Maine Coast Half or the One Where Holly Slowly Lost Her Mind

They say that memories soften with time. Time and perspective make things rosier, somehow sweeter. A week after the Maine Coast Half and I'm still not feeling the love.

I was excited to participate in my first out of Texas event and get one state out of the way toward my 50 state goal. Dan and Jerry were so kind to drive us 3 hours (yes, that's right) each way so I could run.

Honestly, with the travel and everything I felt a bit "off". I didn't get to hydrate like I normally do...well 3 hours in the car...you get the idea. The temperatures were supposed to be much cooler than Texas, which would be divine. They promised water and Accelerade at the support stations. I trusted them. I made the judgment call to leave my fuel belt behind. Even in established, well-organized races I wear my fuel belt so I can hydrate when I need to. For some reason in York, Maine, at an inaugural race, I decided to throw caution to the wind.

Here I am at the start line. This was a women's only event--Girl Power and all. They did allow one lucky guy to run too. The race started at 9:00am. Since we had to drive so far, this was a good thing. It did not bode well for the temperatures though.

The walkers started 30 minutes earlier than the runners. I follow an interval running pattern of 5 minutes running and then a 1 minute walk. I am a slower runner. Since there were no walkers behind me, I soon found myself near the back of the pack. I even got a glimpse of the police car that was the end of the line.

This is when my mind started to go. My mental game was toast.

Running along the coast was beautiful. Did I mention though that my mind was going? I really wanted to call it quits and play on the beach. Oh, and I don't think I was even to mile 4 yet. It was going to be a LONG, painful day.

I did try to focus and take in the breathtaking views and quaint village scenery. It was a beautiful course.

Um...have I mentioned the hills yet? No? Well. On the race website they said something to the effect of "the course is relatively flat with a measure of gently rolling hills."

I would like to talk to the person that wrote that sentence.

Relative to what? Mt. Everest? Granted, none of the hills were too terribly steep, but they never stopped. It was one "gentle rolling hill" after another.

At each aid station I kept hoping for the promised Accelerade. They only had water. It also turned out to be unseasonably warm. Even hot. I was convinced the race fairies were out to get me. They did hand out samples of Cliff Shot Blocks. Now, under normal circumstances I would not try anything new on race day, certainly not during the event. These were not normal circumstances. The flavor was Margarita (with salt) and I greedily gobbled them up.

At that point I would have taken a pitcher of margaritas too.

I was quite grumpy and just wanted the stinkin' race to be over. Now. I told Scott later that if I was a cursin' person I would have been cursin' up a storm. I did keep muttering to myself "Where in the ---- is the finish line!?!" Yes, the race brought out the best in me didn't it?

I eventually finished. No, it was NOT a PR. It was done though. I got my medal.

Kathrine Switzer was the featured speaker, which was quite exciting. She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon almost 40 years ago. She opened doors and broke many stereotypes for women in the running world. She was kind enough to autograph my race bib, which was cool.

Scott said A. was the dog charmer during the race. She met all the dogs and their owners.

After the race I peeled myself off the ground and we went for lunch at Stonewall Kitchen. I felt (and looked) quite scary, but a girl's gotta eat.

Soon it was time to start the 3 hour return trip. Yikes!

While my memories might still be just this side of bitter, I am glad to have my first out of state race in my rear view mirror. Only 48 more to go.


  1. first, I think that is an awesome goal.

    second, if you want to hit AZ, a group of us are doing the "Rock and Roll" half-marathon on Jan. 13th. It should be a fun time.

  2. yikes! it sounds like conditions were less than ideal. but SO awesome that you got switzer's autograph! your next race experience will be much better, I'm sure. just feel good that you finished! only 48 states to go...

  3. That sounds painful...and down right awful! I would have been upset...to put it nicely. I guess thank heavens it is just a memory now :D Way to go...just the same. I mailed you something and although it is later than I had hoped...I mailed it:D

  4. How cute are you!!? So awesome. I wouldn't even begin to try that, so you are winner from the start. I love the pictures along the way.

    When I was in Maine 6 years ago, it was unseasonably warm, too. I wonder if they just say that!?? It was high 90's and I about died. And I wasn't running in a race!!

  5. I enjoyed that post very much! At least you never lost your sense of humor. You should be proud of yourself! And I loved reading about the trip to Maine and the pics. Always enjoyable to visit your blog.


  6. Well, good for you, you finished it. Sorry it wasn't as glorious as you'd hoped. I hope the rest of the vacation was fun!!

  7. You are a stud for attempting it, a stud for finishing it, and a stud for blogging about it!

  8. way to go Holly! you would always have regretted if you hadn't finished. good for you for sticking it out and what an awesome experience. It can only be "uphill" from here...oops, maybe not the best analogy in this scenario! ;)

  9. Good for you, girlfriend. You rocked that hot, hilly race. Told it who was boss. YOU!

  10. What a great post Holly! It's so hard to leave the comfort of what your use to, to do something new. I'm sorry it was a bit of a battle, but what a great memory and awesome goal to have! It's so great and you are such an inspiration! Are you going to add Canada to your list?!!!

  11. Yes...but aren't you so proud you finished!! It will make your next hot "gently rolling hill" race all that much easier. Like I tell my kids...sometimes we just have to do really hard things.

  12. Oh, Holly! As painful as it was, your accounting of it was so funny. "Relative to what?" That was my favorite line.

    This is an amazing accomplishment (love that goal!), and you look so cute in your race photos! How do you manage that?

  13. I would have shared that pitcher of margaritas with you, Holly. But you did it! You finished the race and that's awesome! And the autograph is very cool - save that so you can tell your grandkids about her one day.

  14. Holly - You did awesome!! And one state down already, way to go!

    I didn't know you'd be in York...Oh, I love it there. Wasn't it gorgeous? sigh.

    I'm v. proud of you. ;)

  15. I've been waiting for this post! Challenges are always good things even if they don't turn out like you envisioned it you still have something to be proud of! It looks beautiful there. Next time, I am the traveling nanny. I have promised myself that if I get my cleaning done today I am going to Blockbuster to rent Season 6 of GG. How are you doing on 5? I love the no commercials and fast forwarding but I don't know what I'll do when there is no Season 8. Guess it's back to Beth Moore. That's where I really need to be anyway! LOL.


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