Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hippie Chick Half 2013 Recap

Last week, I was SO nervous about the upcoming race. I don't remember having quite so much anxiety, but then this was the first race that I ran without a buddy, and the first race I had a time goal to meet. I wanted to run under 2 hours 45 minutes, a little over a 12 minute mile.

I sprung for a new Lululemon top for this race.

My family got up with me at the crack of dawn to drive me to the start - the best Mother's Day present ever! 

It was hard to see the pace signs, and I started with the 10-minute milers. I know it's prudent to start slow, but running less than 11-minute miles at the start seemed excruciatingly slow. Plus, it was cool and the first 2 miles were slightly downhill.

The course was just okay, flat and pretty in spots, but the last third of the half-marathon course is a crowded out and back (which is also the quarter-marathon course). This was my second time running this course, so I knew what to expect. The race was crowded, and there weren't enough bathrooms. I waited until mile 8 to use the bathroom because there was no way I was going to blow my modest time goal waiting in line at a bathroom stop.

I felt great, and was well under my goal until mile 11. I expected to struggle at the end. My training plan called for my longest run to be 10 miles. I know that this is common in training plans, but psychologically, I wanted to be done at 10! My legs kept cranking a steady 11:40 pace until mile 11, then my legs went noodle-y and shaky, and I had to walk.

At mile 11, the sun was hot, it was humid, and the lovely 2-mile downhill that I so enjoyed at the start became my uphill nemisis. A darling high-school cheerleader yelled at me, "you're almost there!" and I snapped back, "I have two miles to go, what are you talking about?!" (Sorry about that).

My pace slowed to 12:30, then 13. Uggh...those two miles were excruciating, but then I saw the "FREE TUNNEL of MIST!" The misters were having a grand time, and I had to drag them out of there when the race was over.

How happy would you be to see this at the end of a hot race?

My little girl ran me in, and I couldn't even look up at the finish line. I was fixated on willing one foot going in front of the other. I finished in 2 hours 37 minutes - beat my goal by 8 minutes! I actually finished in the middle of the pack in my age group. One thing I like about this race, is that the finishers get little necklaces instead of medals.

It was exciting to make a time goal and meet it. Even though I'm still a slow runner, I look at my race history over the last 2 years and can see a lot of progress. That's so exciting!

No more long races this summer - just a few short, fun runs. This summer, I'll continue to work on my speed during my Thursday night track workouts, and I'll focus on losing the extra 13 pounds I'm packing.

Do you have any tips for those last few miles in the race? Should a training plan include a long run that's as long as the race? Help me out here so I can get faster!

Miss Prickly


  1. Congrats on beating your goal! For my half training plans I've always had a 12 mile long run. I've use Hal Higdon's novice plans and they always work well for me. I also think it helps to break it up into portions in your mind. I always tell myself at mile 10 that its only a 5k left. Good luck!

  2. What an awesome Mother's Day gift to have your family to support you at the race! Congrats on beating your goal by a full 8 minutes!

  3. I will say I always, always want to start fast and "bank" time, but when I do, I always die at the end. There really is something to reserving some energy at the start of the race and nothing feels better than getting a little faster those last miles. I've only done it a few times, but the one time I did was a huge PR for me.

    Great job beating your goal though, you should be super happy!!

    I would throw in an 11 or 12 miler in your training next time too.

  4. Way to go beating your time by 8 minutes!!