Monday, October 4, 2010


The Maine 1/2 Marathon is now checked off my TO DO list.

How did it go? Wonderful!

I had a lot of fun and I could not have had a better day to run. The weather was cool but it was my favorite kind of running weather~sunny and crisp! The course was beautiful. I find calm and solace in running along the waters edge so this was right up my ally.

How did I do? Ahhh...nothing earth shattering performance wise but I am pleased with how I ran (I was also being realistic!). With all kinds of races and events packed into each weekend from August until now, I have really had little time to focus on training for this 1/2 marathon so I did not have any big expectations for myself.

My goals?
Have fun and finish under 2 hours.
Mission accomplished!
Pre-race hanging with my best gal!

It was a pretty stress free morning and since hubby is very familiar with the Portland area he was able to sneak around the traffic snafu all along I295 and get me right to the starting line with now issues.

Under the start/finish line

I warmed up for a bit and decided to hit the Porta-Potty for a pit stop before race time. SO did the other 3,900 runners there~the lines were INSANE! I wandered around trying to find another spot and I found a construction porta-potty with only 40 people waiting in line. This is when I announced to all that were listening "this is a time I really wish I was a guy!"

Another gal in line agreed with me and we both eyed this large, green dumpster off in the distance. With only minutes before the starting gun was to fire, I offered to "block" and she was in! We ran to the dumpster just as several other guys did the same. We looked around some more and spied a corner doorway of a large brick building and this was it! It was now or never...So yup, I peed in public and did not bat a single eyelash about it! As we finished up our "business" we introduced ourselves to one another and we were off to the starting line.

The gun fired and the crush of people inched forward. This picture courtesy of the Portland Press Herald

It felt like forever before I was over the mat and hitting the first turn onto the open road around the Back Bay. I just kept it nice and easy~taking in the day. The crowds of people, the Chinese drummers, the sunlight shimmering on the water. I was treating this run like any other Sunday long run. Nice and easy...I observed the people as we ran and I could not help but notice so many cute running skirts! I am giving the "best dressed runner" award to the chic with the pink & green camo running skirt and hot pink tank & visor!

The crowd support was amazing. I tried to give a high five to each child that had their hand out, thinking of Lola. A big thank you to the little girl holding out the box of tissues! Perfect timing.

The first 5 miles went by so quick and I was really enjoying this run today. It was about this time that I started to anticipate the hills that I kept hearing about (yeah, why check out the course ahead of time like hubby suggested?? the element of surprise is always interesting right??). The hills were what I would describe as "gentle rolling hills" and certainly not quite as steep or as long as I was hearing (at least in my opinion). So I sailed over them with ease and was feeling good!

This was an out-and-back course so at the turn around I decided that I certainly had it in me to push a little faster~shortly after the turn-around I saw Hubby and Lola on the sidelines cheering me on! I got a mid-race high five and seeing them just made the day that much better.

I had seen some porta-potties on the way out with signs telling runners DO NOT PEE IN THE WOODS. So knowing these were coming up and with my full bladder screaming at me I decided that I HAD to make a stop or I'd be running to the finish in some very wet tights! And no amount of Hoo Ha Ride Glide would prevent THAT kind of chafing!

Although I certainly did not want to take the time loss I made the sacrifice and stopped. I lost a good three minutes as I waited in line and then finally got my turn but OH! what comfortable joy after that was done! Seriously, the mile after that "pit stop" was my fasted mile (8:12)

The rest of the run back to the start was uneventful~once I got to the Back Bay trails I knew I was close to "home" but it just seemed to take FOREVER to get there! I could hear the crowd, I could see the finish area but it felt like I was moving in slow motion.
Just as I rounded the corner I saw my husband and Lola along with my Aunt Peggy (Jana's mom) and Jana's husband, Mike and little Avery.

I was so happy that Hubby and Lola had made it back to the start to see me cross the finish line. I peered at the big red numbers screaming "1:55:xx" and while I was not thrilled with the time, it was under the two hours I had made my goal. I heard my name and hometown announced over the PA system after I crossed the finish line and I was getting my finishers medal.

My time?
Official "chip" time: 1:54:33
My Garmin time: 1:54:13 and 13.32 miles

All of my splits were in the 8-minute range (8:44 being the slowest and 8:12 being the fastest). Now that I have my first 1/2 marathon under my belt I have a point of reference for myself and I know how much harder I can push myself. I enjoy this distance and I think I am fully capable of setting my sights on a sub 1:45 for my next one.

Now to find the next one and hopefully soon! Before the end of this season would be very nice...


Teamarcia said...

Congrats on a great race!

Unknown said...

wow! Awesome time! Great job

Melissa Cunningham said...

AWESOME job girl, and OH isnt it someones birthday today????

Emz said...

YAY for meeting your goals. Love it.

Awesome photos!!

Who's birthday is it!?!? ;)

Unknown said...

@Emz, thanks :) I am no horse chasing ultra-cool-runner-chic or anything yet but...

It is my daughter, Lola's 2nd Birthday!!

Ahhh, how time flies when your having fun

Anonymous said...

Good half Jen ... and good time. Happy Birthday Lola! Feel better soon.

Jim in Wells

..:danielle:.. said...

wooo hooo! congrats on your first half, jennifer! im SO happy we got to meet on saturday... coastal womens half in york on nov 7th... you in?? hehe

aaaand happy birthday lola!!

Terry said...

Great job Jen!! I'm glad you had fun doing it!

Aimee said...

Woohoo! Congrats on your awesome race! Yay! I love how you and another girl decided to pee by a building...ha ha..I would have done the same thing!

Unknown said...

@Danielle: ummm funny you should mention that. when looking at the race calendar from NE Runner I spied that one :) could very well be added to the schedule.

Anonymous said...

Awesome for smashing your goal time!