Running, Training

RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:25.45)

RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:25.45)

As I said in my training log on Sunday, last week I was sick.  Before getting sick, I was confident my fitness showed I could hold a 1:25 paced half marathon, if not faster.  After getting sick on Tuesday, I did n’t know how I would run. I didn’t have “taper” sickness, but had a bug that caused me to skipped a couple of days of running including my speed workout.  It’s not surprising, colds and the flu are going around.  It caused me to arrive at the starting line feeling sluggish and lethargic versus ready to race.

By the title you can see I was able to run a 1:25 but I keep questioning how much faster could I have run if I hadn’t been sick?  Ultimately, there are many more things to worry about than looking hindsight at a race.

One of my friends Sarah came late on Friday and spent the night.  I was excited because I haven’t seen her in a year!  We ended up waking up early and were out the door by 6:15.  RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon started at 7:30 and we had no issues parking, checking bags and using the restrooms.

sarah and I

At 7:30 RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon was off, and it was truly one of the most humble race starts I’ve ever had.  During the first mile, dozens of people ran by me.  It was crowded and next to impossible to pass or be passed.  I ran the first mile of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon in 6:25.

During the second mile of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon, I felt something on my shoe.  I knew the feeling, and my shoe was coming untied.  Personally it wasn’t worth it to me to run an entire half marathon with an untied shoe.  As annoying as it was, I stopped, hopped onto the sidewalk and tied my shoe.  I stayed completely relaxed because if I panicked or tried to rush, it would have made the situation worse.  The rest of the mile felt as though I was playing catch up.  I remembered the people I was around and was trying to catch up to them (6:54).

The third mile of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon felt as though I settled back into pace.  We headed back towards the start of the race. It was great to see crowds again and to my surprise, my watch beeped a 6:18.

During the fourth mile of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon, we saw the leaders heading back.  It was truly incredible to watch so many athletes on their journey to qualify for the Olympic Trials.  I believe 45+ athletes qualified through the half!  It gave me a lot of motivation, and I forgot about my personal race.

It was during the fifth mile of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon I finally felt like I was gaining space around me to breath and packs were separating.  I found myself running with a pack of a few people.  The race began to head around the Schuylkill River. It’s an 8ish mile loop and I have run there several times, and I knew the last miles would finish with a small incline.  The fifth mile of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon was flat mile, and my focus was to get to the halfway point (6:34).

The 6th mile of a half marathon is usually motivating to me because it signals the halfway point is near.  A few week ago, Bart Yasso talked about “working the course”.  That is something I’ve been trying to do.  It was flat and open, so I stayed focused and tried to keep my pace.  I ran a 6:18.

The next few minutes of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon brought a lot of reinforcement.  My 10k was a 40:30.  That’s my fastest 10k in a while.  I hit the halfway point is 43:00 minutes.  I felt extremely motivated because I knew I was on track for my fastest half in a year and a half despite still not feeling great.  I smiled throughout the entire mile and ran a 6:24.  Why the race photographers weren’t there…I don’t know.

Both mile 8 and 9 of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon were lonely miles.  During mile 9 we went over the bridge and began heading back towards the start.  Mile 9 was my slowest actual running mile, and I ran it 6:54.  It was the same as mile 2, but I stopped to tie my shoe during the second mile.

I hit the 10-mile point in 1:05.24.  That is faster than my Broad Street time this past May.  I’m normally motivated after mile 10 because it means a 5k is left.  I calculated that if I ran a 20:30 last 5k I would be around 1:26.  I stayed around the same people I had been running around for the majority of the race.  I ran mile 10 in 6:34.

Mile 11 of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon is usually the mile in a half marathon that makes or breaks me.  It’s close enough to the end that you are hurting but not close enough that you have an incredible blast of energy.  This mile was no different, and as we crossed into mile 11, I could see the towers in Center City where the end was.  It was so close yet so far.  I managed to stay focused and just power through.

I hit mile 12 of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon at just over 1:18.  I thought I had a shot at going under 1:26 so I blocked everything out and went for it.  I wasn’t feeling great, and it was a painful mile.  The 12th mile was spent completely focused on finishing the race.  By the time I knew it, I hit mile 13.

rnr philadelphia

The last .1 of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon is uphill.  For a very flat course, it’s hard to fault a .1 uphill finish.  To give you a perspective my last .1 was 7:00-minute pace and I was powering to the finish.

I crossed the line of RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon in 1:25.45 and 78th female overall as well as 24th in my age group.

RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon Thoughts: 

On the surface, this looks like a great time for me.  It’s two minutes and a half minutes faster than the Runners World Half Marathon.  My last 5k was faster than many 5k races I’ve done, and it shows a lot of progression.

RnR Philadelphia me

However, I do know I ran this race not feeling the best and have a lot more to give.  My next half marathon will be the Philadelphia half November 22.  It’s a harder course, and the weather is unpredictable, but I do have a few more weeks to train.  My goal is race under 1:25 there.  Until then, I’ll continue the 5k train.  This race is bittersweet for me, I’m happy with my progression, but I am looking forward to racing when my body and legs feel good.

Questions for you:

Have you run a RnR race? Have you run RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon? 

Where is the most crowded place you’ve ever been?

To be honest, this start was one of the most crowded. I’ve been to a few crowded concerts as well.

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Running, Training, Training

RnR Virginia Beach (1:31.48)

This was the first half marathon I have raced since April 2014. It’s funny because for a long time I was well known to race as many as half marathons as possible.  Now I’m known to race too many 5ks and believe me there is a huge difference.

Unlike 5k recovery, I’m a few days out from the race but I still feel like I was hit by a semi truck.

I wanted to do Rock and Roll to see where my fitness was. I knew the race was hot and humid but it would at least give me an idea of where my distance fitness was.

My “In my dreams” goal was under 1:30 and my main goal was to run faster than Shamrock (a race I ran in March coming off of the Phoenix marathon and with an injury.  It wasn’t my smartest move but it’s one of my favorite races).

The race:

Rock and Roll always requires an early wake up call. Dad, Tim and I left my parents house at 4:50am. We got to the race around 5:45, parked and went to the start. We stood in line for the bathroom, delayered and talked to personal friend Marie. By the time I knew it, I was lined up at the start talking with Kris and Michele. (See the trend of talking?)

Within the first 100 meters I knew I felt awful. My legs felt sore and it was extremely humid. I also realized I had a lot more than 3.1 miles to go.

Rock N Roll Virginia Beach

The first mile was uneventful. I ran by myself until Tim somehow caught up to me. While it wasn’t on purpose we did end up running the entire race together. This is probably the first and only time we will be at the same fitness level for a half marathon. This is actually the first and only time we have run an entire race together. We hit the first mile at 6:40. A mile that was faster then many of my 5k miles…

The second mile was uneventful.  I still didn’t feel great. I told Tim straight up: ‘I feel like dog meat and I will probably bitch the entire time”. Some random things I said:

  • We still have 11 miles to go.
  • I should just peal off at the 5k.
  • Why did we sign up for this…
  • Shoutout from the lead cyclist (ha thanks for the shoutout Gene!)

We hit the second mile in 6:50. I thought this would be the ultimate regression race where I just kept adding 10 seconds per mile (or maybe more).

By the third mile my legs began to loosen up into a 6:50 pace. I was beginning to feel more confident in the race. I ran mile 3,4,5 between 6:50-6:53 miles. Each mile felt progressively better but I knew the heat was taking it’s toll.  I was glad my heat regression hand’t begun just yet…I grabbed gatorade at the first available stop.

During mile 6,we went through the neighborhoods. I hit the halfway point at exactly 45 minutes. I thought to myself…maybe I can do this thing of keeping an exact even split and breaking 90 minutes. Then I thought LOLZ no it’s hot and humid. Only super elites can negative split this race.

Mile 7 and 8 were the mentally toughest. They were both 6:58 miles and I felt the effects of the weather setting in. My hair was getting bigger, I sweat through my top and I needed electrolytes. I took Gatorade around mile 7.

By mile 9 I told myself I had 4 miles to go. I had several thoughts propelling me through such:

  • I had done 4 miles of speedwork a few days prior.
  • That’s less than half an hour.
  • I’m kind of going the direction of the finish line…maybe.
  • I think that is the part where I see my friends soon.

I also began focusing on a few women several yards in front of me.

During mile 10 I knew the bridge was coming up but I told myself…well it’s about 8 am and most of your 5ks start around now anyways. “Just think of yourself running a 5k.”

RnR Virginia Beach

Mile 11 was the hardest and slowest mile. I ran a 7:22 over the bridge. We were now facing the headwind and that wind was very noticeable. When I turned onto the boardwalk I felt like the wind had propelled me backwards. I focused on the last mile.

We were running next to an older gentleman who had a water bottle tucked in his pants. It caused him to occasionally give a full moon. I really wanted to pass him and ultimately we passed him at 12.85. It took a lot of energy that I really didn’t think I had.

I crossed the finish at 1:31.48.   My clock time was 1:31.51 and my chip time was 1:31.48. I was 92nd person overall and 15th woman and 4th in my age group. I have to admit though this is the second time I have gotten fourth in my age group at this race. RnR awards are always awesome!

Post Race
Post Race

At the end of the race I witnessed a young man receive CPR as well as be air lifted on the Nightingale.  It was extremely heart wrenching and my thoughts and preyers go out to him and his family. 

Thoughts:

I’m happy with this race. Although it is about 9 minutes slower than my PR, it gives me a good base line.   The weather definitely took a hit for everyone (even the elites said it was a hard day). Hopefully this race begins some fun fall races for me.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite race distance?

How was your Labor Day Weekend?

Uncategorized

Rock and Roll Half Marathon VA Beach (1:28.49)

When the orthopedist told me on Friday there was no reason not to run the Rock and Roll half, I immediately got excited.  Even though my arm was cleared to run, my legs felt stiff from never really getting the lactic acid out from my 8k the previous weekend.  It had had a week to sit there and fester so although my arm was okay my calves were sore.  By sore I mean running a 9 minute mile the day before felt the way a 6:30 mile should. 

It’s no secret my two awesome friends Laura and Heather came down to race Rock and Roll as well.  We all piled into the car at 5:00 along with dad headed to the race start.  We quickly found parking and made it to the start an hour early.

lauraheatherandi

While lining up in carrol 1 I was a bit more cautious since I didn’t want to bump into anyone.  The doctor had said due to the location of the fracture the only way I could shatter or hurt the bone  more was fall on the exact same spot with the exact same force.  I still did not want to bump into anyone just because I’m overly cautious (and have pretty bad luck).  My GPS didn’t synch correctly so I don’t have mile splits but I’m 100% okay with that.

The first few miles I ran with Mike  a local that I often run races with.  It’s always nice to be able to find someone to run and be about the same pace.   The 5kers actually started at the exact same time as we did which was somewhat weird with a 15,000 person race.  The first three miles were a pretty big blur and we were all packed in like little sardines.

At the 2.5 mile mark I noticed the 5k shoot began, I couldn’t help but think to myself that having a 5k shoot of .6 long was a touch too much.  

merunning3

After we clicked off three miles I had already sweat through my top.  I’m not the biggest sweater and by the time I got water (which was incredibly difficult when you can’t grab things with your right hand) my tank was soaken through.  I knew my body had already begun to overheat.  At that point I decided it was wise to grab Gatorade and water at every stop.

Miles 4-6 were pretty uneventful.  Although I didn’t feel great I did begin to pass people.  This part of the course was straight, flat and on a main road of the area.  It made sense because it’s such a big field of people but it was pretty hard on the legs and boring on the mind. My most memorable moment of this point was saying go “Team Hoyt” and one of the ladies said…Hey I read your blog!  Team Hoyt never ceases to amaze me.  (They push disabled children in strollers while running a lot of races.)  Each and every person that is apart of this is truly amazing. 

Around mile 6 we turned and went into a nice side street.  It had shade.  I actually made some small talk with a few of the racers around me.  The relay hand offs were around mile 7 which was a bit motivating because there were more people cheering.  I was actually running (unknowingly) with the first relay team and he did his hand off and left).  When we turned into the base around mile 8 it was instaheatbox again.

I hate you straight flat pavement.
I hate you straight flat pavement.  Just kidding lets wave to Ally again.

It made a huge u shape around the base so you were able to see people about a mile in front of you wishing you were a mile closer to the finish.  My only thought during mile 9 was oh my stars I need more water.

I felt a sudden burst of excitement around mile 10 because I realized I only had a 5k to the finish.  I attempted to pick up the pace but that was not happening because it was so hot and I was tired.

Mile 11 we went back over the only hill on course (ie: a bridge).  My legs were shot and I was just dying and saying I think I can I think I can.  The humidity was getting the worst of me and honestly I was pretty miserable.  I want to use proper blogging and running technique about how I negative split this race but I didn’t.  It was completely dying and the last 3 miles were some of the hardest I’ve run in a while.

All aboard the pain train and down the bridge.
All aboard the pain train and down the bridge.

When we u turned onto the boardwalk I could see the finish line.  The finish line that was still .75 away.  I thought it might never come and I think those five minutes or so are contenders for the longest 5 minutes of my life.  I wanted to try and kick to the end…but didn’t have the energy.  So I just ran cursing every four letting word under my breath and hoping it killed time.

I finally crossed the finish line in 1:28.49 which I was very happy with. 

Afterwords we relaxed on the beach and also ran into Kristy who had a great race herself.

Done forever.
Done forever.

Overall thoughts of the race:

I had absolutely no idea where this race would go.  I know I say that a lot but after my previous week of training my calves were still sore. A lot of people said the rest would do me well, which of course my body was recovering but the lactic acid was still festering in my legs from the previous week.  The heat and humidity (around 75-80 and 94% humidity) was certainly a huge factor of this race as well.  In fact, they had 13 people taken to the hospital and one death.

All of that negativity aside I did have a great race.  Was it a PR? No.  Did I have a great time with great friends before I move tomorrow?  Yes.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a Rock and Roll race? 

Running, Training

Rock and Roll VA Beach (1:28.49)

Rock and Roll VA Beach (1:28.49)

When the orthopedist told me on Friday there was no reason not to run the Rock and Roll Va Beach on August 31 st, I immediately got excited.  Even though my arm was cleared to run, my legs felt stiff from never really getting the lactic acid out from my 8k the previous weekend.  It had had a week to sit there and fester so although my arm was okay, my calves were sore.  By sore, I mean running a 9-minute mile the day before felt the way a 6:30 mile should.  Rock n Roll VA Beach is known for the American Music Festival and having live bands along the course.

Two of my friends, Heather and Laura, came down to race Rock and Roll Va Beach too.  We all piled into the car at 5:00 along with dad headed to the race start.  We quickly found parking and made it to the start an hour early.

lauraheatherandi

While lining up in carrol 1 of Rock and Roll Va Beach, I was a bit more cautious since I didn’t want to bump into anyone.  The doctor had said due to the location of the fracture, the only way I could shatter or hurt the bone more was to fall on the exact same spot with the exact same force.  I still did not want to bump into anyone just because I’m overly cautious (and have pretty bad luck).  My GPS didn’t synch correctly, so I don’t have mile splits, but I’m 100% okay with that.

The first few miles of Rock and Roll Va Beach, I ran with Mike.  It’s always nice to be able to find someone to run and be about the same pace.   The 5kers started at the same time as Rock and Roll Va Beach, which was somewhat weird with a 15,000 person race.  The first three miles of Rock and Roll Va Beach was a blur and we were all packed in like little sardines.

At the 2.5-mile mark of Rock and Roll Va Beach I noticed the 5k shoot began, I couldn’t help but think to myself that having a 5k shoot of .6 long was a touch too much.  

merunning3

After we clicked off three miles of Rock and Roll Va Beach, I had already sweat through my top.  I’m not the biggest sweater and by the time I got water (which was incredibly difficult when you can’t grab things with your right hand), my tank was soaking through.  I knew my body had already begun to overheat.  At that point, I decided it was wise to grab Gatorade and water at every stop.

Miles 4-6 of Rock and Roll Va Beach were uneventful.  Although I didn’t feel great at Rock and Roll Va Beach, I did begin to pass people.  This part of Rock and Roll Va Beach was straight, flat and on the main road of the area.  It made sense because it’s such a big field of people, but it was pretty hard on the legs and boring on the mind. My most memorable moment of this point was saying go “Team Hoyt,” and one of the ladies said…Hey, I read your blog!  Team Hoyt never ceases to amaze me.  (They push disabled children in strollers while running a lot of races.)  Every person that is apart of this is truly amazing.

Around mile 6 of Rock and Roll Va Beach, we turned and went into a nice side street.  It had shade.  I made some small talk with a few of the racers around me.  The relay handoffs were around mile 7, which was a bit motivating because more people were cheering.  I was running (unknowingly) with the first relay team and he did his hand off and left).  When we turned into the base around mile 8, it was instaheatbox again.

I hate you straight flat pavement.
I hate you straight flat pavement.  Just kidding, lets wave to Ally again.

It made a huge u shape around the base so you were able to see people about a mile in front of you wishing you were a mile closer to the finish.  My only thought during mile 9 of Rock and Roll Va Beach was oh my stars I need more water.

I felt a sudden burst of excitement around mile 10 of Rock and Roll Va Beach because I realized I only had a 5k to the finish.  I attempted to pick up the pace but that was not happening because it was so hot and I was tired.

Mile 11 of Rock and Roll Va Beach, we went back over the only hill on the course (i.e., a bridge).  My legs were shot and I was dying and saying I think I can I think I can.  The humidity was getting the worse and I was pretty miserable.  I want to use proper blogging and running technique about how I negative split Rock and Roll Va Beach, but I didn’t.  It was fading and the last 3 miles of Rock and Roll Va Beach were some of the hardest I’ve run in a while.

All aboard the pain train and down the bridge.
All aboard the pain train and down the bridge.

When we turned onto the Virginia Beach boardwalk, I could see the finish line.  The Rock and Roll Va Beach finish line that was still .75 away.  I thought the Rock and Roll Va Beach finish line might never come and I think those five minutes or so are contenders for the longest 5 minutes of my life.  I wanted to try and kick to the end…but didn’t have the energy.  So I just ran cursing every four letting word under my breath and hoping it killed time.

I finally crossed the Rock and Roll Va Beach finish line in 1:28.49 which I was pleased with. 

Afterward, we relaxed on the beach and also ran into Kristy, who had a great race herself.

Done forever.
Done forever.

Overall thoughts of Rock and Roll Va Beach:

I had no idea where Rock and Roll Va Beach would go.  I know I say that a lot, but after my previous week of training my calves were still sore. A lot of people said the rest would do me well, which of course, my body was recovering, but the lactic acid was still festering in my legs from the previous week.  The heat and humidity (around 75-80 and 94% humidity) was certainly a huge factor of this race as well.

All of that negativity aside, I did have a great race at Rock and Roll Va Beach.  Was it a PR? No.  Did I have a great time at Rock n Roll Virginia Beach with great friends before I move tomorrow?  Yes.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a Rock and Roll race?  Have you run Rock and Roll Va Beach?