The hardest part of doing the race was trying to figure out what to do with the kids. Ward was supposed to do some work for his accountant on Sunday. I told him to just go later and that I wanted him to go and support me. He told me that I had already committed to my run with the girls and I shouldn't back out of that. Really? He wanted me to not do a free race? Then, Stacy came over to show off her super awesome Specialized Dolce (I am incredibly jealous!) and then totally convinced Ward that he should just got to work a little later. She is much more persuasive than I am, obviously.
The day started off with my Garmin doing a little freak out. I did charge it the night before, but when I took it off the charger, the time was frozen at 8:27 pm. Umm... not good when it's 6 am. Ugh! So, I reset it and then it started flashing "low battery at me". Nice. Real nice. Thankfully, Ward picked up this incredibly handy little solar charging device at the eStore on Friday. This solar charger is incredible. You can plug in anything with a USB. I tried it out on our drive to Lincolnville. We started out in Gardiner with 30% battery and ended up in Lincolnville with 95% battery. I'd say this charger rocks! It's going to be a lifesaver for Reach The Beach for sure.
The race started out at the Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville, Maine. I had never been to the winery until Sunday.
If you are unfamiliar with Lincolnville, it's just outside of Camden. It's a beautiful area. Actually, I landed my first teaching job in that area and Ward used to work in Camden. One of my dearest friends actually used to live in Lincolnville. Tucker and I made many trips to her house for playdates before they moved out of state.
How many races have you started at a winery?
The venue was absolutely breath-taking inside and out.
The volunteers were so kind and helpful. They had my bag ready for me when I got there. No problems at all. In my bag, I had some awesome goodies: a mandarin orange GU, hand sanitizer, and a cowbell with the Lincolnville 13.1 logo on it. I think. You see, I didn't take a picture of it (mistake #1) and I thought it would be awesome if the boys would shake the cowbell for me when I came through the finish line so I gave it to them (mistake #2) - now the cowbell is no where to be found. The boys blamed each other, of course. I know, it's just a cowbell, and I shouldn't be upset about it, but it was awfully cool to get one in the goodie bag.
I found a daily mile running pal of mine and her group of girls and we chatted for a bit. Then we were directed to head on out to the starting line. The walk/hike to the starting line was a bit far in my opinion. I did get the opportunity to talk to a nice lady on the way out. She and I were talking about our goals and I shared that I was hoping for an 8:30 pace and then she said she was hoping for a 7:30 pace and then said she "wasn't a real runner". I kindly let her know that is most definitely a real runner if she's doing a half marathon in the first place and shooting for a 7:30 pace makes her an awesome runner. As we were waiting for the race to begin, I happened to see Ward and the kids head up the left hand side (and I was standing on the right hand side) so I quickly went over to his side - I didn't want to miss any photo ops. But after the race started, I came to realize he saw me on the right hand side and he switched sides so now I was on the wrong side! As soon as I spotted him, I darted over to him. This isn't the greatest starting picture, but who really cares. He captured the moment and that's what matters!
Yes, I went with outfit A.
I do need to say that weather.com lies. Big time. It said 36F at the start and rising to mid 40's during the race and no wind. Not true. It was 30F at the start and when we got in the car to leave, it was 36F and there were some pretty strong winds at times. Thank goodness I went with outfit A because the short sleeve shirt and shorts would have been a bad mistake on my part.
When I was checking out the race website Saturday night, I didn't see water stops mentioned at all. So I made the decision that I was brining my camelbak with me. Best decision. I had a place for my fuel and I got to sip on water whenever I wanted and didn't have to walk through the water stops. I love that thing. I brought with me a Tropical Fruit Shot Blok pack that I cut in half and a Peanut Butter GU. Around mile 4, I ate three of the shot blocks, then around mile 8 I ate the other three. It was also around mile 8 where my IT band started screaming at me. It did bother me for the next mile or so, but then became distracted by the huge hill at the end and forgot all about the IT band. Just before the final hill, I did eat my PB GU.
Apparently I took too long running the 13.1 miles because on my camera I had a series of shots like this of my cheering squad. Next time I promise I'll take a couple of minutes off of my time.
Check out this big ass hill in the end. Yep, the last 2 miles were up hill. That is why I took that PB GU. I needed all the help I could get at that point. What's even better is that I actually passed 5 people on that final hill.
Love all of the shots!
Final time - 1:50:17/ 8:25 pace & placed 77 out of 156. I'll take it, especially with a 430 ft gain.
As I crossed the finish line, I spotted some delicious blueberry/coconut muffins. Those were to die for. The nice guy at the table let me know that the post race food was inside. I heard it was quite a spread - soups, breads made by a local chef. But since Ward needed to get to work, we took off immediately.
We did stop at the corner store really quickly to grab some pizza and chicken fingers for the cheering squad and myself. I was famished.
I was a little bummed I didn't get a medal at the finish line - because I'd really like to add more medals to my incredible medal rack. But I did get a cool mug. Simple but awesome bragging rights on the back where they posted the elevation.
Check out the last 2 miles. Seriously? I did that?
I now know where I can go for some more challenging hills for MDI training.
All in all, this was a great race. I loved the challenge of the course and the small field of runners was especially nice. All of the volunteers were polite and helpful and the swag was fun. The only downside is that it really wasn't spectator friendly - or for Ward and the three kids anyway. We can't have everything, right?
After running this race, I can tell you a few things about my race strategy. I don't have one. I need to get better at this. Mile 1, I totally flew down the hill. I did run it too fast - 7:13 pace. But I did hold strong for the next three miles with a bunch of 8 min miles. But then the hills got to me and I had a 9 min mile and a bunch of 8:30/8:45s. Lots of hills and no rest. But if I can pull off a 1:50 with hills and no rest, I am so excited to see what I can do with zero hills at Race the Runways in April.
And my Photo Of The Day for Sunday was Someone you talked to - look above and you'll see my cheering squad. I definitely talked to those fine kiddos. I love them and Ward for coming up to cheer me on.
I missed my running girls for sure. I am definitely looking forward to our normal run next Sunday.