Tuesday, November 18, 2014


My half marathon pace break down. 
Since I don't get to race often, I always have too much to say about races. 
The obsessive part of me can't help thinking about each mile and what it felt like. 

A few thoughts about pace: 
I have always felt 2:10 would my dream finish time. My typical pace hovers around a ten minute mile, but to hold that pace for 13.1 hasn't happened for me...till last Saturday :) My Richmond Half Post

I do not feel I could ever just go out and run a steady ten minute mile pace. I tend to vary my pace on all my runs. It doesn't come natural to me to just pick a rhythm and stay there no matter what...just doesn't happen.  

My strongest 15K run last winter was a 9:42 avg pace. It took me quite awhile to get strong enough to start shaving some seconds of my pace at that distance. I am not sure how long it would take to get strong enough to push for a half at that pace. 

Glancing at my splits it may look like I left a little on the table, but I really feel if I ever beat this time it will be in seconds only.   

My training runs were all very easy paced, averaging closer to a 10:30ish pace, and they all felt fairly challenging,  I was really worried about matching my 2:13:03 from last year. 

Last winter, after several months of training, I was at a point I could run a sub 60 10K pretty consistently, but I am no where near that currently. I had to pick a realistic 10K time to shoot for, so I wouldn't completely burn out. In the present, an hour 10K feels pretty challenging to me.

and finally...it doesn't come natural to me to pick it up at the end. A few training runs I was able to end with a few strong miles, but I am glad I made the decision standing at the line to just push until I felt like I needed to slow up. 

So breaking it down-

Avg Pace
Summary  2:10:10.9           13.22        avg. 9:51















My official time was 2:10:06 - my Garmin was on it ") 

Mile 1: 8:59 
looks like, uh-oh overdoing it, but honestly, it didn't feel difficult, I was consciously trying to stay at a pace that felt manageable. I was just that cold, trying to get warmed up. 

Mile 2, 3, 4: 9:34, 9:36, 9:48,  mile three was my first peek at my Garmin, and I realized I had just run a pretty good 5K time for me. I was feeling fairly relaxed and happy.

Mile 5: 10:06
I couldn't tell you why I slowed a bit, there is only one real hill and a lot was downhill, who knows, that's the mystery of running. 

This course actually had a little less elevation gain than I am used to running, but I still didn't feel I should I push it on the hills.  Powering up a hill can wipe me out. 

Mile 6, 7: 9:59, 9:48 I knew I made my hour 10K goal, just plugging long enjoying the park

Mile 8: 10:42

Still feeling pretty good, but I walked (maybe too slow) the hydration stop so I could swallow

Mile 9: 10:27
I was worried about getting a cramp so I easy paced it, too easy?? First glance I would say yes, but honestly I felt so tired mile twelve, maybe this was okay.

Mile 10: 9:52
My happy boost seeing Kenny")

Mile 11: 10:01

Wasn't I feeling great a few minutes ago?? I really did try to push, my body just said no. Also, the course really narrowed here and after feeling like it had been pretty roomy, I felt a little too crowded in. 

Mile 12: 10:15
How can I be this tired? 
I did try some self talk at this point.
Run hard, you will feel upset later if you don't...
Pick it up, you are almost done...
It's hard to put together 11 good miles, take full advantage if it, but nothing really worked...

Mile twelve felt rough. Even being that close to the end it was hard to make anything other than just plugging along happen.  This is why I get nervous thinking about 26.2 - I went from really smiley and feeling great, to not being able to really dig deep that quick. Oh, and one other small issue, I've never ran farther than a half and when I finished I really wanted to be done! 
See how I talk myself out of 26.2? 

Mile 13: 9:27 Thank goodness for downhill ")

After I  arrived home, I was not looking quite as fresh as the morning lol I was dying to shower at this point.

 It didn't take long before everyone was enjoying a turn on my new blanket.

Even when I have a really good run going, I always have a few moments (or more) where I feel worn out. Anyone relate? 
or does that get better the longer you've been running?
Do you analyze your races after you are done? Have you ever experienced very tired moments in the middle, or at the end of a great run? 


  1. What a great race for you!!!! Amazing that you didn't even peek at your Garmin until mile 3. I always look down when I feel the buzz at each mile marker... and usually before that too!

    In the half marathon distance I always feel a bit tired around mile 4 or 6 which scares me, but by mile 7/8 I always get my energy back. I think it's all mental -- some part of my brain trying to convince me that I'm not going to make it to the end because of XYZ reasons, but then I get past the halfway point and KNOW that's not true.

    You can totally do the full marathon distance! You'll get so used to running 13 miles during training that you'll be running 13 on your rest weeks! That was the craziest part of marathon training for me... being excited to see only 12 or 13 miles on my calendar for a Saturday, haha.

    1. Thank you Kristina :) I can't complain, it turned out better than expected for sure! I have been practicing not peeking at the Garmin during training, I just try to adjust to a pace that feels happy. During my training runs, I wouldn't glance until mile 7 or 8. I guess it's normal to feel a dip in spunk at some point for everyone. I am so fearful to try to do a whole, I always talk myself out of it. I honestly don't believe I can run much longer than 2 and half hours, but sometime soon I am going to try to challenge that and see what happens. I can't decide if I start a long run doing intervals or run and switch over???

  2. Great race! I always analyze!
    I do have times in almost every run where I am tired. For me in a half marathon, mile 9 I tend to panic, then I try and remind myself, "this is mile 9, this ALWAYS happens". I don't want to say it passes, because I think I more "work through it" and mentally toughen up. Mile 11 always seems extremely long to me.
    I think that is what training on tired legs and some of the really long runs help with in training. A. It is a way of learning what it feels like to run on tired legs, and push through. and B. You learn what happens to you mentally when you get tired (I tend to panic!)
    I would get a marathon training program as it gradually builds up the distance, and your endurance. In the beginning a 10 mile run is long, at the end 20...
    Hope that helps! If you train for it, YOU CAN DO IT! :)

    1. I would have stared at my marathon splits for hours lol I bet yours looked pretty darn awesome! It's making me feel better I am not alone with the tired feeling. I totally relate to the panic feeling. In heat, my anxiety can over take me, I seem to be able to work through it when it's cold out. I am surprised to hear mile 11 feels long to you. That makes me feel better somehow :) I know I am going to have to stop doubting myself and believe I can do it. I am so chicken lol

  3. Great race.

    I feel all that stuff during the race. I often get into my own head during long sections where I'm asking myself a bunch of nonsense. Very important to keep myself distracted so I don't psych myself out.

    I analyze my runs way to much. I expect a lot out of myself abd usually leads to me disjointed with my runs. But the truth is we are blessed to be out there running with ask these other people living much healthier lives :)

  4. To much thinking is always dangerous! LOL I am guilty. I usually try to break down a run into sections and pick a time or pace I want to be at at a certain point, it does seem to hep me. I broke this down into two 10K's and just picked the time I wanted to under. It really helps me and I need to remember that. I did the same thing for my 10K last year (two 5k's) and I hit my goal :)

  5. Yes, I have had races where I felt great, then felt worn, felt great again... I think it just depends on the day so don't beat yourself up over that! You ran the pace that felt right to you at any given moment during your run, and you made it to the end with a PR so ya gotta feel good about that!!!! :) :) :) As for 26.2, remember, you will run it at a slower pace than you would run a half. Not that I'm trying to talk you into it... 13.1 is plenty far enough! But if you wanted to, you'd be trained and you would do it. :)

    1. I am happy I was able to pick it up get my time :) I think I am going to sign up for a training team with a girl I work with and give some longer runs a shot :) You are so right, some days I have a hard time running 3 miles, some of that you can't control if it's just one of those days.

  6. Great job on your race. It is so hard not to go out too fast during the beginning of any race when you are feeling good and there is plenty of excitement. I refrained from doing so this past weekend for once but of course it was a little too much and couldn't make up that time the second half. -L

    1. That's what I always fear, I love taking off easy, but sometimes I just feel tired anyway. I am going to see if your recaps up yet :)

  7. I say talk/post about it and enjoy the PR as long as you want! :) I think every runner has stuff go on in their head during a race, no matter the distance. I've had 5K's kick my butt mentally and had 1 1/2 (wish they were all this way) that I breezed through and never once had a negative thought. One of the things I love (and sometimes not) about running is that it's mental and physical and if you don't have both in a good spot then it's not going to work out. By good spot I mean able to put the negative thoughts aside and push through.

    1. I am with you there, I've run some short races I thought might kill me lol It is finally becoming a little easier than it used to push through :)

  8. I love reading posts like this! I wish I could remember each mile of my races but I think I just zone out. However, there is usually something really random I remember from each race. I tire, struggle and have to dig really deep about miles 7 to 9. Once I hit 10, I switch to "I got this".

  9. And CONGRATULATIONS on your dream finish time!!

    1. Thank you!! I was really trying to relax and take in the experience :) In the past my nerves have been so bad, I wouldn't be able to relax and remember a thing, I am glad I felt calm a few minutes into this one!

  10. So happy for you for reaching your goal/dream time :D

    I normally have a hard time with the 4th km (HAHA only that km though, but I guess that's just because I hate that part of my route), and I get some crazy energy boost after 7km. So I guess it takes me 7km to warm up for running (what?) xD

    Uh oh, are you daring us to talk you into a full marahon?;) Because you're not sitting next to me and you're not able to say 'no' I'll take that as a 'yes' - challenge accepted! Haha :D I haven't done it yet, but if I can do it, so can you! :D You could always go to Italy and use the gelato as a motivation ;)

    1. Thank you :) It's weird how sometimes your energy can change so much during a run! Yes, I think I do want someone to talk me into it, or drag me into it, lol because i really do want to accomplish it. After I read your recap that will be another person I know who has checked it off! Every time I read it another recaps it makes me want try :)

  11. Great job Karen. I think you will beat this time in the future by more than a few seconds. The confidence to do it always helps. I love to look back at big race and training cycles to see what worked. It helps in moving to the next one. I agree in a long race (or run) there will be highs and lows. It can change so easily and I try not to let lows influence me too much.

    1. Thank you :) I really do think I would have just ran this very easy paced and hopefully picked it up at the end, if I had not read your post the afternoon before. I really wanted to snag a good time but my training runs had all been so slow. I am really glad I decided to push myself. I Hope i can beat this one day!

  12. Great post. I always have doubt during races even in 5ks that I have done a 100 of. Yes, I analyze my race stats to death. Running 26.2 seems daunting and I can't imagine spending that many hours training so I will stick to half which are challenging enough. I would like to be faster & stronger in them.

    1. I guess we all have high and lows while running. It's hard! I wish I could run more half's! The half distance is very challenging to me, so I have been very nervous thinking about doing the full. I do often think I would like to do a full before I turn 50 and i only have another year left :)


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