Seacoast Half Marathon (2018)

seacoast half marathon | happyfitmama.com

Have you ever gone into a race thinking it’s “just for fun” but then come out with a feeling of disappointment because the time on the clock wasn’t what you wanted? Even though you told yourself over and over again, it didn’t matter?

I haven’t run a half marathon in over 2 years.  The last one I did was the Leaf Peepers Half as part of Rise.Run.Retreat in Vermont.  Ironically, I ran that race with zero expectations but walked away feeling a little disappointed too.

That being said, there were two reasons why I signed up for the Seacoast Half.  One of my BRF’s, Kyle, had been talking about running her first half so I said I’d train and run the whole thing with her. No goal expectations – just have fun!  That was my plan but my ego obviously had other ideas.

The other was because of the this years Rise.Run.Retreat race weekend meet up.  If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you know that the retreat weekends hold many of my favorite running memories.   Last year, it was a blast having bloggy friends hanging out on my home turf for the first time.  I couldn’t run the race last year but I jumped in for all the other fun events.

This year was a little different.  Rather than a time to get together with my bloggy friends that I rarely see, it was more of a girls night out with my local BRF’s. Lindsey from the “I’ll Have Another” podcast did a live show Friday night.  It was fun to hang out and listen to the stories from a panel of badass lady runners (including my friend Jess). And I may have said “I’ll have another” one too many times to the wine.  I missed talking to 95% of the people I wanted to talk to. Whoops. 🙂

seacoast half marathon | happyfitmama.com

Photo credit: Raya on Assignment

Btw – Did you see who one of the guest speakers for the 2019 Rise.Run.Retreat is?  Sally McRae aka Yellow Runner.  I love Sally.  She’s so inspiring and just a kick ass trail runner.  Sally are I practically BFF’s because she follows me on Instagram and has commented on my pics.  So you know she’s cool if she takes the time to do stuff like that!  I can’t make it to the whole retreat but I’m wondering if I can bop over to Woodstock just to give Sally a hug?  😉

Anyway, back to the race.

I’ve said it many, many times.

The Seacoast Half is one of my favorite local road races. It was my first EVER race and first half marathon back in 2008. I think I’ve done it 5 or 6 times. It’s mostly flat with some rolling hills, follows along the beautiful New Hampshire seacoast and is full of spectators throughout the course. Plus, part of the proceeds goes to a different local charity every year. Love when running can make a difference in my community!

And this year you got one free photo! (see up above)

seacoast half marathon | happyfitmama.com

Downhill to the finish line in 2008.

Race morning saw temps in the upper 30s with full sunshine.  Perfect except for the wind.  There was a gale wind warning until 10 a.m.  It’s usually a headwind when running along the seacoast anyway so this was going to be extra blustery.  I kept going back and forth on what to wear but ultimately decided on capris, a tank and a long sleeve (that’s a lot more mesh like than I knew when I ordered it).  That worked for the most part up until the last 3 miles when I was absolutely freezing.

Since this was Kyle’s first half, I was following her lead.  I’d run with her as much as possible.  If I started to fade and she was feeling good, she would leave me.  But if it was the other way, I would stay with her. I told her not to have a goal time but in her mind she had a couple.  She definitely wanted a sub 2:00 but she thought maybe she could pull out at least a 1:50 because of the time she ran Mount Washington in June.  Allegedly, the time it takes to run a half marathon is what your time should be up the mountain.  I don’t know who came up with that philosophy but Kyle thought it could happen.

seacoast half marathon | happyfitmama.com

Pre-race gathering staying warm as long as possible in the cafeteria before lining up.

After a super quick warm up we lined up slightly behind the 8:30 pacer (who just so happened to be my friend Sharon). That was the last we saw of her and that group.

For the first 5 miles we cruised.  I warned Kyle that we should back off just a tad after the first 2 miles were sub 8. We then fell into a comfortable pace around 8:10.  The sun was shining, there wasn’t much of a wind because we were more inland. I started to feel really hot.  I was wishing I had worn shorts.

And then we made it to the ocean and the wind picked up.  There were a couple of gusts that blew me into Kyle or other runners.  Miles 6-7 felt really long and our pace slowed until we had a mental pick up from cheering spectators from miles 8-10 where we got back on track.  There was a marching band complete with two older women twirling batons.  FYI – If I’m not running in 30 years, I’ll be out there twirling my baton at local races. Lol!

And then the headwinds hit us full on.  I started to struggle.  I was so cold.  My teeth were chattering.  At first Kyle wasn’t too far ahead of me.  I tried to will myself to pick up the pace, even for one minute at a time, but I was done.  My last two miles were a full 1:30 seconds slower than the previous miles.  Of course, the last two miles are soul crushing because it’s practically all uphill.  It’s not a huge elevation change but it’s enough that you notice it after running 11 miles. I was shuffling and just wanted to be done.

As I made the sharp left hand turn up the last hill before the downhill to the finish line, a woman passed me on the left and on the right.  The woman on the right, physically pushed me with her elbow and cut right in front of me to allow her friend to get ahead of me.  Wtf was that?!?!  I had to pull back so I didn’t trip over her.  I couldn’t get any words out because I was completely shocked by it.  If you want to beat me, run faster, it’s not freakin’ roller derby lady!

I crossed the finish line pissed off.  I think that incidence put me into a negative mood.

I know every race can’t be a PR. I know that I can’t compare myself to where I was fitness-wise 2 years ago, 4 years ago, etc.  A lot has changed over the years.  Half marathons are no longer my jam. I’m rusting on racing. I’m much happier on a single track trail or spending the entirety of a race climbing for vert up a mountain. But I still thought I could eek out a sub 1:50 time.

It’s hard to let go where you were before and where you are now.

After shaking my pity party and getting out my annoyances over roller derby lady, my perspective changed.

seacoast half marathon | happyfitmama.com

2018 (with Mariette, Kailey and Kyle) vs 2013 (Mariette, Karen and Kailey)

seacoast half marathon | happyfitmama.com

I felt happiness again. Happy to have been able to run this race with so many talented runners that I call friends. Happy that I was able to train with a friend and help her achieve a goal (and beyond!). Happy that I was able to run a race that started the running love bug for me all those years ago.

This was a good reminder that it’s not always about the time on the clock.

Linking up with Coaches Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday.

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Last week’s workouts were kept mostly easy in anticipation of the Seacoast Half Marathon. It’s crazy that it’s been two years since I did a half (and 5 years since I ran this race) when for years the 13.1 distance was my jam. I’m rusty on racing (and rusty in racing in general) those so it was almost like I was running my first ever half all over again.

Monday

30 minutes Arc Trainer w/ 60 sec sprints, 60 sec recovery x 8

strength training:

Bench press

Inverted pull up from Smith press

Split stance elevated lunges

DB clean

TRX push up

TRX tricep ext

TRX bicep curl

Eccentric pull ups

Banded pull ups

DB single leg deadlift/bench step up/knee raise

Stability ball roll outs

LaSt week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Tuesday

5 mile run, 9:22 avg/pace

#PraiseBe for daylight savings time!  I’m loving the lighter mornings (even if it is only temporary).  It was extra brighter thanks to being able to meet up with Kailey.  Once again, I forgot how to dress for these weird in between conditions.  It was raining with a real feel of upper 30s so I dressed in capris, short sleeve shirt and rain jacket.  I was too hot!  Gah.

A highlight of the run was when a 20 something year old girl reminded us to vote today.  You betcha we did! 🙂

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Wednesday

30 minutes Elliptical w/ 60 sec sprints, 90 sec recovery x 8

strength training:

Cable flys

Eccentric pull ups

Banded pull ups

Rope pull and reach

Rope row w/ reverse lunge

Walking lunges

Plank/side plank/single leg balance

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Thursday

5 mile run, 8:40 avg/pace

I don’t know if it was our conversations or our legs were feeling fresh and light, but Kyle and I picked up the pace during the middle miles.  It felt good so we went with it.

Notice the cat in the picture post run?  It was pitch black out and I didn’t know the friendly neighborhood cat was around until I felt something rubbing against my leg just as my phone took the pic.  My first thought was, “What is Kyle rubbing against my leg?”  Lol!

Morning Flow Yoga

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Friday

Rest Day!

Saturday

3 miles, 9:20 avg pace

It was a downright miserably cold Saturday.  Windy and ridiculous amounts of rain made me put off doing a shake out run until mid morning.  But like always, once I was out there, it was fine.  But I’m very glad I wasn’t running longer than a few miles.

Sunday

13.3 miles, 8:26 avg pace

I’ll have a full recap coming later this week with my feelings about that!

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with Hoho and Wendy for the weekly workout wrap up.

When You’re a Runner and Your Spouse is Not

When You're a Runner and Your Spouse is Not

Without fail, when I first meet someone new and they find out I’m a runner, one of the questions is usually, “Does your husband run?” 

Short answer, no.

Long answer, yes but he doesn’t like it, so not really?

It’s no secret that running is a big part of my life.  When you start up a blog 7 years ago just because you want to find more like minded people to discuss running with and you eventually become a running coach, it’s kind of obvious I like it.

Since Ron and I’ve been together (almost 20 years and 16 of those years married!), fitness has been a part of our lives.  Scratch that.  It was always a part of mine and Ron was trying to find his way back to healthy living after a slump of being not so healthy.  We started going to the gym together and just being more active mountain biking and hiking.

Eventually, I started to run more especially when I had the goal of doing a half marathon before I turned 30. Occasionally, Ron would hop in for a short run of 2-3 miles but nothing more.

Once I caught the running bug after the kids were born, that continued.  I would head out for a run, Ron would stay home with the kids.  In fact, he would push me out of the house when I was training for my first half marathon after the kids.  It was hard to leave my babes because I didn’t want to miss a thing.  But Ron told me to go run.  It was good for me, good for the babes and good for Ron.  Putting in those miles after the kiddos helped me remember that I was still the same Angela rather than a zombie of a mom who changes endless amounts of diapers and does countless feedings.

When You're a Runner and Your Spouse is Not | happyfitmama.comSigns courtesy of Ron

Over the years, we’ve figured out a schedule.  I became the early morning workout/runner and he would hit the gym after work.  It works out well for us because he’s not a morning person and I’m ready to fall asleep at 5 p.m.

Now, Ron is not totally against running.  He’ll pop out a mile or three at the gym occasionally.  He’s joined me for a trail run when we had some time before picking the kids up from school. Or he’ll participate in our annual family Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving.

It’s just that he doesn’t want to run more than that.  It’s “boring” and not his thing. When You're a Runner and Your Spouse is Not | happyfitmama.comRon waiting with the kiddos at the finish line of yet another race.  At least the kids had the beach to keep them occupied!

That’s totally cool with me. Just because I’m a runner, doesn’t mean he has to be.

Do I wish Ron was a runner?  Sometimes.

When I see other runner couples out enjoying a race or a long run together, it makes me wish Ron liked running.

But truthfully, I’m glad he doesn’t like running.

First of all, we aren’t fighting over who gets to run long first on the weekends.  Second, we don’t have to fight over who gets to run which race because one parent has to hang out with the kids. Third, he’s a really good Instagram husband at races.  It’s always nice to have pics from the course thanks to him. If he ran, I wouldn’t have any of those shots. (Selfish?  Absolutely). And lastly, it’s my thing.  I’m the crazy runner in the family who runs up mountains or runs long distances. I like that.

Maybe once the kids are older and we won’t need baby-sitters, Ron will find that he actually likes running.  That might be cool.  Just as long as he doesn’t get faster than me…kidding.  Sort of.  Not really. 🙂

When You're a Runner and Your Spouse is Not | happyfitmama.comThe one time I got him to run a trail race 5 years ago!

Ron doesn’t really understand why I run so much.  He doesn’t understand how I keep going back to running even though it has caused me pain. He doesn’t understand why I leave a warm bed at an unholy hour to run in the cold and the dark. He doesn’t understand why I talk about running so much.

But what he does understand is that it’s important to me.

He will help me roll out my calves every night. He doesn’t complain that my early alarm interrupts his sleep. He listens to my mind-numbing boring stories of running every single day.  Sometimes he even offers feedback (if he’s still listening). When I’m debating about registering/not registering for a race, he tells me to do it.

He knows running makes me a happier, more confident person, so that’s good enough for him. That’s all he needs to understand.

Linking up with Coaches Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday.

Does your significant other run?

Do you wish they did/did not?