Seacoast Half Marathon – my first and probably my last (on pavement!)

I decided there was enough content on this race alone that it warranted its own post.  So here is my recap, a few days later, as the muscle soreness subsides and I am able to walk down stairs [almost] normally.

I signed up for this race on impulse after completing the Runner’s Alley 10k training program and the Market Square Day 10K.  I felt fantastic and was looking forward to longer distance.  I managed to rope Katie and Tony in too.  Bill and Meggan signed up as they usually do, so we had a nice little group.

My training for this race consisted of almost no road miles.  Good idea right?  I ran trails all summer.  The only exception was several 5ks, a 5 miler and one longer road run (Run for the Fallen) in Rye at 11.2 miles.  That race left me sore and tired but I bounced back quickly.  That was in September and definitely the last long road run I did before this race.  Following the RFTF, I did a double loop of Northwood (11 miles) and the Vulcan Fury (11.6 miles of humid hell).  By the time this half marathon rolled around I had no nervous jitters what so ever.  I conquered the Fury, this was going to be no problem.

The day dawned cool and cloudy.  Perfect!  The gang loaded into Meg’s Jeep and off we went.  Lise came along to cheer us on and later met up with Steve (Katie’s other half) to be our support team at Foye’s Corner.  I went through my usual pre-race checklist where I stress over carrying water, which shirt to wear, which socks to wear, etc.  I did leave my trail shoes behind for this one and wore my Kinvara 2s.  Soon it was time to go.  Katie, Tony and I lined up with the 10:00 mile pacer to start.  BOOM!  We were off!  Within the first two miles we passed this pacer and moved on to the 9:30 pacer.  I felt FANTASTIC!  My legs were fluid and my breathing perfect.  I chose not to carry water so I knew I needed to take advantage of every aid station (5 along the route).  We hit Foye’s Corner and threw some clothes at Scott who was working the detail.  Before getting there, I realized I could hear the roar of the crowd at Foye’s as far back at 1B.  Very cool!  On a side note, we scared off a guy before the 2 mile mark with our incessant chatter.  He apparently couldn’t handle people having fun while running!

Katie and I cruised along at a great feeling pace (Tony wouldn’t tell us what it was) well past the 10k point.  I had my first GU and a little Gatorade at mile 7 and we continued into New Castle.  It was about this point Tony started having foot problems.   His Newtons were not agreeing with his trail saavy feet.  I also had a small little twinge in my left calf that never got any worse.  Katie and I continued to cruise through New Castle.  1B is very deceiving as it is the start of the rolling hills part of this course.  You continue to slowing gain elevation as you leave New Castle and continue towards the finish line.  At about mile 12, Katie entered the dark place and I took off.  Or at least that is how Tony describes it.  In my version, I found the dirt shoulder by the South Street cemetary and kicked it into high gear for the last big climb up the South Street Hill and to the finish.  I was feeling great.  I had my last GU at mile 11 and it was kicking in.  I had no idea how long I had been running but knew the end was near.

I cruised into the finish line and couldn’t wait to get my medal!  I was DONE!!!!!  This race was fun, the atmosphere was fantastic, but I could care less if I ever run that distance on the road again.  Here was my stats and map:

Map:

And Splits:

So that’s it…. First and last pavement half marathon. My body was sore 24 hours later. Very sore. Way more sore than it had been after harder efforts off pavement. It’s bouncing back nicely, but certainly not worth the effort!

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