Tag Archives: 13in2013Race

Runner’s World Half Marathon (Race Recap)

30 Oct

I have to say, the Runner’s World Half Marathon weekend was the perfect way to wrap up my fall half marathons. Runner’s World really delivered and you could tell this race was put on BY runners, FOR runners. But lets start a the beginning….

My dad and I drove to Bethlehem on Saturday morning, getting there in the mid afternoon or so. The expo and finish line for the half was located right by the Bethlehem Steel Stacks.

This is a photo from last year from the Runner’s World Half facebook page that gives you an idea.


When we got there, the finish line (sans timing mat) was open from the 5k and 10k earlier in the day. So of course I had to snap a photo.

2013runnersworldhalf1Best. Finish. Time. Ever. haha.

Picking up our bibs was a breeze – maybe because we showed up on Saturday morning since we were only doing the Half? We also got a nice tech tee that I can see myself wearing to work out in. I love when I get ones that I can actually wear.

My dad and I walked around the expo. It was small but had a nice selection of vendors – I saw Sweaty Bands to Belvita breakfast biscuits to various races. I picked up a shot glass (it was a steal at $5!).

The building the expo was in was 3 floors, the first floor had shoes for sale, the second was the main expo and the third was where some of the seminars were located and they also had a place to get you running gait checked out to find proper shoes. They also had a place where you stood in front of a green screen and then they put you on the Runner’s World cover. I had to do it – when would I ever get a chance to be on the cover again?! haha.2013runnersworldhalf2We also went to two seminars (which you had to pre-register for but were free). The first was a panel with information about the race course. It was Bart Yasso, the pace team leader and a woman who worked for the company that was organizing the race (side note: I had no idea there were people you could hire to organize the logistics of a race – very cool). 2013runnersworldhalf4I found this panel really really helpful to get myself pumped up and also get an idea of what the course would be like (hilly!!). I also ended up in the right place at the right time before the panel and had a nice chat with Bart Yasso and asked him to sign my bib. 2013runnersworldhalf3This had to mean good luck during the race, right?

The second seminar we went to was Bart Yasso’s My Life on the Run talk. It was pretty similar to the talk we had heard two weeks ago at Wineglass, but it was still entertaining because he shared a few different antidotes. After this seminar we found a local italian place (which was absolutely delicious) and carbed up before heading to the hotel. Bethlehem was really easy to drive around, find parking and all that.

The next morning my dad and I woke up and drove to one of the public parking lots that was about mid way between the start and finish (the Half Course is not a loop – the start and finish are a few blocks away from each other). We had no issues finding parking and the signage to help us find it was awesome.

We walked to the ArtsQuest building, where the finish line was. It was so nice to be able to hang out in a warm building, and use warm, clean, working bathrooms before the race. Clearly there are some runners involved in organizing this. 🙂 About 30 minutes before the start of the half we walked to the start line – it took us maybe 15 minutes. We could have done it faster but we were taking our time since we knew we didn’t have to rush. They had pace signs set up so folks were able to line up according to their expected pace.

And…before I knew it we were off!

This course has hills right from the beginning, but on that first hill I came up with a strategy. I wasn’t going to force myself to run the entirety of each hill. Rather, I would run until I could feel my heart rate rising and my breathing became significantly difficult. Then I would walk it, and speed down the other side, while trying to not exert much energy on the down hill.

2013runnersworldelevation (source)

This worked great for me and I felt really awesome through the first couple of hills. On the downhills I kept repeating in my head “use the gravity, not your energy.” and on the uphills I told myself it was completely okay to walk,

I had opted not to wear my Garmin for this race – sometimes seeing the paces stress me out – and honestly, I’m kicking myself a little bit. I would have loved to see my mile splits over this course.

When we reached the 10k mark I still felt SO good. Despite powering through (what felt like) numerous hills. Every mile I sort of did the math to see what my pace was and I was shocked at how well I was doing given the hilly course.

My 6.5 mile split was 1:24:29. WHAT?! Much better than I expected, and I was so happy. I started doing the math and realized I could maybe pull out a sub-3 or close to it in this. I even maintained thoughts of a PR but knew the chances of running a negative or even split were slim. As each mile went by I continued to feel great about the pace I was keeping.

Around mile 8 or 9 I knew I could beat my wineglass time (3:11:59) – I just wasn’t sure by how much.

In the end, I came in at 3:04:32 – 8 minutes faster than Wineglass, eleven minutes faster that RnR Philly just 5 weeks ago, and 23 minutes faster than Disney (though, I was not trying to finish for a time i that one, the goal was just to survive, with the marathon the next day), and my second best time ever.

I lost that sub 3 in the last two miles honestly. The last mile was really hard for me mentally – the course loops around to where you start, and you see everyone who has finished with their medals walking around, and the course was a little hard to follow due to people crossing the roads and stuff.

I could feel bad that I let it go in the last two miles, but given this course I am absolutely thrilled that I managed to pull out my best half marathon time of 2013, and come closer to my PR. I honestly went into this race expecting to pull a personal worst for the year. I had zero expectations, and ended up surprising myself.

I am so glad to close out my 2013 halfs on a high note. I gained so much confidence during this race and I know I can beat hills whenever I need to now. 🙂

2013runnersworldhalf5And, I guess the Bart Yasso signed bib was lucky. 🙂

Runner’s World Half Marathon – In short

22 Oct

Guys. I had one of those seriously awesome races Sunday at the Runner’s World Half Marathon.

Though the course was hilly, I brought it, and had a lot of fun enjoying myself and surprised myself with a pretty awesome finishing time (though not a PR). And oh my gosh, I cant reiterate enough how strong I felt during this race and I managed to get my second best half marathon time ever and my best for the year. I am so so proud given the crazy hilly course.

I feel like finally, all that training and cross training paid off and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

I just wanted to check in and share my excitement. 🙂

Wineglass Half Marathon (Race Recap)

21 Oct

On October 6th I ran the Wineglass Half Marathon in Corning, NY. I was super excited for this race – I’ve heard it’s well organized, a gorgeous course (with a net downhill-woo!)

We got into Corning on Saturday afternoon and stopped by the local YMCA to pick up our bibs, shirts (long-sleeved tech, yesss) and goody bags. From there we had to walk over to the visitors center (just across the river) to pick up our wineglasses and champagne split.

They had a banner up for the finish line. Check out that final stretch, gorgeous huh?

2013Wineglass (1)

One thing I have to say, Corning was soooo easy to drive around. Parking was never an issue – in fact on race day we parked about a block from the finish line and had zero issues parking in the morning or getting out of there once we were done (while the marathon was still going on).

My dad and I went to a pasta dinner with Bart Yasso that evening that was organized by Wineglass. The pasta was buffet style, all you can eat. I did some major carb loading.

It was also awesome to hear Bart speak. If you have never heard his talk about how running changed his life, I highly encourage you to do so. He has some great stories and is really inspiring.
2013Wineglass (2)

My dad and I met Bart at the Bird in Hand Half in 2012, so we didn’t bug him for a photo or anything but pleanty of people were asking him to sign things and get a photo. He is such a good sport.

After the dinner we went back to our hotel and got ready for the next day.

Not gonna lie, I was psyched about my skirt and sneakers matching pretty much exactly.

2013Wineglass (3)

The next morning our alarms went off early. I snapped a quick, blurry, mirror photo of my outfit. Not something I’d usually do but I was so matchy match, I loved it. haha2013Wineglass (4)

As I mentioned before, we drove to downtown Corning and parked in a lot there (and they had free parking, score!). From there we boarded a shuttle to take us to the half marathon start. The course is (obviously) point to point. Basically, the half marathoners start 13.1 miles away from Corning, and the marathoners start 26.2 miles away, with their second half being the half marathon course.

My dad and I posed for a official photographer and got probably one of the best race photos of us ever.2013Wineglass (7)

I actually bought the digital download of this one. Worth it.

I was hoping that Wineglass would be my second shot at a PR since it was a net downhill and all. I stayed far ahead of the 3 hour pacer for about the first 8 miles and then sort of lost it. The 3 hour pacer caught up, and I stuck with her for a while until I had to let her go becuase I just couldn’t keep up on the couple of (small) uphills.   The course was, as advertised, very flat, a few tiny hills but nothing notable. A lot of downhills too. I think I may have gone out too fast in the first couple of miles and messed up my pacing.

I crossed in 03:11:59 (watch time). My OT is 03:14:07 but I think it’s innaccurate – the text alerts I received had the same time as my watch.  Also the 10k split had me at 1:58 which is just…. impossible. So I’m not sure what’s going on with the offical timing for this race, but I’m going to go with my watch time on this one.

I came in 7 minutes faster than Rock n Roll Philly though, so I was overall okay with the time. I just figured it wasn’t a PR day for me.

When we got back, I snappy a super snazzy (that’s sarcasm) bathroom selfie with my awesome green glass medal.

2013Wineglass (5)

And when I got home I celebrated anyhow, with the champagne and glass from the race. 🙂2013Wineglass (6)Overall a good time, really well organized and scenic race. I would do it again (and may next year!).


Rock n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon (Race Recap)

15 Oct

On September 15 I ran the Rock n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.

This was my tenth half (!!!) and also the place where I ran my very first half marathon back in 2010, so I was excited to be back. I was also training for a PR with an awesome training plan from Jen.  Spoiler, unforunately I didn’t PR. and didn’t even hit my secondary time goal. But I have never felt stronger during a half and I 100% attribute that to the training plan.

The course for Rock n’ Roll Philly is really nice. It starts by the art museum, you loop through the city, and then back along the river, cross the river, loop back and end at the art museum. It is flat, (should be) fast, and relatively shaded (except for the last 2-3 miles).

I felt really good before this race and was especially proud that it was my 10th half marathon. Who would have thought I would hit double digits?

RocknRollPhilly201310 fingers for 10 halfs!

I felt really good for the first 5 miles or so of this race. After that I just couldn’t keep up with the paces I was supposed to. I’m not sure why – maybe my legs were dead from the Harrisbrug Half Relay the week before, maybe I didn’t hydrate right, maybe the weather was too warm, maybe my mental game wasn’t there. The fact is I just couldnt hit the paces I needed to.

I finished in 3:19:50. Not gonna lie, I found my dad in the finishing area and started crying. I was really disappointed in myself. But I tried to be positive – I finished ANOTHER half marathon. I should be happy to have finished or been able to run at all. It is what it is and I couldn’t change it.

I’m not sure if you heard about the medal problems they had at RnR Philly, but apparently a bunch of finishers medals were stolen from the finish line. I had SO been looking forward to the receiving the Philly medal from the time that they revealed it on their facebook page.

Instead I was given a generic Rock n Roll Medal.RnRPhillyMedal

Though nice (and I appreciated that they had a medal to give us at all), it wasn’t exactly what I was looking forward to, and after missing my PR (by a LOT), it was just like salt in the wound. The walk back to our hotel was a huge bummer for me, especially as I saw so many people with the “real” Philly medal. I couldn’t help but think that if I had hit my PR I wouldn have gotten that medal.

Naturally, I started stalking the Rock n Roll Philly facebook page on the drive home to see if anyone else was as upset as I was. I was not alone. Competitor Group, the company that runs the Rock n Roll race series, assured us that they would mail out the proper medals to all those who had received the generic one at the finish.

I received an email from them, and sure enough, less than 2 weeks after the race, I got a package in the mail with my Philly medal and a nice, apologetic note from them.

RnRPihllyMedal2In case you can’t read it:

Thank you for joining us at the Rock n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon on September 15th. It was a beautiful weekend to race in Philadelphia and we are proud of what each participate accomplished.

We know that those moments of victory at the finish line are invaluable. We sincerely apologize that you received a generic Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series medal when you crossed the finish line. Sadly, we had medals stolen from the race that were hanging on at the finish line and a supplemental shipment did not arrive…”

I have heard varying experices at RnR races around the coutry so I am so, so, appreciative that they made the crappy medal situation right. Thank you Competitor Group!

Harrisburg Half Marathon Relay (Race Recap)

14 Oct

On September 8th I ran the Harrisburg Half Marathon Relay with a good friend of mine.

This is a smaller race, and the relay makes up a small portion of it (there were only 32 relay teams). The relay is divide into two sections – the first is about 6.7 miles, the second is approx 6.4 miles.

My friend and I were able to get to Harrisbug to pick up our packets the night before, no issues. I really liked the race shirt. Though it was cotton it is green which is a nice change. 🙂 We stayed across the river from the start line.

The morning of the race we walked across the river, and I waited with my friend (who had leg 1) until about 10 minutes before the race started. From there I walked about a mile and a half to the relay exchange point.

It was a gorgeous walk along the river.

2013-09-08 08.11.53


Once I got to the exhange point, I ate some Gu Chomps, and drank a little water from my hand held. From then, I just waited.

It was really fun to see the lead half marathoners come in and cheer them on. Based on my friends estimated time, I knew when to get into position for an easy hand off. Really, we had nothing to “hand off”, but I had a bag with a sweatshirt for her to put on so I wanted to make sure to give it to her before I took off.

I forget the time she came in at – between 1:05 and 1:15 I think? It was so fun to see her coming in and I started jumping up and down so she could see me. Then I took off. WAY too fast. My friend had been running with runners that are way faster than me and unfortunately (or fortunately, I’m not sure), I kept up with them for the first mile. whoops.

We ran along the river for another mile or two before looping back through some scenic neighborhoods and ending back up along the river. The last mile and a half or so was really rough – the sun was beating down and I was feeling sick to my stomach. I think having my handheld water bottle with me actually made me drink MORE water than I would typically and made me feel sick. Lesson learned.

The last stretch of the race crossed a bridge back to City Island, and it was so so scenic. The finish line was right at the end of the bridge so you could see it the entire time and know when to pick up the pace. I cross, got a medal (love that the relay finishers got medals too!), and found my running buddy.

My half of the relay was way slower than I had hoped (our combined time was 2:38:xx). I felt really bad – my friend did a great job during leg 1 and I just couldn’t keep it up during leg 2.

But despite that, it was really fun to run a relay, and definitly something I would do again. Maybe I just wouldn’t be the anchor leg. 🙂