On May 12, 2012, Tony & I ran the Gloucester Twin Lights Half Marathon.
The race had two options. B Run the 13.1 miles or walk it. B It was a small race caped at 1,000 participants and just the size I like them. I don’t need crowd support, I just need space for my arm pumping!
I paid $60 to register, but if I signed up early, it would have been only $45. There was no expo, but if you wanted to be extra prepared you could pick up your bib and free tech shirt the night before at a running store in Newburyport. I think most people grabbed their bib day of the race. There might have been a swag bag (I’m not sure) but I didn’t get any when I grabbed my bib. I did manage to grab a shirt which was cool since I’m starting quite the collection now. The shirt was really niceB technicalB wickB one with a cute design. Too bad the size small was more of a large. B I even grabbed one for Tony when I picked up his bib, who’ll probably end up using my shirt as well. B It was kind of cool how the female shirt was different from the male shirt.
Parking was free yay! However, there was a bottleneck of trying to make it into the Good Harbor beach parking lot. Good thing we got there 45 minutes early, which rarely happens. Not sure where the people who got there on time parked since we were pretty much at the end of the lot.
The race started at 9AM giving me perfect amount of time to sleep til 7 am and the hour drive. B By 8:30 I think the weather hit 65 degrees as you can tell by the grease growing on my forehead. B It was going to be a hot one but not as hot as Boston (and half the distance thank god). B I had no food at home so I ended up fueling with some Kashi granola bar I found in the car (those don’t expire right?) and coconut water. I even forgot my Nuun at home.
We sang the star-spangled banner and at 9AM, we were off!
For the first 1 mile I was awesome… I led the pack (like a retard). I was right behind the motor bike. It was awesome… I felt so cool.. I think I reached a pace of sub 6 minute mile. I knew what I was doing was stupid, I shouldn’t burn myself out in the first mile but it felt awesome everyone cheering me as I was ahead of the guys. People were screaming “Go Girl!” as I blasted past the guys with smarter race strategies than me. I felt like an elite… maybe a little Russian American Jewish version of Shalane Flanagan in training.
But worry not by the end of mile 1 my glory was over. I was ready to revert to my regular speed of 7-7:30 minute miles. But by 2nd mile my shoelace was untied! Rookie! Rookie! Error. I was so angry I wanted to throw my shoes over into the ocean. However running barefoot didn’t seem like an option so I slowed down, tied, cursed myself crazy and continued.
Mile 3-4 were strong but I started getting depressed because I realized unlike the promise I gave Tony, this course is anything but flat! I knew that the hills I was running from mile 1 were going to be there for mile 13. The course was in and back type, so there was no question on whether the finish was going to be easy. I knew from the start it was going to suck.
See that hill, that’s exactly how the WHOLE course was like. B There was no flat parts, you were either going up or down. I also didn’t realize just how much of an elevation of 100 feet is… more than the measly little bumps I run on… more than my pathetic 3 incline on the treadmill. The sad part is, that I stopped training on incline on the treadmill the past two weeks because I thought the course was flat….
Miles 5 through 8 were fun! B Even with a horrible hill, it was still fun to run through Rockport’s center with all these crowd supporters cheering me on, telling me there was only 3 females ahead of me and that I should catch them. However, at some point around 7.5 mile mark my legs started to feel heavy. Luckily we had some cool volunteers.
Mile 9 I started doing my countdown. Only 4 more miles right? That should only be 30 more minutes. Liana you got this!
Mile 10 things turned to being scenic again. B I’m going to use Tony’s photo because most of mine have some guy blocking me! B How dare he! B Also surprisingly unlike every other race Tony and I ran together, there is more photos of him than me.
Mile 11, I screamed only 2 more as the course flattened out. Me and a girl in Vibrams were going head to head as she cheered everyone on. She was awesome! I was just trying not to die, while she was just running and cheering for all the gals out there in the lead of the pack!
Miles 12-13… actually somehow flew by… Maybe because I was no longer running up and down anything.
I started this race with a goal to be top 3 in my age group… That didn’t happen… I probably set my goal too high considering I’m still having trouble with my knee and piriformis muscle or sciatic nerve or something along those lines that causes some muscle in my butt to feel tight. B I’m working on it and trying to stretch more but it really is a pain in the butt…
Considering the issues I had going I can’t be too disappointed with being in 58th place. B Or finishing 15 in my gender and 7 in my age group. Not fast enough to earn a medal (there was no finisher medals in the course) but fast enough to PR. B That’s right. B My new half marathon PR is 1:39:11; 1 minute less than the flat course I ran with 1:40 last September.
Tony Finished in 1:54.. Not bad for a guy who runs once every two weeks and somehow pops half marathons like they’re candy. B I’m still working on trying to convince him he should do a full marathon.
As for the post race food? I really have to say that had I been less hot and more hungry this post race food would have been my favorite. It came with the usual banana, bagel, some Lara bars but also pizza (I think Tony ate like 5 slices and I ate all his crusts), clam chowder, Vita Coco Coconut water, and any cookie, brownie or sweet biscuit you can think of. seriously guys, if you want more bang for your running buck, smaller races is where the good food at!
And if you’re curious where the Clam Chowder came from (best one I have yet to try), it was from Lobsta Land Restaurant.
Overall I think this was a great race! Registration for 2013 opens up in June on their website. I’m going to sign up… $45 for 13 miles of fun is great! Sure there were no finisher medals, but instead see all those photos I’m posting? B Notice how none of them say “PROOF”? That is because registration fee includes unlimited photo downloads!! /i love unlimited race photos of myself!
I do have one criticism and that was that exiting the parking lot took hours, literally. I don’t have a solution other than going to the beach and waiting out a few hours; but had I been in a hurry to leave that would have sucked. Luckily Good Harbor beach is a cool place to chill in 75 degree weather. If you’re curious how Tony and I spent the rest of our day in Gloucester and Rockport, you can check out this post.