Monday, March 12, 2012

Midcoast Half Recap

I am absolutely positive many people have decided to do a race last minute.  This is not a new concept.  I'm not a rock star in anyway.  I get that.  But, comparing myself to where I was just a few years ago to where I am now in terms of fitness, I am absolutely pumped that I could "win" a free entry into a half marathon one day and be at the level that I could run it the next day.

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.  



31 comments:

  1. Great race... The hill looks killer. Way to go!

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    1. Oh yes - that hill was a killer. But I've committed to some hillier courses so I better learn to take them on, right? Thank you!!!

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  2. Nice post sweetie...you totally rocked that race. Don't try to encourage me to register for that one...I think I am all set. You are going to fly in a few weeks on the runway!

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    1. So check out your timestamp - 2:39? I know you weren't on here then! :) I sure the hell hope I fly in a couple of weeks. Wouldn't that be appropriate on the runways?

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    2. Sometimes I can be witty...that was why I said fly!

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  3. I also like medals because they're so easy to post together on display, but there's something to be said about a different perk. That mug is easier to show off than a medal and people will notice it without being like "oh I see you have something around your neck today" sorry I'm a goof. Good job!

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    1. I am definitely walking around school with my mug - easier to pull off than wearing a medal, I think! :)

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  4. Great job with your last minute race! I would be bummed about no medal too and losing the cowbell. That is a serious hill for the last two miles! Love all the great pictures you got!

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    1. Ward is getting to be a pro at race photos! :) Thanks a bunch. I'm happy with my performance too!

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  5. Congrats!!! Great job on the hill too! (I need to work on that!) Have a great day :)

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    1. It's all a learning experience, isn't it? Thanks a bunch!

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  6. Great race! Looks like you did a great job and were strong on the hills by passing that many people (that always feels good too). The race looks like a great one, especially for snagging the free entry...too bad about the missing cowbell though! :)

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  7. Fantastic work on a last minute race and especial those hills down in the Camden area, been on a few of those over in Lincolnville and they are tough. Hope you are not too sore today :-)

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    1. Oh I was sore alright - yoga was much much needed Monday night!

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  8. What an insane finish!! Way to go!!!

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  9. great race and wow to finishing on a hill, but kudos to passing people on it!

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    1. Thank you! :) I would have been happy to just finish the hill - but the passing people was a nice bonus.

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  10. Love your running top, its fab. And I think the cup for the race finish ins great, more useful than a medal I'd say especially considering the bragging rights on it as well - that hill would have been the end of me !!! WELL DONE xx

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    1. I'm taking the hill as a training experience for sure! I have a few races coming up that end on hills so this definitely helps me. Loving my mug!

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  11. I love the originality of the swag for this race! Way to kick butt on those hills!

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    1. I agree - original swag is best! :)

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  12. So awesome that you won the bib just the day before running! Way to go =) And, I think there should be a rule that races should NEVER have hills at the end! Why do they do that?

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    1. I know! If my memory is correct, nothing is flat in that area anyway. So, a race there = hills for sure! Thank you!

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  13. You did amazing, Jen!! Definitely go back there to train for MDI!! (I hate hills and I want to run that marathon, I guess I'm crazy!)

    I can't believe it had 2 miles of hills at the end!! You still rocked it and you picked a great outfit. I'm glad you had fun!

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    1. Oh I'm right there with you - I'm crazy too! MDI here I come! :)

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  14. You're one hard core chickadee Jen!! I love all the pictures -- You look like a rockstar pimpin' the YMX gear:)

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  15. A two mile hill?! You are tough! I'm with Jenn-I love the YMX shirt. It looks really good! Congrats on a great race time!

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  16. Congrats on such a strong last-minute race! Love your outfit, too... I need to update my running wardrobe. :)

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