The Second “Half”

by Joanne on May 23, 2010

My second half marathon.  Training is 90% physical and 10% mental UNTIL race day. That’s what ACTIVE’s  Jenny Hadfield has to say.  Makes sense to me.  So all the training is done and now it’s a mind over body thing. 

This is the course that my mind ran today:


It was an out and back course. I was thinking that would be boring but anytime I run outside and it’s a new route, I don’t find it boring.

I was up at 5 am.  The half was to start at 8 am.  I ate a banana with 1 TBS peanut butter and 1/2 of a Snickers Marathon Bar.  Shane and I went for a 2 mile run to loosen things up.  My usual pre-race morning routine. 

Once the race was over, it was another race to get home, load up and high tail it down to South Carolina, a 14 hour trip in the car.  Not sure how my legs are going to like that but I’m anxious to see my parents and we want to get some of those road miles in today then finish the drive tomorrow. 

The running gear:  I wore my Garmin.  I wore some new black Sugoi shorts (airy and soft) with big pockets for gels, E-drenaline, Hammer Electrolyte pill (1), and my Newton Performance sneakers (see the link on the right side bar – LOVE Newton Sneakers!).  I wear my Saucony Fast Twitch for shorter races (5 & 10K’s).  

The plan

  • Run the second half of the race slightly fast than the first. 
  • Lap 1: 8.44
  • Lap 2: 8.43
  • Lap 3: 8.33 – water stop
  • Lap 4: 8.32
  • Lap 5: 8.31
  • Lap 6: 8.21- water stop
  • Lap 7: 8.32 – took 3/4 of the E-Drenaline
  • Picking it up slightly…
  • Lap 8: 8.30 – water stop
  • Lap 9: 8.16
  • Lap 10: 8.25 – at 10 1/2, had the Accel-Gel
  • Lap 11: 8.32  what happened here?
  • Lap 12: 8.38  Whoa!  What happened HERE?!  -water stop
  • Lap 13: 8.18  …ah, much better.

So my times went according to plan.  I was hoping to run A LOT faster than my first Half, but only beat the time by a couple of minutes. 

Strategy was to focus on the runner ahead and try to close the gap as the last few miles come to play. Try to catch another runner, and another.  Play the running game. 

The Start:  I was ready. After using the bathroom 4 times in the last half hour, EVERYTHING was ready.  Ted took a photo after dropping me off.


It was a little cool with a breeze but not too bad.  The time behind me represents the count down until the big Utica Boilermaker Road Race.  It’s a 15K.  Lots of partying and music and support all along the course like you’ve never seen before.

As usual, I lined up slightly towards the front and in the middle.  I noticed that the fast male runners had no muscle tone. I looked at the women.  The women actually had bigger arms than the men! Hmmm.  That’s something.

“READY. ON YOUR MARKS.  GET SET.  GO!”  We were off.  Good start. The guys behind me were commenting on the leader who was WAY ahead already. They said “if he’s planning on a 4 1/2 minute mile, he can have it”.  The guy was fast and he did end up winning the race at something like 70 minutes or so.

 Mid Run:   At about the 3 1/2 mile point, a young girl was huddled over to the side.  Everyone was asking if she was ok. I don’t know whether she turned and went back or continued on.

There were a couple in front talking about cycling. I listened to them for a while then passed them. 

As I was trotting along, the conversation behind me made my eyes fly open.  A guy came up on the girl behind and she introduced herself. She said she had read or heard an interview he had done a while ago. He then told her he began running at age 50 because he stopped smoking and gained 15 lbs.  GOOD FOR HIM!   🙂   The girl asked “now…how many marathons have you done?”  Brace yourselves for this answer……75!   He said “I’ve done 75 and I love them.  Halves are fun but Marathons are the best”.   I almost tripped up.   I’m not sure how old he was or what he looked like but WOW!  75?   That’s truly amazing.

The course was quiet.  No one was talking. I did tell one girl about Ted telling me about yawning to increase my oxygen before a run.  I think she preferred listening to her headphones rather than me. 

The “patrol” bikes came past at mile 9 and told some people to get the headphones out of there ears.  They weren’t allowed on the course due to insurance.

The birds were chirping. It was so pretty along the canal trail.  Wooded, shady, back to nature sort of path. It wasn’t boring at all.

I thought people would begin passing me but no one did.  The road on the last mile was so hot. The pavement exaggerated the heat of the day.  That was the toughest part of the course. However at that point, I passed a guy who called out “Nice Sneakers!”  I said “I love them. Newton Runners and so light”.  He said “They’re great, aren’t they?!”  Apparently a Newton fan as well.

The Finish: 1.51 at an average 8.29 pace.  A little better than my First Half Marathon but not quite what I wanted.  I finished 7th in my age group and in the top 100 runners.

Ted was at the finish taking photos:


He captured my time a little after I crossed


I can live with that and I can also work on that.  It’s easy for me to work on speed in training but when it comes to a race, I get WAY too nervous if I try to beat my last time. 

I grabbed a bottle of water then went to meet up with Ted who was talking to Eileen, our accountant who ran the 5K – GREAT GOING EILEEN! Dan Cohen was chit chatting with Ted. Richard, his son came in 2nd in the race with a time of 79 minutes. Dan used to run but due to injury is content with cycling now.

I went over the my running coach, Mike Brych (he came in 4th at 1.23) and said “Mike, we have work to do.  I wanted a time of 1.45 and didn’t get it.”  He said  “it’s only been 2 weeks and we haven’t even gotten into speed work yet. Besides, you did better than your last didn’t you?”  True so true. 

Now I’ll go take a bath and pack.  My hamstrings are already stiff.  I can’t imagine what I’ll feel like every time I get out of the car today during the first leg of our trip to S.C.  Oh Boy!

Do you stretch before and after a workout or are you a “bad” stretcher, like me?


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Applecrumbles, Applecrumbles. Applecrumbles said: Preparation and running a Half […]

    • At 2010.05.23 13:36, runnerforever said:

      I always stretch after, but usually not much before. Girl, you are going to seriously rock the race. Just realizing how much of it is a mental battle now and doing so much mental planning for the race puts you waaay ahead of most of your competitors!
      .-= runnerforever´s last blog ..Breakfast and a Winner =-.

      • At 2010.05.23 14:04, Lindsay said:

        Way to go girl! That time is awesome. I love the yawning tip. I actually just heard that yawning is good for the brain because it works as a cooling method. Pretty cool. I’m a bad stretcher. I hobble around like crazy when I don’t do it. You’d think I’d learn my lessons by now…nope. 🙂
        .-= Lindsay´s last blog ..Success Success Success =-.

        • At 2010.05.23 14:55, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

          Bravo! I so admire people that can run this distance. You really did a good job and seems like you have a baseline to keep improving from.

          What made you decide to get a running coach?

          I was fairly lame about good stretching, but ever since I hurt my back – I have been foam rolling and stretching every day like a good little girl. It’s kind of nice.
          .-= Lori (Finding Radiance)´s last blog ..Metric Century Ride =-.

          • At 2010.05.25 03:14, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

            I’m a very very very bad stretcher but I’m learning. Yoga is a great way to learn that 🙂
            .-= Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear´s last blog ..Lobster Spaghetti =-.

            • At 2010.05.25 10:23, What a trip | Apple Crumbles said:

              […] made it.  We are in South Carolina after a long drive from New York to Myrtle Beach after a half marathon.  Speaking of which, look at the goof ball who made the Sunday […]

              Previous post:

              Next post: