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Bellingham Bay Review…Finally!

October 23, 2011

@font-face { font-family: “Cambria”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }Ok, ok. Yes I have been totally MIA and am long overdue for a write up about my half marathon in Bellingham, WA. My race countdown ticker says it was 27 days ago. Oops! Thanks Dan for the constant hounding and poking me so much that the guilt was starting to hurt. I guess without a triathlon goal set up and a couple other life transitions, exercising (and writing) slipped lower on the list.

Bellingham Bay was my second half marathon, the last being the BMO Vancouver
Half back in early May. The goal for anyone’s first half marathon, or race for that matter, should be to just finish. So, ok, I did that. I finished with a time of 2:16:43, which is a roughly a 10.5 min mile.

While finishing was (and is) a great accomplishment, it was shadowed by the fact that starting right around the time I passed the half way mark, I was sick. A key rule that people tell you about nutrition on race day is that you should never introduce anything new to the system. I followed this rule up until about mile 6 when accidentally I shocked my system with a Chocolate GU. I hate chocolate. Ew. I am sure I threw up about 15 times starting at the half way mark up until about 100 yards from the finish line. I finished and I left part of my stomach lining all across Vancouver.

Anyway…Bellingham! My goal this time around was to beat the last time, of course. I was aiming for about 2:05. I thought this race was well organized, start/finish was well stocked, course was great, and Bellingham was really easy to travel in and around. I think they also did a great job of communicating to participants through email and social media. Some areas to improve: course needed more fueling stations, a half way marker would have been helpful, and they should definitely offer race-day packet pick up!

From the start of the race, my legs were tight. Often times when I start running it takes a couple miles before they loosen up and can start moving. It turns out this time even after 13.1 miles, my legs never wanted to loosen up. I am still watchless, which meant I had no way of tracking how fast I had been going or for how long. I think roughly around mile 5, I knew I wasn’t going to have fun and I started to crave biking and swimming!

The most beautiful section of the course took us along the boardwalk and trail along the Bellingham Bay roughly around mile 10 and 11. But then again, by this point I think I keep saying to myself “what the f, what the f, where does this course turn around and head back to the finish line? The day, although sunny, was windy! At one point the headwind was so strong that I realized I wasn’t running faster than I could walk, and then I got passed by a compact woman who wasn’t much taller than the boardwalk railing. So I started walking.

I’m not sure I can say I enjoyed running this day. Except until I rounded the corner, could see the finish line, and caught a glimpse of my time. I finished at 1:51:16, not only blowing my last time by 25:27. Woooot! That is some might fine improvement. A personal PR. I hope the same happens in my third half! Ha!

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