Wallis Sands Half Marathon Recap

Hi everyone!

I woke up Sunday morning before everyone else.  The night before I decided on my Lululemon Run: Pace setter skirt and C9 tee to run in. The temp was in the upper 40s and overcast. I knew I’d be cold at the start but would warm up fast once I started running. I was a little nervous but I kept reminding myself that it was like any other run.I was feeling a little bit of the pressure from putting my goal of 1:50 out into the universe. What if I didn’t get it?

We decided the night before that we would all drive to Wallis Sands together since parking would be limited. That meant the majority of my pre-race prep was getting the kiddos fed and out the door. We arrived at the beach at about 7:30. The parking lot was already full so we had to park about a 1/2 mile away. That gave me a little bit of a warm up at least. This year they were starting the race in waves. I was in the second wave starting at 8:05. First thing on my agenda was to hit the port-a-potties(just like everyone else). There were plenty of potties but it felt like the lines were barely moving. An announcer came on over the loud speaker and instructed everyone with blue bibs to go to the front of the line. That sure made things move a lot faster! I think everyone felt the pressure to pee fast.

The first wave was off promptly at 8 a.m. I quickly gave Ron and the kiddos kisses and headed off to the coral for my start. Right on the dot of 8:05, we were off! I have a tendency to start off fast because of the excitement and the need to break away for breathing room. I kept it slightly conservative with nothing over 8:12 for the first 4 miles.

Mile 1 – 8:12

Mile 2 – 8:11

Mile 3 – 7:59

Mile 4 – 8:04

One thing I noticed right away was that the mile markers were way off. My watch would beep at least 1 minute after I passed a marker. Things were going well when I had a pleasant surprise. Someone said “Hello Angela” from the side of the road. It was the wife of a friend who had said he’d be out on the course taking pictures.

We left the beach and headed inland around mile 4. Water stations were set up at every 2.5 miles. I skipped the first one. By mile 4.5 I was counting down to when I’d see the next station. I was really, really thirsty for some reason! When the 2nd water station appeared, I was elated! I’ve never been able to master drinking while running so I had to walk through the water station. If I run I get water up my nose and end up coughing and feel horrible. Maybe it’s time to invest in a belt or hand held water bottle? I could definitely shave some time off by not having to walk.

Mile 6 came with the steepest elevation. I knew it was coming after living in Rye and running the course a few weeks ago. Of course, my personal photographer caught me on the hill!

Don’t let the smile fool you! I was really swearing at him for taking pictures on an uphill!

As I rounded the corner at the top of the hill, I strong headwind hit me right in the face.

Mile 5 – 8:30

Mile 6 – 8:20

Mile 7 – 8:20

Mile 8 – 8:19

At mile 9 I was starting to tire. My feet and calves were tight. I had my slowest pace of 8:55 at that point. As I glanced down at my Garmin, I willed myself not to go over 9:00. At this point we were back to the ocean and the wind was again at our backs. Yay! A man went flying by me and said “5K left – we’ve got this!” I got a second wind and pushed. In less than 27 minutes I would be crossing the finish line. I can do this!

The miles flew by after that. I can’t tell you a thing that went through my mind. I was just focused and in my own world.

Mile 9 – 8:55

Mile 10 – 8:23

Mile 11 – 8:35

Mile 12 – 8:35

As I rounded the last corner and say the crowd cheering and the finish line, I kicked it up a notch when I saw I was nearing 1:50. I made it with 30 seconds to spare – 1:50:30! Wa-hoo!!!! PR CITY BABY!!!

Mile 13 – 8:20

Mile 0.1 – 7:00

I was spent as I walked through the coral. My friend, Steph, called out to me to say “Congrats!” The speedy girl actually won first in our age division with 1:37!!  Go Steph! I grabbed a couple bottles of water and went in search of my family. I found them right away and was immediately attacked for my water bottles. That’s o.k., Mama wasn’t really thirsty after running 13.1 miles!

A few things I learned during this race:

  1. I think I run with my eyes closed! 98% of the pictures from my friend were with my eyes closed.
  2. My form could use A LOT of work! My heal strikes first way more than it should. I’ve got pictures to prove it. I also run with my thumbs up a lot. Weird.
  3. Strength training needs to be increased for my marathon training. Especially for my legs. I tend to neglect them while training for races because I don’t want to be too sore to run.
  4. I need to invest in a water belt or hand held bottle. Or I need to practice running while drinking. I could have shaved some time off during my walk breaks at the water stations.

Overall, I felt I had a good race. I’m so happy that I got my PR! It feels great. Of course, I’ve already set another number in my head that I want to beat. I’m not ready to release that out into the universe just yet. We’ll see what happens in the next few months! For now, I’m just ready to RUN HAPPY! :)

25 comments on “Wallis Sands Half Marathon Recap

  1. What an amazing run! The photos are beautiful and your outfit looks awesome!! Your time rocks. I too, think I need more strength training for my legs. Your kids are so cute:)

  2. Look at YOU – running happy and even SMILING for pictures, ha! I love it. You rocked that race in a huge way! Like you said in your comment to me, I love that we’re on semi-similar paths here. Both have run four half marathons (totally jealous of your sub-2 hehe) and are on the way to a full. SO COOL. Which full are you doing?

    Also – definitely agree that strength training for your legs is SO important as a runner, especially as you go into full training. I’ve noticed such a difference in my endurance, strength and stamina since regularly incorporating leg workouts (mostly barre work, the love of my life!!). And my knees are WAY happier too!
    Jess recently posted..Why I run: today.My Profile

    1. Thanks, Jess! I’m doing Smuttynose Hampton Marathon in September. I love Barre! I can definitely see how your legs are so much stronger because of it. I need to get to more classes asap!

  3. Great recap– congrats on such a strong race! You have an awesome personal photograper… my husband tries, but we never come away with great pics, and the race pictures are way too expensive! I love that you were right on your goal time!
    I tend to slack weight training for my legs, too. Lately, I’ve been counting spinning as my weight training because we’ve been doing so many hills and I can feel the burn! But I should do some traditional weights, too.
    Laura recently posted..Last minute 5k- Sprint 4 Life race reportMy Profile

    1. Other racers thought my friend was a race photographer. It’s hilarious to see random people in the background with wide smiles trying to look good fro the camera!

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