Monday, October 1, 2012

Maine Half Marathon: The official rainy race report.

 It has been a while since I've run a Half. If my old, faulty memory is correct my last Half was my simply amazing record-smashing PR setting run at Great Bay which was in April. Quite some time ago...

Back before I hurt my leg in May I signed up for the Maine Half knowing that:
a: I love this silly race
b: it would be a great final long run before I started to taper for MDI
c: if nothing else it would surely be nicer out than last year
(anybody remember last year? monsoon much?)

The plan changed somewhat over the months. Since my running skills had greatly diminished since my July Marathon (but yes, I am finally running on a well behaved leg) I knew that running slow-ish would be smart. I also chose to add some extra miles in to make it a more legit long run, since I have done very few for the past couple of months. Gotta tell my legs what's up if they're going to slog thru 26.2 in a couple weeks after all....

The best news was that Eric decided to jump on board for his first half since GBH too, and for his longest race since his Ironman insanity. Have I mentioned that he's crazy? Super crazy. He indicated that he might want to PR at the ME 1/2 and I eagerly leaped all over that news with obnoxious gusto and grand plans for world domination.
My shirt and very lucky looking number. I do love the shirts from this race!

We had a very excellent plan involving how to run this race and allow Eric to PR like the boss of the Half Marathon.
Well. It was something like this: "start slowly finish fast"
And it was all my doing. This was all my plan. I'm a jerk face who drags people to races and forces them to run faster/longer/harder then they want to.
Yes, I am available for coaching. Excellent coaching. Accepting new clients for SURE.  HAH.
Strike one of the day: Coffee was impossible to find. Apparently coffee shops don't open until very late on Sundays. Finally, at 6:40 we obtained coffee and bagels. This would have been excellent if I had not wished to start running at 7:00.
Strike two of the day: I forgot to pack my sports bra. OH SNAP. Thank you sweet baby Geezus for making me a barely A cup. They were still awfully bouncy and totally got chafed.
Strike three of the day: It rained. Son of a beech tree.

See? Rain.
I headed out at 7:00, 30 seconds post coffee and bagel consumption. It was no big deal. I felt great, and oddly, I'm not lying! I honestly was VERY excited to run, VERY excited to race and VERY excited to be awesome. (duh!) I ran 3 miles to the start and located Eric quickly enough to waylay my concerns that he was going to hide in the shrubs until the gun went off. This seemed like a very real possibility as he wasn't quite as over the top excited as I was (imagine that! maybe he has logic and reason?)
I ate a honey stinger waffle and drank a small cup of Gatorade. Nutrition excellence at its finest (again, no lie! this shit works for me. total middleaged endorsement of said products.)
Strike four of the day: The Garmin died a tragic death. DOOM!!!!
Despite yet another strike, the steadily worsening rain, a belly full of breakfast and my flapping boobs I was still annoyingly excited to be racing. Seriously, I'm such a tool sometimes!
The gun went off and we took off at a blistering and totally unreasonable pace. I mentioned this to my running buddy and he just continued on. I completely forgot that my job was to be a pacer and, instead, was delighted with this turn of events! DELIGHTED!!! I scampered merrily along literally beaming, singing and prancing along like running was the best thing EVER!!!
This all went very well until mile 10 when I heard these horrible words in my left ear "I'm really fading...."

I'm about to offer up a fine example of why I deserve to be nominated for the girlfriend of the year award. *sigh* (on a side note: even after this debacle Eric claims that he is not looking for a more supportive replacement... like I said, he is a lucky man...)

Here is what I said: "NO YOU ARE NOT!!!!" "WE ONLY HAVE A FEW MORE MILES!" "YOU CAN DO THIS WITHOUT THINKING" "AND YOU ARE AN EFFING IRONMAN!!!!" (so quit your whining.) See? I am a very kind, loving, caring woman. HAHA!!!

To my right there was a lady with a working Garmin who mentioned that we were cutting it close but could make it if we maintained our currant pace. "SO KEEP UP WITH HER!" she yelled menacingly to my ever more cross looking exclusive running partner.

We ran on. There was no stopping! And no walking! No quitting to be had!!! It poured harder and harder and I started to shiver which made me very crabby. The last mile was not so easy and according to my watch (the kind that tells time) we were going to miss the potential PR by a heartbreaking amount of time. Bottom line though, sometimes it's just not the day to PR. I know that better than anyone as I had to fight with my 5K PR for a YEAR before I finally kicked it in the teeth.

Our finishing time was still very, very respectable in 1:53:08. And Eric was not mad that I spent 20 minutes shouting at him (or that I encouraged the 6:37 minute pace at the start... whoops!!)

I was cold, cranky and shivering so I ran back home (total of 19 for the day) and leaped into a hot shower which was very painful on my freshly chaffed boobs. UGH! Ladies, NEVER forget your sports bra. I think forgetting your shorts and being forced to run in your knickers might be a better choice. Lesson learned, time to act my age and start making lists!

Recovery was done up right with friends, pizza and beers drank from glasses roughly the height of my entire leg. Yes please!!!

So a decent race, a few extra miles (which only hurt a little...) as I work towards MDI, challenges overcome, almost a PR, and most importantly beers consumed! (and no one was injured during or after the events which inspired this blog so perhaps that is the best news?)


  1. No sports bra, ugh. I would have been mentally out of the race after I found that out no matter what size. Way to run a great 1/2 regardless. I love yelling (encouraging) people during their races, it makes me forget that I am even running. And Sunday was miserable for weather, I was thinking of all you New England racers as I was in the boring, warm mall with way too many people shopping.

  2. Ha! I was such a lovely day for a run! Way to go, you two!

  3. Ouch. Chaffed boobs. Ohhhh.... Given all of the strikes - you both did great!