Sunday, April 12, 2015

Great Bay Half Marathon Recap!

It's finally shorts weather!!

*Warning- This blog entry is going to be all over the place;  I am in dire need of ice cream, and my son is playing a techno version of 'Where is Thumbkin" on his iPad over and over again. Like 10 times now.  I apologize in advance.*

Today was my 3rd time running The Great Bay 1/2 Marathon, and my 11th 1/2 marathon.  The Great Bay 1/2 is definitely much hillier than most of the local races, but it has some of the best scenery.  It starts in downtown Newmarket, loops through some of Newmarket's neighborhoods, continues onto a dirt road for 2.5 miles, and then runs along the Great Bay.  It's a tough course, but has a ton of great volunteers, spectators, and even musicians and belly dancers along the race course for entertainment.

We lucked out with the weather today;  I actually thought I was going to be too cold with a t-shirt and shorts, but this was definitely not the case.  It was sunny, hardly any wind, and low to mid 60s! 

In the morning, I met my friends Stephanie and Justin, in Dover so that we could all carpool over to the race.  It was going to be Stephanie's first 1/2 marathon!  She's been so great with her training; going into the race, I knew she would do so well....and she did! She ran a 1:55 for her first half, and a hilly one at that!

The race starts at 11am, so I split up my breakfast so that I ate 1/2 at 8am and the other half at 9am...yeah I know, not a big time difference. I had a Ray's bagel and almond butter, coffee and water.

While we were waiting for the race to start, Justin, Stephanie and I did a mile warm-up, and try to find Lenny and Mariette- the phone reception was horrible so I didn't find Lenny until the start, and didn't find Mariette until the first 100 meters of the race!

My friend Laurie, who paced me last year, came to cheer us all on- she reminded us to not go out too fast and to stay hydrated.  The race starts with a 5k, so it's very easy to get swept up with the 5k runners' paces. 

My goal for this year was to hopefully do 1:45 like I had done at the Seacoast 1/2, but I was going to be happy just to finish feeling good.  Last year, I really struggled from the 10th mile on, and had to walk a ton.  

Normally, I run with my TomTom Runner Cardio watch, however, I broke the strap of it on Monday, and my replacement strap isn't coming until tomorrow....gasp....I had to run without a watch!  

Once the race started, we definitely didn't start out too fast- I was also excited to find Mariette so we chatted for the majority  of the first few miles. The hills didn't feel too bad, and I didn't feel super tired.  At mile 9, I told Mariette that I would only be able to grunt at her until the end because I was starting to get tired. :)

Around mile 12, I got a little bit of pep back in my step, I kept telling myself that I could definitely make it for another 8+ minutes. Justin, Mariette and I were pretty close in proximity to one another, so it helped to have them push me forward.  Then, I got to my nemesis hill, the horrible, horrible hill that isn't even that high, but feels like the highest hill on the course.  I had to power walk up half of it, and run up the second half (it's really not that long, or big...I'm just being dramatic, it's just a tiring hill because it's so close to the finish!)  Finally, the last .10 miles are downhill into downtown Newmarket!

I finished in 1:50:26, not a PR, but still makes me happy :)!

I also received a coupon at the race for 40% Sofft shoes (they had a booth set-up right by the refreshments) of course, that was great as well.  Well-played Sofft, well played.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Stitch Fix #13 and Getting Ready for the Great Bay Half Marathon!


I got my thirteenth Stitch Fix yesterday; it must have been lucky, because for the second time, I kept everything in the box!  It was fun, and made up for the fact that we got 2 inches of snow late yesterday (see above picture.)
  Here's what I got:

1. Print a-line skirt and "statement" necklace.  I am not usually a statement necklace kind of girl, I tend to wear the same jewelry over and over again.  I expected to not like the necklace at all, but I tried it on with a few shirts, and was surprised! Another plus to the necklace is that one side of the "statement" pieces is black, and the other brown wood.  The a-line skirt, I loved - I wear a ton of skirts and dresses to work, and this skirt seemed like something that would work in all seasons!

2. White sweater...the stylist card called it a "dusty pink" sweater...but there is no sign of pink in this sweater (or she had the shirt pictured below lying underneath the sweater.)  Either way, I kept it, it was really lightweight (which would be perfect for Spring and Summer) and went well with the necklace and skirt!

3.  Raspberry colored blouse- I was on the fence about this one; the bulk of my wardrobe is gray, black, white, light pink and blue...not a lot of bright colors, and it just didn't seem like my style.  I did end up keeping it because it seemed like something that I could ending up really liking.

4.  Coral colored bermuda shorts- Imagine me pulling these out of the StitchFix box yesterday while snow was falling outside, it was like a sick joke.  I was definitely on the fence about these shorts, I have never worn bermuda shorts, and didn't think I was going to like them.  When i tried them on, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they fit perfectly! Plus, they would go well with my non-dusty rose sweater!

Here's my StitchFix link if you're interested in trying it out!

Almost time for the Great Bay (Hills) Half Marathon!

I am signed up to do the Great Bay 1/2 on Sunday, it's in Newmarket NH; it is a beautiful course with a fun after party....but, it's definitely hilly (or hillier than what I'm used to running.)  I've done the course twice before.  The first time I ran it, I barely trained, I ran maybe 10 miles a week (on a good week) and just had no idea how to pace myself.  I ended up running the first four miles, and had to walk and run (more walking) for the remaining 9 miles.  I also wore a cotton tank top to run in, what a running fashion faux pas!

  Last year, I did it and had a ton of fun, I wasn't running as much as I am now, but I was consistently training and definitely had more mileage than 10 miles a week.  It was challenging last year,  especially during the last few miles, but I ended up running my fastest 1/2.  

All smiles coming down the last hill of the course!
In November, at the MUCH flatter, faster Seacoast 1/2 course, I took 10 minutes off my Great Bay 1/2 time, and PRd at 1:45xx.  I'd love to do something close to that for this weekend, but I'm not going to overly stress out about it.  I will also not wear a cotton tank top!

Other fun things!

Running with Mariette a couple of weekends ago - April snow brings...???

Oh yes. That's Hall and Oates. Such a fun concert!