ARC Half Marathon 2011

by Joanne on September 10, 2011

I put it out there. It scares me to announce such a specific plan such as running a race for a goal time.  That’s scary.  Now everyone knows. Do they think “she can’t do it, it’s too much faster than her last race” or “what a risk she’s taking trying to reach for such an aggressive time” or “she should never run a race with a goal pace like that”…endless thoughts went through my mind regarding what everyone would think.  I started some good self talk and the conversation went a bit like this:

You always make every attempt to achieve your goals and this is no different.

There won’t be any excuses. You’ve read about runners giving it every thing they have right across the finish line. You can do the same.

When the going gets tough, AND IT WILL, put the race in a time perspective:  Only one and a half hours of the rest of your morning, you can do it.

You’re psyched for this run.  You’re up for it.  You’re ready. You want it.

That was the conversation going through my mind during my drive home from work on Friday.  In fact, I got so lost in my own thoughts, the road from work to home was a complete mystery.

What REALLY happened during this race.  Here’s my recap.

Saturday morning:

Shane and I went our for a loosening up run, 2 miles.  I ate half an Ezekiel bagel with 1 tsp peanut butter and planned to take a banana and energy bar with me.

Ted and I left the house a bit before 7 am and, don’t you know, I forgot the banana and bar.  I would make due with a 5 Hour Energy drink and 2 Hammer Gel paks.

When we arrived at Long Branch Park,


we had over an hour to get our bibs then wait.  Time flew but as we sat in the car, I seriously considered not running the race. People talking outside and milling around were making me nervous.  My stomach was flip flopping.

When It was time to start, I felt good. I took off fast but felt really good…until 3/4 ways into the first mile.  The stomach cramps hit – HARD!  I was scoping the area for tall grass, thick wood, nothing. I kept going wondering if I called Ted, would he have his phone to get the call.  I could stop and turn back?  I passed an attractive corn field but decided to push through.  By mile 4 the stomach affliction had gone away but I didn’t feel good. I wanted to stop.

The course looped around so I could easily remove my bib and end it at 6 miles.


No, keep going.  I saw Ted around the 9 mile point.


It gives me such a push to see family and friends during a race. Unfortunately, that surge only lasted about 1/2 a mile.

Between mile 10 and 11, there was a long stretch in the woods. I thought “I would really like to dive into those woods, come out and go the other way.” But no. I’m not a cheater, tempting but no

I had one good laugh when a girl passed with head phones on, singing so loud “DO YOU LOVE ME”… I felt like saying “Yes, sweetie, the world loves you”.  I wonder if she realized how loud she was shoutin’ out the words?! Funny.

It was mile 12, FINALLY, and I knew I could finish but realized the goal was unachievable. It wasn’t even a PR, but I pushed through.  I stuck with it and finished the race in 1:47:57, 8:15 pace, 4th in my age group and the 25th female.  Quite a bit off from my goal of 1:44 but hey, I’m ok with that.


Not quite sure why I didn’t run a great race. The course was very scenic, running through the park with water views along the way. It was flat, no challenging inclines.


Guess it just wasn’t in the cards.

Ted ran an AWESOME 5K, 27:18, 8:48 pace.  Ted was 12th in his age group, 115th male in the 5K.

It was a race of firsts: First time I forgot my food for fuel before a race.  First time suffering severe stomach cramps.  First time thinking the ENTIRE 13.1 miles that I wanted to quit.  First time I walked during a race. First time that I had a horrible toe cramp after the race. Seriously! So painful! It felt as if my toe was lifting out of my shoe.

Then we stopped at Dunkin Donuts where the guy (or was it a girl?!) behind the counter forgot to label our egg white sandwiches.  I asked which was which because I don’t eat meat and the response left me opened mouthed: “Neither one has meat, they are egg white flatbread sandwiches” I said “One has turkey”. The kid said “NEITHER one has meat.  I’ve been making these for a long time”. I said “ARE YOU TELLING ME TURKEY ISN’T MEAT?!!!  PLEASE tell me which is which because I don’t want the turkey”. Seriously! But here’s a thought: If it’s NOT turkey aka MEAT in that Egg White Flat bread TURKEY sandwich, WHAT IS IT?!!!   Due to that little altercation, I ended up ruining my much desired coffee by putting in 2 Splenda – TOOOO sweet!

Wrapping it up:  Good day in the end but no more races until November and I guess I’ll just have to get in the lottery system for NY City Marathon, 2012.

The ARC2

Ho Hum.

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  • At 2011.09.10 19:56, Lori said:

    Sorry the race didn’t go as you planned, but you made it through!

    And WTF with Dunkin Donuts? Isn’t turkey meat? Last I checked it was.

    • At 2011.09.11 14:49, Joanne said:

      I know…I’m just happy that I didn’t DNF and pushed through.
      As for DD – crazy kid!

      • […] ARC Half Marathon Thought I would get my goal of 1:44 instead I ran 1:47:57, 8:14 pace.  Pushed through a very tough […]

        • At 2011.09.12 08:22, Heather said:

          You ran a great race for not really feeling it! Good for you for pushing through!
          And, hey, it’s totally possible to get into NYC through the lottery. 😉

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