It’s not a half without some drama: TOLT

I’m Thinking Out Loud about my halfs today. Probably because I have one coming up in just a few days.

I’d like to say I train well and then everything just goes smoothly on race day. There’s no stress in training or during the race.

And then I’d tell you I have this bridge to sell to you . . .

So let’s just review the drama that has accompanied a few of my halfs.

Las Vegas 2011
Las Vegas 2011 – after getting to right timing chip, of course!

RnR Vegas 2011
The half that started them all. No Garmin. Using a Nike+ footpod, I was somewhat under trained but didn’t really realize it. Discovered I had someone else’s chip when I went to put it on because I didn’t think to check the chip attached to my bib. It was colder in Vegas that night than back home in upstate New York. And it started to rain at the end — a cold rain. My very first night race, too!

Well, I did say it was the half that started them all. I had a blast running down the Vegas strip!

I imagined I was running through Paris

RnR Montreal 2012
Hmm, maybe it’s just RnR races? This was the one where something just wasn’t right with my cat Simba — we would come to find out not long after this race that he had lymphoma, and in about 2 months he was gone.

The day before we were scheduled to leave, I found out my father had a brain tumor — hopefully benign — that would require brain surgery. I wasn’t feeling well most of this weekend.

It was a PR at the time. And although we lost Simba, 4 years later my Dad is still with us.

Blackstone Valley
Blackstone Valley – well, the start was good

Blackstone Valley 2013
My training had gone great  . . . right up until the taper. When the knee pain started. Back then, I really didn’t know what to do, so I cut way back on my running and basically prayed for a good outcome. It may just have been the nicest weather I’ve ever had for a half, and it was my worst half ever — knee pain set in at mile 6 and I had to walk the last 3 miles. It would take months before I could run pain free again.

Thanks, honey — one of my favorite postrace photos!

Heartbreak Hill 2014
I worked so hard for this one. I felt so prepared. Despite being in June, the weeks leading up to the race had been lovely running weather in the 50s. Race day dawned at 72F and by the time I finished it was about 85. Needless to say, I was disappointed in my time, but I know I did the best I could.

It was the first race I ever taped for, despite the fact that my knees weren’t bothering me, and my body felt wonderful afterward! I was ready to walk back to our hotel but Mr. Judy was tired. He had to wait for me in that heat!

Gettysburg Mug
Gettysburg Mug

Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half 2014
Another one where pain set in in the taper. Again, I had to ease up on the running more than normal in my taper. Taping helped me get through the race without having to walk the last few miles, despite the knee pain that set in at mile 9 (it wasn’t my knees that were bothering me!), and I managed to finish within the time limit — just. Another abnormally warm day, but not as bad as Heartbreak Hill.

You learn something from every race
So there you have it, when training goes really well and there are’t any hiccups — the race doesn’t always go so well. I sometimes feel as though if there isn’t drama, I won’t have a good race!

That’s not true — Austin Livestrong 2012 was a great race; training went well, and the weather was just about perfect.

I’ve also had other disappointing races due to weather, but I’ve run races in less than perfect weather and had a great race, too.

This upcoming half? Like Heartbreak Hill, I’ve trained really well. I feel ready. But I don’t know what race day has in store for me, and my drama this time was dealing with nagging ankle pain and then getting sick the last peak week of my training.

It will be a hilly race. I’m always hopeful of a PR, but that will definitely depend on the weather, how much the RD lied (because it seems they always lie!), and how I feel on race day.

I wonder what I will learn from the Shipyard Maine Half?

What were your worst races?

What did you learn from it?

What were your best races?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

10 thoughts on “It’s not a half without some drama: TOLT

  1. I hope this is the half with NO drama. You worked hard so you deserve a good one. Even if you don’t get a PR, I hope it is fun and pain-free.


  2. And that depends on what you mean by worst – finish time or weather? My slowest race was my most enjoyable (I walked most if it cuz I had been injured.) My worst races were the ones where it was freezing and raining and the ones where it was so hot and humid.

    My best ones are the ones with great scenery. I’ve had a few of those. I guess my favorite would the PR cuz I was not expecting to do well.

    You never know what will happen that day. You have to take it in stride. I’ haven’t learned anything or changed anything other than to expect the unexpected.


  3. I hope all goes well for you in your upcoming half marathon!

    The race that think of as my worst was the Bird In Hand 5K. it was an afternoon race, it was hot and I hadn’t eaten properly. But I have the best memories of that night, so I’m going back to do the 5K and the Half Marathon the next day.


  4. My worst race was my first Chicago Marathon. I had no clue what I was doing and I was too stupid/proud to ask for advice. Yep, I got over myself real quick. Huge learning curve. It isn’t just 2 half marathons. That is for sure.

    Good luck with your next half! It’s nice to have all this experience to lean on! But every race is a learning experience.


  5. You’re right, a lot can change come race morning!

    My worst race to date has to be the Cleveland Marathon last year (2015). First marathon. Severely injured. Horrible, horrible experience.

    But I’ve had lots of good races, too, so there’s that!

    Good luck with your next race. 🙂


  6. Crossing my fingers for a super race!! I’m excited for you!! You’re gonna do great, drama or no drama, because at the end of the day, you’re gonna shine when you cross that line! 😀


  7. I ran my first half with a nike footpod, too. It clocked in at 14 miles! I still don’t know if it was the footpod’s fault or the course! I do love that over time, we continue to learn from them…even once we feel like we’re really seasoned runners, there are still things to learn!


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