Beach to Beacon 2017

I ran another race! Two blogs posts and two races in 8 days? It’s almost like I’m back to being a runner blogger!

Elite Women! I heart Shalene
So my second race post baby couldn’t have been more different than my first. Peak’s Island is a low key, small race while Beach to Beacon is a major event. For those of you not familiar with the race, The Beacon to Beacon 10k was founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson (the1984 Olympic marathon gold medalist) who wanted to bring world class running to her home state. This year’s race had more than 7,000 runners and featured elite runners Mary Keitany (who set a new women’s record at the London Marathon), Shalene Flanagan, Abdi Abdirahman, Stephen Kosgei Kibet. It is pretty amazing to have these world class runners just minutes from my house!


nice guys at the bike valet
The race totally takes over the small town of Cape Elizabeth for the weekend. I was hoping to beat the crowds by heading to the expo as soon as it opened at 4 pm on Thursday, but apparently a lot of people had the same idea! Luckily, it is incredibly well organized so I still had my bib and shirt within just a few minutes. I had planned to stay and browse the expo a bit, but it was really hot and I had a sweaty baby strapped to my chest. So I just said a quick hello to the ladies at the Spandits booth and then headed home.

bathroom line selfie
Race morning is a little more complicated with a baby, especially since I’m still breastfeeding. I have to either feed him or pump as close to the start of the race as possible, which in this race was a good 2 hours before the race started. With a point to point race in a small town, traffic on race morning is also an issue. Luckily, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine started offering a bike valet service a few years ago. This is absolutely the way to go! I had a nice 3.5 mile bike ride warm-up to Fort Williams Park, checked my bike in, and then hopped on a shuttle bus to the start. It was so easy and stress free! 


My one complaint about this race is that there are never enough porta-potties! Knowing this, I skipped my pre-race coffee in favor of a straight up caffeine pill (#hardcore). So I only had to wait in the long bathroom lines once. Then I found my husband who was working, providing security at the start, and then headed to the corals.



I was not exactly raring to go. Id barely slept the night before and had also made the mistake of doing a million deadlifts on Thursday so my legs were super sore. So I decided to just go out at a pace that felt comfortable and see what happened.  Once I got running, the energy of the crowds and the other runners definitely helped motivate me, but I never felt the surge of energy and motivation I felt during the Peaks Island race. It was also incredibly humid, I felt like I was running through a cloud. The first couple miles are mostly flat, with couple gradual downhills, then the next 2 miles are a gradual uphill followed a big downhill and then steep rolling hills in the final 2 miles.


The Beach to Bacon sign on one of the final hills always makes me laugh. Probably the only time in my life I say no to free bacon.

I just kept running at a comfortably hard effort, only checking my pace at the mile markers, and not stressing about my pace. As I clicked off the first couple miles I realized I was on pace to finish in under 54 minutes so I made that my goal. I actually ended up way under that: 51:40- a 8:19 pace. I’ll take it!

The beacon behind the finish line


creeping on the elites at the finish- that's Deena Kastor in black!
I got my medal, took a finish picture, and then booked it to the Dunkin Donuts tent! After skipping my morning coffee, I had a major craving! Iced coffee in hand, I headed through the food tent and then ate my blueberry bagel, blueberries, and watermelon. There are a lot of fun things to do after the race, but I skipped them this year because it had been 4 hours since I pumped and I was getting uncomfortable. Plus I missed my baby!


Thanks to the bike valet I was home in less than 15 minutes- unlike all the other people stuck in traffic in their cars! After a second strong race performance I think it is safe to say I'm officially back in shape after having a baby. Now what?

Comments

  1. Yay for being back in shape - that's two stellar races in a row! Congrats!

    You know, I thought this race name sounded familiar when you posted it on insta - now I realize it's from seeing it on Shalane's insta too (duh).

    The bike valet sounds like the way to go! How cool that this race is so close to your home. It looks stunning!

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