Sunday, August 8, 2010

8 down, 4 to go

although there are really no words to accurately describe the beach to beacon 10k road race to someone who has never done it before, im gonna give you my recap knowing your experience will probably be much different than mine. but enjoy!

i went to bed early saturday night in hopes of getting enough sleep to not be a walking zombie come 6am. despite waking up every hour, i somehow felt energized and got out of bed about 5:45 to make coffee and my typical pre race peanut butter toast. ive been battling this crazy weird muscle ache in the back of my right leg for about a week now, so i used my muscle stick for a bit before doing my hair and putting on my race gear. then i had to go jump on ty to get him out of bed. he sure was excited to race! (not so much)

it was a whopping 49 degrees outside, which is crazy to think about since the past two days were some of the hottest maine has seen all summer (in the mid 90's). a perfect day for racing to say the least.

we headed over to my parents house, about 1 mile from the starting line, and met up with a few friends for our pre race photos. cant you see the excitement from ty?!

this smile must be fake...

we got to the starting line and i downed one of those new gatorade prime pre race fuel things like i had before my last 10k. not too bad, just really tasted like sugar water. ty tried it and decided he thought the prime tasted like what he thought the water in a hummingbird feeder would taste like. we all looked at him kinda funny when he said that, to which he then clarified he had never tried drinking from one. suuuuure.

i was supposed to meet up with my friends wife, heather, somewhere at the start... we were going to run together so i didnt bring my headphones so we could chat throughout the race. she and i both also wanted to run sub 50's so it would be fun to have someone there to push each other. of course my phone was blinking "low battery" so i shut it off in hopes of just finding her by the 8:00 pace sign. im sure you see where this is heading.

i checked my gear bag and of course i forgot that i didnt want to run with my zensah leg sleeves on, so the guy had to go back on the bus and get my bag so i could take them off and put them in there. this happened to me at sugarloaf marathon too, but i would have been a lot more ok with running this 10k with my sleeves on than running the marathon without my ipod that i had left on the bus. smart.

needless to say i didnt find heather at the starting line among the other 7,000 people corralled in like cattle. andrea and i stood on the outside for awhile not wanting to squeeze in with everyone until just before the race started. with about 10 minutes left to go, i realized i had to pee. and no, this was not just the "im so excited i could just pee!" pee, this was the "crap, i knew i still had to go pee and should have tried before i left the house and now its too late/the port-a-pottie lines are ridiculous and ill never make it/i know im going to get to mile 1 and feel like death" pee. so i did something ive NEVER done before a race before. post singing of the national anthem i made the trek into the woods.

did i know what to do when i got in there? nope. how far do you go in? does it matter if you can still see people out at the race line? what about the guy over there peeing whos looking right at me? i almost turned around and said screw it, ill hold it. maybe ill run faster to get to the finish. but no, there was no turning back. i was ready to pee. at this point another question came about... do i just kinda move my shorts over to the side or just pull them down completely? (seriously, this is what a runners mind is like). right then another woman came right near me and just dropped her shorts and went. i had my answer.

i returned to line and told andrea that was the best idea ever, but she still wouldnt go. not my fault! shortly there after, the gun went off and our 6.2 mile adventure began. it took us exactly 2:21 to cross the starting line (my gun time vs net time), which i figured out at the first mile clock where my watch read 7:50 and the clock read 10:11. not a bad time for the first mile (a slight incline from the start, which leveled off until mile 1). there are so many people in front of you, around you, and behind you, its just a crazy feeling. if youve ever run a big road race (like a rock and roll or boston marathon type), you know what im talking about. granted this race does nothing to compare to boston, but 6.2 miles is not a lot of road for 7,000 people, so youre constantly surrounded. and i must say, im happy i didnt have my headphones because the sounds are incredible.

despite not being able to physically leave the small oceanside town of cape elizabeth maine on this day because of the race, the town support is a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!! im not joking, i dont think there is a plot of real estate more than 30 yards that is not occupied with spectators cheering you on from both sides of the road. the young. the old. kids on bikes. families with signs. people with hoses and super soaker guns. speaker systems cranking music. its so awesome and much appreciated! there were also a ton of people with golden retrievers, so that made me smile haha.
so the first mile is a slight incline which levels off flat.

mile 1-2 was also pretty flat but we run by an ice cream store. tease!
mile 2-3 is actually a slight downhill, with a sharp hill right at the 3 mile mark. id been feeling pretty good up until this hill, and it kinda slowed my down a little bit, but i powered through it knowing the stretch coming up was downhill for a bit. plus i love the turn after mile 3.....

mile 3-4 is flat to downhill. you turn back onto rt 77 to go through the center of town and there are sooooo many people! (including my mom and brother cheering us on, yay!) music is blaring. the firetrucks are out with a huge american flag... just a cool sight (i wish i had a pic). also knowing you are halfway done is a good feeling (knowing the winners are pretty much crossing the finish line however is pretty frustrating haha).

mile 4-5 is still downhill, and youre in the shade due to all the trees. so its refreshing.

at mile 5 there is music playing and banner that reads something like "its time to jive, youre at mile 5". if youve never run this race before, its a pretty good pick you up. if you have run the race before, you know exactly what lies ahead of you, and it aint pretty. mile 5 begins a series of hills that reall kick your ass. up and down. then up again. oh youre back down but guess whats around that corner. haha another hill! and just when you see the turn into fort williams park, which you know has the finish line somewhere in there, BAM! another freaking straight up hill!! once youre at the top you have just over 0.3 miles left to go, but with very little left in the tank its hard to push it. again though, the support from the spectators gets the adrenaline going and its all just a big blur.

at this point youre not on the road anymore so the pathway isnt as much space to run on and gets kinda crowded. i got kinda stuck behind some people and it was hard to get in a groove. i saw the 6 mile marker and tried to push through but again got stuck. around the last turn i heard someone yell my name (sarah!) but couldnt see anything because i was too focused on not running into anyone and just wanting to finish. i could see the finish line ahead of me and saw it was over 51 minutes, but knew i had come under 50 due to the delay at the start. yes!! i gave one last push and crossed the finish line in 52:08 gun time, 49:47 net time.

my splits were:
mile 1: 7:50
mile 2: 16:00 (8:10)
mile 3: 24:01 (8:01)
mile 4: 31:59 (7:58)
mile 5: 40:01 (8:02)
mile 6: 47:59 (7:58)
0.2: 49:47 (1:48)

talk about consistency! im definitely happy with the race overall, and i have no idea where my PR came from last year (47:50). i must have had a few more cups of coffee pre race last year.

everyone else seemed to have a really great race day too, so congrats to them as well!! even ty crossed the finish line with a smile, finishing 1:00:34. (his goal was not to die, so yes we are glad to say he is still with us). we all had a blast post race and took tons of pics. later on i found out that heather and i ran the exact same race time, only off by one second! im seriously bummed out i didnt find her at the start :( next year!

heres me and melissa with our typical post race awesomeness pic

go maine track club!! (melissa, rebecca, donna, kevin, jamie, me)

my biggest race supporters, sarah and baby ty! (who slept the whole race. someday he will understand!)

two of my best friends from high school, vince and dan

me and dan

me, sarah, little ty, and big ty making some weird face in the background there on the left

brayden, me, and ty. see, thats a big smile! (and a LOT of sweat!)

me and andrea

ok so can we just say, this is THE cutest pic because a) i love baby ty, b) its an operation jack sweatshirt, and c) ty is playing with the hooded sweatshirt strings! which is my all time favorite weird activity. love.

mmmmmm post race cookies

these were the lines to wait for school busses to take people back to where they parked... so we decided to walk and my brother came and picked us up :) win! (although not really a win since we had 7 people packed into a nissan maxima who all smelled really really bad, haha)

but we made it back to my moms house where she had blueberry breakfast cake all ready for us, and ty had a beer. fun stuff!

i know i say this after each race i do, but i seriously cant believe my august race is over. beach to beacon is one race i look forward to every year and for it to be over already is mind boggling! im super pumped for my september race.... reach the beach 200 mile relay!!! bring it on. love this new years resolution.

some people have asked me if i know what im going to do for my next years resolution yet.... i have some ideas, one of which i know i am going to do for sure. will that be my only resolution? im not sure just yet. am i going to do this again? no, but that doesnt mean this year hasnt been awesome. i just want something different. and this year has been expensive haha.


  1. Great recap! What kind of headband is that?

  2. my headband is "Goody- StayPut". these seem to be the ONLY headbands that will really stay on my head and not fall back/fly off backwards when my hair is pulled back. they come in many colors ad i get them at my local grocery store or walmart... here is a website

  3. your pictures are awesome! and nice job on race #8!

  4. great job on the race! I would die for a race in 49 degrees right now. :p