Monday, April 7, 2014

great bay half marathon

well... as usual im having difficulties sitting down to write this recap. yesterdays half marathon was my 19th half marathon, and my 100th lifetime race (well, official race anyway- i had thought i had done my 100th race sometime last year but looking back i had counted some races that werent really official races... so this one was it!) despite this being a huge milestone in that regards, and with all of the runs ive done, i still get nervous before races, and still have trouble finding the right words to say how it went. id love to be all "great bay half- i ran fast and took lots of pics. and they say "a picture says a thousand words" right? so rather than write out all the details, heres thousands and thousands of words about what a massive PR feels like. the end." buuuut i wont do that.... so heres how it all went down.

a few months ago when we registered for this race, ty and brayden had decided they wanted to train and do it also. this made me so happy... ty has been doing the beach 2 beacon 10k with me for a few years now but never anything more than that distance. they both trained well and i was excited they stuck with it (it helped that ty bought new shoes, compression socks, running clothes, gu... man this is already an expensive sport, now were doubling it as a running family!) anyway, along the way kristal also decided she would join us... making this her third half marathon, and three half marathons with ME! im clearly a great influence!

sadly brayden couldnt come back from his job in time to run with us, and i was worried ty wouldnt want to do the race without him, but he still did and even said he was excited! (not excited like im excited, but to know he was still wanting to do the race made me smile). kristal came over to my house just before 8am and we packed up and headed out. the race was about an hour or so away and had an 11am start time... this can be tough to figure out nutrition, but i liked that we were able to sleep in (and hen slept til almost 7am!) this also gave the day a little longer to warm up, which was nice. original weather report showed a high of 52 degrees, but when we got there it was certainly not warm, and the wind was brutal. lovely.

every year i do this race they change up some part of it, whether its the start, the course itself, or the finish. this year was no different, but it was by far the best overall situation we have had in all of my years racing it. the parking, packet pickup, start line and finish line were all in the same place! no more parking in one spot, getting the shuttle to the pick up, walking to the start, finishing in a different place.... it was great. we sat around and got ready in the car, went and picked up our bibs and tshirts (super easy), and hit up the port-a-pottys (no lines!) before getting in a warm up mile. i wanted to make sure what i was wearing would be ok (it was), that i picked the right shoes (i did, brooks launch), and i ran about a quarter mile at pace to feel the effort. i think im ready... (am i? nerves kicked in for sure).

lets do this!

ty wasnt so sure

after kristal finished her last half marathon, i had given her a fellow flower. she and i love to complain to each other about this and that, and i felt the "no excuses" purple flower really hit the nail on the head for her. i already had the "believe" flower, and we decided to wear them to the race. we got lots of comments on them! (and saw a bunch of other people wearing fellow flowers too!)

ok so anyway... onto the race! i lined up with the 7:30 pacer (what am i thinking?!), a girl sang the national anthem, and we were on our way. i had originally thought the start line was uphill, but we actually went the other way/downhill which was a nice surprise. i quickly found a good groove and settled in, staying close behind the pacer. i saw ahead of us that we were going to be taking a right hand turn (this first two miles were going to be new to me since they had changed up the course) so i headed to the right side of the road. a few small quick hills brought us out into a neighborhood, some turns here and there, and just like that we were at mile 1. another few turns and we were back out onto the main road like previous years, a steep hill, a sharp downhill, a turn onto the main road and then off into the woods after mile 2 where the 5k splits off from the half. 

mile 1: 7:31
mile 2: 7:35
mile 3: 7:27

seeing my mile 3 time surprised me, but i felt like i was running strong. i had set my watch to read overall pace, knowing i was trying to keep it under 7:45 ish. my original thought for the day was trying to get a 1:43... i knew this course well (and knew it was tough) but also knew that my training was going well and i felt like i could do fairly well. was 1:43 a lofty goal? maybe. but i was willing to give it a try, and if anything felt off or painful, i was ok to back down. this wasnt my ultimate A race, and i didnt want to compromise that with this run.

shortly after mile 3 i lost sight of the pacer. this got me a little worried but i thought it was odd since i was still seeing 7:34 overall pace on my watch. i didnt realize until about mile 10 that i had thought the pacer was a 7:35 pacer and not a 7:30 pacer. oops. mile 4 had a pretty good set of uphills, and right before mile 5 was a steep downhill that i flew down. i knew my heart rate was up but i felt great. the road had turned into a slightly damn/muddy pot hole filled road (as usual) but i just kept watching my footing and trucked along. back onto the road at mile 6 i felt really good, and happy to have cement back under my feet.

mile 4: 7:49
mile 5: 7:37
mile 6: 7:46

the first 7 miles are pretty much a steady uphill climb with rolling hills, and then two mega hills before mile 8. i had forgotten about the 2nd big hill that came, but i just maintained effort to get up, knowing the rest of the race was pretty flat (from what i felt like i remembered anyway... which was wrong, but oh well haha).

mile 7: 7:29
mile 8: 7:45
mile 9: 7:40

shortly before mile 9 i felt pretty barfy. i had taken a gu prior to the race, and felt like i needed one by mile 3 (this has never happened before, usually im ok til at least mile 4). i took another one at mile 6, thinking i would take a third around mile 10 or 11. i never ended up taking that third one and just continued to drink my water/gatorade mix in my handheld and eventually the feeling subsided. it was pretty warm out at this point, but the wind helped keep me cool. as we went through a water stop one of the volunteers told the woman in front of me that she was the 11th female overall. i looked around me and i was all alone, and thought well... then that would make me 12th female? i didnt think that was possible, but it kinda helped push me along through the next mile. around 9.5 you turn left onto a road that leads you out into an out and back neighborhood. usually when i get onto this road i see many of the first 100 or so runners coming back towards me to the finish... i almost got to mile 10 before i saw anyone. i assume the first two guys i saw were the race leaders. and i made it to almost mile 11 before seeing any women... so all of the top women were on the loop, which was only really about a mile long. wow.

mile 9-10 was tough and my time reflected that (the wind was relentless!!!), but when i got to the last 3 miles left, i wanted to give it all i had. sadly i think i started my push too soon (should have waited til mile 11 maybe)... mile 10-11, although fast, felt really tough, and mile 11-12 showed that. i grabbed a cup of water at the water stop before mile 12, and then pretty much told myself to suck it up and just go finish this damn thing. i knew i was going to go sub 1:48, knew i was most likely going to go sub 1:45 (i dont do math very well during races), and i wasnt about to give up now.

mile 10: 7:57
mile 11: 7:20
mile 12: 7:46

shortly before mile 12 i saw kristal on her way out to the turnaround. she looked great! as i turned off the road towards the finish, i looked up the road to see if i could see ty, but knew it was probably too soon. i thought about him a lot during my race, knowing he was probably cursing me at each hill (haha oops!) but really hoping he was doing ok. two final straight up hills towards the finish and i knew i was almost there. i saw 1:38 on my watch and for a second thought i might be going for a sub 1:40... is this really happening? there were times out on the road where i wasnt sure the legs i was running with were my own... a very surreal feeling throughout the day. with about a quarter mile to go i passed a girl ahead of me and never looked back.
mile 13: 7:30

downhill fast finish, and i felt strong, smiling through the finish line...

 0.16: :59.8 (6:16 pace)

ended up being 10th female finisher and 1st in my age group!! i think im still in shock... i know that i have been training hard for my marathon (5 more weeks! eeeeek!) but i really did not think 1:40 was a time i was capable of for a half marathon. am i surprised? kinda... but im starting to believe in myself a lot more and my confidence is building. this race was absolutely what i needed to jump start the next 2 weeks of training, and then im onto race prep/taper!

kristal came in right behind me with a blazing fast new PR, sub 1:50! so proud of her!!

and ty came in well ahead of his goal time, despite some major hamstring seizing issue and knee pain. ugh... lots of icing and foam rolling in his future (and we took a nice family walk this morning to shake things out). SO PROUD OF HIM for doing this race! and he said to me last night "ive always been proud of you and respected what you do with your running, but after today i definitely have a new found respect for what you do. i absolutely could not (and would not) get to the 13.1 mark and say "yay! i wanna go run that distance again!" hehe. overall the race was a huge success, and i really enjoyed the new course. maybe one of these years those two mega hills will just magically disappear.

i think this pic and his facebook status say it all about how ty feels about half marathons...

quite the comedian

happy finishers!

barf. and those down hills (all two of them) are no joke either!

lots of prizes for the age group win!

half marathon #19
lifetime race #100

official time: 1:40:11
1st in age group F30-34
10th female overall
65th out of 635 total runners


  1. My favorite sentence of this post: "but im starting to believe in myself a lot more and my confidence is building." ... congrats on going out, not doubting yourself and seeing what you're made of. You've come a long ways and you're a fast runner now.

  2. Great great job my super fast friend! I saw that hill at the start and thought " wow that's a sucky start!" lol Glad you were going the other way.

  3. Wow! You are amazing! That BQ is totally yours, I just know it.

  4. So freaking awesome! Way to kick some ass! Congrats to Ty, too!

  5. Running a 1:40 is god damned exhausting! Awesome job :-) This bodes quite well for your BQ....!

  6. Oh, one more thing. Didn't you just run a 1:43 half on a treadmill.....??? How on earth did it escape you that a 1:40 was within reach? You are so silly! Time to start listening to me and my predictions for your finishing times because I'm clearly better at it that you ;-) (but dude, all you have to do (and you know this) is look at numbers you are throwing down in training. the numbers don't lie... the numbers say you are fabulous....)

  7. Great job! I love that tweet!

  8. Wow, amazing!! You are soo speedy!! Congrats!!

  9. CONGRATS! That was a great race, loved reading your recap!