North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon

As some of you may know by now, James wasn’t able to run this marathon Sunday (June 4).  If you’re perplexed, you can read about his unfortunate outcome/circumstances here, which means I was on my own. As history dictates, James usually passes me during these events, so I missed him greatly on the course.

That being said, virtually he was with me the whole way.  He was a great cheerleader… even if I did stop talking to him during mile 10 (details to come, 😀 )

Pre-race, he got me super close to the start line, dropped me off 1/2-mile away.  Definitely much better than a shuttle bus, and I needed a warm-up, so I jogged to the field where the race started.  I immediately went to the portaloo line.  Pretty standard in that line… not enough potties, and by the time I reached them, the Star-Bangled Banner was being played.  Then it became a race all in itself to get to the start line.

The gun sounded, and all went well until 5K, never mind the powerful head wind.

I texted James at 5K and informed him I just ran into an evil hill.  I said some mighty nasty words… then I soon realized that mile 3 to 4 was all uphill, which is about when I also realized that this was actually a trail race and not just a road race.  Huge difference.  I didn’t train for a trail race, and I didn’t train on hills, especially the gut-wrenching hills I was running up.  I thought I was just going to run a nice trail/pathway next to the ocean… but noooo… that wasn’t the case.  My bad.

Eventually I texted James and asked when my pain was going to end.  He did a quick reconnaissance and informed me I was in hill hell until after mile 8.  Awesome.

Shortly after mile 8, maybe mile 9 (I’ve lost my senses at this point, so I can’t remember), it became a nice downhill path.  I was so relieved.  Down I went… until the shift at mile 10.  All uphill.  I was spent.  I texted James and said, “Not going to make my time.  5K left. Head wind. Gassed.  Still going.”

Up, up, up we go!

Despite the course “description” on the website of being flat, the last 3 miles were a painful and gradual uphill climb.  I kept saying to myself, “Okay, once I get past this hill, I’ll take off again and redeem myself.”  It never happened because the hill never ended.

I was very thankful to see James at about 12.75 miles as he ran a little bit with me to keep me going, at least until we reached the finisher’s chute, and then the crowd cheered me in across the finish line.  Such great support for an extremely challenging course.

The bottom line…  beautiful scenery, beautiful people, really hard course.  But I finished.  At the end of the day, I clocked in over 15 miles/24 km (over 32,000 steps on the FitBit).

As for the The Whole 30 having an effect… I believe it helped.  I still felt strong and ready to go, even after miles 8 and 9… it was only after the mile 10 hill that I had a bit of an emotional breakdown and just couldn’t handle any more hills.

The elevation profile. The drop from 220 to 0 was at about mile 8 or 9. The tiny (but huge) bump towards the end left me deflated.

It was a great day, a great race, and quite frankly, it was my own “un”doing by not training properly for an extremely hilly course.  If you ever run this race… do 10 to 20 miles on a mountain trail for training (numerous times), and you’ll be fully prepared.

Now on to enjoy the beautiful town and area of Port Angeles…  I think there was talk of a hike up to Hurricane Ridge tomorrow, or something stupid like that… 😀

From Sequim to Port Angeles

51 thoughts on “North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon

  1. tyronepierre

    Wow! Congratulations, I don’t think you quite realise how inspirational this is! Running uphill is so demanding on the body, so it is great that you have such an understanding and supportive partner in James. On Sunday I completed a half marathon, but after reading your blog I have FINALLY decided to join a race (as I tend to do these things solo) What beautiful scenery too!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Thanks Tyrone! And congratulations on signing up for a race! If you run the distance, you may as well get a bling for it, lol! It’s the whole racing experience that makes it addictive… the portaloos, the logistics, pre-race, post-race, adrenaline, nerves, people. You’re going to do amazing! When is it? Will you write about it?

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    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Hahahaha, you funny man! But you’re also absolutely right! I need to find a nice mountain like yours to train on to become stronger! I have no doubt you wouldn’t have even been breathing hard at the end of this one if you had ran it! 😊

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    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Thank you Gareth! Yes, you are absolutely right! It was hard, and it was very rewarding… probably even more so than just a flat road! However, my thighs are none too pleased with me today, but hey, they’ll get over it, lol!! 😁

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    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Thank you Serena!! Now that we dont have a race anytime soon, James can focus on his healing so he can get back in the game. And believe me, I hope it’s soon too! Nothing worse than a runner who can’t run, lol!!

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  2. Darlene

    It looks like a really pretty course. I’m not good on hilly. I always say that I’ll train for them but I never do. Just have to re-adjust your race goals on a course that is not flat.

    As they say: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    Too bad about your hubby. DNSing sucks…it must be even worse when it’s a marathon or your wife is racing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. neveradullbling Post author

      The elevation guide when we signed up was a bit misleading. It showed what looked to be some gentle rolling hills, not the stiff peaks and valleys that I encountered. And you’re right, you have to adjust your goals and be flexible. I was just thankful I finished, 😁

      And yes, it was hard for James to give up the race, but he was very supportive during it for me. And now he can focus on healing.

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  3. 50in50marathonquest

    congratulations on an awesome race…was really cool to cheer you along via text and be there for you at the finish…missed being out there in person but this one was all you and you definitely ran enough hill for both of us!! now, about that hike…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. neveradullbling Post author

      It was great having you only a text away! Almost like you being right there! I’m still showing you the hardest mile, you’re not getting out of it! 😁 And I’m not even thinking about that hike, lol!

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  4. meesh107

    Oh My GOSH! Nothing worse than an unexpectedly HILLY course! I would have been so mentally trashed by that, even before my legs were toast. But you were a boss and stuck it out!!! GREAT WORK!

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. artisticsharon

    Paula you are so damn amazing!! First you rock Whole 30 and then you tough out an unexpectedly HILLY course…CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m so inspired by you…thank you for sharing your experiences 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Dippy-Dotty Girl

    Well done Paula and that was lovely of James to keep your morale up. The description of the uphill run made me sweat sitting here on my couch. So I shall send you a bucketful of virtual chocolates to make up for all that hard work xx

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Tasha

    You should really be proud of yourself….regardless of the time you kept right on pushing til the end. I have a neighbor friend who run marathons and I swear I don’t know how yall do it. It’s really inspiring how ya’ll keep going even when you want to give up.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Thank you so much Tasha! It does get challenging at times, but we train ourselves not to quit so it’s never even an option… unless we collapse of course… but then we’re carried out on a stretcher so we don’t have a say in the matter, lol! 😁

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  8. cat h bradley

    Congrats Paula–and glad to hear the diet seems to be contributing positively! HILLS!! Have been trying to incorporate more hill work lately so it felt very timely to read your post. Congrats again! x

    Liked by 1 person

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