I have been finished my half marathon for 9 hours and I am still flying high from those wonderful endorphins. I didn't have a PR but I was certainly pleased about many aspects of my race. I have done about 10? half marathons and my time today was probably somewhere in the middle for my times. I raced it in 2:05:08 which was a 9:34 pace. I was 10/24 in my age group. And 716/1153 overall. My friend who came with me remarked at all the younger people that came in after me!
I cannot remember each mile to give a race recap but I do have lots to tell! I am going to talk about things in no order that makes sense.
My Consistent Pace
I was most pleased with my consistent miles. I often start out way too fast, settle into a pace I am going for and slow waaaayy down near the end. Today I had a small spread over all 13 miles. I swore that my last 3 miles were wicked fast. I thought I really picked up the pace and was going much faster than I had been. I was not but it was slightly faster. I guess it just felt quite different from my usual slowing down.
Here are my mile times.
1 - 9:29
5 9:16 (fastest mile - I do remember thinking it was a good one!)
10 9:39 (slowest mile - it was after this that I thought I was going wicked fast)
11 9:32 (7 seconds faster)
Here I am very pleased with my race!!
Following/passing other racers
Overall I loved the race. I felt like I passed many more people than passed me particularly near the end. In the beginning I was trying to keep up with The Giant. I would pass him and he would pass me. I got ahead of him and thought I was all set but then he passed me again. I decided he would be the guy I would follow but soon after that I passed him again. That was the last time I saw him although I kept expecting him to pass me. In the second half of the race I got behind "Rebecca" This was a racer that totally reminded me of a colleague at work. I stayed behind her and her friend for a couple of miles. Then I realized that I was slowing my pace to do so as they were slowing down so I passed on by and never saw them again. Then I noticed that I was once again by an older woman I had seen earlier. This woman was quite "speedy" (in my world) so I was pleased that I was still somewhat near her. I tried to keep her close by and managed for quite awhile although she got a bit ahead of me in the last mile. She was picking people off quite regularly as she cruised to the finish line. I tried to emulate her as best I could!
I loved the course. Hampton Beach is a fairly tacky tourist town. (sorry if you are from Hampton) so I was expecting some of the course to be pretty poor. I knew what it was like along the ocean but wasn't sure what it would be like as we looped around. The neighborhoods that we ran through were great. There were beautiful houses to look at. I do remember thinking on the fourth and fifth mile that it was going well. I was tired and must say I was thrilled when I reached Mile 7 as I was now more than half way. It was around this time that I passed Team Hoyt
. If you don't know about this amazing father/son team follow the link. Somewhere after this we rounded a curve and we were back on the ocean. OH MY GOD! It was so amazing and beautiful. It was a clear sunny day and it was just so beautiful! We were running along the ocean, some of the time on a cliff looking at the waves pounding on the rocks below. There is nothing like the Maine coast!
Some of the view was obstructed later by an ugly cement wall but you could see beyond it to the ocean. I loved the final miles along the ocean. I was in heaven! I didn't have that dead feeling that I have certainly had in other races. I totally felt like I could keep up my pace for the remainder of the race!
There was good traffic control but I didn't get the feeling everyone in those cars was glad to be waiting. There were 1200 racers spread over quite a distance and some cars were waiting a long time. I so appreciated the volunteers. The prettiest part was actually a little sketchy traffic wise. We were running along the shoulder with cars right next to us. Passing other runners was a little tricky. Not many people could be beside each other.
The spectators were great. There were many enthustiastic people all along the course. I'm sure most were there to see people they knew but they so kindly cheered for all of us! Thank you!
I worried a lot about this. But I must say my running in cold cold weather in Vermont totally prepared me. I felt like it was rather warm. The temperature was around 33 and windy. I felt like we were running into the wind much more than having it with us. But most of the time I felt just right. I was worried I had too much on but I found myself zipping my hoodie up tighter to my neck several times. I wore compression shorts under lightweight pants, a long sleeve tech shirt, and my favorite lulumon hoodie. I wore lightweight gloves and a very light headband. I would say the outfit was a WIN
So the start was cloudy (see above) but most of the race was incredibly sunny.
Emily on the other coast
I did find myself thinking of my daughter running on the Pacific Coast at the same time
and each time I did it brought a smile to my face! I wondered where she was on her course and how she was feeling. I wondered what she was looking at. This was a bonus fun part to my race.
The organization of the race overall was quite good. This is huge for me. I can't stand a disorganized race and will usually not go back. The race hotel was okay. Parking was a huge pain. We had to park a ways away and taking all our luggage (tons) out this morning with no late check out was a pain.
I know I know what kind of a geek comments on the bib. But it was a cute one and totally matched my jacket. The shirt is good because it is a woman's cut and fits! I like the medal. Everything had The New Hampshire Marine Memorial Statue
on it which was where the race ended.
Then of course there is the feeling that you can eat whatever you want after the race because you have earned it. (Somewhat like the right to shop!) I can't eat right after a race but give me a few hours. What is a trip to the Maine Coast without a trip to the Maine Diner for a lobster roll!!!
So all in all a huge win! I LOVE RACING!