Sunday, April 8, 2012

great bay half marathon

yesterday marked my 13th half marathon to date. looking back through my races, it was apparently the 5th time ive done great bay... (yes ive done this dreaded race more than once)

previous great bay times
  2008: 1:59:45
  2009: 2:01:17 (barf)
  2010: 1:58:15
  2011: 1:52:18
(why do i keep coming back?!)

this is why:
cuz im awesome.

oh wait, no... i mean:
          2012: 1:49:49. boom.

after running hyannis in february and starting off too fast, totally bonking at the end, feeling like crap, falling over (read: dying) from a calf explosion post race... i vowed to either figure my shit out so i didnt do that again (despite a major half marathon PR), or never race a half marathon again (clearly i was leaning towards option 2). since that race i have been adding in gatorade to some of my longer runs, trying to make sure i was fueling properly/adequately (beer + thin mints are good fuel, no?), and figuring out proper attire (i had major overheating issues at hyannis).

i had internal debates about my race plan daily for the past 3 weeks. i went back and forth about actually racing GB, or just running for fun (who runs 13.1 miles for fun? oh yeah... awesome people). on friday, while sitting through a respiratory conference daydreaming about upcoming GB1/2 attentively listening to all important speakers, i decided i wanted to maybe give this half a decent try. could i get a better time than hyannis? doubt it. could i go sub 1:50? maybe. could i crush my current GB1/2 course record (1:52:18)? absolutely.


car pooling was an excellent choice because i didnt have to waste gas drive alone, im entertaining (read: i talk a lot), and getting to the race 2 hours early happened to work out well since i successfully got us all lost walking to the start. yay for a mile long warm up walk! (and sorry to the poor guy that followed us: "you guys looked like you knew what you were doing". whoops. not so much)

we then picked up our bibs, sat around and complained for awhile (ok i complained... a lot...), i shared my peanut butter sandwich (see, i can be nice!), went to the bathroom, hung out with some friends i met up with...

i bet you cant pick me out... holy neon

...and then after 856 emails via daily mile and 245 frantic text messages, i FINALLY found sara (do yourself a favor and go read her race recap HERE ). arriving late, trying to check her bag with no race bib, and gawking at me downing a chocolate gu 5 seconds before the race started, she took off and, being a freakish super star, ran a 1: f-ing 36. so yeah, we secretly hate her for that (no cookies for you sara!!) jk. xo. (ill give you props for the obnoxious neon orange tank top haha)

i started out the race knowing 8:20s (ish) would get me where i wanted to finish. i forgot there were pacers on the course, and i actually didnt see any of them while i was out there. i started out fast and felt good, but knowing this course as well as i do, i knew i had to slow it down or the hills in the middle would not be my friend.

miles 1-3
8:08 (oops)

not so bad. i was pleased with my tank top and (zebra print) arm sleeves choice... the temp was cool to start but the sun (and 11am start time) warmed things up a bit. my new under armour compression capris were annoying and i kept having to pull them up but they were just right for the temp. i also ripped one corner of my race bib off the safety pin within the first mile trying to hike up the compression pants, so that was fun.

miles 4-7

the dirt road from miles like 3-6 are usually full of pot holes but this year the road wasnt too beat up and i found a nice area to run on. around every corner seemed to be a hidden hill, but there was a good downhill stretch where my watch read 7:20... hehe. i actually took the advice of a good friend who said to take the uphills slower (maintaining same effort) instead of my usual "get your ass up this hill as fast as humanly possible and figure out how to recover once its behind you" approach. i knew i wanted to also try to save some energy for the last 3 miles, and i really think this new approach worked well for me. by mile 8 i had already gone through 2 handhelds of water so i began worrying about the whole dehydration/cramping calves issue (i usually only drink one 10oz handheld)....

mile 8-10

blah. i really wasnt looking much at my watch around these miles... i stopped at all the water stops and drank like a fish. i listened to "welcome to the black parade" (my chemical romance) and "waiting for the end" (linkin park) on repeat. x10. one foot in front of the other....

final 5k

ill take it. i felt strong! i kept yelling at myself to push it. i love the out and back part of this race cuz you get to see people who are going way faster than you (good for you guys) and then on your way back you can cheer for the others (if you havent stopped to dance with the belly dancers). this race is tough up until that point but i still saw a lot of smiling faces :) i knew i had a lot of time left to beat my course time, but was also aware i was cutting it close for sub 1:50. so i kicked it up at the end (as much as i could with that damn hill before the finish).

last .22 miles (ugh... 13.22 is the new 13.1?)
  1:25... 6:21 pace.... whoops! (yay for downhill finishes)

luckily my calf seizing didnt happen (*until i went to bed last night, awesome...) so i was able to run a cool down mile. sara was expecting a beach day so she didnt have any warm clothes so i lent her mine (while i froze.... )

wanna talk about hot outfits? theres about 8 layers of clothes in this photo
(all of which are mine. all helping to keep sara warm)

343/1216 total finishers
87/637 females
16/192 f30-34 age group

to quote sara from her blog: "All my newfound friends finished right in the 1:48 range which is just insanely fast" (shes being humble since she finished, cried, grabbed her stuff, probably went to target, took a shower, then waited around for all of us to finish)... "I think they might have had a fight on the way home about who beat who and such...?" yup. were all fighting. but at least i didnt finish last.... :) "We ate pizza. Put on 1,000 layers. Drank a beer. Talked about how the internet rules our lives. It was fun." f.a.c.t.

so now that ive proven im a 22:xx 5k runner, and now ive proven im a sub 1:50 half marathon runner (by proven i mean 2 consecutive races at those times, thats the rule am i wrong?) i can retire those distances, right? perfect.

13th half marathon, complete.

and then when i got home we cooked an 18lb ham. my mom over-estimated how much ham would feed SIX people. seriously. so much ham. please come have dinner at our house. for the next 10 days.


  1. Nope - absolutely not. You cannot retire those distances. I won't have it. Seriously. I know your course was hilly yesterday but I had wind. If I pulled off that shocking time - you can do it too. I'm thinking there are at least 4 half marathons between now and September that we can pick one and run it together. Really! Pick one - Kennebec River Rail Trail, Freeport 1/2, Old Port Half, and then I just read about one around Lake Auburn. I am kind of partial to the KRRT 1/2 - if you come up (and Sarah too) - I WILL host a cookout at my house afterwards. Just sayin'.

  2. By the way - I LOVE LOVE LOVE your arm sleeves. And you did rock yesterdays race for sure.

  3. AHHHHH HAHAHAHA!!! OMG I love this post more than I love cake (which i love...) I really can't thank you enough for all your super sexy warm clothes- I'm 132 years old and still can't take care of my damn self :-)
    Tons of fun. AWESOME job rocking it out. MORE awesome to finally meet you. See you again hopefully soon...!

  4. SO AWESOME! - way to go lady! Love your zebra sleeves. So fantastic.

    My next half (half #2!!!) is in two weeks, hoping to get better than my 2:19 from before... training has been awful, but I'm hoping to get out strong. Love your positive attitude throughout and am hoping to take that on for myself. :)

    1. thanks! you can do it :) positive attitude is the way to go!!

  5. Holy speedy, congrats!!! Nice neon. And zebra :D

  6. your sleeves. jealous. and, BOOM.