The night before Beach to Beacon, I reunited with my long-lost friend Brooke who was in town from Arizona. You would have never known that 20 years had gone by since we hung out. We reconnected immediately and had such a fun time together. Brooke joined Amy, Christine and me for Italian food, and then we all turned in early and got a good night sleep.
This race is one you shouldn't miss if you are a runner and live in the area. It's just a really big deal with all of the international elite and famous runners that fill the field, the energy, the crowd support, the cowbells, all things that I love.
We drove to Cape Elizabeth in the morning, parked, and lined up for the start. I was luckily able to find Susan and Catherine whom I planned to run with, right at the last possible minute. I didn't have my camera with me all day, but the race's facebook page posted these awesome shots taken from the helicopters buzzing above us.
The line-up at the start: Unfortunately, it was as humid as they had warned it would be, and the sun was bright.
|photo courtesy of http://kevinmorris.photoshelter.com/|
|Finish line area|
photo courtesy of http://kevinmorris.photoshelter.com/
My race plan was to stay with Susan and Catherine, and to run a smart race that would hopefully get me a PR. I didn't... let's just get that out of the way now. It was the worst possible weather for me. I guess I'm a delicate little flower and I wilt in the heat.
I felt good, but warm, for the first 2 miles. Then I started to get really hot. I ran through every sprinkler that was out on the course. I took a sip of every water that was handed to me and dumped the rest on my head.
Miles 1, 2, and 3 were 9:20, 9:35, 9:40. Susan, who had impressively run 6 miles before the race in order to get in 12 miles that morning, started to fall back as the heat and humidity did her in. I tried to stay with Catherine but it was getting harder. Mile 4 I started to really hurt, my face throbbing with the heat. I ran mile 4 in 10:00 but I was fighting to get good breaths because the air was so thick. I started to feel sick.
If I wanted to PR, or to come in under 1 hour, I would have needed the next 2 miles at or under 9:40 and I knew it. Mile 5 had some uphills and I began to falter. I hung on a little bit longer, then looked at my Garmin and it said I was running an 11-minute pace, so I said a few swear words out loud and threw up my hands. I knew I didn't have it. It wasn't my day. I slowed down and walked for a minute so Susan would catch up to me. She did and we ended up finishing together, walking a couple more times. We did the last 2 miles in 11-something and 12-something and we finished in 1:05. Blah.
Thanks to the Maine Running Photos for posting these finish line shots: When I look at these photos (see Susan right ahead of me?), I just feel so hot.
After I crossed the line, I was so desperate for shade and there was none. We had to walk up a huge hill to get to water. A medical person asked me if I was okay, and gave me a big bag of ice to put on my neck. I staggered up the giant hill, found Brooke and her friend (now my new friend) Maggie, and we all went into a misting tent to try to cool down. Most people walked through it and let the sprays of water moisten them for a second. I went in and then just sat down in the middle of it and stayed there for a full 30 minutes before I felt less like a baked potato and more like a person.
I texted my people who were waiting to hear how the race went, cried a little bit, and that was that. Susan went down to the food tent and brought me food (she's officially my hero). I ate a cup of blueberries that tasted amazing.
I went through my normal litany of post-hard-race thoughts: running is stupid, I suck at it, why bother ever having a goal, what's the point of all of this nonesense anyway, etc. The usual.
Fear not. I was over it an hour later, and now I'm ready for the lovely fall season of half marathons: my favorite season and my favorite race distance.
Yes, this is kind of a downer of a race report considering what a feel-good event B2B is. Don't mind me. It's an amazing race. And the great news is I made it through the whole day without landing in any hospitals. Go me.
Great to see you there, Charlie and Kristin!