Seacoast Half Marathon Recap

This weekend was awesome! The whole week I was looking forward to Friday. Why you might ask? Well it was the Rise Run Retreat, hosted by RunFarGirl.

Every since I got into this running community through instagram and blogging there have been a number of people I look up to, RunFarGirl and HappyFitMama are two, but there are SO many! I see how you can make a life doing what you love and build an amazing community at the same time.

Friday was nothing short of what I hoped. Sarah’s house is amazing and the food and wine were perfect and plentiful. There was no shortage of laughs and stories and I met some new people. I decided I think I am somewhat socially awkward, but that was my own conclusion, nothing in particular happened πŸ™‚

Last but not least, the swag bags. The swag bags were AWESOME. I am excited to try some new brands and most likely get hooked. Already hooked on coolcore, as I sit here using their wraps to ice my knee.


With Friday off to a great start I was excited for the rest of the weekend. My sister and parents arrived Saturday afternoon/early evening. My mom brought tons of pasta, food and wine for our own pasta party. I have always loved her chicken, pesto pasta and she brought it! We laughed, talked, ate and drank wine in my cozy apartment. It was nothing crazy, but perfect none the less. Eventually my parents headed to their hotel and I laid out my outfit for the morning. It was supposed to be pretty chilly so I opted for capris, a short sleeve with a long sleeve pullover and gloves.

At 6:30 am I woke up and had some yogurt to start the day. I changed into my outfit while my sister walked my dog and got ready to pick up my dad. I was excited. I knew a lot of people running and spectating, so it would be fun either way. At 7:45 I picked up my dad and headed to the school which was a 5 minute drive from my house. There was a bit of traffic going into the school but we parked and got to the high school by 8am, just enough time for the bathroom line! Or so I thought until I saw it and vetoed it and waited in the cold for a porta potty instead, great decision.

I went inside, found my dad and chatted with my friend Kailey before walking to the start! I remember thinking I LOVE this race, everything about it. I can’t really describe it. We got to the start just in time and before I knew it we were off. I actually liked that we only gave ourselves a half hour of waiting because it was much less stressful, we didn’t have enough time to just wait around and think about the race.

We saw my sister and mom shortly after the start, as well as my friend Angela! I was loving it already. The sun started to come out and I was running through my town, what could be better? Miles 1-6 felt really good for both me and my dad. We were right where we wanted to be around 8:40’s. This portion is where we loop out towards Wallis Sands beach and run along the water, gorgeous!


Around mile 7 it got a little hard, but I gave my dad my maple syrup gu and we stayed on track. Then around mile 8 we saw my sister and mom again which was a good pick me up. We headed out towards The Wentworth and Newcastle which is my favorite area to run. So scenic and whenever I run there I pinch myself thinking that I live so close to this beautiful place. How lucky am I? So often we take little things like this for granted so I try to remind myself to be grateful.

Mile 9-10 was where it really got hard. My knee started really bothering me. I think it is my IT band, which is discouraging. I had no pain in my IT band until the very end of Chicago, but no pain in the training leading up. I am hoping I can rest, stretch and recover! It was my knee and my dad was tired. I don’t blame him, half marathons are hard. I also had him running 3 days a week so that he could have more days for recovery, to avoid injury and not over-train, and also because that is what worked for him.

Even though the last three miles were HARD, we got through them. I tried to run a little ahead of my dad. Not because I wanted to leave him in the dust, believe me I didn’t. I wanted him to keep pushing, so I was just out of reach to see if he would speed up a little. If he didn’t no problem. We got up the last major hill which is killer (but I love hills) and the finish was in sight. I love the finish for Seacoast there are always so many people and its slightly downhill so you fill like a rock star finishing no matter what. We finished with a time of 1:56:29. A minute and a half off of his goal, which was to beat his 2015 time of 1:55, but hey we gave it all we had and we had fun doing it, at least I did.


My only goal for people is to get them as close to their goal as possible given where they are today. You always have to respect where you are which I tell my athletes all the time. If that means you don’t PR but you give all that you have left then AWESOME, you did amazing, that is absolutely something to be proud of. I want to make sure my athletes have no regrets in running and in life (cheesy I know)! 

Until next year Seacoast! You are still my favorite race but Wallis Sands is the next local half in the Spring so we will see if that one steals the number one spot. I am hoping to break 1:30 in the spring. That’s my goal and I just said it, but we will see. I am coming off a cycle where I kind of lost my confidence, trying to build it back up, but first making sure my knee/body is recovered.

As for what happened after the race, see below 😊


 

When the Fire Starts to Return

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the Boston Marathon. Training starts at the end of the year so it has been on my mind lately. I keep having thoughts like, if it was any other marathon, would I run? Would I sign up with excitement? Would I have the fire in the pit of my stomach to devote myself to training? If you asked me a few weeks ago I probably would have said no.

You see, somewhere in the middle of Chicago I lost that fire. I trained hard, but my heart wasn’t in the end result. I had worked for years for a BQ and after missing a Boston number by seconds the redemption fire carried me all through training and I never lost sight of my goal. Come race day, I knew no matter what I was going to do it, I didn’t care if it was hard or if everything was working against me. I would do it. I decided this long before and honestly I think that mentality was just as important as the training that got me to a 3:20 PR.

Things were different for Chicago. Yes, I wanted to improve, I wanted to run faster, but at Chicago? I am not sure. I thought a 3:15 was the most logical next goal so I went for it and I trained for it, but it wasn’t a goal that was running through my veins. It didn’t keep me up at night and get me out of bed in the morning. It was just there. It was just dictating my workouts.

Even the week before race day, I was more concerned with PR’ing for others than PR’ing for myself. On race day my mind was full of “I can’ts” not “I cans” or “I wills”.Β  Both of those were red flags that my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t truly invested in my goal, at least not then.

Fast forward to now. After Chicago I did a lot of reflecting. I realized I have just been going through the motions with running. I knew this was a sign. I needed time, so I have taken my time getting back into running. I still haven’t done a hard workout since Chicago and honestly prefer it that way. I have been running around 25 miles a week for 3 weeks and will continue for the next 2 weeks, still keeping it easy.

It wasn’t until a run this weekend where I started to feel that fire again. I haven’t felt it since March. It was sunny and around 50 degrees. I decided I wanted to go long, which lately has meant 8 miles. I was halfway through and realized I was averaging 8:30’s and it felt good. Then I started thinking about Boston. How long it took me to get to this upcoming training cycle. How hard I have worked. How awesome the race will be regardless of the result. How many familiar faces will be there on the course and at the finish, including my parents. Even just thinking about it made me excited and determined. The determined part was what I have been missing these past few months.

I am relishing in the slow build to my Boston training cycle, but I am ready to chase some new goals for Boston. Regardless, I am keeping my first goal as to run strong and make myself and my family proud because I know no matter what I will. Other than that, I am hoping to run between a 3:10 and 3:15. Same goal as before but different fire carrying me along the way.

Social media makes it hard to take breaks and ease back in your running and not feel guilty. Stay focused on you and what makes you the best runner you are! This is different for everyone. I see some people go from one race to another and never seem to actually cut back on miles and workouts, that might work for them but that does not work for me. I live for those 25 mile weeks where I can enjoy other things like my friends, my family, gym classes I haven’t been to in months. I live for the weeks of easy runs and no hard workouts. I live for the recovery and reset. Training for a race takes a lot of dedication, don’t sell yourself short, give yourself the mental and physical break you deserve, no matter what that means.

Jules