Brooks Ghost 11 Shoe Review

Brooks Ghost 11 Shoe Review

The Brooks Ghost 11 is one of the most common and traditional shoes out there.  Anyone working in run specialty will tell you it’s one, if not the most sold neutral trainers.  It feels comfortable when you try it on and has a full toe box. Plus, it’s made in wide too.

Brooks Ghost 11 shoe review

I’ve worn the Ghost before, and one of my favorite pairs was the Ghost 9.  I had hoped to get a pair of Ghost 11s in the New York City color, but I wasn’t able to order them through running specialty. (I guess they sent too many to bloggers?).

Each year, the Brooks Ghost is a consistent and reliable neutral shoe.  There is plenty of cushion, but it’s still light.


Since the Ghost 10, the look and design have been changed the most. It aesthetically looks better than previous years (What is better anymore in the running world?

As mentioned, the major update comes in the upper. It uses new materials but maintains the breathability. Like most of Brooks shoes, there is a double layer of mesh, which keeps air filtering through but also keeps dirt out.

Fit wise, the Brooks Ghost has always been close to size. I wear anything from a women’s 10-11 wide, and I’ve found the 10 wide to fit the best year after year. A few people have complained the toebox is slightly more narrow in the Ghost 11, but that hasn’t been an issue for me.

The most common complaint from the Ghost is the lack of structure at the top.  Your feet are free floating around in the top.  You never want any running shoe toebox to feel tight, but for many, this isn’t comfortable or natural.  Personally, I like it. There are no seams, no overlays, and my feet can just chill without worrying about rubbing or being irritated by seams (technical, I know).


The Ghost 11 does feel slightly different.  The Ghost used to have a more chunky, thick layer of DNA foam.  There is now less “DNA” foam and more DNA Loft Foam.


The Loft foam is softer but also more responsive under the heel. Previously, the shoe was a much softer trainer.  Now it’s transitioned into a shoe that you can do a workout, or easy run.  I’ve done both in the Ghost, and it responds accordingly.

Another thing to note is that the Ghost is my go to, rainy day shoe. The grip is more substantial than many trainers. It’s not a trail or rain shoe, but it has a lot more grip than many other similar shoes.


The Brooks Ghost 11 is a great shoe. There is plenty of cushion, and it’s one of the cheaper traditional shoes. I’ve run about 300 miles in mine. I’ve run fast runs, slow runs, easy runs, hard runs, I’ve pretty much done everything with no issue.

Current Shoe Rotation (Keep in mind, I haven’t run since NYCM, but it’s what I left with)
Easy Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, Brooks Ghost 11, On CloudaceUnderarmour Sonic, Hoka Cavu,
Workouts: Nike Fly, Hoka Cavu, On Cloudrush
Races: Nike Fly, Nike Pegasus Turbo, Nike Fly 4%

Questions for you:
What is your staple shoe?
Do you use a different shoe for rainy days?


Training: Resting

Training: Resting

Another week of training down.  By training, I mean resting. I haven’t run a single step after crossing the finish line of the New York City Marathon.

Not running has been great and I actually do feel like I’ve recovered very well from the race, almost too well.  I’m not sore at all but I know it’s important to take time away both physically and mentally.

I did get outside twice for 2 short and easy strolls.  It felt nice to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.  It wasn’t tough, rigorous, or anything faster than a casual stroll.  It was nice to just be out and enjoy the day.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 20 minute walk
Thursday: OFF/Active Release with Dr. Craig
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 30-minute walk
Sunday: 15-minute walk


Next week will be the same.  I’ll get outside for more casual strolls but I’m not going to push anything. I could 100% run right now if I wanted.

On Thursday, I got active release with Dr. Craig.  Active release is similar to a massage but a hands-on therapy breaks up adhesions and knots. It helps release muscles.  I’ve been going to the entire team since my second marathon and they originally helped to release muscles in my hamstring and glute that were not getting better.

It feels great to say that I made it through the training cycle strong, and healthy.  Does that mean I could have run the marathon faster? Maybe but maybe not.  I gave it my all for the day.

Anyway, next week will be about the same. I do plan to go for a hike towards the end of the week.

Posts from the Week:

New York City Marathon Race Recap

Collagen: Protein without the Protein Powder

Questions for you:

Do you take time off after a big race?

Is there fall foliage near you?

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York…New York.

This recap will be long. It hasn’t been a secret after my last marathon I said I was tired of them and had no interest in marathoning. So for over 3 years, I didn’t. Then the opportunity to run New York in the sub-elite corral presented itself, and I knew I would kick myself for not taking it. I was nervous, and I knew, and I would be the slowest person in the corral, but I decided to go for it. Spoiler, I have no regrets.

View this post on Instagram

It moved me because I’m here.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

The morning itself was just as great as the marathon, if not better. I got to be around the best of the best. We boarded the bus and were off to Ocean Breeze. Initially, I thought being at the Ocean Breeze track would be ideal because if it rained or was inclement weather, I would stay drier. The weather was beautiful, and I spent about 3 hours just hanging out and watching elites and other sub-elites warm up. Not every person warmed up, and I was on the team no warmups (Running 26.2 miles is enough for me).  It was very relaxed and peaceful which made it hard to think…I’m going to run my 3rd marathon soon.

Since many people asked, I ate a waffle at 5 am, and then a bagel around 8 am. I get hungry in the morning and starting a race at 9:50, I knew it was the best option for me.  It’s probably a lot of food for most people, but I don’t like running on an empty stomach.

When I went to go pin on my bib, I realized OMG my pins had fallen out of my bag.  So like a goon, I had a race bib but no pins. I hung my head in shame and asked one of the volunteers (who was actually talking to Jared Ward) if they had any and they were able to get me some.

By 9:20, we were off to the Verazzano Bridge. We got back on the bus, and when we got off, I felt like I had entered a whirlwind. People were shouting, get to the bridge, drop your stuff off now.  NOW! The excitement finally dawned on me, that yes I was about to run 26.2 miles.

The professional men stood in front of us, then us, then about 30 feet behind corral 1. Since I was the slowest person in the corral, I stood at the back. It felt kind of cool to say; I am the slowest one here.  I chatted with several other women, many of whom, were going to attempt a sub 3. I knew that could be me someday, but New York was not that day.

All of a sudden, they were filming us, and the gun went off.  The first mile is up over the Verazanno Bridge. It’s 100% uphill because you are climbing a bridge. I ran a 7:28.  Many people from the first corral were flying by me, which was fine. I just stayed in a straight line and did my thing. I don’t really ever feel pressure anymore when people run by.  They do them…I do me…

The second mile was my fastest, as it was down the bridge, and I ran a 6:36. I knew it was downhill but seeing a 6:36 made me feel a bit better.  I didn’t have a time goal and I knew with the constant climbs, my miles would be everywhere.

New York City Marathon me running

For the next few miles, I settled into a groove. My goal was to make make it to mile 8. I knew that was where I had the highest chance of seeing friends, although I didn’t.  The next several miles of New York are also the flattest. I averaged between 6:45-6:55.  I could see the 3: 00-hour pacer up ahead but I knew I wouldn’t be running 6:50s up the Queensboro Bridge and in Central Park. I briefly thought about joining the group, but then ultimately decided it would probably cause me to blow up.

So I just kind of trecked along. I took my first Maurten Gel around mile 5. I have a stomach of steel, so most gels do the same thing for me. I felt the same as if I had taken a Gu. I didn’t need a gel at mile 5, but I planned to take them every 5 miles which seems to have worked for me.

Around mile 6, I felt my shoe untie a bit. I also had to use the bathroom, and some people will pee on themselves, but that is not me. I decided when my shoe finally came untied I would tie it.

When I hit mile 8, I saw no one I knew. I wasn’t really surprised, but the crowds gave me life.  I wasn’t bad, and I maintained miles in the 6:50s.

Somewhere around mile 9, my shoe came untied, even though I had double knotted it. I am a clumsy bafoon, and I won’t run any race with an untied shoe and hurt myself. I found an opening on the side and tied it. It took me a little longer than I had hoped because the double knot got wedged in there but I told myself, the more you “panic”, the longer it will take.  I dropped my gloves as well.

I had planned to use the bathroom too but there wasn’t one so I just continued on and never did.  With my stop, I logged a 7:22 mile. I asked NYRR to pause the clock for me while I tied my shoe…but they didn’t so I didn’t pause my Garmin either.

New York City Marathon me running

I hit mile 10 in just over 1:10. The next two miles, were two of the quietest from the crowds. I took another gel around mile 10. I grabbed Gatorade at every mile I didn’t take a gel, and water when I did.  I was mentally struggling for the next two miles, thinking about how far I needed to run.

Around mile 12, I snapped out of it because I knew the half mark was coming up soon. I reached 13.1 in 1:32 which was only a minute slower than the Air Force half marathon. I knew I wasn’t going to negative split and I would probably struggle to run another 1:32. I decided that maybe somewhere between 3:05-3:10 was probably doable. It would be a PR, but also it would be on a much more difficult course than my PR in Pheonix.

New York City Marathon me running

After 13.1, I began mentally prepping myself for the Queensboro Bridge. I stand by the thought that during my first marathon, mile 15 was one of the hardest miles I’ve ever run in my life. I needed to mentally prep myself to know, it would hurt.

Mile 14 clicked off in 6:55 and then I saw the Queensboro Bridge ready to be conquered. Ok…here we go.  Mentally in mind, I just blocked off the Queensboro Bridge as being “almost done”.  My mind just thought, when I was there, I was essentially done…which is dumb because after you still have 10 more miles.

New York City marathon me running

We began climbing…and climbing. It was quiet because there are no crowds on the bridge. Suddenly, I looked around and realized I had begun passing people.  It reminded me of when Des Linden said about the Boston Marathon: Well I wasn’t feeling great, but no one probably was, and I was feeling better than other people.  It was true, and I passed a lot of people up the bridge.  I hit ran the mile in about 7:30 which I was pleased with.

As we came down on 1st avenue, the crowds were incredible. During the downhill, I felt my inner thighs and quads locking up. It reminded me of my first marathon, but also my second. I never really felt good during either after mile 16. Was this it? Was I done?

But as I continued, I realized I felt decent.  Both miles 17 and 18 were relatively flat, and I saw Danielle who was motivating. I ran both in 6:52 and 6:56.

From then on, I began mentally counting down. First I counted down to mile 20. I reached mile 20 and said: “just a 10k to go”.  I knew last time, it was a very long 10k.

This time I didn’t feel as bad. The next couple of miles went without much note. I didn’t feel awful, but I didn’t feel like the beginning of the race either.

Somewhere around mile 22, I saw some friends including Hayley.  I waved and it’s where this photo was taken.

One of the prouder moment is that I was able to see and wave to so many friends from 20 onward. I couldn’t do that and in fact, I don’t remember the last 10k of the race from 2013. I guess I had tunnel vision.

When I reached 24, I thought, just another 5k to go.  Hollie you like 5ks.  Although one of the hardest and longest climbs comes around mile 24 and I ran a 7:27.  I knew friends would be between miles 25 to the finish, so I gazed along Central Park looking.  My legs burned as the neverending climb in central park continued.

I saw my dad around mile 25 and even waved to him too.  I’ve never been that coherent to wave to someone at mile 25 so I felt good about it.

New York City Marathon me running

The last mile felt as though it took forever.  It was my slowest mile, and I ran a 7:34.  I saw the sign “800 to go” and began sprinting (or what I thought mentally was).  I passed a man who was wearing too short of shorts which weren’t covering…anything. :O

New York City Marathon me running

OMG, that is two laps around a track.  I begin powering through.  Then 400 to go.  Then I crossed and averaged a 6:34 last .2.

New York City Marathon me running

I crossed in 3:07.15 which is my fastest marathon by over 7 minutes.  It’s 10 minutes faster than the last time I ran New York.  I’m proud of it.  A few days later, I’m not all that sore and I feel like I was sorer after both of the trail races I did this summer.

New York City marathon me running

Now that I’ve run a marathon and I had a positive experience, I do believe I could run faster at some point.  I don’t foresee myself running another marathon soon, but I do know eventually I’ll run another one. Yes, I have qualified for Boston and I don’t take that for granted, but that isn’t a race that interests me right now. I can barely plan 2 months ahead, let alone a year and a half.

New York City Marathon me running

I still like the half marathon and 5k better, but I am glad to have started and finished a marathon training cycle healthy and with a PR.

Questions for you:

Have you run New York before?

What is your favorite race distance?

October Training

October Training

Wow. October has been here and gone. Every month is the same story, and it feels like months and years are flying by.  I knew October would be very busy and it didn’t disappoint that between races and overall life busy.  Now I’m here just a few short days before my third marathon.


Miles Run: Around 250
Range of Paces: 6:06-10:35-untimed
Longest Run: 20 miles
Shortest Run: 1 mile 
Workouts: 5
Rest Days: 5
Races: 3
Crawlin’ Crab 13.1 (1:30.03)
Heroes to Hero 5k (19:12)
Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)


The month flew by, and it feels like just yesterday I was back home in VA…but it wasn’t it was nearly a month ago. This training cycle has not progressed as I would have liked.

I would have like to be fitter at the end of the month and have logged at least a 1:26 half marathon but that never came. Weather is a factor, but my body just isn’t cooperating with running fast.  My miles were quality miles, and I am happy with my effort level, but like anything, it can be hard not to compare to other years where I’ve run significantly faster by now.

Next month will log a lot of rest days. After NYCM, I don’t know the next time I’ll run again will be. I am taking 2 weeks off, maybe more.  My body will need a good recharge to look towards the next race (I don’t have anything planned). How is that for vague?

In all, I’m happy with my month. You can’t force progression and for me, it’s coming much slower this year.  I’m healthy and that is always my ultimate goal. You can’t progress if you aren’t healthy.

Posts from the Month:

Shoe Reviews:

Nike Pegasus Turbo
Hoka One One Cavu
New Balance 1400 

Running Related:

Are Racing Flats Right For You?
Some Runs are Terrible


Adding Collegen to Oatmeal
Vital Proteins Gelatin

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

After a big race, how do you recover? 

Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

In summary, the Atlantic City half marathon was a good race. I had hoped to be faster but the wind was unforgiving and I raced for the conditions. It stinks to not have a faster half before the NYCM, but that’s how it goes. I’m proud of my efforts, and I was able to negative split the race.

My alarm at 5 am came early. As I mentioned, the days leading up where chaotic and I found myself on the go and on my feet for almost 48 hours before (except for sleep). I could have used a few more hours of sleep beforehand, but that is okay.

I got to Atlantic City around 7 am.  I met some of my local friends and running groups.  When I went to drop off my bag at bag drop, I dropped my entire bottle of Gatorade and spilled it all over myself.  I was cold and wet at the start of the race…a great combination.

atlantic city half marathon me running

I got to the corral with about 3 minutes to spare and talked to a few friends.  By the time I knew it, it was time to go.  During the first mile, we hit some severe headwind. I thought to myself…it is going to be a long way to go.  I also quickly realized my legs didn’t feel great but I was going to make the best of the situation no matter what.  I hit the first mile in 6:48 and thought, if I could hold this at least I would be faster than other races.

Before the race I thought it was entirely on the boardwalk. I didn’t realize how much was through the neighborhoods and actual Atlantic City.   All of a sudden we ran over an overpass and down through a tunnel.  I thought for sure my watch would lose GPS signal, but it surprisingly didn’t.  The tunnel was peaceful and still because there was no wind. It was nice.  Directly after, we climbed another overpass, and I hit mile 2 around 6:45.

atlantic city half marathon me running

The next mile went on without much note. I hit the 5k around 21 minutes and felt pleased. Away from the boardwalk, the wind wasn’t as bad.  You could still feel the gusts, but it wasn’t the 50 mph gusts that you felt on the boardwalk.

During mile 4, a man passed me listening to music without headphones.  It was blaring. I wasn’t in the mood to listen to his music, and honestly, it’s just poor form. I didn’t understand why he couldn’t use headphones, and it made me so irrationally angry to listen to it. I don’t like to listen to music while racing which is why I don’t. I don’t want or need to listen to someone else’s. Unfortunately, we ended up running near each other for about 4 miles.

During mile 5 and 6, I focused on getting to the halfway point. We went over a few more overpasses and through a couple neighborhoods.  The view was beautiful. I tried to pass the man with his music, but my legs didn’t have the speed.  The volunteers thought it was “so cool” with his music, but it just made me angrier. Looking back, it was dumb to be that mad but at the time.

I hit the halfway point in 44 minutes.  I reevaluated how I was feeling and thought that baring nothing major, I could probably hold that pace and run an even 1:28.  I also knew the last few miles were on the boards and while it would be the windiest, I could probably get some speed there.

I trucked along, and by the time I knew it was mile 7.  The next two miles went by without much note. I finally dropped the man with his loud music, and I was thankful.  We entered the boardwalk between mile 8 and 9.  Entering the boardwalk made me feel like the race was over, but we had 4 miles.

atlantic city half marathon me running

We passed the start/finish line somewhere between mile 9-10.  It’s always mentally challenging to see where you will be done and know you have a long way to go.  By this point, the race was spread out. Even though the half and full marathon were still together, I was alone on the boards.  Alone on the windy boardwalk is not where you want to be.  Since it was a crosswind, you were like a ping pong ball being pushed on either side of the boardwalk.

I ran a 6:40 mile 10 and just kept moving along. Finally, we rounded the turnaround, and we headed back to the finish line.  I just kept telling myself, two miles to go. Mile 11 always seems to be the most challenging mile of a half marathon for me. I passed one of my good friends.

I hit mile 12 in 6:35 and then just told my body haul butt. At the turnaround, I saw I was about 20 seconds back from the next half marathon women. I didn’t have any plans to catch her, but when I saw I was, it gave me the motivation to run faster.  I had déjà vu of when I ran head-on with a pedestrian in April and told myself to pay attention.  Runners for both the half and full were also going the opposite direction, so I wanted to be mindful of that.

12 miles became 12.5, became 12.75 and all of a sudden I was almost caught up to the women.  I passed her around 13 miles.  I could see the finish line in the clock ticking around 1:27.30 and I knew if I wanted to be under 1:28, it would be close.

atlantic city half marathon me running

IDK what I’m doing with my hands. I don’t remember doing that.

I crossed in 1:27.53 and as 6th women overall. I’m happy with my efforts for the conditions.  Like I mentioned in my training log, I was hoping to be faster, but you can’t control the weather.  It wasn’t hot, but the wind is a different battle and just as challenging battle (in my opinion anyway).  I feel like I fraud every half saying I know if the conditions were better I could be faster, but I’ve raced each time for the day, and that is all you can do.

After the race, I spent just under an hour playing the slots at the casino.  I have a limit of $20, and I spent $20 and won $20, so I broke even for the day. So success all around.

Questions for you:

What is the windiest you’ve run in?

Am I overdramatic that someone listening to music without headphones during a race is rude? 

NYCM Training: Peak Week

NYCM Training: Peak Week

I seemed to bounce back well from my half last weekend.  It was nice to get quality miles in with just a few weeks before New York.  This was my peak weak for the race, and it was my most productive week of training.  So that’s a win in itself.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 75 minutes
Wednesday: 3X1 miles (6:17, 6:15, 6:18) with a 1-mile jog in between (total miles with warmup/cooldown 10)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Heroes to Hero 5k (19:12) with warm up/cool down 9 miles
Sunday: 20 mile Long Run with Skip
Total: 59 miles


This is what you could consider my “peak” week.  I could use an extra few training weeks to make me feel “more confident” but a good friend of mine, reminded me all distance runners say they could use a few more weeks.  I would like another 2 weeks to add one more 20 milers in but that time doesn’t exist.

I mentioned, on my Crawlin’ Crab race recap, but I have a lot of lingering doubts for the marathon.  My primary goal is to start and finish another marathon healthy.

Many people have told me “sub 3” is easily attainable, but if it were easy, I would have done it.  My last 3 half marathons have all been around 1:30 which shows I’m not ready to maintain that for a 3:00 marathon. Yes, the weather has been a factor in all three, but it isn’t a factor that is going to allow me to run the same pace for 26.2 miles on a harder course. New York is a hard course, and my goal still remains to start and finish the marathon healthy.

I won’t say it’s hard to blog, it isn’t, but it’s been hard to explain to people I just want to finish a marathon healthy.  That isn’t something that comes easy to me. Finishing another marathon with any time, or pace would be awesome.

Workout Wednesday: 3X1 mile with 1-mile jog in between.

The workout went well.  I wanted to get something faster on my legs and decided mile repeats were good.  The two marathons I did train for, I didn’t do much speed. I didn’t many races either, and I know that is why I showed up stale to both races.

Heroes to Hero 5k: 19:12

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  My goal was to keep improving.  Last year, I ran an 18:41 and I knew I wasn’t there.  It was raining during the race, and it was cold enough, with a slight headwind, that I found my Goretex jacket to work well.  Since it’s a point to point 5k, we got more headwind then not.  That’s okay, and I enjoy the course because it’s fun to “race somewhere.” I ran 6:16, 6:15, 6:06.  It’s the second negative split 5k I’ve had in a long time, which isn’t usual. I wish it had an extra mile because I was catching the 2nd place woman.

Long Run:

Last week was my first and only long, easy, run.  I was excited to go out with good friend Skip, who is training for the Richmond full.

Next week, I’ll be running the Atlantic City half.  As of now, it looks similar to the April Fools conditions of rainy and windy, but we will see by Sunday.  I would like to see where I’m at fitness wise (not in the heat) so it will be a welcomed change after extremely hot races.

Posts from the Week:

Crawlin Crab Half Marathon (1:30.02)

Hoka One One Cavu

Some Runs are Terrible

Questions for you:

How was your week of workouts?

What is your favorite and least favorite weather to race in? 

Crawlin Crab Half Marathon 1:30.02

Crawlin Crab Half Marathon 1:30.02

The Crawlin Crab had similar conditions to last year and the Air Force half marathon in Dayton.  I would be lying if I didn’t say I was really hoping for a good day to test my fitness but you can’t control the weather. I raced for the day and 1:30.02 is what happened.

The race started at 7:30 am.  My dad and I thought it was 8:30 until the day before, so it was a pleasant surprise. I got there around 6:30, chatted with friends and then headed to the start line. I saw Mollie, and we talked for a bit.  All of a sudden we were off.

It was a hot, humid, day.  Online the weather said, 79 degrees but it was extremely humid. I struggled to get into a groove the first 2 miles.  There were several people in front of me, and I just felt like I couldn’t get going.  I saw my good friend Andrew, and we chatted for a few seconds.

Crawlin crab half marathon hampton va me running

Then he was gone, and I found myself listening to a conversation between runners talking about a recent Ironman.  I had nothing of value to add to the discussion so I just listened. I hit the first 2 miles around 6:45 pace.  I was happy with that but also knew what happened to my race last year.

(Essentially I ran that pace for 9 miles and then bonked because the humidity got to me).  I didn’t think with the weather, it was a pace I could hold throughout the race.

Around mile 3, it was just me and a female triathlete chatting away and just talking about life.  The mile clicked by.

Crawlin crab half marathon hampton va me running

I hit the 5k in 20:54 which was fairly fast considering the heat and the 5ks I’ve run this training cycle.

The next section was lonely, and I ran most of the rest of the race alone.  I could see people in front, which gave me motivation but no one around me to commiserate with. I grabbed water and Gatorade at every stop.  It’s too hot not too, and because I don’t carry anything with me, it was the best option.

I saw the race director Jerry (J from J&A), and it was nice motivation.  Jerry is out at every one of the races from Shamrock to Crawlin’ Crab and the rest (most of which I’ve done).

Crawlin crab half marathon hampton va me running

I hit mile 4 and 5 around 6:55 and I told myself, just stay calm.  If you go out too hard, now, you will suffer from humidity.  I didn’t feel bad, just hot.

We turned and ran along the coast.  This section, of course, can be beautiful if it’s not hot.  Since I’ve only run Crawlin Crab when it’s hot, it’s one of my least favorite areas.  You are running and just baking in the heat along the water. It’s hot, the air is still, and there is zero shade.

I hit the halfway point around 44:30.  I didn’t really think under 1:30 was doable. It wasn’t even on my radar. Last year, I ran but suffered a lot from dehydration and heat in the last 4 miles.  I was at a similar pace and ended up running a 1:32 and “crawled” to the finish line.

I kept clicking along, and mile 7-9 were the most difficult for me. I just kept focusing on the mile I was in and not what else I needed to get done. I grabbed water and Gatorade, and every water stop was welcomed.  To be honest, I could have used more water, and I drank a lot.

Mile 9 went back along the streets towards the Coliseum.  This was the section I was dreading.  I distinctly remember the moment last year that Ithe humidity hit me. My only goal was to continue feeling strong.

I could see a couple of women in the distance, and it gave me the motivation to run faster.  I knew I was somewhere in the top 10 but no idea where. At mile 10, I looked down and realized I was right on a 1:30 half time.  Could I break 1:30? I also knew two hills were coming up at mile 11 and 12.5.  The last 3 miles is the hardest part of the course.  It’s a very flat course except for two hills towards the end.

Having something to keep me engaged in the race, seemed to take my mind off of the weather.  I passed one woman and kept going.  Around mile 11, I found Andrew again, and we discussed how unforgiving the course was with no shade.

I charged up the first entrance ramp and coasted back down. I don’t mind running up highway ramps because I think they make the miles go by faster. I’m good at uphill and terrible at steep downhills.

Since highway ramps are a nice, comfortable, coasting downhill, I feel like I can get moderate speed on them. I passed a female and pressed forward.

By the time I knew it, I was at mile 12. My body was toasty, and I grabbed water and Gatorade from the last stop.  I knew it would have no effect on my race, but mentally I wanted it.  Then I just charged. We went over the previous and surprising overpass.

Crawlin crab half marathon hampton va me running

I saw some friends who recognized me from Instagram.  They shouted, oh I know her, go LOLZ!  It made me smile.

Crawlin crab half marathon hampton va me running

As I came down the last .5, and into the finish, I knew a 1:30 would be close.  I saw the clock at 1:29.40 and just sprinted. I didn’t have it in me for the last 3 seconds, but I did finish strong.  Maybe if I didn’t talk or I cut the tangents better…oh well.  I have no regrets of the race.

Crawlin crab half marathon hampton va me running

After I finished, I tried Maurten Gel.  It’s the same gel Eluid Kipchogue uses.  I was not expecting it to be so thick and I felt as though I slurped some ultrasound goo. I went on to run another 7 miles to get to 20.

After I finished 20 I met dad at the car.  I was hot, tired, and probably in the twilight zone. By the time I was done, it was 85 and humid.  Not the most ideal conditions to run 20 miles in but I’m proud of myself for getting it done.  It was one of the mentally toughest things I have done in a very long time.  The marathon will be the same, so I’m glad I did run the extra miles.

I have a lot of lingering doubts about myself after this race.  First, I am proud of myself for my efforts in the weather.  I’m pleased, I was fairly consistent, drank appropriately, and fueled appropriately that the heat didn’t cause me to bonk like last year.  But, I am very doubtful for New York right now. Many people have told me “sub 3” is easily attainable but if it were easy, I would have done it.  It’s not a goal I have for NY.  My last 3 half marathons have all been around 1:30 which shows I’m not ready to maintain that for a 3:00 marathon. New York is a hard course and my goal still remains to start and finish the marathon healthy.

Questions for you:

What is the hottest race you’ve done?

How do you hydrate and fuel during a half marathon?

%d bloggers like this: