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.  


  1. Great job and way to finish strong! That last mile is always the hardest, can't imagine having a hill at the end too!

  2. Thanks! It was a lot of fun, but hills at the end of a race are just evil! :)