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Great Bay Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Newmarket, New Hampshire
United States
50F / 10C
Total Time = 2h 16m 49s
Overall Rank = 837/1174
Age Group = W40-44
Age Group Rank = 49/92
Pre-race routine:

Drove down on Saturday with a good friend. We headed over to check in, got my number and the t-shirt and then headed to the hotel in Portsmouth. We met Sally's twin sister at the Portsmouth Brewery for dinner. I got to have smoked tofu with veggies and rice noodles - perfect pre-race dinner for me. Back to the hotel and in bed by 10p.

I didn't set the alarm because the race didn't start until 11a. I figured we would wake up when we woke up and get out the door when we did. We went downstairs and had the breakfast buffet (a scoop of scrambled eggs, juice, some fruit and a tiny danish). I grabbed a bagel to eat about an hour before the race start. Packed up the room and headed over to Newmarket around 9:45. Sally dropped me off at the Elementary School (about .25 miles from the start line where all the port-a-potties were) and went to park the car.
Event warmup:

It was a beautiful clear day but pretty windy. I went to the side of the school out of the wind, but still in the sun. I was wearing a tank top for running, and a throwaway sweatshirt to keep me warm at the beginning - really helped.

About 10:45 we all started to move to the start line. Everyone kind of huddled around trying to stay out of the wind. The start was for both a 5K as well as the half...with about 1500 of the runners doing the 5K and 1200 doing the half. Sally came back to the start after parking the car and gave me a last minute hug. I think she was more nervous than me.
  • 2h 16m 35s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 26s  min/mile

The run started off pretty well. It was very crowded at the beginning - seriously, I live in a town of 5000 people, to see 3000 at a race start is almost overwhelming! I was following the "run 9:30, walk :30" plan. For the first three miles, right as the :30 walk was done, I would hit the mileage sign. That was the pace I wanted for the first half of the race.

After the fourth mile, I ate a gel and started hoping for an aide station for water. Around the 5mile mark, I started getting ready for the :30 wal...but saw the photographer and didn't want a picture of me walking, so I ran through and walked a little later. I noticed around the 6 mile mark I was getting slower but really didn't have a lot more to give. I tried to push it on the downhills - but it was a rolling course, so not a lot of downhills. I also tried to have my gels when I knew I could get water, but the timing was not how I would have liked it - I think I'm going to have to carry my own water to make sure I can stick to *my* timing, not the availability of the water on the course based on my pace.

Also about 6 miles in, the chafing started on my left underarm (my usual place. I forgot to pack Acquaphor and paid the price). By the end of the race, I couldn't put my arm down (and had a hard time sleeping that night due to the tenderness).

It was really windy - a couple of times, I had to hold my hat down so it wouldn't blow off. Part of the route is right on the water - and the wind was REALLY whipping up off the water.

Around mile 8, there were three significant hills up - lots of people walking. I tried really hard to stick with the 9:30 run/:30 walk. It is interesting to me how much easier it is to walk when others are walking around you.

After mile 10, you do a quick out and back in a subdivision which was the only time we got to see other runners - which I liked. Final push into town, up a steep hill for the final .25 down to the finish.

By mile 12, I was really hurting and knew my pace was really much slower. For the last mile or so, I kept thinking about how I have run this distance quite a few times and running it at home, I don't have a problem. It is hard and I am tired by the end, but I keep going and don't suffer to badly for the rest of the day. For the last two races, I have suffered at the end and really been uncomfortable the rest of the day and into the next. My pace doesn't seem drastically different. Is it the adrenaline? The stress/anxiety of the race?

Once I got to the top of the last hill, I just tried to put on the gas as much as I could and ran to the finish (they could see my number, so I got announced...first time that's happened!). Sally, her sister and her sister's daughter were there cheering. It was really nice. I stopped running about 10 feet over the finish line, walked back to Sally, drank a water and started to hurt almost immediately.
What would you do differently?:

Acquaphor on my underarms, carry my own hydration, get the HR strap working on the Garmin
Post race
Warm down:

Just chatting, throwing away my gel wrappers and water bottle. We walked about .25 miles up a small hill to the car while cheering on the few folks coming in after me.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Wind, hills, chafing and the proverbial limiter - genetics.

Event comments:

Nicely done race - plenty of aide stations, lots of volunteers, very well marked, no complaints...except for the wind.

Last updated: 2010-12-28 12:00 AM
02:16:35 | 13.1 miles | 10m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 49/92
Overall: 837/1174
Performance: Average
Friggin chest strap didn't average HR according to the Garmin was 42. Blergh.
Course: Fairly hilly course (not any long hills, just a lot of rollers with three fairly steep ones after mile 8). Part of the course is on a dirt road - which is nice for the knees, but all the snow this winter caused the road to be full of potholes, ruts and puddles. The finish is right in downtown Newmarket - nice atmosphere!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-04-04 12:41 PM

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Midcoast Maine
Subject: Great Bay Half Marathon

2011-04-04 9:11 PM
in reply to: #3429014

Subject: RE: Great Bay Half Marathon
Jennifer, great race report. I can hear your frustration re: post-race feeling vs. post-training run feeling -- that's a bummer that you have been so wiped after the last two halves. I don't know as well the weather for most of your training runs, but you have to admit you've had some rough weather for *both* of your halves! Your race times seem awesome, especially given the elements you were up against. Thanks for the detailed report.
2011-04-04 9:28 PM
in reply to: #3429014

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East Side of the Bay
Subject: RE: Great Bay Half Marathon
Way to go Jennifer! 2 half marys in 5 weeks time is a lot.  Add in training in the winter cold and you have accomplished a lot so far this season.  Nice race report too!
2011-04-11 5:03 PM
in reply to: #3429014

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Subject: RE: Great Bay Half Marathon
Great job on the 1/2 Mary!!
Way to push through even when you weren't feeling very well.
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