Recap of Half Marathon #11

4.30.2018


On Sunday I ran half marathon #11! It has been a hot minute since I posted a race recap, and I’m not sure I even know how to write them anymore ;) My last race was exactly 2 years ago, when I ran the 2016 Oklahoma City Half Marathon 8 months postpartum after having R!

I meant to write a post last week leading up to the race about how training went and what my goals were, but we had an insanely busy weekend and week, and I just didn’t have time. R has been an absolute disaster to get to bed lately, and it's 9:00 or later until I actually have time to do anything. Sitting at the computer has found itself last on my list.

Anyway, I did want to be sure to recap this race here on the blog! I’ll summarize my training and goals quickly before we get to the recap.

Training

Considering the stage of life I’m in, currently working full time with 2 small children and the fact that I had a baby less than a year ago, I’m pretty proud of the training I was able to do. I started back to running around 8 weeks postpartum but nothing more than 3 miles. I started “officially” training in January for this race, and since then I’ve run a total of 118 miles, not including the 13.1 miles I just ran on Sunday. 

My goal was to run 2-3 times a week, and I did really well until the beginning of April. I only ran 12 total training miles this month! I hurt my back two different times, and between those periods of rest, J had the flu and R as mentioned has been taking forever to stay in bed and go to sleep. It was a hard couple of weeks. I definitely felt like I slacked off this past month and was nervous going into the weekend. I wasn’t sure how my lack of training these past weeks would affect me.

Goals

I like to set A, B, and C goals for races, because that way if I don’t hit my A goal, I still have something to shoot for and be excited about. I’ve run this race twice in the past in basically the same time: 2:07:20 and 2:07:05. My A goal was to stick with the 2:05 pace group and get a course PR, anything under 2:07 but ideally under 2:05. My B goal was under 2:10. My C goal was under 2:15. I told Jordan that if I wasn't done by 2:30, something went very wrong.

The Race

It was such a gorgeous day for running. I think had I been out there too much longer it would have started to get hot, but the entire run for me was beautiful! Because of where I was in the corral, I started off a bit behind the 2:05 pace group, but I could see their sign waving above the crowd and kept them in sight for the first mile. I stopped to use the bathroom right around Mile 3 and had to run fast to catch up with the group. 

(Side note: I had so many bathroom issues while running after I had R, and as a result I tried to be very intentional about how I started back up with running after having J. Thankfully I have not had the same problem this time. I know that's a bit TMI, but I'm sharing that in case someone reading can relate and know you aren't alone!)

I don’t normally run with a pace group, but it was nice to have someone else to set the pace for me, and that way I didn’t have to think too much about my splits and what I needed to do to get such and such time. I slowed down during water stops and kept having to catch back up, but in general I stuck with the group until somewhere between Miles 8 and 9.

Around Mile 8, I started talking to a girl who seemed to be staying close to the pace group like I was. She said she was from Dallas and this was her first time in OKC. We got to chatting, and turns out she is originally from a Chicago suburb and graduated two years behind me from a local high school! We got all excited and kept talking for probably a mile or so. Eventually I told her that I needed to slow down just a bit, and for the first time I fell behind the pacers. That’s when I totally ran out of gas and just watched the group slowly get farther and farther ahead of me.

Normally when I am on a long run, I start off slow and then speed up each mile. Pacers generally try to keep the same splits the whole way, and I think I went out a little too fast in the beginning because I really struggled the last 4 miles. I walked through every water stop and stopped to walk a few other times as well, although I tried not to walk for long because I knew the longer I walked, the longer it would take me to just be finished so I could sit down!

The Finding Nemo motto was playing in my mind: Just keep running. Just keep running. I stopped to walk for the last time with about 1.5 miles left and told myself I wasn’t allowed to walk anymore. I kept an eye on my Garmin and tried to keep my pace for the final mile around 9:00/mile.

I took off my headphones and iPod (I still rock an old-school red Nano and love it!) and shoved them in my sports bra as we approached the city. You can just start to hear the echos of the finish line at this point, and I wanted to take it all in. Every year they have the same finish line announcer, and he does such an awesome job. You come out of a neighborhood and make one last turn toward the finish, where there is a long street and you can see the finish line in the distance. It’s both so close and so far away still, and I was trying to figure out how much I had left and when I could pick up the pace for the last sprint.

Because I had initially started behind the 2:05 group, I knew that I had a minute or two buffer to have slowed down but still come in with a pretty good time. My Garmin said 2:06 at that point, and I wanted to leave it all out there and maybe I could still scoot in under 2:07 for a course PR!

As I sprinted toward the finish, I saw the big red numbers of the race timer reading 2:05. I sprinted as fast as I could those final steps and my official time was 2:05:50! 9:36 min/mile pace.

I’m so, so happy with my course PR and time, especially considering that I was not able to run a whole lot this past month! I’m grateful for Jordan to support me in my running hobby, and I’m thankful to be able to be healthy and active enough to do an event like this! 

After I got some water and snacks and my finisher's shirt, I found a spot close to the finish line and watched other runners come in, and it sounds cheesy but I seriously teared up watching it. People of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, athletic abilities all running and cheering for friends and family running, and it's just such a special thing to be part of. I love race day so much!

This race in particular is special because it is in remembrance of the 168 people who died in the 1995 bombing of a federal building in downtown OKC. At the start of each race is 168 seconds of silence, and they raise 168 giant banners along the course with the names of each person, which is inspiring to see as you're running through the streets. The race is huge with thousands of runners, but it was so well organized, down to the post-race snacks and finisher's shirt pickup. I highly recommend the OKC race if you haven't done it.

A few people have asked me how I feel about my race, and in true runner response here’s how I can best describe it:

It hurt so bad, but I loved it. It was really hard but so much fun. All I wanted was for it to be over, but as soon as I finished I wanted to know when I could sign up for the next one. 

It doesn’t make any sense! 

Fellow runners, I know you get me ;)


19 comments:

  1. Look at you, getting a PR for the race! Congrats!

    I swear, after he comes in from every half-marathon, Angel says, "I'm never doing a half-marathon again." So far, it's never been true. He was going to do one this weekend but it got postponed because the country is having elections.

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  2. Yay! I love race recaps and you did really well. Running is a sick mental game but I really love it.

    Also, that race starts at 6:30.....I would not get a PR starting that early! If I remember correctly OKC has burgers at the finish line and that is a fun perk of running that race.

    Good job, friend! Come run Prairie Fire with me this fall =)

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  3. Congrats, and well done! This is inspiring me to get back to running (just 5Ks for me though). I quit over the winter because I don't like cold weather, but it's high time to start up again. I really admire people like you who are willing to work through the pain for half-marathons. Four of my family members just run the Drake Half Marathon in Des Moines. It takes a lot of training!

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  4. Yayyy good job! You're giving me such hope for this week. I am so proud of you too for getting in training and just leaving it all out there! You go girl!

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  5. You're seriously incredible. One, the fact that you bounced back so quickly after having babies. Two, that even without much training leading up to the event, your pace is super impressive!

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  6. Congratulations!!! You put in the work and deserve that PR!

    I'm an Okie living in TX, and I want to make that race my first full marathon next year. Was going to this year, but got a chance to do Ragnar in March so went with that first (and it was insanely awesome!). I agree that the race means something, and that's why I want to do it.

    My next half is Mother's Day, and I'm hoping for a PR to go with spending the rest of the day with my boys :) Congrats again!

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  7. Congrats on a course PR! And congrats on having a strong race with two little kids despite various obstacles to consistent training.
    I know exactly how you mean that no matter how tough a race was I'm looking forward to the next one right away.

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  8. Congratulations getting a course PR! That is awesome!!! With all the hype about the Memorial marathon lately (our pastor, I heard, was running the half and I know a few other people who did too), I've started thinking that I would love to try the half marathon course sometime. I'm at a point where I've never run further than 3.4 miles and currently, with my pregnant belly, struggle to get further than 1 mile before walking a short stretch, but I'm seriously considering training for a half within the next couple years. I think it'd be fun! Is there a good training resource you recommend for working up to a half marathon?

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  9. You did so amazing!!! I am so proud of you!!! :)

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  10. Whew. Anyone who runs for fun completely amazes (and confuses, lol) me. Add with the time/energy you have to balance with work and kids and your health, and I'm totally floored. Way to go! And congrats on the PR! You did an awesome job!

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  11. I am not a runner so I don't know all of this stuff, but I feel like this is pretty amazing!!

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  12. congrats! running a PR is the BEST! i run regularly but need to sign up for another race soon. i'm thinking a full, but am not sure about the training. i've run 5 fulls and a bunch of halfs before my son was born, but not since then.

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  13. That's awesome, Amanda! Does WATCHING a half marathon on Sunday count for anything? Haha. I cheered for my husband who raced while pushing our 2.5yo in a jogging stroller on Sunday. I can't believe the kinds of times he pulls off while pushing her: 1:37:48. It's going to be a while before I can run 13.1 miles again myself, let alone with a stroller. High-risk pregnancies have undermined my fitness in general, and C-sections have trashed my abs in particular. Props to you for such swift comebacks postpartum! Seriously admirable.

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    1. That is a crazy amazing time pushing a toddler in a stroller! Wow. Our babies really do take a lot out of us during pregnancy/childbirth, especially with C-sections. You are amazing!

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  14. A course PR!! Congratulations! You did awesome. Especially considering your training plan was affected by LIFE so close to the race. You’re a rockstar.

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  15. Awww yes, major congrats on that PR! I felt so anxious when I was reading and waiting to see your time. So pumped when I saw that you hit your goal!
    I only ran one half and I was sooo slow, but I loved the feeling at the end. I started tearing up when I got close to the finish. I've been back in an exercise routine since January so I could have a healthy pregnancy, and have high hopes that I can get back into running sometime next year since the baby is due in September. It's been years, but I really miss it (even though I am the world's slowest runner and always have been).

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  16. I'm always like a year late reading your posts but I am so proud of you!!!!! Running big races can be so emotional! So about the TMI thing, I'm already peeing when I sneeze sometimes so I have a feeling I might not be running too soon after birth hahaha

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  17. Congrats on the PR! That's always SUCH a good feeling---ah, it makes me miss running!

    And I'm the same way with A, B, and C goals---I started doing it with my first half, and I've found it's a great mentality to have so that you're pretty much never too disappointed over the results of a race.

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