50 Half Marathons Later

50 Half Marathons Later

Until I compiled this list last week, I had no idea how many half marathons I had run. A few years ago, I wrote a post about completing 30 half marathons, so I knew I must be close to 50.  When I ran my first half in 2011, I never thought I would run 50 (and counting).

2011 (3): NY and VA
April: Plattsburgh (1:41) PR
April: Flower City (Rochester, NY) 1:39 PR
May: Run for the Dream (Williamsburg, VA) 1:36.56 PR

2012 (6):  VA, NY, MD
March: Shamrock (VA Beach) 1:33.29 PR
April: Plattsburgh (1:27.17) PR and Win
April Flower City (1:29)
May: Run to the Sun (Watertown, NY) 1:33 Win
May: ZOOMA (Annapolis, MD) (1:31)
Sep: Turning Stone Utica, NY (1:33.33) 2nd Female

2013 (6):  NY, VA, DC, TX
Feb: Lake Effect (1:31) (Syracuse, NY) 
March: Shamrock (1:25.15) PR
April: Nike Women’s Half (1:24.49) PR
May: Run for the Dream (1:27.53) Williamsburg, VA Win
Sep: RnR VA Beach (1:28.39)
Sep: Scallywompus (San Antonio) 1:28.30 Win

2014 (6): NY, VA, NJ
Feb: Lake Effect (1:25.32) Syracuse, NY Win
March: Shamrock (1:25.29) VA Beach, VA
April: April Fools (1:23.23) Atlantic City PR 2nd W
May: NJ half (1:28) Long Branch, NJ
May: Run for the Dream (1:31) (Williamsburg, VA)
Nov: Harbor Lights 1:44  (Norfolk, VA)**Training Long Run

2015 (5):  VA, PA (And I lived in NJ at the time :O)
Mar: Shamrock half (1:33.06)  VA Beach, VA*Injured
Aug: RnR Va Beach (1:31) Va Beach, VA 5th W
Oct: Runners World (1:28) Bethlehem, PA
Oct: RnR Philadelphia (1:25.45)
Nov: Philadelphia half (1:25.00)

2016 (9):  CA, VA, NJ, PA, TX
Jan: Carlsbad (1:22.57) Carlsbad, CA PR
March: Shamrock Half (1:26.50) VA Beach, VA
April: April Fools Half (1:24.04) Win
September: Rnr Va Beach (1:31) 5th
September: RnR Philadelphia (1:27)
October: Runners World Half (1:24.17) Bethlehem, PA 2nd
October: Base Half Marathon (1:25) Lakehurst, NJ 1st
November: Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27)
December: Dallas Half Marathon (1:23.44) 5th

2017 (7): Al, VA, NJ, OH, PA
February: Mercedes Half Marathon (1:27) Birmingham, Al
March: Shamrock Half Marathon (1:26) VA Beach, VA
April: April Fools Half Marathon (1:26) Atlantic City, AC 3rd W
September: Air Force Half Marathon (1:27) Dayton, OH 5th W
October: Crawlin Crab Half Marathon (1:32) Norfolk, VA 5th W
October: Runners World Half Marathon (1:25) Bethlehem, PA 2nd W
December: Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27)

2018 (8): AZ, VA, NJ, ME, OH, MD
February: Phoenix Half Marathon (1:22)** PR
March: Shamrock Half Marathon (1:23)
April: April Fools Half Marathon (1:26) 1st W
September: Boothbay Half Marathon (1.29.50) 2nd
September: Air Force Half Marathon: (1:31) 5 W
October: Crawlin Crab Half Marathon (1:30) 5 W
October: Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27) 5th W
December: Race 13.1 Baltimore (1:30.58)

Some random fun facts:

Hottest (San Antonio): 85 degrees at start Scallywompus (2013)

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 (Syracuse, NY): Lake Effect 2013

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

And maybe the only half marathon I wore pants in…


Worst Weather:

Shamrock 2016 Pouring rain, 40 degrees, and windy

Shamrock 2017: The same LOL
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.

Winning a growler at a half marathon in Texas

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 number of racers, most of the RNR have been good. I don’t think the Philadelphia half is that great because security often takes a while and there aren’t enough bathrooms.

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

I think I paid $40 for the Boothbay Harborfest Half in Maine.

Worst Value:  Philadelphia Half (I don’t personally think the $130 price is worth the experience.)

Biggest: Nike Women’s DC (15,000), Dallas Half 

RnR Virginia Beach

#TBT to when my husband wasn’t in shape and ran my pace…now he is too fast 😉

Smallest: Boothbay Harborfest had about 120 racers

Best On Course Aid: Any of the bigger races have all had good on course aid.  When it was extremely hot at the Air Force half this year, there was plenty of aid, and extra support.Air force marathon dayton ohio

Worst On Course Aid: Run to the Sun and Boothbay Harborfest.

The Run to the Sun was scorching and I believe they only had a 1-2 water stops for the entire half marathon.  The Boothbay Harborfest did not close down roads and it was dangerous to have cars whizzing by at 40+ mph.

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”: Baltimore 13.1, Turning Stone Half Marathon and NJ half marathon

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.  The Baltimore 13.1 was not well put together so the race just felt like it would never end.

Nj half race

But you can’t even tell I’m about to vom

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.  6
  • Lake Effect Half (2014): I raised over $2000 for the Charity Ophelia’s place, won, and then enjoyed time with friends.
  • 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.
  • Phoenix Half- (2018)I have to say my PR right? nikerunning

Regretable Races: Shamrock 2015.  It’s the only race I ran injured, and it wasn’t a smart decision (I tweaked my hamstring/butt).  It set me back in recovery.  As surprising as it is, I don’t regret running the Baltimore 13,1…it was a good workout.

States Raced in: AZ, AL, OH, ME, NY, VA, TX, MD, NJ, PA (also DC)

Placements/Awards:

I’ve won 8 (Plattsburgh 2012, Run from the Sun, Run for the Dream 2013, Scallywompus, Lake Effect 2014, April Fools 2016, Base Half 2016, April Fools 2018)

Winning my very first goal race: Plattsburgh

Winning my very first goal race: Plattsburgh

I’ve placed second or third in 9

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

  • Boothbay Harborfest (2018: Boothbay harborfest half marathon

Most Surprising Race: 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

I’ve enjoyed the journey so far.  It’s funny to reflect on this list and realize how many half marathons I’ve done. Starting from a 1:42 and now running a 1:22, a time I never thought imaginable.  Whether they’ve gone as anticipated or not, life has moved on and I’ve learned something from each. The half marathon is my favorite distance.  Hopefully, I’ll reach 50 more.

Questions for you:

Have you run any half marathons?  How many?

What is your favorite racing distance?

Base Building Week 3: 5 Milers and Workouts

Base Building Week 3: 5 Milers and Workouts

Last weeks training was solid.  I’m continuing to build a base while adding speed.  I don’t feel as good as the fall, or even that great but I’m putting in the work and trucking along. I know the Spring will be a culmination of my effort during the winter, so I’m just trying to keep moving forward.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 12X400s (averaging 6:15 pace) Total miles 10
Thursday: Short walk (30 minutes?)
Friday Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Christmas Classic 5 Miler (32:46) Total miles 10
Sunday: Long Run with X averaging

Thoughts:

I got most of what I wanted to accomplish last week. I didn’t plan to take Tuesday off, but I woke up both mentally and physically exhausted. It was a long week, so I gladly took another hour of sleep.

Wednesday: 12X400s (6:15) pace with 400 jog between:

This is a far cry from where I would like to be, but everything starts somewhere. I do all of my workouts on the road for a couple of reasons.

  • Find an accessible track that works with my schedule is difficult and I don’t like running late at night.
  • I race on the roads, so it makes sense.

I just ran as hard as I had for the day which averaged to about 6:15 pace.  I ran 2 miles warm up and cool down for a total of 10 miles.

Saturday: The Christmas Classic 5 Miler (32:46):

I’m no stranger to Bethlehem and have enjoyed the Runners World half several years now. Bethlehem is a very hilly area, and the course itself was not easy. I’m pleased with my splits, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  When we arrived to Bethlehem (a little over an hour drive), I realized I had forgotten a long sleeve shirt. It was 20 degrees at race start, and I almost wore then cotton long sleeve shirt, but ended up finding arm warmers, and leg warmers to keep me warm. Since it was a festive race, the Hollister leg warmers (over a decade old now), seemed appropriate.

The first few miles were relatively downhill, and I knew we had to eventually come up a hill.  When we did around mile 4.5, it was tough. I enjoyed the race though.

Sunday: Long Run 14 miles (averaging 8:22 pace with fast finish):

Instead of doing a long when I cranked the second half much difficult, I opted for an overall moderate long run. I ran with my husband and felt as though I was working hard but always at a conversational pace. We ran the last few miles under 8 minutes. I feel good about it.

Next week I’m hoping to be about the same. Plug away at the mileage and find a local race.

Posts from the Week:

Race 13.1 Baltimore Recap (1:30.58)

Why Internet Shoe Reviews are Worthless

November Recap

Questions for you:

How was your week of workouts?

Are you an 8k or 5-mile type of person? 

 

Base Building Week 2 and a Half Marathon

Base Building Week 2 and a Half Marathon

Last week was about putting one foot in front of the other, being smart about it, and getting miles in.  My husband and I ended up going to Baltimore and racing (I ran the 13.1, he did the 5k).  I didn’t have expectations for the race, which ended up being a good thing due to a messy morning.

Training though, last week was good.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 45 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Off
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Race 13.1 (1:30.58)/1 mile cool down
Sunday: Easy 45 minutes

Thoughts:

It was a lot of easy and boring running. Most people know, but I don’t use a GPS watch for most of my runs. I normally just run 45 minutes and guestimate I run about 9-10 min miles for my pace. Over the last few years, I’ve found that it works for me.  I’ve never been to one really push an easy run, but by not using a GPS watch I’m not married to any pace and just going by effort.

On Wednesday, I planned to do a workout. Around that time, my husband and I had also contemplated going down to Baltimore to run the races.  When thinking about it, I realized while I could probably do a speed workout, it wasn’t smart to go from no speed to a speed workout and a long race. It would be the time I would get injured. So I ran easy.

Race 13.1 (1:30.58)

The race 13.1 race was a good speed workout in Baltimore. I’m thankful, it was just that and nothing. From start to finish, it was one of the most disorganized races I’ve ever done (and I don’t use that lightly). Would I choose this race for a goal race? No.

During the race, the half marathoners crossed paths with the 5 and 10kers early into the race. This meant, people such as myself were running and weaving around walkers.  It was impossible to run any tangents, and I found myself weaving, trying not to hit anyone, and missing water stops because there were so many people.  Another danger, factor was the race also runs around the harbor.  Due to race the night before, the boards were slick. Plus running around that many turns on a crowded course,  it was very easy to just fall into the harbor and you never got any rhythm or momentum. I watched someone slip and fall (they were ok), as well as 2 runners collide when the 10k/half were together. The race was dangerous.  Anyway, I don’t regret doing it and my husband and I had an enjoyable time in Baltimore.

Regarding my effort, I ran the first 11 miles well below 7 min miles (around 6:50).  Then, my body seemed to lock up around mile 11, and I ran the last 2 miles in 7:22 (over 30 seconds slower than every other mile).  I’m happy with my overall effort for where I am running wise. I seem to be hovering at a 1:28-1:31 half marathon block right now and I hope the next one will be faster.

Posts from the Week:

Why Use Compression?

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24)

Questions for you:

What is the most dangerous race you’ve done?

Are you training for anything? 

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24)

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24)

Every year, the Medford Lakes Turkey Trot is one of my favorite races. I always enjoy the sense of community with local friends on Thanksgiving morning. The race itself is well put together and in one of my favorite areas which is why I continue to choose to run each year. This year was my slowest time by about 90 seconds but I had just as much fun as usual.

I knew the morning of, the race wasn’t going to be my best.  My husband and I walked over 10 miles around NYC the few days prior and my legs felt like garbage. Not in the garbage that they would magically get better but like garbage. Plus it was 23 degrees with a feels like temperature much lower.

Getting to the race and parking is always easy. My husband and I warmed up and then sat in our car until 8:28 am. It was 23 degrees, and I was cold. Not the best prerace strategy but my body was not ready for the dip in temperature.  I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve raced in both pants and long sleeves.

We arrived at the start, and I chatted for a couple of people. Then we were off! Turkey Trots are always fun because people go out fast. For some, it’s their only race of the year. There are also lots of young kids, who run fast and then realize it’ more than a half mile race. Like usual that’s what happened. Around then, I found myself as second woman overall because I also took it out too fast for my fitness right now.

I hit the first mile in 6:30 and my calves were tight. They weren’t engaging and I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold that pace. It’s hard not to compare considering I have run half marathons faster, but I was the opposite of tapered.

The next mile was lonely, and I was passed by a few friends and women. My second mile was 6:47 and one of my slowest 5k miles in a long time. At the end of mile 2, I was the fourth woman.

The last mile was just a struggle bus to get to the end. I wasn’t sad, but just stiff. I knew it wasn’t my day.

We pass the local school around 2.75. After running for a few years, it’s always that point I want to be done.

We rounded the corner and I crossed the finish in 20:24. My personal turkey trot worst but still an enjoyable time.

me medford turkey trot running

After not running for 2 weeks, then walking in NY, I didn’t expect it to be in the 18:30-19:05 range where I’ve been previous years.

I’m happy to get shorter stuff on my legs and looking forward to getting back into running after the marathon.

Questions for you:

Did you run a Turkey Trot?

What is the coldest you’ve run in?

Training: Base Building

Training: Base Building

Last week began my “comeback” to running.  While I’m still not sure what I’m training for, I probably won’t make any decisions until 2019.  The rest of the year will be just consistently getting mileage in.  I hope I’ll be able to race more, but it will be weather dependent. I’ll race in the cold, but I won’t in icy conditions (something we definitely got last winter).

Monday: 10ish mile walk around New York City
Tuesday: 60 minute run in Central Park/Walking Around NYC
Wednesday: 6 mile run easy/ART with Dr. Trish
Thursday: Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24) Total miles: 8ish
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 10 miles with 6 at 7:11

As mentioned, the goal for the next few weeks is consistency.  I plan to do workouts and race, but I don’t have any “big goals” right now. While I enjoyed marathon training more than I have previously, I have running missed shorter distances.  I want to consistently get back under 19 minutes in a 5k.

On Tuesday I got to run in Central Park. I’ve never run in Central Park outside of the marathon so it was cool to run in the park for a relaxing run.  I knew it was hilly, but I didn’t realize it was that hilly!

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot: 20:24

While it’s a Turkey Trot personal worst, I had a lot of fun. After getting active release the day before, my legs were sore.  I knew they weren’t going to be magically better while racing and it was what it was.  Combined with walking more than I have in a long time, I just felt stiff.  Immediately into the race, I knew it wasn’t my day.  I ended up finishing 4th woman and in 20:24.  While I know my legs can move faster, Thanksgiving wasn’t the day.  It was nice to get a shorter race in though and enjoy Thanksgiving morning with friends.

Friday and Saturday were both easy.

Sunday Tempo: 10 miles with 7 averaging 7:11

The goal was to go out for a longer run and see how my legs felt.  I didn’t have a specific time goal in mind for the tempo, just to get some faster miles in. The tempo itself didn’t feel like I was overexerting myself, but it did feel challenging.  I’m looking forward to consistently getting more tempos in.  They have been my favorite workout for a while, and I always appreciate how strong I feel afterward.

It’s hard to remember what it was like doing these runs both longer and faster but that is the beauty of fitness. I’m just glad to get back into it.

Posts from the Week:

Exploring Sandy Hook

Questions for you:

Do you prefer shorter or longer distances?

How did you celebrate Thanksgiving?

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