The weekend was hectic starting with time in Maine back at my alma mater Colby College (but more on that later). From Maine I headed down to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire to meet my Sister-In-Law Kelly to get ready for the Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon the following day. It was a little too late to get our race numbers that day so when I got to the hotel, I cozied up for a little binge watching of Good Bones on HGTV and waited for Kelly to arrive. We decided to head out for Italian that night, the only place close by being a place called Anthony’s. We found the restaurant and when we were walking in were greeted with the blaring sounds of AC/DC-at an Italian Restaurant? The ambiance was a little lacking but we were starving. I ordered a Caesar salad and Penne Marinara with Sausage and an order of garlic bread. The food was decent, the pasta portion was huge and covered in “red gravy” but good enough for a pre-race meal.
We checked out the forecast for the race. It was going to be 40 at the start but sunny and beautiful. We both went back and forth about what we would wear while racing finally both deciding we would suck it up at the start and wear tank tops as we knew despite the cold we would heat up quickly. Morning came quickly. It was gorgeous out. We headed to the beach to race registration greeted by a fantastic sunrise. Along with your race bib at this race every competitor gets a half-zip fleece. This year the color was purple and it is so cozy. We snapped some pics, waited in the port-a-potty lines a couple of times which were long and then it was time to get to the start. It was hard to peel off the layers, I had goosebumps. And I didn’t have time to warm-up . . .oh well, the first few miles would serve as a warm-up.
The starting line had pace times listed to help corral the runners in order of projected finish times. I started with the sub 8:20 min/mile pace group towards the front. I was aiming to run a 1:45 or better. I didn’t want to go out too fast. The National Anthem was played for the 3000 some runners and then we were off. And guess what, I went out too fast. The course was flat and with the cool temps I felt so good. My legs were carrying me quickly but despite knowing I would hit the wall later I just could not (did not ) slow my pace. Why do I always do this to myself?
For the first 8 miles I ran between a 7:30 and 7:44 pace and after that is when the wheels started to come off. I was feeling good for those first 8 miles having taken a GU at 4 miles and then again at around 9 miles. My mile paces started slipping above 8:00 min/mile pace. Around mile ten I started to feel a little off, slightly dizzy. I tried picking up the pace but by this point my body was starting to feel the effects of going out too fast. Also with about 2-3 miles to go as we came back out by the beach we encountered a pretty brisk headwind which wasn’t helping. I tried pushing the pace but just couldn’t go any faster. As we came in towards the finish with about a half mile to go I again tried picking up the pace but was out of gas and feeling dizzy. I crossed the finish line in 1:44.12, an average pace of 7:57 min/mile. Good enough for 8th in my age group which I was pleased with.
#SmuttynoseHalfMarathon race recap. Going out too fast, dizziness . . . get all the details #halfmarathon #running #runchatTweet
As soon as I stopped running the dizziness got worse. I grabbed on to the fence and a spectator asked if I was ok. I was not doing very well so she motioned to the people in the med tent to help me out. They helped me to a chair, took my vitals which were all ok and took my blood sugar which was a little high-163. They gave me water and let me sit for a long time until the dizziness subsided although the first two attempts at standing I was not ready to go. Finally Kelly crossed the finish line and came in to check on me. At this point I was doing a lot better so I was allowed to leave the tent. We went and got our medals and then some food. The post-race meal was clam chowder and lobster rolls-perfection!
We snapped some more pics down by the beach and at this point it was starting to get chilly. The wind had picked up and the sun had retreated behind the clouds. Kelly and I said our goodbyes and I headed home on my two hour drive.
As I look back on this race I am reminded again about being a disciplined runner. I was not disciplined in this race and did not stick to a smart race plan. This led to me hitting a wall of sorts around mile 9 or 10 and was probably why I was so dizzy at the end. I am currently planning to run the CHaD Hero Half Marathon on October 20th which is a much hillier course. I need to make sure that I run a much smarter race or I am not going to be having too