This past Sunday I ran the New Jersey Half Marathon. It wasn’t until I was playing on athlinks.com later that I realized it was my 15th half marathon! I don’t actually have any memory of why I decided to run the Thanksgiving Half Marathon (1st) back in November of 2008, and the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon (2nd) just 5 months later (this is the RNR in Nashville now).
Nashville, April 25, 2009. By far the HOTTEST race I’ve ever run. I also can’t even handle the clothes I ran in- clearly this was before my days of lululemon 🙂
I did the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon two more times- in 2009 (3rd) and 2011 (7th). This will probably always be my favorite half. To go home and have Thanksgiving lunch and then take a nap and watch football= a perfect day! Anyways, it’s fun to see the location of my races as they so clearly depict all of my life moves (ATL->CLT->NYC). One of my most fun half marathons was the RNR Arizona Half Marathon on MLK weekend in 2010 (4th). My dear friend Bo had moved to Phoenix so a handful of us went out there to visit him and run the race.
Again with the clothes! It was really hot so not sure why I have on long sleeves and tights. The course in Phoenix is flat and fast, and I do remember being really excited to PR with a 2:03! From there I did my first spring half in Atlanta (5th), followed by my first half (Thunder Road) in Charlotte in December of 2010 (6th).
It was really cold. This was actually when I was hoping I’d be doing my first full, but I got hurt during training so just did the half. Brooke ran with me, and Matt came in town to run too. Races in Charlotte are no joke- so many steep hills.
The Publix Half Marathon in March of 2012 (8th) was the first time I broke two hours! After that was my last race in Charlotte, the RaceFest Half (9th).
Love all my Charlotte lululemon girls!
After that I moved to NYC! I ran the Brooklyn Half in 2013 (10th), and again in 2014 (13th) due to pure peer pressure. I actually really don’t love this race- I find the last 6/7 miles dreadfully boring- but in 2014 it did result in a PR of 1:55! In between the two Brooklyn halfs (halves??) I ran Seawheeze in Vancouver (11th) with my friends, and then the NYC Half (12th). The NYC Half is probably one of my favorite half marathons. I love the course so much and even though it’s cold, it’s usually pretty great race conditions.
After these races a funny thing happened- I learned how to actually RACE! I never really had even thought about it. I ran races, but never really raced them. This brings me to the second part of this post- A GREAT, BIG, HUGE
to my wonderful Coach Jess! Today marks the one year anniversary of when I started working with her. We were recently chatting about what I’ve learned the most from the past year, and what has improved my running the most. I told her it’s been learning HOW to race and what it MEANS to race, as well as having someone hold me accountable for my training. She has taught me so much! She would say it’s me that’s been doing the work, and I certainly have been, but it wouldn’t be happening without her. So this brings me to my 14th and 15th half marathons. Last October, after being coached by Jess for 6 months, I ran the RNR Philly Half- read all about it here. In this race I took my PR from 1:55 to 1:51:07, and had so much fun doing it!
This brings us right up to 3 days ago at the NJ Half. My goal was to break 1:50 and with the training I did and my PR at Cherry Blossom, I felt like I was prepared to do so. I won’t give a mile by mile recap, but I will say this was by far the hardest I’ve ever raced/run in my life. I ran the first mile at a 8:13 pace, at mile 4 was thinking, “How is this only mile 4?!” and somehow managed to keep around this pace the whole race, finishing in 1:48:54, an 8:19 overall pace. OH MY GOODNESS. Thank you Jess for pushing me to go harder and faster, and most of all for giving me the confidence that I can achieve these goals! Can’t wait for another year together!!!
Running my heart out in that pouring rain this past weekend!