29 Half Marathons Later…

April 17 will mark five years since my first half marathon.  It’s hard to believe it’s been that long! I’ve had the most success with the half marathon distance…and we like what we are most successful at right?

Just kidding, I like half marathons because there is enough time to warm up during the race but they aren’t neverending like a marathon.  Thinking out loud, the training for a half doesn’t consume you.  If you have a bad half, you can recover quickly and race again relatively soon.

Until I compiled this list, I had no idea how many I had actually run so I hope I didn’t forget any.

Beginning of the race (20k and half starters)

2011: 
April 2011 Plattsburgh (1:41) PR
April 2011 Flower City (Rochester) 1:39 PR
May 2011 Run for the Dream (Williamsburg, VA) 1:36.56 PR

At my very first half marathon, April 2011
At my very first half marathon, April 2011
2012: 
March 2012 Shamrock (VA Beach) 1:33.29 PR
April 2012 Plattsburgh (1:27.17) PR and Win
April 2012 Flower City (1:29)
May 2012: Run to the Sun (Watertown, NY) 1:33 Win
May 2012 ZOOMA Annapolis (1:31)
Sep 2012: Turning Stone Utica (1:33.33) 2nd Female

mewinning123

2013: 
Feb: Lake Effect (1:31)
March: Shamrock (1:25.15) PR
April: Nike Women’s DC (1:24.49) PR
May: Run for the Dream (1:28) Win
Sep: RnR VA Beach (1:28.39)
Sep: Scallywompus (San Antonio) 1:28.30 Win

With the famous dadLOLZ
With the famous dadLOLZ
2014: 
Feb: Lake Effect (1:25.32) Win
March: Shamrock (1:25.29)
April: April Fools (1:23.23) PR
May: NJ half (1:28)
May: Run for the Dream (1:31)
Nov: Harbor Lights 1:41 **Training Long Run

Harbor Lights Half Marathon 1

2015: 
Mar: Shamrock half (1:33.04) *Injured
Aug: RnR Va Beach (1:31)
Oct: Runners World (1:28)
Oct: RnR Philadelphia (1:25.45)
Nov: Philadelphia half (1:25.00)

Runners World Half

2016: 
Jan: Carlsbad (1:22.57) PR
March: Shamrock Half (1:26.50)
April: April Fools Half (1:24.04) Win

Some random fun facts:

Hottest: Scallywompus

This might be the only one I raced in just a sports bra.
This might be the only one I raced in just a sports bra.
Coldest: Lake Effect 2013

And maybe the only race I wore pants in...
And maybe the only race I wore pants in…

Worst Weather: Shamrock 2016: Pouring rain, 40 degrees, and windy
Shamrock

Best Swag:

  • Scallywompus gave out a huge growler for winning.
  • Run to the Sun gave out wine tour tickets.
  • I think in general the best race swag comes from the Shamrock races.  On top of a t-shirt, medal and four free beers they typically give out an additional item.  It’s been anything from a hoodie to towel to blanket.

Best logistics: Any race that I don’t have to take a bus or shuttle. (This probably includes all of the smaller ones).  For the amount of racers, most of the RNR have been good. The only race I didn’t care for the logistics were Nike Women’s, but I am not a city person, and DC overwhelmed me.

Best Value: If you register early you receive a lot for the Shamrock races.  There is lots of food, beer, heating and everything you could want in a race.

Worst Value: Carlsbad.  I found the race to be poorly organized, and there wasn’t a heck of a lot for the price of the race.  Since it was 120+, it was expensive.  I don’t race for “free things” but the race was unorganized as well.

Biggest: Nike Women’s DC (15,000), RnR Philadelphia, RnR VA Beach

RnR Virginia Beach
#TBT to when my husband wasn’t in shape and ran my pace…now he is too fast 😉
Smallest: Run from the Sun (Probably around 300-400 racers?)

My brothers, dad and I all ran it before my college graduation.
My brothers, dad and I all ran it before my college graduation.
Best On Course Aid: Shamrock, Nike Women’s, RnR.  (The pricier ones)

Worst On Course Aid: Run to the Sun: It was a smaller race, but it was hot, and you end up in the middle of cornfields and don’t know if you are going the correct way.  I distinctly remember being thirsty during the race, and that doesn’t happen often.

Coolest Medal:  Lake Effect 2014 or RnR Va Beach

**Nike Women’s gave out a Tiffany and Co Necklace, but I haven’t worn it.  It’s not for me honestly.

Most Zoned Out: Shamrock 2014 or 2016 Where did this race go?  In the blink of an eye, I was done.  

“Felt like it was never going to end”: Turning Stone Half Marathon and NJ half marathon

Both races I had stomach issues.  I stopped to use the bathroom during the Turning Stone half, and I felt like I was going to projectile vomit red velvet cake during the NJ half.

Nj half race
But you can’t even tell I’m about to voms
Overall Favorite Races:

  • Shamrock 2013 It was a lot of fun to watch my dad run the full marathon, hang out with my friends, I Pred and the race is fabulous.  Shamrock 2014 and Lake Effect this year are very close runner ups
  • Nike Women’s Half because I wasn’t expecting a PR.
  • April Fools half 2014 because it gave me the confidence that my fitness was still there.
  • April Fools half 2016 because I redeemed myself from my Shamrock and I didn’t talk myself into a negative race.  The weather was awful, but I got over it.nikerunning

Regretable Races: Shamrock 2015.  It’s the only race I ran injured, and it wasn’t a smart decision.  It set me back in recovery.

States Raced in: NY, VA, TX, MD, NJ, PA (also DC)

Placements/Awards:

I’ve won 6 (Plattsburgh 2012, Run from the Sun, Run for the Dream 2013, Scallywompus, Lake Effect 2014, April Fools 2016)

Winning my very first goal race: Plattsburgh
Winning my very first goal race: Plattsburgh
I’ve placed second or third in 5

I’ve come in places 3-10 in: 7 (My most notable is 9th in Nike Women’s)

And most half marathons I’ve had no placements at all.  

Debut half marathon:  The Plattsburgh half marathon in April of 2011.  I didn’t know what to expect honestly.  With less than a full year of running and never having done more than 10 miles beforehand, I had no idea what to expect! I took it out at a pace that seemed maintainable, and it was.

Hilliest:

  • Flower City (2014)
  • Run for the Dream. I would honestly say that Run for the Dream felt a little harder, but that is because it’s also hot and humid.
    Finishing on the track
    Finishing on the track
  • Runners World (Curse you Bart)
    Still one of my favorite photos of Allison and I
    Still one of my favorite photos of Allison and I

Most Surprising time: Lake Effect Feb 2014

Most Surprising placement: Nike Half Marathon I was 9th overall.  It was not expecting to PR and honestly wasn’t even sure I was going to go all the way to DC alone to race.  It was at the peak of my anxiety, and I’m so glad I did.

Worst Chafing:

  • Flower City 2012 (cotton top…armpit chaffing)
    I raced in a men's cotton top.
    I raced in a men’s cotton top.
  • Shamrock 2014 (thigh chaffing was awful)
  • Run for the Dream 2014: (Thigh Chafing)
  • Shamrock 2016 (Heather can validate)

Questions for you:

Have you run any half marathons?  How many?

What is your favorite racing distance?