Friday I got up at 5:30 to meet my running partner for a run. It had been nearly TWO WEEKS since we were able to run together and we were wayyyyyy overdue! I put on my Garmin as I got dressed and I realized it was stuck on this screen:
It wouldn’t budge. I thought (irrationally) that it was dead forever, and 5:30 AM, I wanted to somehow magically Harry-Potter myself the latest and greatest Garmin 620 to have by the time I left for my run at 6:00. After
hyperventilating a little, I dialed down the anger crazy, I told myself “Self, it IS okay to run Garmin free, you know. You KNOW you should try it every once in a while.” So off I went for my 6.71 miler with my running partner…and it was weird not having a watch. We both had planned on taking it easy-this was our last run before Sunday’s Yukan Triple Threat Half Marathon, so the name of the game was E-A-S-Y paces. I was surprised when she told me our splits-all low 8s. I thought I was sucking on my paces and my body kept saying I was going toooooo slow. I was really happy to know how well we had done! Our overall run was 57ish minutes at an 8:34 pace. We were having FULL conversations during the run, and it felt soooooo easy. It was a dual runners high afterwards from knowing how well we’d done with zero effort!
I got home from that run and fixed my Garmin by updating software on it. (I have the Garmin 610-this is the very first issue I’ve had with it, and I’ve had it 7 months.) I made the decision right then that I would not look at my splits on Sundays half. My half marathon PR of a 1:43:01 (seriously:2 seconds off a 1:42 time? Does that annoy anyone except for me??) was done Garmin-free because I didn’t yet even own one. I told Kristina this and in my brain, I knew I would stick to it because it worked insanely well for me to not look at my splits for my most recent 5k and 5miler.
The Yukan Triple Threat offered a 1 mile race-5k race-and -the Half option. Runners could choose to do all three, or just one. Or two? (I actually am 100% making that up & I have NO IDEA if you could do only 2, but it sounds like a lovely option) The race directors staggered the races as follows:
So…Let’s talk race day. The weather was sooooooo perfect for any race you planned on doing…overcast….light rain…no sun…AMAZING.
We left nice and early and got to the parking lot by 8:30…1:45 before our 10:15AM race start. We tried to park in the high school parking lots but they were 100% full. We didn’t even understand how they were already full, BUT..We truly weren’t even thinking of the fact that it was because the 1 mile race started at 9:00…Our only instructions that we received said to “be there by 8:45” to avoid road closures. We decided to park in the “park&ride”.
It was probably..3? 4? Miles from the start, and ended up being so easy to take the shuttle. There seemed to be a constant flow of shuttles taking runners to and from the start, and the driver informed us that the service would be running through 3pm . We arrived in enough time to see the 1 mile race officially starting. We got our bibs, and watched them finish… Leading man: 5:29, lead woman: 6:38. It’s a testament to the hilly course was I guess? We had to wait until 10:15 to start our half so we meandered around and checked out the finish line stuff…they had a TON of post race goodies and it really got us excited to finish! Our race bags were also loaded with things like sunscreen samples, deodorant (that looked like body glide…and I may have accidentally rubbed it all over me before realizing it was actually NOT glide…at least I smelled good!!!!)
While we sat there waiting, it occurred to me that I actually wished I had registered for all three races-it never occurred to me back in March or April when I signed up for it to do the three-it was an absolutely perfect running day, and if I was running at home, I would’ve been doing an 18-20 miler anyway. We had fun deciding which race we would “race” out of the three. All scenarios were fun debating over for us cray runners!
It takes a special team of people to execute three races within such a limited timeframe-I have to say-it was insanely well done. While we waited for our race to start, we never had crazy lines for the porta potties, or felt smothered because there were so many people. The shuttles even let family members ride on them so runners’ loved ones could see them start!
Smiling at the start!
The race started right on time. That is extremely important to me. (It is a sign of some great organizational skills when it starts in a timely fashion.) We were somewhere in the middle of the crowd of over 700 runners. My one regret is that we didn’t line up closer to the start because that messed with my time. True to my word, I did NOT look at my Garmin as we hit the splits. All I listened to was Kristina telling me “too fast” for our first mile (it was 7:12). After that, anytime she checked her watch-I trusted that she would’ve told me if we needed to speed up/slow down.
Right away, runners were treated to INSANELY gorgeous views, I wanted to pull my phone outta my Camelbak and snap away, it was so gorgeous. It was an out and back course. And we knew going into it that it was going to be hilly..but this is the elevation so you can see for yourself:
HOOOOLLLLYYYYY HILLS. In April, I ran the Great Bay Half Marathon, and although that was hilly…I think this was even more so-or at least equal to it. I thought I was going to dislike the out-and-back course style. I thought it would be a constant mind game because I would be always thinking about how I ran down one hill and how I would have to run back up it on the way back. Those thoughts hardly ever crossed my brain!
Instead, some really cool things happened:
-at the loop where runners forked to start the turn around-the lead men and women began to pass us.. We were the first to see the lead woman come out of the chute and we got to yell “FIRST” to her-and saw her face light up with the biggest smile!
-at the end of our chute, as we passed the runners who were a few miles behind us, it was so encouraging to see all those smiling faces as they gave it their all! Ya’ll have no idea how much encouragement you gave me, really.
The only strange part of the course was along mile 4(And repeated again at 11) where you have to run through a rocky sandy section..it slowed me down a bit, but it was so short it didn’t matter too much. And I guess, really, that it is actually completely vindicated since you are running along a breathtaking seacoast. So, maybe I take that back a little. 😉 Also-as I was passing the runners, opposite to me, who were a few miles back, I couldn’t help but think how congested it was for them-the road was open and I didn’t see a lot of traffic directing-If I had been one of those runners, I think it would’ve intimidated me to see all those cars as I bumped elbows with runners all around me.
Kristina and I split at mile 6-she needed to hit the water stop, and she told me to keep going. I had my camelbak, and although I did get chafed from it-I didn’t even care about that because I had no reason to stop. This helped a ridiculously huge amount. Water stops slow me down, and I have zero coordination with taking the cup as I run while trying to get the water into my mouth. It always winds up right up my nose and I’m gasping because I’ve just snorted a water shot.
The run went by insanely fast: Not looking at my watch was working. At one point I just felt that I was going to get a PR. Instead of the negative thoughts that plagued me at my last half “I’m so tired”, “My legs hurt”, and “When is this going to be over?” I was thinking “I love running. I think I could really go faster right now! I was Suzy Sunshine of the Triple Threat Half, I kid you not.
I busted my butt up the last hill and that was when I saw the 13 mile mark. Not knowing what my time was going to be was so exciting!! When I came up to the clock-I couldn’t believe it! A course incredibly full of really tough hills-and I had pulled a 1:41!!!!! A new PR!!:)
I mean..YES, I had wanted a 1:35-1:37-but the course was one heck of a monster. There were no net times-that is frustrating and I’m not sure why they don’t release both? Since I was in the middle of the pack, I know it took anywhere from 10 or more seconds to actually start-I think my time, upon crossing the start, was about a 1:40:58-1:41:00 honestly.
Kristina crossed just a couple minutes later with a 1:43! She did sooo awesome and is just coming back to racing hard after being injured all summer. It’s a testament to how fast she is because she has a PR of a 1:34 half-she pulled this race off with a twingey knee and hadn’t even signed up for it til Wednesday-how’s that for awesome??
We hit the post race goodies hard.. Zirco coconut water, some pretzel Greek yogurt combo snack, bananas, granola bars, beef jerky, protein shakes, soo much stuff!! I could barely carry my bag onto the shuttle because it was so heavy!
I would not hesitate to sign up for this race again- I liked everything about it-from it’s organization, to it’s pre/post race stuff, to the views on the challenging course. My last half just felt disorganized compared to this one. I really would love to do all three races next time, but I don’t know which race I would officially try to “race”, or if I would do all three as a training run (that doesn’t seem as fun somehow!)
I know I have a 1:3x half in these legs. I’m over the moon that I scored a new PR because I have wanted to for so long. I knew I could break my PR of 1:43. It took lots of hard work and effort but most of all, determination. I can’t stress it enough when I say that you’ve got to believe in yourself to make your own dreams come true.
Xoxo! Run Free, Run Strong, Be Your Best Self!
Anybody else race this weekend?
Anybody run Triple Threat Half before? (AND possibly Great Bay? Let’s compare!)