I wasn’t sure what to expect running a half marathon 21 days after completing a full marathon. Sure, a lot of people have done this with even less time in between races, but I knew for me this might be a challenge. I also didn’t taper for this race. I took some easy days after the marathon, but was in the process of slowly working my mileage back up. So why not throw in a half marathon?
I was lucky enough to meet up with one of the nicest people EVER before the race. Not only is she nice, but a very talented runner as well! You can just tell from the picture how awesome she is…and how sleepy I was.
I always dread thinking about it, let alone having to write about it, but if I’m being honest (which is something I always appreciate in a blog), I’m not in the best shape I could be right now. Whether it’s from over-training, tired marathon legs, or plain just not doing enough of what I should be doing, I’m just not as fast as I have been or want to be. That being said, I still wanted to give this half marathon a shot. I saw this as an opportunity to practice racing the half distance while working on my pacing as well as my confidence and mental toughness.
After a short warm-up, I headed into the crowd of racers. I decided I would try and start out between the 1:45 and 1:50 pace groups, not knowing what type of pace I would be able to handle at this point in my racing season on a hilly course.
While waiting to start, I looked over and noticed I was standing a few feet away from Amby Burfoot. Wow! When would this ever happen again in my life? Even if I could start out in a faster pace group, I want to start next to a legend instead!
I spent the first mile doing what felt like “jogging” while dodging runners that I should have either started in front of or they should have started behind me. Note to self, start up in a faster pace group area next time and convince running legends to join me up there. Luckily, despite the crowds, I kept finding myself near Amby. I spent these miles secretly hoping the professional photographers on the course would catch me and my new bff running together.
Mile 1: 7:45
Mile 2: 7:45
Mile 3: 8:02
Mile 4: 7:53
I must have lost Amby at some point around this time because this was when my mile splits fell off a little…more into the 8:00-8:30 time range. Yuck. I don’t need to get into those ugly details…
Everything seemed to be going okay until I started going up the first “big” hill. I noticed that my stomach was feeling a little funny, so I tried to ignore it. Was it the caffeinated gel I took? Once I hit the flat or downhill, it was fine again. However, on the next uphill, the same feeling came back. This would all come back to haunt me during the car ride home and for the two days following the race. Refer to my question/answer of the week post for more on this.
The course continued all over Bethlehem and through some beautiful neighborhoods. If you enjoy a challenging road course with hills and lots of turns, you would like this half marathon. It definitely kept me guessing about what was coming next. One of my favorite parts of the race was running across the Fahy bridge around mile 11. I wish I had a picture to share! It was close to the finish and it was an awesome site.
Another part of the race that I remember in particular was when I was near the last half mile of the race. One of the pacers must have read my name on my racing bib and kept cheering for me (by name)! He wouldn’t let me give up in that last bit of the race, he wanted to see me work! Well I couldn’t disappoint my newest fan, so I finished strong (and in front of him). Seeing how awesome he made me feel, confirmed my desire to one day become a pacer.
I finished the half in 1:49:26. Definitely not my best time. In fact, this was my second slowest half marathon time out of the five half marathon I have run.
I can’t be too disappointed though…the weather made for a perfect race day, lots of friendly racers, beautiful course, great experience, and I completed my 5th half marathon! I have great memories to take away from this race and I’m lucky to have been healthy and capable to participate.
I also had the opportunity to meet some fellow bloggers! By far some of the most friendly people I have ever met! Jill Conyers (in the middle) blogs over at: Fitness, Health, and Happiness. On the left, rocking the Oiselle arm warmers is Lynda who is the voice behind Hit the Road Jane. I also got to meet Beth, who lives in the area and I’m so sad we didn’t get a picture together. Next time!
Oh, and I got to meet an Olympian! Shalane decided last minute to run the half marathon. I’m happy to report that she did not “chick” Brendan.
My speedy husband ran an awesome race. He took 4th overall. I’m so proud of him…and can’t wait for him to share some of that speed with me!
Would I recommend this race? Absolutely! It was well organized, the volunteers were wonderful, and the start and finish areas were stocked with food, water, and bathrooms for everyone. The course was well marked and easy to navigate. Runner’s World also put on a nice Expo and brought some outstanding guests and athletes to speak at the event. One detail that the event coordinators were especially proud of is that the half marathon medals had velcro on them to take the medal off because it could also be used as a bottle opener.
I am actually interested in running the “Hat Trick” next year. This consists of running the 5k, 10k, AND the half marathon. I also heard talks about coming up with a marathon route for next year. Nothing definite though.
- Did you run any of the Runner’s World Half Marathon Festival Events?
- Would you run the “Hat Trick?”