Sunday, 11 August 2013

1/2 Marathon By the Sea Recap

Hi everyone,

First off, I think we need to change the name of the "Half Marathon."  Many times this past week I started sentences like so: "Oh, I'm just doing the half." Well guess what!? As it turns out, 'The Half' isn't just anything.  It takes training, passion and skill, as races of every distance do. :) 

WarningApparently I love to overwhelm you with photos on 'Race Recap Posts.' ;)

When we stopped in Oxford, Blueberry capital of the world, to fuel up, we just had to get a shot next to the giant blueberry. 

After arriving in Saint John, we checked into our hotel right away and headed off to Race Kit pick-up!
Lola loved chillaxin' on the hotel bed.  :)

Pre-race meal included pasta with chicken and garlic bread from a local Italian restaurant.  Yes we ate out of the containers.  We do it up fancy around here. ;)

Did I not tell you yesterday that I packed an overload of gear?! I would never kid about that. 
Race Morning
The fancy breakfast of champions right here. I kept it light and without dairy to avoid any mid-run side stitches.  And guess stitch! :D

I took an abundance of gels since Matt was running in the full and I would want one as well.  You can never have enough Gu!

Go Time!
It was actually quite chilly at the start line.  I was goose bumpy but happy. :)  There were over 500 runners registered for the half and about a hundred for the full. Also, the 5 milers (500+) lined up with us as well, which made for a cozy start.  I tried to get as close to the front as I could to avoid the squishing bottle neck of runners trying to make their way up the 'hill' at the very beginning of the race.  This was also the finish, which we eventually ran down.  My kind of finish line. ;)

Since Matt and I are now sharing 1 Garmin, :(  my system today looked like this: I used my Timex watch on Chrono mode and wore a <1:39 pace band so that I had an idea of my lap splits.  I was super psyched to hear at the start from a pace bunny that the course was signed with 'Mile' markers for each and every mile. :D  I did not actually believe that I'd break 1:39 just so you know.  I knew I'd not be as speedy as I was at the Blue Nose back in May (1:37).  And boy, the hills of Saint John sure made certain that I wouldn't! LOL

I felt pretty strong and fresh during the run today. I knew it was warming up with every minute and I tried to hydrate as best I could along the course. The race volunteers were spectacular! I am not just saying that.  There was a very satisfying amount of water and Gatorade for the 1/2 Marathoners along the course.  Thank you!

I should also thank the live entertainment that was along the route at a place called "Jim Bob's Variety," lol.  I giggled both times I ran by this place.
My run was on pace for the first 5 miles to be sub 1:40, and then I fell off the pace The hill climbs and the heat just slowed me down, (between miles 5-8ish).  Once I got to mile 9 I was feeling a lot better.  I was going back down some of the hills that I had previously climbed and had taken a gel to refuel.  I felt like I put the hammer down at mile 10 and maintained a pretty solid persistent pace to the finish.  Minus the last 1/2 mile, which had a Monster hill that came out of no where and some men were 'walking' up it! :S  I ran the whole way, but turtles crawling through peanut butter could have likely passed me with the pace I got up it
A sweet sign indeed!
As I mentioned earlier, the course itself was challenging.  I actually told Courteney that it was the 'hardest half I've ever done.' The first 5 miles had at least 4-5 hills. The funny thing was that I was running near a group of men and at each hill, I'd pass them.  Then when the hill crested some of them would run past me and the cycle continued.  I actually finished with a couple of them and they high fived me even though we didn't speak along the course......runners are funny.

The Run
13.1 miles
1hr 42 min
7:48 pace/mile

This race had excellent post-run food! Yes, this was warm apple pie just out of the oven!!! And hello.....'help yourself coffee thermoses,' my kind of race. :D

Post Run
When I was all done stuffing my face, I headed down to cheer Matt on.  11 Marathons completed for this guy---Way to go!

I was super excited to find out that I had won my age category (1/61), because the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers in each division received a pewter necklace with a sneaker pendant. :D 

So basically, we had a great time at the Marathon by the Sea.  If you're up for a challenging run with sweet swag, awesome food and volunteers, sign up and lace up!  :)

Thanks for stopping by GGR and have a wonderful evening!

Happy Running,
Heather :)


  1. First of all, dairly causes stitches?? interesting. I didn't know that!

    how much water are you supposed to drink with gu's? What's your favorite flavour?

    What an awesome prize! I love that necklace! It's nice that you got something other than another medal, something you can wear on a daily basis.

    Congratulations on your category win! I can't imagine running that fast... I'll be lucky if I crack 2:30 in october!

    1. Thanks Erin!

      I just take a gulp of water/Gatorade with Gu. Not too much so that it's sloshing around in your stomach. I like the sweet ones like Chocolate and Vanilla.

      With the dairy, a coach in Halifax mentioned to me once that I should try cutting out dairy a couple of days before a race to see if that's the culprit. So, after the Tely 10 I was willing to try anything!

  2. Great job girl. I am so proud of you and all your hard work....looks like those intervals are certainly helping you maintain pace. Sweet bling and award!!!!

    1. Thanks Courteney!

      I hope the intervals can push me to a 3:30 in October ;)

  3. Hilly long races are kind of my nemesis! Awesome job on a great race!!

    1. Thanks Ali!

      Yeah, with hilly races you never know just how hilly they'll be. And also if you'll get to enjoy some of the downhill of them :D