First place Master at Big Lake 1/2!

Great news to report on my placing from this past weekend at the Big Lake Half Marathon in Alton Bay, NH.

It was great weather – just perfect for running! I started out fast – second place for the first 5 miles, and then I slowed on that long uphill – it is wide open highway, no people and just up up up… Once you get in the back road it is more turny and that is where Steve met me on the bike. It was so great to have him there coaching / pushing me with small bits of encouragement. I pushed to the finish and that last girl working to pass me – did NOT. Yeah. These girls that were in the top placing were pretty fast – 1:24 was the winning time for female. There was only one girl in her 30’s ahead of me – – so I am feeling pretty great for my finish time. Without much speedwork or racing prior, and a few extra pound (my excuses…) – I think I really had a great showing for the day!

11th woman
1st master – out of 97 (40-50) or out of 56 (40-44)
974 runners

I made a little comment after I finished about getting faster when you get older. Good for a discussion on why ….. is it focus? Is it priorities? Is it diet and learning from your experiences?

Learning from this past race:
1. ALWAYS be prepared – Steve dropped me off at the school and I had my flip flops on… yes… he had a tough time finding a parking place and didn’t get right to the school. I was freaking out – thinking I was running in flip flops! Oh no…. He got to the school and I let him know I left my sneakers in the car. My GU, and everything was there too – but I was most concerned with my sneakers. 🙂 I walked to the start area in flip flops and he took the bike back and met me near the start. CRAZY! Stress. Don’t let that happen to you!

2. GU is good – need to have energy – even if it is only one GU (or gel of choice) for a 2 hour race. They say 1 every 40 min for best performance and it works! I have learned that. Well – I left my GU and they gave out gels at the 9 mi mark (whew!).

3. Wear those strap timers tight on your leg. This is the second time I have had that velcro strap on my leg and it slid to the back of my achilles and cut through my skin. I was bleeding at the end of the race and needed a band aid and it really hurts to shower! 🙂

4. Pacing is important. I love to start out fast and take inventory of the runners. It helps my motivation, although starting fast is not always the best thing it keeps me moving faster! So – once you settle into a pace, think of tricks to get and keep that pace moving. Think of your favorite song beat or match your breathing with your leg pace in some type of rhythm. It really works for me.

5. Hydration is key – drink water starting a day before… and all week… make it a habit for your life actually. During a race, drink on the way, drink at at least every other stop or every stop (even if it is just a swish and spit…) No need to stop running, grab it on the run and take a small sip to keep you going.

6. Music is motivational – I decided that I need a CD of my “power songs” to listen to in the car on the way to the race. I love music – it really keeps me going.

That is my thoughts on this past race. Getting ready for VT City – so more thoughts to come!

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Nancy Cook 2021

About Nancy

Nancy Peck Cook is a trainer and speaker who has presented in front of large and small audiences for the past 25 years.  Her work as an executive and volunteer trainer for the American Cancer Society during the growth of the signature activity Relay For Life trained professionals to be more confident and successful in their roles. 

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