Monday, May 11, 2015

Maine Coast Half Marathon: where the madness begins!

Saturday dawned cloudy and cool- just the way all race days should start!

Eric and I live about 90 minutes from Biddeford where the Half Marathon both started and finished, and where the Marathon on Sunday finishes. We could see no reason to make the crazy drive on Friday to pick up our bibs so we headed out early in the morning to make sure we had plenty of time to park and pick up all of our stuff. We arrived at 7:00 and had ample time. There was plenty of parking and picking up our numbers took 30 seconds- maybe.

Since it was pretty chilly (45, overcast) we split our time between staying warm in the car and taking pics with some of our friends. It was a great race for catching up with our athletic compatriots after a long winter! (we just can't hang out unless there is a race, obvs.)

Let's all dress in black!
There was a wave start which was a little chaotic. Luckily, there were only about 1,000 or so runners in the Half so it certainly wasn't mayhem. More of a "nobody knows what is going on" situation which was no big deal.

Not time to run yet? Take more selfies next to Jen, who has a healthy glow!
There was a lot of runner congestion for the first couple of miles so I'm sure that the wave start must have helped that. Eric and I did not have plans to push a crazy pace so having a little traffic was helpful- it was the kind of weather where one gets tempted to run too fast! (and then not be able to walk, much less run 26.2 tomorrow.)

Since we are both running Garmin-less it was another chance to run by feel instead of the clock and it went really well! We maintained a conversational pace and the weather stayed great- it might have warmed up to the mid 50's but it was about as good as it gets. The course was nice, a few rolling hills but the views were worth it. (overall- a fairly flat course, and a very pretty one!)

I had completely run out of Picky Bars- my running snack of choice so I figured what the hell- time to try something new on race day! Luckily nothing horrible happened and I REALLY enjoyed my Honey Stinger pb&honey bar (with a chocolate bottom.) Sounds delicious doesn't it? It was. And it stayed down for the win. Who tries new food on race day seriously, risky move there woman!

We basically had a solid, sensible run. We had a great time running together, we saw some friends cheering, we wondered if the Pirate aid station is manned by aid station bandits or if it is legit (we love them) and we were really curious about who wrote the numerous little signs to someone names Swiz (I believe it was swiz... we are very interested in the story behind this!)

When we see friends we throw jazz hands and... gang signs??
UNFORTUNATELY at mile 12.5 Eric's feet gave up, he had to walk and I ran away from him like a loving wife. He finished like, 30 seconds behind me so you all can see that it would have killed me to hit the pause button. We were both in the 1:54 range which is just about right! I think it would have been miserable had it been 80 but since it was not, the pace was pleasant. I really enjoyed the experience and definitely think it's a great Spring Half course. (and a fast one- LOTS of fast times out there today!)

We found friends post race and hung out in the slightly warmer weather for a couple hours catching up. I had one demure beer so that I can run tomorrow without vomiting (well, without having a beer filled excuse anyway) so Eric got my spares since he is going to save his feet for another day. It wasn't the warmest after party in the world but we had a great time!

First half of 2015 in the books. Last half of 2015 in the books (so I say now, haha)
We basically shut the party down (crazy us, it was like 12:00 at this point!) Had lunch and went home to get ready to do it all again plus 13.1 the next day. I was really pleased that my legs felt great after the mornings efforts and I felt as ready as I could be to drop another 26.2.
If only the weather could have stayed perfect....

**I know I have a few people waiting for the contest results. Unfortunately, Leslie's race did not go as smoothly as she had hoped for... As most of us who were there know the weather played a major part in quite a few health issues for runners.  Thankfully, she is fine which is all that matters! I'll have a few more details later this week**



  1. Leslie wins the contest in my opinion - I don't think I could have made it 21.5 miles in that heat/soup/clustereff of weather, especially at sub BQ pace! And I am totally with you...all I want to know is who the heck swiz is and his/her secret sign admirer!