Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Half Marathon Saga

Seven half marathons.  In a little over one year and one month I have run seven half marathons, seven.

Other than for the first one, the Fall Foliage half marathon, I have had a specific goal: to run a sub-2 hour half marathon.  I set this goal last year around this time, and as you found out yesterday I am not going to accomplish that goal this year.

 Amber was saying, "my bad" since she picked the race (she didn't realize the elevation was as bad as it was)

It is one of two time goals that I will not accomplish this year (the other was running a sub 4:45 marathon).  For some reason, it is also the goal that I am the most disappointed in myself for not accomplishing this year.

As much as I would like, I don't have any other secret half marathons up my sleeve for the rest of the year.  We all know how that ended this weekend anyway.

I had six chances this year to try to run a sub-2 half marathon, and honestly every single time I went out there I had that goal in the back of my mind at least on some level. 

My slowest half marathon this year was 2:26:43, a half marathon that was run in March in 75 degree weather.

 Does this look like March? (We're in the middle)

My fastest half marathon this year was 2:06:39, a half marathon that was run in October near a lighthouse.

 The three of us after the race

I ran four other half marathons in between those times.  I ran the entire 13.1 miles twice and the other four that I ran this year I had to walk at least once, including the race that is my current PR. (I also didn't walk at all during our first half marathon in 2011).  I ran half marathons in four different states: New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. 

 Running the Turning Stone half, I finished in 2:10:39

I came close to running sub-2 hours a few times, right up until the last few miles when I crashed and burned, and other times I knew it wasn't going to happen right away.  I still tried every single time and I failed, every. single. time.

While deep-down I know that this doesn't make me a failure, it is hard to not feel that way. 

Mike and I run a lot of races, sometimes we don't race them but rather use them as training runs, and other than those seven half marathons I also ran a full marathon, an overnight relay, completed two sprint triathlons, a formula 1 distance duathlon, a trail race and everything else in between.  I raced every distance from 5K to a marathon, and after this Saturday's 5K I will have raced 28 times this year. 

I am still not content.  Sub-2 is, and will continue to be until I conquer it, a monkey on my back.  It needs to go away and it needs to go away fast.

Currently, my next half marathon isn't until February 24th. Mike and I are running as a 2-person relay team at the Hyannis Marathon, each of us running 13.1 miles in a row.  But that day isn't going to be about running sub-2 hours.  That day isn't about me and it isn't about Mike.  It is about our friend, Crystal, who we are running with during her first full marathon.

I'm not sure if I will register for a half marathon prior to February.  I might keep it a secret like this past Sunday's race and I might not.

 This is not the face of a sub-2 half marathoner, but it will be!

I know one thing for sure, the next half marathon that I run (excluding February 24th).  I WILL run sub-2 hours!

25 comments:

  1. Okay, this made me all teary. (the 2nd running post this week that has done that to me.)

    You're amazing Jamie. I still can't believe that I got to meet you and become your friend.

    You're an inspiration.
    You encouraged me and believed in me, even when I didn't. (even when I still don't)
    You are an amazing person and a strong athlete.

    I'm a better person for knowing you.

    I can't wait to continue to follow you and your journey.

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  2. You'll get it, be patient and it'll probably happen when you least expect it!

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  3. You will reach the sub 2 hour goal. Maybe not in the dreadful upstate (minus today...today was nice) cold but I'm very confident you will. Whose to say a sub 2 hour half can't happen then?

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  4. You'll get it. Just staying consistent in your running will make it happen. "Fitness breeds speed" so keep on going and it will come soon.

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  5. You'll get there, have you considered running with a pace group? Each time I've PR'ed it's been with the help of some racing/pacing pros.

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    1. That's what this past half marathon was supposed to be like, my friend was going to pace me to sub-2. I was near a pace group for my marathon and that didn't really work out well either.

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  6. You will get there I promise.
    I understand hope frustrating running can be this year. I have a half Saturday that I was planning on being sub 2 hour.
    Now I have to walk it:)
    We will get through this Jamie.
    2013 - the year of run domination!

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  7. You have a lot to be proud of Jamie but I know the frustration of an elusive time goal all too well. I will be right here reading and cheering you on until you nab that sub 2:00 (which will be soon!) and after it as well.
    I just wanted to say that you are a constant source of inspiration for me and I can't wait for all the racing adventures that will come in 2013.

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  8. I understand that frustration! We can set big goals for ourselves and then feel so let down when they don't happen... even while completing so many other amazing feats, as you have..... half marathon prs (you slashed 20 minutes off your time!), relays, a full marathon... the sub-2 will come. In the meantime, it may help to focus on the amazing progress you made. You've had an incredible year! :)

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  9. I hear you! Sub-2 has been my monkey too....close, oh so cl

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  10. It isn't a matter if sub-2 will happen; it's just a matter of *when* it will happen. Use that time goal as motivation this winter, and you'll be more than ready come February. :)

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  11. Hey girl, chin up! You still have an amazing running year behind you. Totally impressive. I do feel your pain, though, having been unable to get my sub-2 hour half marathon time myself. I start out really well, then crash during the last 3 or 4 miles. My running club coach has suggested to extend my training runs to 15 miles in the build-up to my next half (also in February). The key is to take your training runs easy and then aim to run the last three miles of your long run at race pace. This way you build up strength and endurance past your race distance and on the day you'll KNOW that you can push that much harder during that last part of the race when you'd usually start flagging. I know I'll be trying his strategy and I hope it'll work. Good luck with your training. I know you'll get there!!!!

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  12. I went sub2 when I had absolutely no goals for that particular race. I just ran by feel and it was one of my best races ever. I think sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves that it can get to be too much. When I let go of it a little, I did better. I think it will happen when you least expect it! :) You'll get there!! Great year of racing!

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  13. That was my goal this year, too. And, to be honest, in order to do it I had to focus only on that goal. I didn't train for anything else, just that, and I got it (came close, but I did it)! I think if you focus on running sub-2 and nothing else (I know you have a lot of races on the horizon), you'll totally get it! Good luck!

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  14. You have so much to be proud of this year - so many accomplishments and running memories. I have to agree w/Jenny. My performance is always better when I take the pressure off. I think we get so caught up in our own minds about the numbers and sometimes forget what it's like to just run, enjoy it, and feel it. I'm guilty of this myself. You WILL get there!

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  15. 7 half marathons! That is incredible! You should be so proud just because of that! I have only done one but am signed up for another in May!

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  16. I love this post! And I'm with you on the sub-2 goal for 2013. I've got half marathon #7 on December 26, and if that's not sub-2, that's the only goal I've got for 2013 (okay, maybe not the only).

    Yyou're such an inspiration, know that all your effort and all you do encourages and motivates so many people - like me too! Thanks for the encouragement... let's stick on this sub-2 journey!

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  17. Even still...that is an amazing accomplishment! Be proud of it!

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  18. I'm sorry you didn't reach your goal this year, but use it as fire to fuel next year's races! You WILL get there!! You're so close and you have the experience under your belt now. Even if you didn't meet your time goal, each race is a learning experience and helps you become a stronger runner. One thing I'm wondering - have you thought about mixing up your training at all and trying to focus more exclusively on a specific half marathon? I know you love to race, but maybe changing up your training a little bit could be the push you need to get you your sub-2.

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  19. I have no doubt that a sub-2 half marathon is going to happen for you in 2013. You've worked so hard this year and I hate that you don't have a sub-2 half to show for it.

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  20. You WILL be a sub 2hr 1/2 marathoner in 2013. There is no doubt about that. Why not the 1/2 on the 24th? Is that the Hampton 1/2? You can rock that one. I know it!

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    1. Thanks Jen!

      I can't try to do it that day since Mike and I are running with Crystal, so we will be going whatever pace she is on that day. I'll have other opportunities though! :)

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  21. Oh Jamie, I TOTALLY feel you! I've been chasing the sub 2 since February and came so close at 2:01, but just not quite there yet. It's funny, it seems like this big defining line, but really it's just a goal, like any other running goal, and you WILL get there. You've done so much this year, and I hope that your pride outweighs the feelings of disappointment. So maybe we should find some cool fast half marathon and drag each other across the finish line in under 2 hours? ;) PS: In case you get notified of this twice, the first time I spelled your name wrong and felt like a jerk, so I fixed it :)

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    1. Haha thank you, that's a big pet peeve of mine! I appreciate that you fixed it ;)

      I'm definitely down for finding a fast half marathon and dragging each other across the finish line. :)

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