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The Maine Half Marathon Race Recap

The Maine Half Marathon. A Birthday Race!

The Maine Half Marathon Race Recap

The Maine Half Marathon Race Recap

I spent last weekend in Maine at the Rise. Run. Retreat. The weekend was filled with inspiration with these amazing ladies: Jes from rUNladylike, Sarah from RunFarGirl, Tina from Fuel Your Future with Tina Muir, Allie from VitaTrain For {Twin} Life, Angela from Happy Fit Mama, Laura from Mommy Run Fast, Jennifer from Running with the Girls, Christine from Love Life Surf, Carrie from Eight Crazy Soles. We laughed, we cried, we ate, we shared stories, we did yoga, and of course we ran (a bigger recap of the weekend activities is coming shortly). The weekend culminated in several of us running the Maine Half Marathon on Sunday, October 4th (which also, happened to be my birthday!). Some of the ladies also acted as our cheering squad and race day paparazzi due to injury and illness so hopefully at the next retreat (we will definitely be having another!) they will be running with us too!

Here is a look at the awesome group on the morning of the Half Marathon. It was definitely a chilly morning so we are all bundled up before heading out. But temperatures in the 40’s and sunny weather meant perfect running weather!

The awesome Running bloggers at  The Maine Half Marathon

The awesome Running bloggers at The Maine Half Marathon

The energy before the race was very positive! We all got to have a great warm-up run with elite runner and blogger Tina Muir (also of Runner’s Connect) who was with us for the weekend. It was definitely inspiring to hear about her racing and training experiences throughout the weekend. If you don’t already you should check-out the Runner’s Connect Podcast Run to the Top to hear some awesome interviews from Tina.

Ready to Race!

Ready to Race!

It was hard to figure out what to wear for the race because it has been so warm this fall so many of the runners started out in throw-away clothes at the start. I decided to forget the throw away clothes though and only added in arm-warmers and some great gloves (Thank you Runner’s Alley!). I was glad that I didn’t add any extra layers because once we got moving I was sweating up a storm. By the time the race was over I was drenched.

Flat Sandy ready for race day !

Flat Sandy ready for race day !

I have to admit I had absolutely no idea what pace I was going to run for this Half Marathon. My legs were still feeling heavy from racing the North Face Endurance Challenge Trail Marathon (26.2 miles) in Park City, Utah the previous weekend (I promise this race recap is coming soon!). I was glad that this race was half the distance and was also glad that the course only included a few small hills unlike the ridiculous climbing that I did out in Utah! I decided to stick close to the front at the start with Laura and Allie. Allie was shooting for a fast time and managed a smoking fast 1:32 and winner of her age group. Talk about awesome! Laura and I started with the 3:15 marathon pace group (yes, some runners were running the whole 26.2, I was thankful to only be doing the half). In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have started out so fast but it was awesome to be with some of my favorite running bloggers on the starting line!

Let's do this!

Let’s do this!

When the air cannon blasted we got moving, Allie took off with Tina by her side and Laura and I settled in with the pace group. Laura was running with ease and comfortable turnover. I ran the pace for about 2 miles and then decided I needed to slow my pace down a bit or I wouldn’t survive the race. One thing I loved as we ran along the course was that the spectators were cheering for us by name. Every bib has your name printed on it. This adds extra motivation to keep running!

Can you spy Laura and I?

Can you spy Laura and I?

I worked hard to settle into a pace that was “comfortable” while still pushing hard. I was definitely feeling the trail marathon lingering in my legs by mile five my left hamstring was feeling tight. The race temperature was comfortable but I was definitely glad to have my arm warmers and Runner’s Alley gloves on especially when we crossed a bridge where the wind was whipping and as we passed through the neighborhoods along the water. The course was beautiful and not as hilly as where I live so I was able to keep my pace strong as we approached the turnaround point at halfway. I took a GU around mile 5.5 and drank some water and gatorade at the aid stations although I was finding it hard to eat and  my stomach felt a little sour. As we came down the hill just before the turn around I was excited to see Allie and Tina cruising along in the other direction. And then Laura too!

Allie and Tina at the Maine Half Marathon

Allie and Tina at the Maine Half Marathon

After making the turn  at the halfway point I felt re-energized knowing that the race was half way over. This is always a great mental turning point for me and brings a positive voice back into my head. With only about 6 miles to go I knew that I could run strong for the rest of the race. I was excited to see Jen as she came to the half way point but somehow missed seeing Jes. After the turn around there was one more hill but then we reached our cheering section! Christine, Sarah and Angela’s cheering definitely helped me to smile and push harder and they took tons of awesome photos too!

All smiles for the camera!

All smiles for the camera in my Safari Skirts Sports Gym Girl Ultra.

They even captured a picture of the most amazing runner on the course, the guy dressed as a moose!

Only in Maine. Maine Running  Moose.

Only in Maine. Maine Running Moose.

After I saw the ladies I felt ready to rock the rest of the course and my energy level picked up a bit. I think it was a combination of seeing them, the caffeine in the GU and the way the course flattened out. The lack of hills for the rest of the run definitely made my legs very happy! At this point I could feel my fingers swelling a little bit so ditched the gloves. I continued on and gave myself a pep talk about picking up the pace when I hit the last 3 miles. When I hit that 10 mile marker I picked up the pace a little bit, tried another GU although my stomach said no. thankfully it settled down after awhile.

With 2 miles to go I knew I had to dig deep. At this point in the race I always tell myself to go hard because its the only hard thing that I will be doing today. My legs were feeling fatigued but I knew that I could push the effort. I picked up the pace and worked on focusing on catching people in front of me. One at a time I passed runners until I was in the final stretch to the finish line. I spied the clock in the distance and was happily surprised to see that I would be coming in under 1:43. I finished strong crossing the line in 1:42.12.

Maine Half Marathon Finish Time

Maine Half Marathon Finish Time

Woohoo! This was not a PR but it was the fastest half marathon that I have run in a long time and on tired legs too. Now, I am fired up to go hard and fast for a PR (possibly at the Philly Half Marathon????). I was so excited to see Laura and Allie at the finish line in their silver space blankets. Shortly after I crossed the line we cheered as Jes and then Jen (with a new smoking fast PR) crossed the line and then Carrie came through not long after that with her awesome first time finisher time and smile.

Maine Half Marathon Finishers

Maine Half Marathon Finishers

What a fantastic day of running and for me a birthday celebration! A perfect way to spend birthday number 39! This was such a beautiful race course and it was so great to spend it with these fabulous and strong runners! (You can tell I had a great time by the number of exclamation points I’m using.). The Maine Half Marathon was a well run race with excellent volunteers working at number pick-up and especially on race day along the course. This may have to become an annual race for me!

A birthday smile! Maine Half Marathon finisher

A birthday smile! Maine Half Marathon finisher

What was your latest half marathon or running race? What is the funniest costume that you’ve ever seen anyone wearing during a race?

Giveaway

Don’t miss my birthday celebration giveaway. Be sure to enter my giveaway of the Skirt Sports Vixen Capri running skirt. It’s the perfect skirt for fall running weather!
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27 responses

27 responses

  1. Happy birthday and congrats on a great race!!

    Last year during the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta I saw someone dressed as Marge Simpson….giant blue wig and all! Right now, someone will have to top that as best race costume. I have no idea what the connection was to the PRR or the 4th of July, though.

    My last half marathon was the Diva’s Half in Peachtree City. It was a training run for my next marathon but I ended up PRing! Wahoo!!

  2. Such a fantastic way to spend your birthday. I love doing races on my birthday! What a great weekend and lovely experience. Well done on your race 🙂

  3. LOVED this, ALMMMOSSST as much as I loved getting to know you! Great recap, and I wish I could have seen you during the later stages, should have paid attention more!

    By the way, philly half as in the one at the end of the month!?!?

  4. Great job! I love Maine so I may need to add this race to my bucket list. It looks like a great course, and running with that moose guy must have been awesome! Good luck with your next half in a few weeks!

  5. I LOVE that I got to celebrate your birthday with you in such a special way. You rocked this race, especially with that tough marathon the weekend before. You are such an inspiring person and I’m so grateful that we met. xoxoxoxoxo

  6. This is exactly how I would want to spend my birthday!! Yay my friend!! You rocked that race – and after your full TRAIL marathon in Utah the weekend before. That is super impressive!
    Just think how fast you will run on fresh legs in Philly? We need to plan a race to run together someday soon. I hope you get to celebrate your birthday all month!! xo
    Natalie recently posted…One Sentence Wednesday!My Profile

    1. We are definitely going to have to make this an annual gig. I have been so missing you amazing ladies this week!

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