Sunday, May 21, 2017

Petersburg 2017

Throwing back this week to share my Petersburg Half Marathon experience.

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I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia  Share your adventures and join the link up with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  

I ran this race April 22nd.

Throughout March, I was training with a dual purpose. Train for the Monument Ave 10K  and my half marathons in April. My track sessions and short runs went pretty well, my distance runs not so much, but I still felt fairly confident I could run decent races.

Saturday the 22nd I woke up and saw 72 degrees on my ceiling. I have a sensor on the side of the house that feeds temperature info to my clock :) I worried about my A goals for the race.

A goals:
run the whole darn thing without intervals
finish under 2:15 (10:15ish pace)

I have been using intervals to run distance for over a year now due to the issues with my feet...very sore toes, and pain in the ball of my foot. Since I had not done my long runs in March my feet were feeeling a little less tender. I had hoped to try to run a half just to see if my feet could/would hold up.

B goals:
run as long as I can without pain/switch to intervals if needed
finish under 2:18 (10:30ish pace)

My forever C goal:
don't pass out
don't get upset about a time, it is just running
feel proud, you just ran 13 freaking miles

I went downstairs, fulfilled my morning cat duties, ate some peanut butter nabs, drank a little ice tea and 24 oz. of water w/Nuun stood on the porch feeling how sticky and hot it was, and realized it was a C goal kind of day.
That led to the decision to rely on course hydration support, I really didn't feel like wearing my pack or carrying my handheld unless I really felt there was a legitimate shot to push myself; given the heat that was not realistic.
I also started taking a beta blocker for my blood pressure four days before this race. The Cardiologist told me not to over exert myself until I adjusted to the meds and to be kind to my heart in the heat, "Walk more. Avoid big spikes in your heart rate."   The whole high blood pressure was still new to me...I was a little nervous.

It is about a 35 minute drive and I arrived about 40 minutes prior to the 7 a.m. start time. I had to pick up my bib, the line was crazy!! It was 10 minutes to start time, before my bib and race shirt were in hand.  I bolted to the car to toss my shirt, and bolted back to the port a potty. I was in the POP listening to the National Anthem.
I caught the crowd moving across the line, it was much more crowded than previous years. This event has grown for sure.
I didn't even have time to think about how to set my watch (intervals or regular) I just started running.
There is a long incline uphill that lasts awhile close to mile two, it's only 50 feet up but it feels tough in the heat. As soon as I crested, I realized I wouldn't be running this thing without walking due to humidity, today wasn't going to be the day I found out if my feet could do it.
The third mile you enter Battlefield Park and it is rolling hills until mile 7 or so. The course as a whole has 426 feet of elevation gain, just enough to be a really fun challenge on a nice day...
I stopped my Garmin and scrolled to find my 4:1 ratio and hit start.
During the park section it became more humid and finally started spitting rain. A few times, it poured, but it never relieved the humidity, it just felt stagnate out. It would rain a few minutes, stop, rain again, stop... mile 7 is the last time I remember feeling any rain. I forgot to put my phone in ziploc and it got soaked! I took it out during the battlefield section to snap a few pics and all I could see was fuzz...
 Civil war doing a reenactment during the race - pics from my wet phone 

After it rained the sun came out strong for a few miles. I was super thankful the course had Gatorade at almost every stop! At mile 8, I passed a down runner who was being worked on, which bummed me out.
I dumped water over my head a few times trying to cool down at the later stages of the race. At the 10 mile marker I tried to dig a little deeper and pick up my pace, the energy stores were running low. I ate a pack of honey stinger chews running through the battlefield section, but I only had one pack.
Trying to run a little harder seemed to make me walk 10 x's slower doing my intervals.
I pushed on.
That last mile felt long! I told myself to relax, you are almost done, you feel fabulous (LOL), the Berry Gatorade at the last stop tasted wonderful,  stop worrying about your time, etc...
My brain was telling me: you are way too hot, this isn't fun, I wish this had been a 10 mile race, your feet hurt. When I realized I had about five minutes to go, I shut the brain down and smiled. I had to override all that crap and tell myself...enjoy it, you just ran 13 miles in the heat, and you are fine, always a win!
 I wondered if my phone would ever be normal again! 

I crossed the line and a volunteer tried to put the ginormous medal on me. I laughed and said I'll carry that! LOL Too tired to wear it. The medal was so big it made me smile. Every year it gets more over the top and I love it.

Volunteers were putting cans of ice cold Miller Lite in a coozie and handing them to finishers. Nice :) I took it and enjoyed every drop.

I knew from the clock time I had not maintained anything close to what I hoped, and I admit I was kind of bummed for awhile, but by the time I drove home and showered I was feeling better about the whole thing.
My official time 2:22:17 (a 10:55ish avg)

Link to my finishers video 

I was glad my average heart rate was nice and low, I got a red tech shirt, and I ran 13 miles, so all in all, it really wasn't a bad day at all :)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great week :)

Anyone have a ceiling temp clock?
What do you think of the mega medal?! Do you run a race where you receive a mega medal?
Ever soak your phone?


  1. Congratulations on your race! I think that is one of the biggest medals I have ever!

  2. Oh my gosh Karen, that medal is as big as you! LOL! I think I"d like this race. I can tell you that there aren't any races around here with Civil War re-enacters. Altho there are people who do that here. I was kind of surprised to find that out--I thought it was a southern thing...

    Great job--I like that 4:1 interval too!

    1. Good ol' VA - always some kind of civil war or colonial theme at my races LOL It is fun though.
      The 4:1 really can be a lifesaver :)

  3. I think you did great! The weather is such a game-changer, especially considering you had a few hills to conquer as well. I think the medal is cool...though, I'm typically not a fan of BIG medals LOL

    1. Thank you :) I really tried my best but I am super impacted by heat!

  4. I'm glad you recognized the conditions for what they were and went to your C goal. That is the mark of a wise runner! I'm the same way about wearing my pack. If I'm not shooting for a pace I skip it. What a fabulous medal! We used to have that ceiling clock but it interrupted the Caveman's sleep. I loved it. Congrats!

    1. I don't like carrying the extra pack unless there is really a reason, I sign up to have the convenience of not carrying hydration, right LOL
      I love seeing the temp, I would miss it!

  5. The weather really plays a huge role for me too. You cannot control it at all. Wow that is a ginormous medal!

    1. Nope, not a thing you can do about weather, it sure is nice when it cooperates though :0) lol

  6. That is one big medal! Haven't ever got one that big.

    It is tough running in the heat and humidity. I think you did great.

    I understand the foot thing. My toe was killing me yesterday.

    1. Thank you :) I need another medal rack lol
      Oh, my feet are on-going thing..I feel your pain... sometimes my feet make a lot of noise!

  7. That medal!! can you eat off of it? it looks like a plate!!

    Welcome back and congratulations on another awesome half marathon! Civil war reenactment and all!!

  8. LOVE the medal!

    It's always so frustrating when you know you have a good race in you & the weather just won't cooperate. But you're right, 13.1 is always something to celebrate! You are such a beast!

    1. Thanks!! I am trying to roll with whatever happens, I figure I am lucky to be finishing, because you never know right?!

  9. Wow, that medal is great! And how cool that there was a reenactment going on :) Sounds like the humidity made for very tough conditions, great job on pushing through!

    1. Thank you!! It is a fun race, I guess I'll go back next year and try again :)

  10. OK. Let me start by saying how much I LOOOOVE your C goals. :) OMG! That is one HUGE medal!! I think 2:22 is still a great time for a half, so be proud! Plus, blood pressure meds. Take it easy, girl! :)

    1. ha! C goals are very important...I seem to defer to them more often than not LOL
      Thanks, so much :)
      I ignored my blood pressure for a long time, it is under control now :)

  11. Congrats on your race! Sometimes we just have to listen to our bodies (or Mother Nature) and go with plan C. I have a clock that shines on the ceiling, but without the outside temperature. I'm jealous!

    1. Thanks Deb!! That plan C seems to be my life plan lately lol
      You need a temp one! I love it especially in the winter, I can make layering decisions before i get out of bed :)

  12. You did great! And that medal is hilarious! I always carry my own water because otherwise I'd stress over it!

    1. Thank you :)
      It really is a fun medal LOL I'll carry Nuun my next race!

  13. wow, those are some serious weather conditions! way to get it done! Personally I think it's a good time so congrats! hopefully the next one is not so humid.

    that medal is insane!!!

    1. It was so sticky that day! You never know when you sign up lol right?
      Thanks so much!

  14. I absolutely loved that big ole medal! It is just way too cool! I'm really impressed with your C goal finish time! That would be a good time for me when all the stars lined up just right :)

    I feel your pain and struggle with the "health issue" ...I'm telling you, navigating this "over the hill" crap is for the birds! haha

    1. Why thank you :) I think it is time for me to readjust my "C" goal time and not to push myself so hard lol It is totally that over the hill crap LOL I don't want to admit I can't do what I used to do but I am working through it :)
      Those health issues are draining!! Hang in there Lady Bird :)

  15. Wow you crushed it given the weather conditions, and I know no one hates humidity more than you! I love that you told yourself that you felt fabulous. I will have to remember that tip!

    I don't think I have a temp. ceiling but I do prefer to not run in direct sunlight when it's over 90 degrees out. I'll wait until it's cooler or run in a well shaded area when it's that hot!

    1. hahaha, you are so right, no one hates humidity more than me LOL I always have depression when it first really kicks up. I'm nuts lol
      Being in direct sun really gets to me! I was glad it was cloudy for most of this event, it helped me more manageable. Thank you, I tried my best, it is what I could do that day!


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