2013 Seacoast Half Marathon Recap

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

That pretty much sums up my 2013 Seacoast Half Marathon experience.

I had high expectations for the race. Maybe too high of expectations since I am battling a pesky injury. That injury (and then some) reared it’s ugly head almost immediately.

Let’s back up to the beginning.

I woke up Sunday morning to the pitter patter of rain on the roof. And it wasn’t a gentle rain. I looked at my phone for the weather forecast to see that the temp was only 37 but the rain was supposed to stop around 8. Perfect! The race started at 8:30. The last thing I wanted was a cold, wet race. My running buddy, Mariette, picked me up and we met Kailey (hey girls!) at a parking lot just down the street from the race start. We got a little bit of a warm up walk to the high school where we soon met up with my coworker/friend, Karen.

2013 Seacoast Half Marathon - happyfitmama.comThe thing about doing a “hometown” race is you run into everyone you know. It was great to catch up and talk about running. The four of us headed out for a warm up that got cut short when we realized there was only 5 minutes till the start. We hustled to the start line where the National Anthem was already being played. Mariette and I had similar goals so we planned to line up between the 7:30 and 8:00 pacers. Kailey and Karen hung back a bit.

Before we knew it, we were running. I hung with the 7:30 pacer for about 1.5 miles before I started to fall back. I wasn’t feeling it. My stomach was making sloshing noises (weird since I hadn’t had anything to drink in 1 1/2 hours). Oh oh. What’s going on with my tummy? Internally I started to have a mini panic attack that began the snowball effect of self doubt.

Ron and the kids were cheering near the 2+ mile mark. I barely saw them before cruising on. I could feel myself slowing down as my foot/ankle started to hurt a bit. Oddly, my IT Band started to complain too. Of course, it’s all on my right side. The thoughts in my head turn to how I can maybe exchange my right leg for a new one. The best ideas come during long runs, no?

Mile 1: 7:25, Mile 2: 7:31, Mile 3: 7:49, Mile 4: 8:02, Mile 5: 8:02

By mile 6 my foot isn’t talking to me anymore. It’s gone numb. But my IT Band has started to scream.

Between mile 7-8 there are two huge cheering sections that give me a little more oomph even though the 8:00 pacer passes me by. My downward spiral continues even more as I want to start to cry. There’s no crying in running! My legs don’t care. They feel like lead and don’t want to move.

Mile 6: 8:14, Mile 7: 8:20, Mile 8: 7:59, Mile 9: 8:23

I knew Ron and the kids would be spectating at a point somewhere around mile 11. Thoughts of quitting start to enter my head. I can just stop when I see them and call it. Mentally, I’ve already quit. I see them, hoping my spirits and legs will be revived. I got nothing.

Mile 10: 8:32, Mile 11: 8:43, Mile 12: 9:08

The last mile entails a steady climb up essentially, the only big hill of the whole race. I’m steps away from the climb but I stop to stretch my leg. Really, all I wanted to do was lay down on the grass and ask someone to pull on my leg. In my head, that’s all I needed to make it feel better. I paused maybe for 10 seconds and started up the beast. I don’t remember a dang thing about the last half mile of the race. I just knew I needed to get to the turn, climb a little hill and then it would be all down hill.

Mile 13: 9:02, Mile 0.1: 7:15

Finish time: 1:48:54

Finish Line 2013 Seacoast Half Marathon - happyfitmama.comRepost from Instagram. Thanks Amy( Running Escapades)!  You made me look good!

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I headed to the massage tent to have someone (PLEASE!!) pull on my right leg. The girl that worked on me was exactly what I needed. Where was she on the race course??? My ankle/foot were still hurting but at least my IT Band felt a little bit better.

I didn’t hit any of my goals for the race, not even the finishing happy part. I did, however, get a PR for that course. Last year I finished in 1:49:52. An almost 1 minute course PR! I’ll take it.

2013 Seacoast Half Marathon post - happyfitmama.comThe big message that I received from running this race (other than that I really need to work on negative thoughts) is that I truly need to listen to my PT and take 4-6 weeks off from running. My body needs the rest. I keep asking it to push, push, push but it’s not happy. It seems like I’ve fallen into this cycle of having great training cycles and horrible races where the wheels fall off. Am I setting my expectations too high? Crumbling under the pressure to perform? I don’t know. I’ve got quite a few things to work on, mentally and physically, in the upcoming months. If I want 2014 to be a successful year in running, my brain and body need to get to a happy place again.

47 comments on “2013 Seacoast Half Marathon Recap

  1. Oh Angela!!!! Now while I would give my left leg to run those paces I know it wasn’t what you were looking for. I’m sorry you had so much pain! I do not in any way think you crumbled under pressure!!! I do think that your body is just waving the white flag…asking for a break! I would say rest up and plot to take 2014 by storm!!!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

  2. Congrats Angela! That’s a lot of time to take off from last year.

    I’m sorry your body was uncooperative, though. I think that very often, one injury leads to another, leads to another, etc. and soon the whole body is off. The rest and work will do you good, as hard as it is.

    As to your questioning your race performances, I think it probably more comes down to consistency. When you get into these cycles of injury/recovery/injury/recovery, it gets hard to make progress. It’s no reflection at all on your potential. Hopefully when you come back you will be 100% and you will go no where but up!
    misszippy1 recently posted..The new world of race securityMy Profile

    1. I think you nailed it. My initial foot injury that lead to a 6 week lay off from running in June is healed. This new injury came about in August and hasn’t had time to fully heal. My focus right now is resting, cross training and strengthening so I can have the best, injury free 2014. I’m sick of the inconsistency!

  3. Your final thoughts are exactly what I learned in NYC. I know that I did what my body could…but I also think that if I’d controlled my thinking for the last few miles i would have been able to hold the pace a little longer. Congrats on a course PR and here’s to both of us taking our new lessons on to great big fat PR’s 🙂
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted..NYC Marathon Questions and AnswersMy Profile

  4. I’m sorry that the race wasn’t entirely what you were expecting but congrats on your PR especially when you weren’t feeling 100%. As for taking a break, it sounds like that’s what your body is asking of you. I too say take the break now so that you can head into 2014 strong rather than prolong any injury/recovery.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..A day in the life of compassionMy Profile

  5. nodding my head to your frank thoughts; love that you persevered to finish; you’re experience has given me the courage to listen to my body more; thank you and happy running.

  6. Sorry that it wasn’t the race you were hoping for but congrats on the PR!!!
    I hope that you are able to take some time off of running and be OK with that mentally. Maybe knowing that it will be the best way to jump-start your running for 2014 will help. Hang in there!!!
    Kim recently posted..Veteran’s DayMy Profile

    1. I’m feeling better about things today. Having a migraine for the past day and a half is a good way to ease into the no running thing. I’m hoping to try some new workouts and devote more time to yoga again. Thanks for the encouraging words Kim!

  7. First, congrats on your PR! Second, I think most, if not all of us, have been there so know you are not alone. I had a similar race this year where I went in with high expectations only to be happy I was able to finish. Happy you are taking the time to rest so you can come back stronger!
    Jenny @ simply be me recently posted..BAMR Band ReviewMy Profile

    1. Thanks Sandra! My foot diagnosis is kind of complex. The majority of the problem is my Tibialis Anterior Tendon and Muscle. I’ve been working on it since August with PT and strengthening exercises. It’s usually not a pain (Sunday was definitely different than normal) so I’ve been able to run on it. It’s time to take lay low from running to get rid of it entirely.

  8. Runners! We are such an interesting breed! So many people reading this who are not runners would think we are absolutely insane! How can you run the best time you ever have in your life, and not be happy?? But that is part of what makes us who we are, what makes us achieve what everyone else believes is not possible, that stubbornness, the determination to reach higher and higher goals.

    Even though you did not reach your goal this time, you will use this as motivation next time and will be even stronger. Be proud of what you did achieve! Now enjoy a few days to chill 🙂
    Tina Muir recently posted..Apple Cider PancakesMy Profile

  9. Congrats on a course PR.
    Matt, from No Meat Athlete, said he qualified for Boston (dropped an hour from his 1st marathon) when injury prevention became his #1 goal. That is a tough lesson to learn especially when running gives us mommas such a positive mental dose. Happy healing.
    Amy recently posted..Goals AssignmentMy Profile

    1. Thanks Amy! When I think about all the time I’ve spent over the past 1 1/2 years on injury recovery, it makes me want to work that much harder on injury prevention. This break is definitely needed!

    1. Thanks Holly! At first the thought of not running really had me bummed out. But now I see it as a way to reconnect and discover new things that I haven’t done in a long time. Plus, my family will be shocked that I’m home on a weekend morning for breakfast!

    1. I know. I’m super hard on myself. At the time I was feeling pretty disappointed and didn’t see that despite not feeling the best, I did quite well. Something I need to work on for sure.

  10. I’m so sorry, friend! And you know I’m right there with you… we can rest up together. You still had an awesome time and a one minute course pr is huge! But I definitely understand the disappoint of race goals not met… if only they were all prs!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..A lesson from my bodyMy Profile

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