On Sunday, December 6th, I ran the Happy Holidays Half MerryThon, hosted by YuKan Sports, LLC.
The race began in Gloucester, MA, and quickly took you into Rockport, MA, both of which are about 45 minutes north of our apartment in Boston. Neither Kyle nor I had been to Gloucester or Rockport, so we were both excited to explore.
Kyle’s 25th birthday was on Saturday, 12/5, and we spent a majority of the day celebrating. Despite the birthday celebrations, I had come down with the stomach bug and wasn’t feeling well. I woke up Sunday morning not sure what to do – skip the half marathon and rest? Or just push through and rest afterwards? Well, I went with the latter 🙂
As soon as we parked at the starting line, we walked to packet pickup and had the most beautiful views of the ocean! The air smelled just like ocean water, and the water was crystal blue. I definitely want to visit Rockport again and walk along the beach.
I didn’t have an appetite before the race, so my breakfast was half a plain bagel thin with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. I was worried that I hadn’t fueled my body enough, but at the same time the last thing I felt like doing was eating.
This was a fun race because you had the option to of completing the “MerryThon” challenge, which was first running a 2.62 mile race, and then the 13.1 mile half marathon. I didn’t do the challenge, but maybe next year!
The half marathon started at 10:00am. As I was crossing the starting line I waved goodbye to Kyle and took off. I wore a Garmin watch which tracks mile splits, so I made sure that my first mile was at least 9:00 minutes. It’s easy to go out too quickly because you are excited, rested (hopefully), and tapered, but it’s ideal to start off at a slower pace and slowly up your pace.
After passing mile 4, I ate my first GU Energy Gel and took some sips of water from my Nathan Camelbak. My stomach was hurting but I forced myself to eat because I knew my body needed it.
Like I said before, most of the run was through Rockport. We ran down residential roads that overlooked the water. Not only were the houses beautiful, but they had spectacular views of the ocean.
I liked the layout of the course. We ran along the water for about 5-6 miles, ran a 2-3 mile loop, and then ran the same 5-6 miles back to the start/finish. The simple layout helped me mentally because I knew how much further we had.
This course had more hills than I expected. I ran about half the hills, and walked the other half. Typically, I try to run all hills and just slow my pace, but because I wasn’t feeling well, I used them as time to get in some water, GU, and to listen to my body.
Once we passed the 12-mile marker, I stepped up the pace. Because of my stomach ache, my overall pace was much slower than I would’ve liked, but I didn’t put any pressure on myself to PR.
As I made the final turn to the finish line, I started searching for Kyle. I found him pretty quickly and we both started waving at each other. He gave me a high five and I ran to the finish line.
I stocked up on post-race snacks, but didn’t eat any. We took a couple pictures, and headed straight to the car because I wanted to get home and lie down. If I had been feeling 100%, I definitely would’ve wanted to walk along the beach.
It’s been a busy fall with racing – two half-marathons and one full marathon. I am planning to spend some time focusing on cross-training and toning. When I do go out for a run, I won’t time myself or aim to hit a certain pace.
Kyle was such a trooper to drive me to and from the race, and cheer/wait/watch while I was running. A special thank you to him!