Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Foliage Half Marathon Race Report

As of approximately 12:20pm yesterday, Mike and I both became half marathoners!

Let's start at the beginning.

After our pre-race festivities (by the way I bought the Saucony Kinvara 2 and Mike bought the New Balance 890), we headed to bed for the evening. We woke up to the alarm at 7am and got ready for the race.

We both brought our breakfasts in the car (two pieces of toast with peanut butter for me and an energy bar for Mike) since the drive to the race was about an hour and a half. I was really glad that Mike's dad was driving to the race, we were able to relax in the back of the car.

When we arrived we all headed to the bathroom. Of course, Mike got through the line MUCH faster than Mike's mom and I did.

Prior to stretching and warming up, we took a pre-race photo.

Semi-unaware of what was awaiting us (even after driving the course)

It was a little chilly so we were all still wearing our jackets and sweat shirts. Those were quickly shed and handed off to Mike's dad after we did our warm up run.

After the 5K participants were lead down the road to their starting location, the half marathon runners were told to line up. We were closer to the front, but not as close as Mike's mom!

There we are!

The race director was getting us pumped up by saying things like, "if this is your first time running this race, make some noise!" Well, since it was the inaugural race we all made some noise.

Then, before we knew it, we were off and running our first half marathon ever!

We ran through the town of Rhinebeck in the beginning and as we rounded the corner I could see Mike right behind his mom. Mike wanted to try to keep up with her and possibly beat her, but he didn't. He later said that he went out too fast and should have tried to catch her later on in the race. Oh well, now he knows for next time!

One of the mile splits that I remember was the first mile. I clocked in at 9:27, which was faster than my first mile for the 10 miler last weekend. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to keep up a sub-10:00 minute pace the entire race so I tried to hold it for as long as I could.

The water stations were every even mile and I used the same mental trick that I used in the ten miler. I just kept telling myself to get to the water stops and it seemed to do the trick again!

When I passed the three mile marker, my watch said 29:00. Around the 4th mile is when I lost the sub-10:00 minute pace. This was also when I took my first Clif Shot energy gel because I knew that the hills were coming up.

Here's a reminder of the course elevation

This course was challenging. Mike's mom later said that it was probably the most challenging half marathon course that she ever ran. That's definitely saying a lot.

I just focused on conquering the hills one at a time. I took advantage of the flat and downhill portions and then just did what I could to get up the hills.

I wanted to take my second Clif Shot energy gel at mile 8 since I was working so hard to get up the hills, but the water stop was way before the 8 mile marker and I missed the opportunity to take it.

Near the 9 mile mark, there was an out an
d back portion where I was able to see Mike! I asked him if he was ahead of his mom and he said no. This was when I took my second energy gel and took some Gatorade at the turnaround point. One of my complaints about this race was that it was advertised that there would be three water stops with Gatorade, but this was the only one that actually had it!

Luckily, some spectators set up their own water stop with Gatorade at the 11 mile mark and I made sure to grab some.

Also, happening around this time

Mike's mom coming into the finish

Mike did not let that girl chick him

At this point I knew I was going to be close to my A Goal of 2:15:59 and I just focused on finishing the race. I chicked a guy (he was really old, so I'm not too proud haha) toward the end of the race and made my way up the finish. That's another complaint, an uphill finish at the end of a half marathon is really not fair!

My cheering squad

I saw Mike and his parents as they were cheering me on and rounded the corner into the finish.

None of those people passed me

I was happy, I just couldn't see Mike's dad who was taking pictures

As I crossed the finish line people were complimenting my sweat shirt. I got my finisher's medal and met up with everyone else.

It felt so good to finally be a half marathoner! Our times were really good for the challenging course, Mike finished in 2:06.03 and I finished in 2:18.56. Mike's mom had a good race too, her time was 1:55.24. We were all off of our goal times, but considering all the hills we d
id really well!

Happy to be done!

I couldn't really eat anything after the race, so we all just changed and headed to Buffalo Wild Wings. In retrospect, this probably wasn't the best choice for a post-half marathon lunch because it didn't really sit well in my stomach.

Today we have just been relaxing and recovering from the race. We probably won't run until Wednesday, when our new shoes should hopefully arrive.

I really can't wait to run another half marathon! I know that we can both improve our times since our first half marathon was so challenging. I don't regret picking such a challenging race because now we know we can accomplish anything!

I hope everyone's races went well this weekend!


  1. In retrospect, yeah, Buffalo Wild Wings probably wasnt best choice for post-race meal!! But the two Mikes had to get their football fix in!! Next time, if we pick a sports bar, one with more of an assortment of food choices would be good!!

  2. Yay! Congrats! Same with me. I feel like I never get my full money's worth at races, because I can't eat afterwards. But nice job on the challenging course. My first two (and only two) half marathon courses were hilly. I am looking forward to a flatter one in January. But great times for a hilly course!

  3. Awesome race...all of you!! Great race pics! Congrats to the first time Half Marathoners!!!

  4. Congrats on your 1st half marathon! Hilly races are tough, but will only make you a stronger runner! Awesome job!

  5. Sorry for being a stranger-stalker, but I totally saw you at the race! (Truth: I actually noticed the shirt and then stumbled across your blog today and immediately recognized you!) Congrats on a great race!

  6. You are AMAZING!!! What an incredible time!!

  7. What an amazing recap Of your first half!!!! Congrats!!!!!! Keep on sweatin! Spa love!

  8. What a great way to celebrate with family, you go girl! It does stink when it's an inaugural race with kinks, but you pulled through! SPA <3

  9. GREAT JOB!!!! How exciting. The half is my fav distance. I can't wait to hear how Wineglass goes for you guys! Please post all about it!