Day 311 | Bookending the Pregnancy Saga

I decided on Friday that no matter what, I was going to run the Maine Coast Half Marathon today.

There were many reasons why I should run, and lots of reasons why I could have stayed home.  But in the end, I believe what it came down to was that I needed to bookend this pregnancy saga and put it in the past.  The last two months have been filled with obstacles and physical challenges.  That is all in the past now, but I wasn’t sure if my fitness level had been compromised.  I didn’t know if I could run very far anymore.  It’s been a month since I ran, and that was only 6 miles, and I had lost a lot of blood since then.

The day was cold and windy, as you can tell by how the pedestrians are dressed.    I think it was in the high 30s at gun time, with a 10 MPH wind.


A couple blocks into the race, and we were already at the beach!   More spectators than I expected to see on such a cold morning.

The waves were huge, and they were cresting over the cars and onto the street.


There were other people out doing extreme sports,  so I definitely didn’t feel crazy being out in this weather.


The course then took us past the Nubble Lighthouse which was around mile 5.


And past some beautiful houses:


We then ran past York Beach right at mile 6.  At this point I was running really well (for me) and thought I had a shot at matching and possibly beating my Bar Harbor Half Marathon time of 2:54.


Right before Mile 8, we turned back and ran along Long Sands beach.  The waves were cresting even harder over the cars at this point.  I avoided the puddles pretty well but had to keep alert so I didn’t get hit with the waves.  I thought this would have been very cool for a summer race in hot weather.  Instead of running through a sprinkler or a fire hose, it would be great to be hit by ocean waves when running.   Today however, it would have been terrible to get wet.  It was way too cold.


At mile 10 I ran past this stone Tudor style church.


I love stone houses, and had to take a picture of this beauty that overlooks York Harbor:

Around mile 9 I really started struggling.  If this were a 10 mile race I would have been all set.  But it was not, and the last 3 miles were really difficult.  I had to walk a lot, especially up the hills.  My calves had giant knots in them.  I don’t know if it was the cold, or the fact that I haven’t trained for this race, or a combination of both.

Around mile 11, I gave up on the idea of getting a PR.   I had fleeting hopes that I could finish strong but by mile 11 those hopes were gone.    I don’t think it was very realistic of me to think that I could beat or tie my Bar Harbor Half Marathon time, considering I actually trained for that one.   But I love that I tried, and I got pretty close.

I followed a woman that I named “Sticks” for the last few miles.  She was a walker with sticks, and she was hauling.  She didn’t slow down on the hills so I kept her in my sights and never let myself slip far behind her.   Around mile 12, she was joined by an amazing support team.

I passed her shortly after I took this picture.  As I ran passed, I thanked her for pacing me for the last few miles, and told that I had named her “Sticks”.  Her friends then dubbed me “Runner” and they encouraged repeatedly from behind.

When the 13 mile marker was in sight, one of Stick’s friends came up and ran with me.  She held my water bottle for me (which did seem to weigh 10 pounds at that moment) and she really pushed me to run strong to the finish line.  I don’t know what her name was but I call her “Angel”.  Here is a picture of us a few feet from the finish line.

I did it.  I ran a half marathon without actually training for it.   My time wasn’t great (3:02) but it was only 8 minutes slower than the Bar Harbor Half Marathon and I did just have surgery a week and a half ago.  I consider it a tiny victory.

This winter I will work on my speed.  It would be nice to not finish 16th from the bottom out of 900+ runners.

I’m sure it’s just post race euphoria but I am planning on signing up for the Mid-Winter Classic 10-miler in February…

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Comments

  1. Sean Scarisbrick says:

    Hi there,

    I should be in bed, but you know how it goes. I stumbled onto your blog.

    Sorry about the baby. I’m glad you were able to finish your races despite it all. I hope things improve from here.

    Sean

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you for your kind words. I am still plodding along, getting the miles in despite all the snow we have up here in Maine. Thanks for reading my blog, I hope you’ll keep coming back!

    –Laura

  3. Sean Scarisbrick says:

    I will. I didn’t even realise it, but you and my wife share a name: Laura. It got me a bit confused for a moment.

    I’m in Western NY — plenty of awful weather, too.
    I started running for the weight loss, and am still at it, but it has become a good deal more. Insidious, eh?

  4. Laura says:

    Addictive…definitely!

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