Newport UnitedHealthcare Half Marathon Recap

Annnnd over a week later, I finally get around to recapping my first half marathon. October is always super busy for me because I take Halloween very—and I mean VERY—seriously. It involves hand-making at least three costumes, but this year, it’s even more out of hand because I’ll be in Vegas for part of the celebrations (more on that later). But enough of the blah-blah-I’m-busy-blah-blah excuses. I suck at blogging five days a week, I admit it.

My first half marathon was great. Despite some misty rain at the start of the race and some intense wind when running along the Newport shoreline, the temperature was perfect for running, and I had a lot of fun. It’s strange using the word “fun” to describe running 13.1 miles on a Sunday morning, but I really did enjoy myself. Maybe because I ran behind a guy in a yellow Power Ranger suit the whole time. That certainly helped.*

Given the sluggishness I had been feeling in the last few weeks of training, I wasn’t excepting a great time come race day. My goal was to finish under 2 hours and 10 minutes, and even that seemed like a challenge. So, you’ll imagine my pleasant surprise when my official time started off with a “1.” I finished in under two hours!

Now, the hilarious part of this personal victory is that when I say I finished in under two hours, I mean by eight seconds. Literally. Talk about cutting it close. But, hey, I’ll take it. Breaking two on my first half marathon is something I’m proud of, whether it was by eight minutes or eight seconds.

As someone who lifeguarded for five summers and is moderately creepy, I’ve grown to love people-watching. And, wow, the half marathon did not disappoint. I need distractions while running—music, pretty scenery, etc.—or else I get extremely bored and call it a day after a couple miles. And I was so enthralled by silently judging checking out everyone’s running wardrobe choices that I don’t think I even realized I was running a half marathon until mile 10.

First off, I was shocked and appalled at how many skorts I saw. Hey, different strokes for different folks—I’m sure there are tons of skort wearers out there who find my neon green sneakers repulsive. I get it. But skorts cause my eyes physical pain. I think I stared at one for too long as a young child, and that’s why I needed to get glasses in the fifth grade. Apparently I’m in the minority though because I saw leopard skorts, pleated skorts, plaid skorts, metallic skorts and every other variety you can imagine. The first five miles, I played a game where every time I saw someone ahead of me in a skort, I had to pass them. It was great until I realized there were so many skorts in the race I’d surely burn out before 13.1.

Before this post turns into an all-out tirade against the skirt-short hybrid, I’ll wrap it up by explaining the lack of pictures in this post. Not ONE SINGLE race photo was captured of me. It’s the bulliest of bullshit. I was so excited when photos from the race were posted online, I enter in my bib number, and you know what comes up? Three vague photos of people who don’t even remotely resemble me or my bib number crossing the finish line. Womp womp wommmmp. When I run my next half marathon (in June), my goal is to be the ultimate photo-bomber. Professional race photographers, innocent bystanders—it doesn’t matter. If you are holding a camera, I will force myself into your picture. Beware.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

*Obviously the Power Ranger beat me. I mean, c’mon, he’s a Power Ranger.

Half Marathon Training Weeks 8-11

You may be wondering what happened to the half marathon training updates. First, it was due to my crazy-busy schedule, but then I got what can best be described as Running PMS. In short, when it came to my half marathon training, I was a moody bitch (see Week 9 for more).

Week 9 was Running PMS week. I pouted and refused to run more than 4 miles a day. I even contemplated just bagging this whole half marathon thing and writing an emotional blog post about how half marathons are the devil and not healthy and that I QUIT DAMNIT.

Running PMS vanished on Monday and I once again was looking forward to my daily runs. However, I was met with a new challenge. I would think that after a week of stubbornly only doing 3- or 4-milers, I’d be well rested and hit the road with fresh legs. But every run this week was a struggle. My legs felt heavy and sluggish, and my average run pace continued to take a hit.

I was proud of myself after finishing a 12-mile run (the longest distance I’ve EVER run in my life), but I didn’t feel great during it and can’t say it made me excited for the upcoming half marathon.

 

The heavy leg issue continued into this week and was worsened when I decided Monday would be a great day to quit drinking coffee. An over-busy schedule + caffeine withdrawals = slow, painful runs.

This all turned around when I went up to Maine for the long weekend to stay at my parents’ new house. Being up there in the mountains, out in the fresh air and going to bed early each night was just what the running doctor ordered.

I hiked up Saddleback Mountain on Saturday morning, went for a quick canoeing trip, and when I set out for a 7-mile run, I felt better than I’ve felt in weeks. My Nike GPS app was rendered useless by the lack of cell phone service, but I could tell I kept a good pace throughout the run, despite the fact that I had to tackle some SERIOUS hills.

Thank you, Maine, for recharging my batteries and getting me back on track for my half marathon—which is this coming Sunday!

As with all my half marathon training posts, pictures are from my Instagram, and most are taken while on my daily runs. You can follow me @nicoleperr

Half Marathon Training Week 7

Moving into a new apartment + busy work week + weekend trip out of town for a bridal shower = lamest blogger ever. But I’ve got a week full of posts coming at you, so I’ll skip the apologies and just get to it.

  • Monday: Three-day weekends are the best. A quick three-miler after reading on the beach by my new apartment (and avoiding unpacking) was the perfect ending to the day.
  • Tuesday: I don’t know how to properly convey through feeble words how much I utterly detest running on a treadmill. I would rather run 500 miles barefoot while being chased by rabid raccoons through lava and spider webs than run 50 yards on a treadmill. Even in the dead of winter, I will wake up in the pitch dark and freezing cold and go for a run outside to avoid that piece of machinery. The two conditions I can’t avoid it: torrential downpours and blizzards. Today I was dealt the former and forced to run inside during my lunch break. Hated. It.
  • Wednesday: Pushed today’s scheduled run to Thursday because I’m a G and I do what I want.
  • Thursday: Moving into a new place combined with a busy week at work really started taking its toll on me. And I was absolutely exhausted during this run. But, on the bright side, I got to witness one of the prettiest sunrises I’d seen in a long time.
  • Friday: Thursday was Fashion’s Night Out, and while Boston is no Manhattan when it comes to style, I still was excited to experience FNO on Newbury Street. A fun night meant a great excuse to blow off today’s run…oops.
  • Saturday: My 7-mile run times have been slowly improving, but enough is enough. The next time I have to run 7 miles, I’m going to finish in under an hour, damnit.
  • Sunday: Rest.