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Great Bay Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Newmarket, New Hampshire
United States
50F / 10C
Total Time = 2h 43m 42s
Overall Rank = 1131/1222
Age Group = 45-50
Age Group Rank = 58/75
Pre-race routine:

This race started about a year ago. Sally sherpa'ed for me at last year's race and thought it looked like a lot of fun - and decided to sign up for her own half marathon. I told her I would do it with her. We chose the Blueberry Cove Half Marathon (in Tenant's Harbor, Maine at the end of August). It would have been a perfect tune-up race for me two weeks before Pumpkinman HIM.

Then I got injured. My foot started bothering me the second week in June and by the end of June I knew I couldn't run the half with Sally, much less the Pumpkinman HIM in September. Very, very frustrating.

The Blueberry Cove rolled around with Sally doing all of the training by herself. The day of the race, a hurricane rolled in...out of the 100 participants that were signed up, only 65 got to the starting line - including Sally. Her mom and I drove the course - leapfrogging Sally, getting out of the car, shaking the cowbell, hopping back into the car to the next stop. It was miserable for the runners - but we had a great time. She finished the race - but was so mad at the finish (in a fit of irrationality - she was sure the organizers didn't measure the race right and made the runners run farther, the finish line was an uphill, it was really cold and raining, there were almost NO people out cheering except her mom and me, etc) that she burst into tears and said, "I'm never running another race again."

I felt so bad since I had gotten her into this pickle to begin with.

I rehabbed over the fall and winter and started upping my mileage in January. About this time - Sally said that she wanted to stop racing with a better taste in her mouth and that she wanted to do the race that she had seen - the Great Bay Half. I told her if January went well for me - I would sign up at the end of January and run the race with her. Fortunately - injury held off and we both signed up.

I ratcheted up my training miles (of course - holding to the 10% increase each week) and by the weekend before the Great Bay Half - I was able to run a 14 miler. I was ready!

My family drove down with Sally and me Friday night so we could pick up our t-shirts/ crammed in the back seat between my daughters and Sally in the front seat. We got our numbers, checked into the hotel and had a very nice dinner before heading back to the hotel.

The girls were on a sleeper sofa with Matt and I in the bed...sadly - around 3am, the girls started bickering ("your pajamas touched my pajamas") so loudly that they woke Matt and me up...not an auspicious start. Everyone eventually settled down and went back to sleep for a couple of hours...but we were all up again by 7:30 in order to get breakfast and pull our stuff together. [At this point, both Matt and I were mad enough that we almost just dropped Sally off at the race and went home...but cooler heads prevailed and we decided to stick with the original plan of staying Saturday night, having dinner with some friends and heading back home on Sunday]

We packed up and headed over to the race start about 10am (race starts at 11a). Sally was really getting nervous at this point..but she was also excited because it was such a large event. We stood around trying to stay calm chatting with the other racers until the national anthem was played and the organizer said, "Ready? Set. G----" (somewhat anticlimactically - the Go was cut off...but we all knew what to do!)
  • 2h 43m 42s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 30s  min/mile

Before the race even started - Sally told me I could run my own race. She runs at a slower pace than I do, and she didn't want to keep me from racing my own race. I really went back and forth over this issue...I had gotten her into this whole thing, but then again - I wanted to see if all the running had done me any good! On the drive to the race start, I decided I would stick with Sally for the whole race - this time it was about her, not about me.

She tends to cramp up for mile 2 with everything working it's way out by the beginning of mile three - so we ran the first mile, walked a lot of the second mile and then did a mix of walking and running for the rest of the race.

We did (okay - I did...Sally was a little less enthusiastic than me) yell the remaining mileage after each mile marker, walked all the aid stations and stopped at the two porta-potties. It was really surprising to me how vividly I remembered the run - down to lawn furniture, cars, flags, etc - from last year. Around mile nine, she started getting surly (this time around - the longest run she did before the race was 8 miles)...but she managed to pull out of the funk.

One of the cruel twists with this course is there is a pretty good hill about 1/2 mile from the finish...once you make it up the hill, it's all downhill to the finish line. I'm bopping along and Sally is a few steps behind me looking down at the ground...I see her husband half way up the hill and say, "Hey, Sally! Look!" to which she snarls, "What?!?!?!?" and then looks up and sees him.

We made it to the top, turn the corner for the downhill and see my kids and husband, her kids, her twin sister and family...and run it on in.

It really was a blast running with her the whole way. Could I have gone faster? Absolutely. Would I have wanted to go faster and leave her on the course? Absolutely not. I'm so proud of her finishing the race and in a decent time.
What would you do differently?:

Not a single thing.
Post race
Warm down:

We stood around at the finish line while all the family members regrouped...then started the long walk to the car(s). I felt really good, not too tired, not sore at all. The only hiccup with the entire day was my flipping foot. Friday night, it started to bug me - it hasn't hurt for about a month - and it really hurt during the entire run. Now - it is really irritated. I can't figure out why last week's 14 miler didn't hurt it at all, but the 13.1 miles of the race were really hard on it. Now I'm very concerned this may impact the HIM in June.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hanging with my friend!

Event comments:

Very nicely done race - I would definitely come back again to do this one.

Last updated: 2012-01-23 12:00 AM
02:43:42 | 13.1 miles | 12m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 58/75
Overall: 1131/1222
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2012-04-09 7:14 AM

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Midcoast Maine
Subject: Great Bay Half Marathon

2012-04-09 9:13 PM
in reply to: #4137498

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Subject: RE: Great Bay Half Marathon
Great job Jennifer at having fun and staying back with your friend.  I'm sure she appreciated that!  I'm really sorry you got some foot pain back, that stinks.  Taker easy, let her heal and then get back at it slowly and don't look back!  Still early in the season, lots of time for training.
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