy and Jill showed up and we all crossed together and collected our awesome medals.

I thought this year the MDI Marathon stepped it up a notch. From the lobster claw medals to the fantastic race shirt, everything was very well put together. We even found the food afterward this year! I'm a little bummed that there weren't more photographers on the first half of the course, but oh well. I'm not sure if it will work out to go back again in 2015, but it does fall on my birthday next year, so who knows?