Sunday, November 7, 2010

Race Report: Maine Coast Half Marathon

When I was driving down to York this morning for the Maine Coast Half Marathon, I thought, "this isn't going to be pretty," (because of my health).   But actually, it was really pretty (see photos of beautiful ocean), just not very fast for me. 

So, I didn't "race" this race, but I did run it with my friends on a beautiful course that hugs the coast for most of the 13.1 miles.  The weather was that bone-chilling, raw, November cold (cue my mother shaking her head in disapproval).   The waves were really rough and there was a biting wind, but I had my ears covered!  Honestly,  I might have taken a few steps backward in terms of my health, and I might have had a fever again on the drive home.  But the race was pretty!  And fun!

And wouldn't you know we had coordinated outfits?
The color of our new super-soft Asics shirts is "sangria."  This is the only shot of the 6 of us wearing it b/c before we got the finish line shot, Susan had changed.  Here we are having a very serious team meeting or something.

Susan and Suzanne both went for a race race, and the four of us, Christine, Amy, Jen, and I,  decided to stick together through the whole thing.  Thank goodness I had them with me; they pulled me along for the second half.   I needed the love today.

We got lots of great comments about the matching outfits.  Many people asked if we were part of a team.  I usually said:  "Well, sort of!"

One woman yelled to us:  "You girls win best dressed of the race!"

Starting line pics:
 I love this photo (Go Mindy, too!) but it needs a caption.  Suzanne, what were you thinking about?

Look!  My gloves are enormous!  (But so warm, thank goodness).

 Awesome wave photo taken by Sandi.  And now would be a good time to mention that Sandi took all of these photos and braved the cold to cheer for us throughout the whole race. 

Susan looking super tough.
 And the four of us looking super tough jolly!
 I think this is around mile 4.  I started to go downhill (unfortunately, not literally) at this point and struggled for the rest of the race.  I was doing okay, still enjoying my friends and the awesome views, and the hilly loop of the course that goes out to the lighthouse and back didn't seem as hilly this year.  I just felt sick; it's pretty simple.  My chest and head were achy, I was chilled and not really in a good place to be running in the cold.  Oh well.  About half way through, I gave myself permission to stop at any point and that helped a lot.  I didn't like the idea of seeing a DNF (did not finish) by my name, and I wanted a medal, darn-it, so I kept telling myself I'd just do one more mile until I was up to 10 and figured it would be silly to stop at that point.

On this stretch of the course, the waves were crazy high and were actually spilling up onto the roadway.  I don't know if you can tell that the road is wet up ahead of us, but at one point we had to actually hop around crashing waves and people were shouting "watch out!"  It was very dramatic.  I managed to keep one shoe dry and the other one got hit by a wave.  Wooo!  Cold ocean water on the toes.
In the above shot, we are heading into the 3rd and final loop of the course.  I love Christine in this photo, a typical look, always smiling and turning around to make sure we are all still together.

And here we are at the finish:
Susan bringing it in strong.  She was gunning for 2:00 and she made it in 2:01.  Just awesome.
Suzanne!  Golden Retriever Puppy! And a new PR!
 Christine and Amy, big smiles:
me, thankful it's almost over, Jen, still smiling:

 My official time was 2:20:00 which actually beat my time on the same course last year when I was healthy, and considering how I felt, I am not going to complain about that.   I wasn't going to miss out on running with my friends for our last race of the season.
Our review of the Maine Coast Half Marathon (which was my 8th half marathon) in short:  High ratings for organization, great volunteers, water stops, post-race snacks, and crowd support.  It also had a very relaxed, calming, all-women's vibe.  It gets low marks for the quality of the race medal, and really low marks for the race shirts (lame design and way too short), but SUPERB ratings for views of the ocean and beautiful scenery. 
After a clothing change and some re-fueling, my Pumpkin Spice Latte and I headed north for home;  it felt very good to get home to my littles and a hot dinner prepped by Sam.  

And now, to start working on the list of 2011 races.  Clearly, we're hooked for good. 


Laura said...

I agree with you about the shirts, super thin and practically a belly shirt! I thought being a women's race that the shirts would have been better than most races!

I was about 40 minutes behind you in this race. I was happy just to finish.

Carver Fam said...

You did it. You finished it! I totally get why you came down and did it. I'm glad you did and hoping you aren't paying for it too much today.

I'm amazed at how fast you finished considering how you felt.

I feel such a satisfaction being finished with that race and I think, overall, it's my favorite. But where are the damn space blankets? It was 40 degrees and we were all covered in sweat!

Michelle said...

OK this is very inspiring!! I'm fighting a cold too and have my first full marathon this Saturday. If you can do it in the cold then I've decided that I can do it in sunny and 60 degree weather right? (cue Aunt Beth shaking her head... lol)

Great job to all!!

Elizabeth said...

Hey Michelle (and Emilie too),

I've given up shaking my head because I know it does no good with obsessed marathoners--- but best of luck, Michelle, on Saturday--I look forward to reading about it. Emilie, the ocean shots were spectacular. I can understand why you HAD to do it, really!!!

Becka said...

The course is beautiful! And your outfits are great. Thanks for sharing all the pictures. Great finish!

ajh said...

Love all the pics. I did this race last year and loved it. Couldn't do it this year. Your outfits are GREAT.