I DID IT. I ran a half marathon. In 2 hours and 7 minutes (give or take, not sure of the official time yet). HOLLA/HALLELUJAH/YAS.
Special thanks to the running fanny pack.
Let me take a quick moment to be completely not at all humble. I am so freaking proud of myself and truly cannot believe I accomplished a half marathon. Just a few years ago, I could barely eek out a mile without wanting to die (*take a look at me now plays in background*).
Before I get into the race, let’s back it up to the day before real quick. I went up to Tenant’s Harbor, ME with my fellow racers/friends, Maddie and Willie. Obviously, we began our journey at a nearby diner for breakfast, Maddie’s. I got a veggie omelet with home fries and wheat toast. Totes hit the spot and got me ready for the 3+ hour car ride we had ahead of us.
Maddie at Maddie’s, HAH.
Since we were traversing into the great state of Maine, we couldn’t resist making a few stops. Of course, as soon as we got to Maine we made a quick trip to the Kittery Trading Post (Willie had never been before) which is like a hunting/fishing/all things Maine superstore. They have a giant taxidermy moose right at the entrance. They also have really good fudge there.
This moose tells you everything you need to know about the store you’re walking into.
Along our journey, we made a quick stop in some random town to the world’s smallest Hannaford to grab snacks, as well as a pawn shop that had an enticing sign outside, so we couldn’t resist.
“Where are we?”
Finally, we arrived at our Bed and Breakfast (the Mill Pond House, would totes recommend if you’re in the area), and made the 5 minute drive to the race start/finish line to grab our bibs (number 128, holla).
We also headed to the lighthouse that was the original reason we signed up for the race just to check it out.
The lighthouse totes lived up to the hype.
My parents were also staying in the area (after 2 years of my dad saying he wanted to see me run a race, he finally got his chance), and they kindly took us out to dinner in Rockport, which had a super cute downtown. We ended up at Rustica, an Italian restaurant, where I got the most amazing pasta of my life: Penne alla Bolognese. I rarely order pasta dishes when I am going out to eat, but holy canoli I am so happy I did. It was pasta with a bolognese meat sauce, pesto, and ricotta cheese. I would 10000000% recommend it.
Maddie, Willie, and I went back to our B & B after dinner, watched My Date With the President’s Daughter, and ate fudge before turning in for the night. At 6:30 AM, our alarms went off and it was go-time. I got dressed, ate my typical pre-long run breakfast (toast + banana + PB + small cup of coffee), and we were at Blueberry Cove by 7:00. We had 30 minutes before the start time, so I took the opportunity to use the Port-a-Potty and stretch before the runners were asked to make their way to the starting line.
Ready to RUNble.
After a few quick words, a cowbell was rung (bless this race) and we were off to the races. I made sure to pace myself in the beginning. I did not want to get swept up in all the race excitement and told myself I was running this race for me, not to beat anyone else. I should also mention that the weather was cool but rainy. It mostly was just a drizzle or light shower, but for at least half the race (I kind of stopped paying attention) it was raining. I totally didn’t mind, honestly it probably kept me cool more than anything else. Plus, running through the rain made me feel kind of badass.
Anyway, after the first mile or so, everyone kind of fell into a line and their own pace. I was just trucking along, passing a few people, having a few people pass me, and enjoying myself. There were water stops every 2 miles or so, and I walked through each of those because drinking water out of a cup while running is impossible, but otherwise, I did not stop running. The course was tough, I won’t lie. It was hilly. I can’t remember a point in which I was running on flat land, it was either uphill or downhill the whole way. Luckily, most of the hills were pretty small or gradual.
Me + fanny pack at the far right. I think my mom wanted it to be blurry to represent the rainy running haze everyone was in.
As I passed the mile markers, the finish line became more and more real. Mile 4-6 were a bit challenging just because by the point I had been running for a while, but I wasn’t even halfway finished (Maddie and Willie agreed with me on that sentiment). Mile 7 was exciting because I knew I was more than halfway there and felt strong. I was confident I could finish.
Mile 7 also brought a few steep hills. We were making our way towards the lighthouse, and I guess that means steep hills? Whatever the case may be, I got over those babies and had a nice cruise down the other end. Seeing the lighthouse was a boost because it was a big factor in choosing the race.
I kept on keeping on for the next few miles, and then came across the mile 11 marker. It was exciting and nerve racking because at that point, I had hit my distance PR. My legs were tired, but I had 2 more miles in me, no problem. Unfortunately, those last 2 miles we completely uphill. It was a slow, gradual uphill, but on tired-already-run-11-miles legs, it was rough. The last 2 miles were by far the most challenging part of the race for me. I kept telling myself that there was no way I was stopping to walk at that point, no matter how much I wanted to. I got a little mean with myself, but it worked. I never stopped running.
I finally turned on to the street that the Blueberry Cove camp/finish line was off of, and thought I only had a short ways to run, so I picked up my speed. I even passed a couple people. Unbeknownst to me, it was still about a 1/2 mile to the finish (going uphill, of course). Had I been aware of the length between me and the finish line, I probably wouldn’t have kicked it into high gear that far away. However, I kept running at my increased pace because I just wanted that finish line. Rounding the corner into Bluberry Cove, everyone started clapping and cheering. I saw the finish line, my parents, and the clock (which was reading 2:07, I believe), and sprinted.
The only “finish line” picture of me. Obvi I was going too fast for my mom to snap a pic before I stopped…right? (no but really, thanks mom for all the pictures 🙂 )
“I can’t believe I just did that,” was the only thing I could say to my parents between guzzing water and huffing and puffing. I was truly in awe. According to RunKeeper, I kept a 9:43 pace (which may actually be a second or two too high, because it took a a little bit to press stop due to sweaty/rainy hands). I truly have never been more proud of myself. I couldn’t stop thinking about how long I’ve wanted to run a half marathon (it was actually a New Year’s resolution of mine), and the fact that I actually did it is just so freaking awesome.
I was so proud of Maddie and Willie too. We all finished, we never stopped running, and we had a super fun weekend.
We were all dying on the inside when my mom took this.
After the race, there was a brunch for the runners. The food didn’t look great, but I did have a slice of breakfast pizza (pizza crust + cheese, eggs, and home fries), and more home fries on the side. I kind of wish I ate something a little easier on my stomach, like oatmeal and fruit (which they did have at the brunch), because that wasn’t feeling great afterward, but I can’t resist pizza in any form.
Since the brunch was pretty disappointing, we headed to a diner for breakfast round two after showering and checking out of our hotel. I wanted something simple and went for an egg (over easy) with home fries (looking back, I ate a lot of home fries this weekend), bacon, and wheat toast.
Ignore the bit of toast and already eaten orange slice. I don’t know how that happened…
We embarked on the journey home, stopping for ice cream along the way, of course. I got home, foam rolled and stretched a bit, and went to bed pretty early.
This morning, my legs are definitely feeling it, especially my left hip and calf. I plan on taking today completely off, and maybe doing yoga or something not intense tomorrow if I’m feeling it tomorrow.
Overall, it was an AMAZING experience. I definitely want to run another half marathon in the future, though I will definitely try to find one that his less hilly. I plan on making a “things to know before running a half marathon” post tomorrow, so be on the lookout!
Phew, that was a lot of words. Obvi, I have some questions for you lovely humans though!
1. What is the exercise-related thing you’re most proud of?
2. After a big race, how long does it usually take you to get back into the swing of things? I’m happy I’m taking today completely off (wasn’t even scheduled for work, woohoo!), and I’m hoping I’ll be fully recovered in a few days.
3. What is your go-to breakfast order at a diner? Clearly, mine is anything that involves home fries.