Half Marathon Report

>> Monday, May 5, 2014

Well that race certainly didn't go as I had imagined. Though I was already a little shaky on how I thought my experience might pan out -- I had no idea that digestive issues would be my biggest concern. Yesterday marked my very first mid-race porta-John break . . . for an entire minute.

Somehow I still PRed by 10 seconds with a time of 1:44:16. Don't ask me how.

I'll be posting a full race recap on WalkJogRun sometime soon. But in short: I started the first 6 or so miles firmly with the 1:42-ers. (I wasn't wearing a watch, but I asked around what our pace was, and I was totally surprised I felt so effortlessly comfortable there.) However, also early on -- my stomach was churning (long story, but I think it was related to some other women's issues -- eek! -- TMI), so I slowed down quite a bit after hitting the 10K mark and mentally decided it just wasn't my day.

Also: Holy wind! On all -- ALL! -- the uphills!

When I got to around mile 8, I knew if I didn't stop -- my race wouldn't be pretty. So, I made the tough decision and said goodbye to a PR, at least I thought. The only other time I used porta-Johns during a race was when I did this same half marathon when I was pregnant. (Here's more about training for distances races while pregnant.)

When I returned to the course over sixty seconds later (I counted . . . in horror), I found myself next to this awesome woman my age and we struck up a conversation. We had tons in common (daughters, interests, pace, etc.) and she was holding strong and steady. She mentioned how we could still break 1:45 -- and I was absolutely thrilled. So, we ran together for the rest of the race. We also smiled and chatted the whole way to the finish, which actually puzzled a lot of other racers and spectators.

That's one of my favorite parts of events. I don't do many these days, but whenever I do, I encounter to the coolest people! So, I saw the clock in the distance and knew I could break my previous time if I gunned it to the finish. I crossed the line with energy to spare and I don't even feel sore today. Definitely frustrated that I didn't meet my full potential, but at the same time -- a PR is a PR!

Most of all, I'm impressed that my training plan improved my running strength so much, even though I wasn't able to stick 100% to it. Consistent running -- however it looks -- really does pay off. Getting in long runs -- at any pace -- really does improve confidence. Etc.

Last year I finished in this time (a PR by over 2 minutes) and was totally wiped out. This year? I'm already looking for another race to see if that bigger PR really is in me.

Last year versus this year:

Oh, and Stephen did pretty well, too. (Understatement of the year.) He came in third overall with a 1:13:40 finish. Congrats, Stephen!

There were tons of races this weekend. TONS! 

Did you run one? How'd you do? 

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