Half #7 Recap: Where I Dominate Everything and then My Hands Freeze Off


So this happened.

If you read this post, then you know my goal was 1:55, so basically I nailed it! My official chip time was 1:53:02. My previous best was 1:56:47, which means I have an almost 4-minute PR! Woop! I'm only kind of annoyed that I was a silly 2 seconds away from going under 1:53. Next time!

For this recap, I'm just going to break down a few of the main points instead of going through the day chronologically.

1. The Hills

My "good" goal was to not walk the hills, and I'm happy to report that this was a success! The hills were tough, especially a pretty steep hill during miles 11-12, but it's 100% different when you're mentally prepared. Last time, I wasn't ready, and when I saw a hill I groaned and got defeated before I even started. This time, I attacked the hill and viewed it as a personal challenge. Running really is mental, and preparing yourself is half the battle.

If you ran the race and saw a crazy girl sprinting up the hill while shouting, "LET'S DO THIS. I LOVE HILLS."

That was me.

2. The Bathroom

The week before the race I was really careful about hydrating and not eating a ton of fiber. I also decided to forget everything I'd read in Runner's World about calorie intake the morning of a race and ate only half a chocolate Cliff Bar and a package of cherry-flavored energy beans.

I'm happy to report that I didn't once feel the need to hit the Port-o-Potty, which is honestly the biggest accomplishment of the entire day. Every time I passed a Port-o-Potty, I gave myself a non-literal pat on the back in sweet, sweet victory.

3. The 1:55 Goal

At first I thought about sticking with the 2-hour pace group for the beginning of the race just to get my groove. But then I realized that 13 miles wasn't quite enough to make up the time I'd lose if I didn't get out to a fast enough start. So I went at it alone until 6, when who did I meet up with but the 3:50 marathon pace group, which was also pacing a 1:55 half! I knew if I just stuck with them, I could get across the finish line and hit my goal no problem.

But then, after a few miles (I think around mile 9), I started speeding up. I was feeling really good at this point and knew that barring a major catastrophe, I had it. I gave the finish line a good old-fashioned fist bump as I crossed. 

I think this is my best race pic yet. Minus the crooked headband and the poofy hair.

4. The Frostbite

OHMYGOSH. Um, it was cold. There was actually a huge ice patch during mile 3. The race people did a great job putting cones out and alerting runners of the danger, so I don't think anyone got hurt.

It was so cold, I couldn't feel my feet for the first 5 miles. I passed the 5-mile flag and was like, Oh hello, feet! I was worried I was going to trip or something, because I couldn't really lift them too well.

But then my feet warmed up, and then it was my hands that were the problem. Once I finished and was in the food tent, my hands started hurting so bad. It was the weirdest, most painful feeling. I tried to flex them, but it was like they were moving in slow motion. I stood still for a good ten minutes just opening and closing my hands, and finally they slowly stopped hurting. I don't know what happened, but I hope it never happens again. Any of you ever tried putting those hand warmers inside your running gloves? I'm wondering if that's something I should do next time.

Other than the numb feet and the painful hand issue, the cold really wasn't so bad. Serious shoutout to all the volunteers who stood in the cold for hours handing out water and medals and working the medic tent.

And... just for kicks, here are my mile splits. Clearly I should never be a pacer.

The Route 66 website also included a really fun graph! At least, I thought it was fun, but maybe that's because the graph was all about me. The best part is the square at the bottom right. It's so much more fun to pass people than to be passed, which is exactly why you start out slow so you don't burn out at the end.

Half marathon #7 is finished, and now I just have one more race in 2013.

Quick holler to my running girls 
(if I forgot anyone, I'm so sorry!)
* * *
Kate is running her first half marathon in a few weeks.
Emily is running her first marathon in a few weeks.
Courtney ran her first marathon a few weeks ago.
Meghan has got marathon #2 on December 29.
Amber is going to run her first half marathon in 2014.
Tamara recently signed up for her first marathon in 2014.
Rachel recently ran a half marathon two weeks after her full.
Melinda recently ran 6 miles, her farthest distance ever.
* * * 
Anyone else have a race coming up or recently signed up for a race?
What motivational phrases do you say to yourself when you're running?
Amber Marie said...

I have been waiting for your recap! :) Congrats-you did so great! And you look so accomplished in your photos. I would get that fist pump shot framed. I hope I will have Amanda's in my first race, yelling about how awesome the hills are, ha ha.

That's a cool record they provide, especially "for the record, you were ahead of about 77% of men runners."
Girl power!

Thanks for the shout out, friend.

Curious Runner said...

Woohoo! This is sooo awesome, knew you would nail it! So stoked for you! And thanks for the shout out :)

Anonymous said...

Woop! Woop! You are a rock star!

Brittany said...

Way to go, friend! Theres nothing better then CRUSHING a race goal!! I love your picture too!

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

hip hip hooray! You did awesome. I personally love that graph ... especially the passing other runners and where it says you were ahead of about 77% men runners =)

Holly @ Hello Audrey Ruth said...

Way to go!! Your running posts are always inspirational! I can't believe you ran in that cold though, I mean I thought the Color Run was cold.

Unknown said...

AWWWWWWWWESOME! I was cheering you on as I read this... even though the race was over. You always make me want to be a runner!

Per @ Perky Thoughts said...

#5. You're alive!! Good job! :)

Breenah A said...

Congrats on hitting your goals! I love that picture :)
Jarrod works outside no matter the weather and LOVES the warmers. I imagine if they work in his gloves while he's working, they'd work while you're running.

Rachel said...

My husband just starting talking about how he's thinking about getting back into racing again. And then I spent the rest of the night quizzing him from the Guiness World Book of records on which people hold all of the time records. He knows they all, he's such a nerd. I'm not sure I'll ever understand all of you people who seem to actually like running....

Jenna Griffin | Gold & Bloom said...

Congratulations! That's a huge deal! I am not a runner, but I really wish I could get myself to do a marathon of some sort. I need to get motivated! You've inspired me. Thanks, girl!

Courtney Rose said...

So happy for you that you hit all your goals! Must be pretty exciting to finish out the year on a great note! I love that little graph thing the race does! I always wonder about little things like that and it's pretty great its all there for you to see.

aboutwhatwomenlove said...

so great<333!

Niken said...

that's so great! i would die.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

That is awesome!! Congrats on the PR!! That little graph of stats is too cool!

Anonymous said...

You're so awesome! Looking at those splits, you were on fire! I seriously think being miserable and cold makes you run faster. Congrats! Also, thanks for the shout out! (I guess this means I can't bow out secretly..hahaha)

Jordan said...

Great job! That last mile time is amazing; you really finished strong and you can see it in that picture for sure!

Kenzie Smith said...

That is so awesome, congrats on beating your goals!!
My hands get weird like that a lot when I am riding horses and it is freezing out. It's not fun!

Tammy Jo said...

So awesome!! Way to rock it :)

Ali said...

Amazing time! You seriously rocked this race. I love the graph, especially the part that says only ONE runner passed you. Like you had this race on lock down! Good job.

I've signed myself up for a half on Jan 1st in Minneapolis. I'm really hoping that the whole "cold weather makes you run faster" idea. I'd seriously love to finish in 2hrs or just under. Actually, at this point, I just want to have good enough weather to continue running and actually run the race. Poor hubby has to wait for me to finish in the warming tent!

Tamara said...

Yay for the holler! Thanks friend!

Girl, you killed your previous PR, & in crappy weather too? BEASTMODE.

Earlier this year (January) I ran the Houston Half and it poured rain for the first 3 miles, then just stuck it out in the 40s for the remainder of the race. It was miserable. But dude, took 3 minutes off my previous half time! So, crappy weather = awesome PRs. Ohhh, just got Scienced, bitches.

Susannah said...

Wow!!! Good for you girl!!!

nancy @ adore to adorn said...

wow this is so amazing! Congrats to you and good for you!! =D So very inspiring to work hard and be successful!


Kate said...

CONGRATULATIONS! You freakin' killed that race! Maybe I will channel my inner Amanda during my race in order to survive. ;)

And thanks for the shout out in your list! :D

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

YAY! Way to go!!! I love your finish line picture. And your time! And your running through the pain of the cold! GO GIRL!

17 Perth said...

Holy crap!!! Congrats!! Seriously--that is ah-mazing! Especially since it was so cold!! Way to go!!

The Lady Okie said...

Thanks so much, Ali! Congrats on signing up for your half! That's amazing. It's probably going to be coooold in MN in January :) You can do it!

The Lady Okie said...

YES. That really is the most important :)

The Lady Okie said...

Ha! I think you'd do better than you think :)

Jessica said...

AWESOME job!!!! Congrats :) The race website is the best I have ever seen! I am a total nerd and love looking all the details of my run!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh!!! You did so amazing!!! You are a rockstar, my friend.

Oh and the graph feature from the race is really cool!


Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC said...

You killed it, Amanda! Love this recap -- what a great race you ran! I love how you attacked the hills!

Unknown said...

Yay! Congrats, Amanda! And, as much as I hate hills, Yay to hills! :)
Oh, and that graph is awesome.

I recently signed up to the Bupa 10 000 in London (a 10K course taking place in may). I can't wait, and I hope I'll find other races before that. May's a bit far away!

J is for Jessica said...

I was wondering how you did! Congrats! I always hated running in the cold when I was training-it was the pits! I never did much breakfast either, usually have a nutrigrain bar or something, I couldn't eat super early. Kudos to you!!

Laura Morgan said...

You say "crooked headband and poofy hair," I say "high fashion."
WAY TO GO! And way to tell those Port-a-Potties to suck it. That definitely sounds like a huge accomplishment.

BeccaReading said...

Congrats on all of your goals!! All of your posts on running have been really inspiring in my training for my first marathon. Thanks for the inspiration!

Curly Pink Runner said...

BOOM!! way to go girl!! You're amazing! Your poor hands!! ouch, ouch, ouch!!

Betsy said...

check you OUT! I love the graphs - the big London 10k, which I haven't yet run (ran?), gives you an image online at the end that's a map of the race and it has your pace marked along the course in red/yellow/green based on your relative pace on those stretches! it looks SO cool. I kind of want to run it just for that!

p.s. the Turkey Trot we did last week was freezing too, but the part of me that always hurts the worst from the cold (once my feet and wands warm up) is my thighs. Is that really weird? Maybe I need thicker spandex?