The Good, The Bad & the Sub 1:40


It usually takes a couple days to absorb details and emotions that occurred during a race. From the moment I crossed the finish line I was happy about my performance, but disappointed because i thought I had a little more in me. Hence, my MMM (McKayla Marony Moment) that the photographers just so happened to catch. When I saw this picture, I realized what a brat I was being. I did my best on the given day and landed a PR.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.13.41 AM

Instead of a traditional race recap where I take you mile by mile of what happened, I thought breaking down the positive and negatives of the race would help me take away what I need from it and move forward.

The Bad

-Sinus issues. You guys know i’ve been dealing with it. During the race, it was the only thing annoying me the entire time. My nose was running right along with me and my throat was super dry, making it impossible to take deep breaths. I had to make extra water stops just to wet my throat which i knew was killing time. That was frustrating.

-Wind. There were definitely decent headwinds, which made the dry throat worse.

-Hills. These killed me. I forgot how hilly the course was. I tried to pretend it was an interval workout every time I headed up a hill. I had to stop on several just to shake out my legs and catch my breath. Stopping on the uphill is where my mental game started falling apart in those last couple miles.

-Course tangents. I did not study the course map at all, and I never knew where the turns were, so it made me anxious trying to figure out the shortest distance. (Sidenote: the total distance from last year on my Garmin read 13.3, and this year again it was 13.3. I spoke with a few runners after the race that also thought the course was off by 2 tenths.)

The Good!

-The Rock N’ Roll race was MUCH more organized than last year, making it a breeze to get to a port-a-potty, gear check and the start corrals. The course was so cool. Running it a second time, I got the chance too look around and see monuments, then cute neighborhoods, and I loved getting to see the Capitol during the final miles.

-I hit a goal I was chasing for a year now, earning a sub 1:40 half marathon!

-I felt really great with the pacing. I felt totally in control almost the whole race. My coach said I ran a “smart race” and I agree with that.

-Fuel intake! I ate a GU (Jet Blackberry) about 15 minutes before the start, another at 5 miles and another at 9 miles. I felt well fueled and hydrated during the race.

-I finished 209th female overall. I’ve had a secret weird goal to break into the top 100 women of a major half for a while now. It’s finally in reach!

-This was my 1st half where all mile splits were sub-8s!

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.43.45 AM

Official Time 1:39:57

-I had a kick at the end! This hardly ever happens,  6:46/pace for the last .3. It took a lot to dig for that energy, but I knew if i didn’t I wouldn’t have snuck under 1:40.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.12.23 AM

last quarter mile, hauling ass to break 1:40

Already looking at the +/-‘s I’m feeling much better about this half. Most of the negative problems were out of my control and that’s the way it goes sometimes! But hey, I’m getting faster and more confident running races and I HAD FUN. Someone at the start line said “if you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it.” I repeated that mantra throughout the race, only having small moments through miles 11-13 where I hated running had negative thoughts.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.12.02 AM

Things I need to work on for my next race: get more comfortable with hill running, study the course maps better, and work on my positive mental game. I realize I am hard on myself, but I’m human and I want to constantly improve 🙂


How do you deal with negative feelings during or after a race?

How much time do you take off after a race before running? 



Author: She's Going the Distance


23 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad & the Sub 1:40

  1. AWESOME! Great job – no matter what you should be thrilled by what you accomplished. I know I wasn’t ‘happy’ with any of my marathons last year but managed to take 6 minutes off my PR between them … so in hindsight I AM happy.

    And I love your ‘not impressed’ look at the top, bookended with the great smile at the bottom 🙂

    In terms of ‘off time’, my basic approach is a ‘reverse taper’. I might take one day off, but then the next day start the slow build-back.

    • I can’t believe my face in that picture, but it pretty much summed up how i felt for a few minutes. And you’re right, I am super happy with the race. You should be really proud of running so many marathons in one year, I couldn’t do that. At least not right now. I think it’s incredible that you can run that kind of distance!

  2. A) I think that was an awesome race and you having all that energy at the end most likely means that under better circumstances, you would have been even faster so don’t get upset and think you don’t have the fitness you thought B) you got a PR! Impossible to not be happy after a PR. Plus it means I owe you cookies. C) you look awesome in that photo turning on the kick at the end.

    • thanks 🙂 I’m realizing this post is a bummer, i didn’t mean to sound so negative, i just felt so weird about it and wanted to be honest. And you do owe me cookies!!! i’m pretty sure that kick came from cookie motivation !

      • You don’t sound overly negative! I totally understand the disappointment, I just was trying to remind you that you’ll definitely do better next time when you’re not sick and this was a PR anyway so you’ve got another PR in the bag next go-round. Email me your address, I’ll send them the week 😉

  3. You look sooo strong crossing the finish line! Great job girl! Can’t wait to see what you can do in the marathon in a few months!!

  4. My watch read 13.34! I think the distance was off somewhere early. The first couple miles my splits were right on with the mile markers and then all of a sudden it was way off. And that hill at mile 6! That was a killer. But seriously you rock! With all the things that made it a challenging race for you, you still PR’d and hit a sub 1:40!! That’s amazing. Imagine what you will be able to do when the conditions are better!

  5. WAHOO!!! You’re amazing!!! Just a few weeks ago you were telling me how you’d LOVE to get under 1:40, so I’m not letting you wallow too much in “the bad” :). I’m so happy for you and glad you ran such a smart race!!!

  6. Nice job! You got your PR on a hilly course, on a windy day when you were sick. That counts for a lot! Plus it’s clear that you can go even faster

    I think we’re allowed to be a little disappointed straight after a race (not that YOU need to be at all) but for me that’s the motivation to get back at it and get even better.

    Good luck with the marathon training!

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  8. Awesome race!! Congrats!

  9. Pingback: Wandering Thursday – Throwback, MiMM, Thoughts and Tasty Tunes! | Running Around the Bend

  10. LOVE this recap and congrats on breaking 1:40, especially with so many odds stacked against you! I hope to get there someday. 🙂

  11. Enjoyed reading this . Congrats on the 1:40, even with stopping at hills !

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  13. Pingback: When Life is More Important to Running

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