Sunday, August 7, 2011

Race Report: Beach to Beacon 10K

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
Finish line area
photo courtesy of

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!


The Finicky Farmer said...

How lovely to reconnect with old friends at this race!

As for the race itself, few runners fare well when running in weather that is not unlike a gross armpit. Just wait for those autumn days in Maine...I have no doubt that you'll score a few PRs!

Carrie @ Maine Mom on the Run said...

It WAS hot! I definitely didn't enjoy myself as much as I had hoped due to being so uncomfortable, but at least we finished on two feet!

Jen said...

I completely missed that "mist" tent. I heard the announcer say something about it - but couldn't find it. Way too many people and I was starving - so I made a beeline to the food tent! If I would have found that mist tent - I probably would have sat in there for a good 30 minutes too!!!

Willow said...

I can't stand running in extreme heat/humidity. I always wonder how people who live in Florida can even be runners. I'm looking forward to the fall running season for the same reason...half marathons and cool running weather.

I have to say, your post is just proof that you never know what you're going to get with running. No matter how much or how perfectly you train, you just never know what any run, regardless of the distance, is going to be like. It's the reason I love (and sometimes hate) running.

Tricia said...

Very cool to see you ran too! Congrats on running it. I agree, if you're a runner you should totally partake in this race!

I ran as well and for me it was a much slower race than yours, so my story is a liiiiiittle different.


And I totally agree, the weather was absolutely disgusting. I went home took a shower, and then a looong nap.

Also, I had no idea that the Maine Running Photos site existed. I just found a picture of my husband and I finishing. So thanks for sharing!