This weekend I headed down to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for a fun race weekend with my ex sister-in-law Kelly.
We planned to head down early so that we could check out Portsmouth and to hit the outlets in Kittery, Maine. We got to Portsmouth on Saturday and headed to Runner’s Alley for race bib pick-up.
It was nice to see that this race was going without the race bag in the interest of trying to reduce waste. At pick-up we got our race numbers and a great lightweight hoodie instead of your typical race t-shirt.
After picking up our bibs we wandered around Portsmouth for awhile and did some shopping at the great boutiques. the weather was actually really nice too so we were able to eat lunch outside at a restaurant which was awesome. I had a delicious Chicken Caesar Salad. After lunch we headed up to Kittery, Maine which isn’t too far away and did a bit more shopping including at the Lululemon outlet (yes!!!!) where they were having some incredible sales on sports bras and tank tops. I definitely picked up some goodies there. After shopping we headed to the Hilton Garden Inn right in downtown Portsmouth to check in. The hotel was really nice.
We went to dinner at Tuscan Kitchen for a nice Italian meal where I had Burrata to start and then a delicious fresh made pasta with Bolognese sauce. For dessert I had the most amazing warm espresso chocolate cake. My goal for dinner was to get in a lot of calories and I think I succeeded!
We got to bed fairly early as the race started at 8:00. In the morning I had my usual pre-race oatmeal and part of a banana just enough not to upset my stomach. Then we headed to the race start at Wallis Sands Beach in Rye, NH which was only 15 minutes away.
Even though there were a lot of runners at the race venue it seemed pretty low key which was nice. I went out for a nice short warm-up run and did a dynamic warm-up to get my legs moving. I was feeling a little stiff. Kelly wasn’t planning to run with me so when it was time to start we said good luck and got our own positions at the starting line.
I was in the first wave of runners since I was hoping to finish sub 1:45 pace. The start was a low key countdown and then we were off. The temperature was perfect-mid fifties and overcast. It felt so good to be moving. My first mile was too fast: 7:22 but I felt so good. I kept telling myself to back off the pace and settle down but i was not being disciplined and kept clipping along at fast paces. Miles 2-8: 7:34, 7:30, 7:31, 7:42, 7:49, 7:46, 7:36. I was running with a couple of other women and trying to maintain pace with them while still running my own race. I had my first GU at around mile 5 right before a water stop. It made my belly gurgle a bit but I was happy for the calorie and caffeine boost. This course is relatively flat and starts along the coast line then runs through neighborhoods and back to the coast again. I was enjoying the lack of hills on the course (even though hills are my strength).
Read about @organicrunmom’s latest #halfmarathon at the Wallis Sands Half Marathon #racerecap #runningTweet
Around mile 9 I could feel my legs starting to feel a bit heavy from running the faster paces. I took another GU and began trying to flip my thinking to the positive as negativity was creeping in. I remembered what Confidence Coach Coach_Christen, had said at Rise. Run. Retreat. about turning your thinking around and worked hard to get rid of any negative thoughts. I decided at this point to not focus on my watch but to focus rather on how I was feeling. Focusing on the numbers was only going to serve to make me feel stressed about slowing down. Miles 9-13: 8:17, 7:57, 8:16, 8:24, 8:10. The last mile seemed long but I worked very hard to pick it up as much as I could as we came back around by the ocean and into the finish.
I ended up crossing the finish line in 1:42.41. I was pleased with my finished time as I had wanted to run sub 1:45. While this was not a PR for me I am very proud of my finish time as this is the fastest half marathon that I have run in a long time.
I finished 7th in my age group, ages 40-44 out of 99 women in my age group. Now I am hungry for more. I know that I can run faster if I run a smarter race. Next time I race I need to try to run even splits at the beginning and to try to negative split the second half. I definitely got a bit excited about racing and couldn’t stop myself from going too fast at the beginning. Does this ever happen to you?
Kelly finished too, proud of finishing as she hasn’t been training too much. She just enjoyed herself and the day and being out there by the ocean. It began to rain just as the race was finishing up. Perfect timing! I started to get very cold and had to take off all of my wet running gear and to bundle up.
After the race we headed back into Portsmouth where we had a delicious brunch and enjoyed relaxing in the restaurant. We also checked out a few more of the cute shops. Then we finished off the day back in Hanover with a delicious dinner at local restaurant Market Table and then some gelato.
Overall this was a fantastic mini race-cation that would be fun to do again next year!
What was your last race accomplishment? What races do you have planned coming up?
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