The 2 that got away

Today I’m talking about half marathons that didn’t go quite the way I expected, and what I learned from them.

Las Vegas 2011
Still love to know how I could do knowing more these days

Las Vegas RnR: the first time
I chose (sort of) Las Vegas to be my first half marathon because:

  • Running with friends (or so I thought)
  • I love Vegas
  • Mr. Judy also loves Vegas
  • Running down the strip at night sounded like a ton of fun

And it was fun. It was also my first half (you can read the recap here), I was unknowingly under trained, and despite all my reading and research, I had a lot to learn.

So why would I like to rerun this? Because I’m really curious how I could do now in a flat and fast race. Well, aside from the fact that it’s a big race, and that has its challenges.

Blackstone Valley
This half marathon may just have had the most perfect running weather I’ve ever had in a half. It was also one of the flatter races I’ve run (although nothing is flat in the northeast).

Little did I know that every single half marathon I ran after this race would be unseasonably hot — with the except of Green Mountain Half (and that one was only insanely windy, but not hot — it is my current half PR, although I came close with my latest half to beating it, but you know what they say about close).

I haven’t yet written up my recap for this race, maybe because it is still too painful to do so after three years. It’s the one with the knee pain.

I learned:

  • It’s normal to ache, but if there’s pain, you better seek professional help
  • It’s not always wise to push through an injury
  • I will not get through a half without pain if I am not properly trained

These were painful lessons — literally. I learned a lot from them, though, mostly about what not to do.

That darn hill!

Craft Classic Phoenix
I know: I haven’t yet recapped this race and that makes three, not two. There hasn’t been time yet; I’m aiming for next week. Maybe. It was so close to a PR, though; I’m still mulling over what I could have done differently to make it happen.

It was a hard fought race — actually, it may just be the hardest race I’ve run to date. The hill in the middle made Heartbreak Hill look like a mole hill — because while I’ve never run Boston, I did do the Heartbreak Hill Half. In fact, the weather conditions for both races were incredibly similar — and I took almost 5 minutes off my Heartbreak Hill Half time.

That hill, and the smaller one towards the end did me in, though. I’m not quite sure yet what I’ve learned from that.

One and done
Going after a half in every state (and being 54) means that I’m one and done: I don’t do over races. Although maybe Vegas someday . . . maybe. Just because we like Vegas. Probably not.

Every race presents its own unique challenges, but what you learn from those challenges can help you in future races. I know I’ve learned a lot from five years of running half marathons. I also know I have a lot more to learn!

Let me know in the comments:

Is there a race you’d like to run again?

Is there a race you have run again because you weren’t happy with what happened the first time?

Don’t you think time should be taken off results for, say, every 5 degrees above 50 or so?

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Tuesdays on the Run

19 thoughts on “The 2 that got away

  1. Hi Judy, As you know I don’t really do races but I have done the Manchester 10k 3 times. I see it as an annual marker of ‘how I’m doing’. Last year would have been the 4th but I didn’t enter because it was on the same day as the Edinburgh marathon- and inthe end I crashed and burned and did neither😊 Maybe I should plan to do it again in 2017 and see if my slow running has helped me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How great you’re so close to your PR! I Like the heat allowance idea. I definitely take a pace allowance when it’s hot. The race I did again for a do-over was the Chicago marathon. And the second go ’round was almost as hot as the first.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First of all. Thank you for admitting that nothing is really flat in the northeast. I am so nervous every time I hear about a “flat and fast” race, knowing I am coming from “Florida flat.” Which really IS flat. LOL!

    I would love for there to be time deductions for higher temperatures. Of course, living in Florida, that would be all the time. Sigh.

    I would love to do a race (not necessarily a half) in every state, but because I have access to such great local races for most of the year, I end up repeating lots of races. In fact, there are many that have just become annual tradition. It’s always fun to branch out, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, the northeast is DEFINITELY not flat. Not at all. It’s not killer like PWN, but there are hills aplenty and I feel like I’ve run them all!

      I do repeats on the local shorter races all the time.


  4. That’s tough, having a race you don’t even want to recap. I had that race last year. But I recapped it anyway. Haha! Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson. Time will tell.


  5. First off…what an awesome “hands-in-the-air” pic!!!! I have learned much from doing numerous half marathons (current count is 31). Just when I think I have this 13.1 gig down to a science, I get tested (and humbled). I have several races I’d like a do-over opportunity…like Grandma’s Marathon (I had icky tummy issues from miles 15-22. No accidents, but numerous porta-pot stops that probably added a good 20 minutes to my finish time). I may be going back to do it again in 2017….the jury’s still out….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It sounds like Phoenix was a good race! I always do have a few things about each race where I think if only..especially the close ones, but I think so many things impact those decisions it is sometimes hard to “fix” what we think went wrong in the next one. Each half is so different .
    haha, I am chuckling about time off for heat, because i hate heat LOL but I still think we earn what we earn with what the day gives us. I guess I’ll keep my hot times and just hope to have more cooler ones in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have definitely learned things from races that allowed me to not make the same mistake in the next — I learned from Shipyard and it was helpful in Phoenix!

      I am waiting for that day when all the stars align for me. It’s been a really, really, really long time since I’ve had great weather for a half!

      I’m kind of praying for a cold snap in FL. 🙂


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