Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope you had an amazing weekend, I took the weekend off of drinking and eating out and I have to say I felt very refreshed and relaxed coming back to the office on Monday (which is the opposite of how I usually feel!). Today, I want to share with you my recap of the Seacoast Running Festival North Shore Half Marathon that I ran with my very good friend (Hey Emma!) two weekends ago.
For starters, we signed up for this half on a complete whim. We were a little bored at work one day and stumbled upon this half that only cost $30!! Since races are usually in the $50+ range we signed up for this one immediately. We both live in Boston but luckily Emma has a car so we were able to drive out to her parent’s house the night before in Boxford, MA and drive the 25 minutes down the road the next morning to Salisbury Beach where the race took place.
We are both planning on running Fall Marathons (Me=NYC, Emma=Bay State) so we thought this would be a nice way to get us back into training mode and put us in a good position to start marathon training (EEK!!). I did a couple of long runs before the race (8,9, 11 mile runs) and thought I was in pretty good shape overall to be running a half. Yes, I’m slightly over my normal weight right now but I’ve been running at least 4 times a week, attending difficult run club practices and incorporating spinning, yoga, and weight lifting a couple times a week as well. I took the week off of running June 5-12 because I was in Norway on vacation but since I was hiking and quite active the whole time I figured this wouldn’t be too big of an issue. Basically, I figured this isn’t going to be a PR effort because I am nowhere near in that shape (1:52 min Half PR) but it would be nice to break 2:00…boy was I in for a wake up call with this race.
We had a 6 am wake up call, chowed down on 2 pieces of cinnamon raisin toast with some PB and were out the door by 6:30 am. We got to the boardwalk at Salisbury Beach a little after 7 am so we had a full hour to grab our bibs, hit up the restroom a couple of times and chat about how excited we were for the race to be over. I wouldn’t say that either of us were completely dreading the run but we certainly weren’t looking forward to it. I think the cool breeze and overcast skies tricked us into thinking it wasn’t THAT warm out and neither of us looked at our phones to see that it was 90% humidity. I think even if we had, we wouldn’t have realized how drastically that was going to effect our performance levels.
The race start was pretty well organized, there were also a 5K and 10K simultaneously being run. We all started together and I would say there was approximately 350-400 runners overall at the start. There was a 2013 Boston Marathon Survivor who spoke to the group of runners before we took off which was really nice and wonderful to hear her story.
Pre-race pics are always so much happier than post race ;). Also, I use Snapchat A LOT so expect to see many, many pictures that have obviously been used on Snap.
The race started a little late around 8:10 am. It was fairly flat for the majority of the 13.1 miles. There were a couple of slight inclines but in general we lucked out with a flat course. The first 3 miles, I felt completely OK. I tend to start off slower in my runs and increase speed as I move along. My BIGGEST running fear is starting out too fast and then DYING mid-run. I was running most of the long training runs in the 9:00-9:45 min per mile range and I was doing so on tired legs, without days off etc.
Splits for first 3 miles: 8:57, 8:58, 8:58
And then…the humidity/heat hit me and it was all down hill from there. I can’t really explain how badly I felt beginning in Mile 4 until Mile 13 basically but I was not in a good place. It was a very, very, discouraging few hours. Miles 4-7 also coincided with ZERO water stops which added to my pain/discomfort level. Instead of slowly picking up my pace and passing runners in front of me, I found myself being passed every few minutes. At one point, I actually thought that I might finish last and be the last runner on the course. My legs simply would NOT move.
Splits for Miles 4-7: 9:14, 9:26, 10:16, 10:14
These 10 minute miles felt like I was running through feet of mud or sand. There were definitely some tears and I thought many times from mile 4 through 7 that I was just going to call it a day and walk back to the car. I really think the only thing that got me through was knowing that Emma would be super disappointed in me if I didn’t finish and so would I. So I kept going.. I gave up all thoughts of breaking the 2 hour mark and simply just focused on getting through each mile and FINISHING the race.
Splits for Mile 8-13: 10:27, 10:26, 10:10, 10:24, 10:51
Around Mile 9, I was pretty confident I was experiencing Heat Stroke because I was shivering and had goose bumps all over my body. I walked a bit throughout those last 5 miles but never stopped moving..and somehow after 2 hours 9 minute and 5 seconds of pain I crossed the finish line.
Average Pace: 9:51/mi
Overall: 132/230, Female: 55/124, Female 20-29: 26/40
Not my best race, not a personal record, not a fun day, but I have to say I am pretty proud of myself for finishing this race and living to tell the tale :). One of my favorite running bloggers, Janae from Hungry Runner Girl has posted in the past that it is these crappy/difficult runs that make you stronger and make you a better person and runner overall. So I’m going to focus on getting stronger, running faster, training harder (in the 80+ Summer heat), and kicking ass in the 2017 NYC Marathon. You can’t dwell on a bad day, you just have to move forward and focus on the next one. Thanks Emma for being an amazing friend and running partner, she is way faster than me and is hoping to BQ (Boston Qualify) this year so expect to see a lot of her running stories on here too!
And thanks to Emma’s mom for these beautiful flowers to take home with me to Southie!