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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Runaway Pumpkin Half marathon-Race Recap and pictures!

Waiting in the dark for the bus to the start line:)

getting ready to warm up:)
What a GREAT day!!

Got to bed at MIDNIGHT, so 4:45am rolled around pretty quick this morning!!
I packed my oatmeal and bunch of other stuff and headed to Road Runner Sports to meet Stephanie:)
For the first time on the way to a race, I asked someone..."This is normal right? getting up at 4:45am to run 13 miles? .....her response, "no".
Plain as that. I am realizing more and more that runners are an interesting breed!
It was dark and foggy and raining all the way there...we had to stop 2 times at gas stations b/c I was about to poop my pants!! Seriously, not sure what was going on...I wasn't even feeling nervous!!
When we got to the parking area, we had to wait for a bus.
I had been thinking all the way there about the Race strategy John had laid out for me and began to wonder if perhaps 7:15 pace was going to feel too hard......I should have left myself more wiggle room....not that I was putting much pressure on myself but I DID say I knew I could run a 1:33...silently hoping now, I wasn't going to eat my words;)

We warmed up with a nice comfy 8:04 mile and then got into our racing clothes:) it was actually warming up nicely! about 50 now...but still sprinkling.

When we got to the start line, Steph was still saying how she just wasn't feeling it today....I still knew she'd be way ahead of me and I was right:)
So ....gun goes off....sub 7 on the watch and it feels great ...but that is just adrenaline, so I slow down:)
Mile 1 was a 7:18. not bad. close to target pace...but was planning to run it a bit slower...wanted to give myself room to get faster over time.
mile 2 7:25. Mile 2 was also starting to climb a bit.

This was NOT a flat course like they say "mostly flat" lol. I actually didn't mind it, but I heard a lot of the top finishers talking about how it was not a flat course and much hillier than they had anticipated

At Mile 2, a girl tried to pass me, but I made a little surge and never saw her again:D nice try lady in the pink tutu.
After mile 2, it was a slow and steady race between me, myself and I:) I picked off man, by man.....

I was the lone female amongst a lot of men, with a few women in front of me and no one behind me. (the next female finished 5 min after me).

It felt REALLY good to inch by inch, take these men out...I'm not gonna lie. I don't think it did much for they ego to see me, little blonde chick, passing them:) but it did LOTS for mine;) lol

Mile 4-8 was a slow and stead climb with no downhill. When you crest up the hill to the top of mile 8, you get about a 1/4 of a mile of down hill. Thats' the only downhill in the race:)...but I TOOK advantage of it and let my body carry me down at a nice 6min pace.....
I was actually surprised at how good and consistent my paces were from mile 4-8. all around 7:15-7:18.

I was feeling really strong. body was not hurting...I was maintaining control and being sure not to push to soon.
I know john said at mile 10 I could "GO"...but I was too chicken! I dropped down to low 7's but I knew I was going ot wait til the last mile or mile and half before I picked it up. I didn't want to risk doing it too soon and burning out. I know my body. I have a kick, but not a 3 mile kick:)

it turned out to be a good decision. I passed another guy at mile 9, another at mile 11 and ANOTHER at mile 12.5:):)
when I hit mile 12, I looked at my watch and realized that IF I wanted to go under 1:34, which I DID, I HAD to push this mile hard! I knew I had a lot of slower than 7:15 miles to make up for. I decided I was going to push as hard as my body could and go for it! I WANTED to see a 1:33 on that clock when I came to the finish line!!
I looked down at 12.60 miles and was running a 6:20 pace. THIS HURT. I mean it HURT, but it wasn't for a long duration so I knew I could tolerate it. You can do ANYTHING for 6minutes:0)

I crossed the finish line at 1:33:38 and FELT amazing!

I had a second where I felt like I was going to cry b/c I had one it! I beat 1:34 and I executed my race perfectly!

I felt STRONG the whole way. I never had a moment where I felt like "I couldn't " or where I felt discouraged. Normally I feel this way at least ONCE during a hard race, but not today:) I was holding on , knowing I was going to have some left in the tank at the end and it felt GREAT! While everyone else was getting tired at mile 8,9,10...I was picking it up, definitely a GREAT way to race!!!

I was 6th female overall and 1st in my AG. It was a perfect day:)

Here are my mile splits:

Mile 1: 7:19
Mile 2: 7:26 (wasn't prepared for some incline already)
Mile 3: 7:15
mile 4: 7:11
Mile 5: 7:20 (long gradual climb starts)
Mile 6: 7:16
Mile 7: 7:16
Mile 8: 7:18
Mile 9: 6:57
Mile 10: 7:09
Mile 11: 7:11
Mile 12: 7:03
Mile 13: 6:42

Post race:)

With our cute glasses for getting first in our Age groups:)

Relaxing in the Hot Tub with my girls tonight:):)


  1. Yay! :D You did so awesome, Nicole! Maybe one of these days some of your speediness will rub off on me! lol. Seriously though, way to rock that half! :) :)

  2. Very awesome race girl!! You stuck to the plan and you finished strong and now...what a great way to start Boston Training!!! You've already got a GREAT base built up with all your mileage so now you can enjoy keeping that up and I just know your Boston training is going to ROCK!! Way to go girl! Really proud of you.

  3. Great job! You executed the perfect race. Your pacing strategy really worked. I haven't put up my recap from my half yet (I ran yesterday too) but I totally went out too fast and paid for it. I was tired by mile 5... Not good. This recap was very helpful to me. I am so ready to be racing again (post baby and post stress fracture) that I am not pacing myself smart. I learned a lot from the mistakes of yesterday and I want to race my next one like yours! It feels so good to pace it the right way! Again, great job!!

  4. Congratulations on a race well ran! So happy for you especially after coming back from injury, you are so amazing and inspiring!

  5. 1:33 and it felt easy. Awesome. Me thinks you have a good coach:)

  6. great race woman!!! it is just perfect when you have a race where you hit the time you wanted AND you felt confident and in control the whole race! :) and totally agree, it's an ego booster picking off me on a race course.

  7. Fantastic! What I like best is that all your splits were pretty consistent - except for two that were sub 7 :)You really nailed this!!

    Great energy here!

  8. Woohoo Nicole. This is seriously an AWESOME race. Great time when you haven't even started TRAINING. My word, I think you will absolutely smoke Boston. I also want some of your hardass, don't pass me in the pink tutu, pick off the men attitude! SUPER finish. I love the pics! I think you have locked up with a pretty darn good coach here! Pass us on some free tips-ha!! Oh and also, 1st in AG-so impressive. Proud of you Nicole. Proud of you and really excited for you!!!

  9. can't say it enough...so proud of you and happy for you! this was a great race, and you are amazing :)

  10. thank you ladies!!! I think I like my new coaches racing strategy too:):):)

  11. Woohoo, bravo Nicole! Awesome race and congrats on your awards!

    (And my goodness, your girls are super adorable too)

  12. um.. how did i miss this recap? Whoops! Congrats lady.. what an amazing race! Super speedy negative splits and 1st in your age group, impressive!!! I am excited to follow you through your training to Boston!!!


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