First Half Marathon Thoughts and Experience

April 16, 2015 10:18 pm

We asked Maxine Lauck to write us a report on her very first half marathon.  Coach Katie has been working with Maxine and by the sounds of it, Maxine will be an IRONMAN in no time!  A 70.3 IRONMAN for sure at the end of May because she’s already signed up and thats the way the cookie crumbles.  We will see how she feels about this long distance stuff after that!!  We are very proud of Maxine’s efforts and can’t wait to cheer her on at Honu 70.3.

Let me start off by saying that I’ve never considered myself to be an athlete. I never played any sports growing up. Even now i wouldn’t really use that word to label myself even though the activities I participate in would contradict that. I did enjoy going to the beach, the ocean being one of my favorite things in the whole world. Later on I started to run, my best friend convincing me that the agony of running would pay off in the end. Eventually I did start to enjoy it. How could you not when you’re surrounded by redwood forest?

The Hilo half marathon seemed like an obvious race to do in preparation for the 70.3 Honu which will take place at the end of May. I wasn’t entirely sure what the course was going to be, though I knew it would take place down by the bay.

The race started out early on Sunday morning and the conditions could not have been better. We’ve gotten a fair bit of snow up on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa (snow in Hawaii?!) so the cool air comes down the hill in the night and the trade winds start to blow in off the ocean in the morning. It was also overcast which kept the temperature nice and cool throughout the run.

We started off doing a 6 mile loop. I knew that I had to hold back a bit in the beginning so I would have some energy left for the end. As we finished the loop we headed north out of downtown Hilo and over a bridge. As I cross the bridge I look down into the bay and see a green sea turtle, a Honu, and that’s when I knew that this was going to be a great race.

As we headed north on the highway there was a slight hill, nothing too bad, and though I wanted to speed up, it was still fairly early in the race to be pushing like that so I held back. We turned right off the highway into a little neighborhood that holds a great (sometimes crowded) surf spot, Honoli’i. Now it wouldn’t be a run in Hilo if you didn’t almost get hit, so as a truck tries to pull out right in front of me I’m thankful that I have room to jump to the side avoiding a disaster and continuing on the course. As we leave Honoli’i we go through the jungle on a winding one lane road. This is when living and training on a giant hill starts to pay off. As we go up this hill I decide that now is the time to kick it up. It feels so good to pass people going up a hill.

We make it to the turnaround point, about 5.3 miles out and head back to town. Enjoying the hill climbs and the decents even more, we make it back to Hilo. Around an 1:45 I started to feel a little tired. However it just felt like the long run I do the day after I have a long ride. Nothing seems as torturous as seeing the finish line but knowing you still have three more miles to go. The last bit of the run was through a cute little part of Hilo on banyan drive. There’s a nice Japanese garden and a great view of the bay, downtownHilo, and the Hamakua coast. We head out towards the beaches then turn around for the final part of the run, passing through the same area we just came through.

We turn right and the finish line is in sight. Almost there, almost there, almost there. That’s what I keep telling myself and before I know it I’m done. I just somehow ran 13.1 miles, farther than I’ve ever gone in single run. I look down at my watch to see that I’ve finished 11 minutes faster than what I was hoping for. Im so happy and excited and proud of what I’ve just accomplished.

This race not only helped me take a another step towards this crazy goal but also showed me that when I put in the work it really pays off. I couldn’t have done any of this without Katie.

Post race celebration mimosas and crepes are consumed, nap is taken, and I’m onto another day of training. Though I may not call myself an athlete, Katie might make me one just yet.


Hope you enjoyed getting to know Maxine a little and hearing her half marathon experience in preparation for her first half IRONMAN.  Don’t forget to track Maxine on May 30th, 2015 while racing at IRONMAN 70.3 Hawai’i, nicknamed Honu, in the honor of the Hawaiian green sea turtle.

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