04 04 2015.

race report: race the runways half marathon 2015

This race has a reputation for being windy and rainy. For whatever reason, the weather never seems to cooperate on the day of this race. (Even as a precaution, all runners received an email a few days before about the dangers of hypothermia. Yikes!)

I signed up for Race the Runways knowing full well what I was getting into. It was a half-hearted sign-up as a way to get my miles in – back when my long runs were on Saturdays. I figured I’d take it easy and not strain myself too much for a good number, since I would likely be fighting terrible weather anyways.

Buuuut. My training had been going so well, last night I texted K1 telling her that I felt capable of running a 1:44 half marathon. Based on my half history, that’s a 10-minute PR! Her response: Do your thing.

So there I found myself. This morning. Shivering at the start line – suddenly determined to try for a 10-minute PR. (Also possibly regretting saying anything about a goal time!)

Side note fun fact: there were pacers at this event! I’ve never run with pacers before, so I was excited to give it a try. Unfortunately, there was a pacer for 1:30 and a pacer for 1:50. I figured that as long as 1:50 didn’t pass me, I would be fine!

The first few miles I got really caught up in the excitement of the race. I definitely went out too fast. For a goal pace of 8 minute/miles, my first mile of 7:19 was killing it. Then I ran my second mile at 7:25. Then I thought – well this is good, I’m getting “time in the bank.” (That’s not actually a good thing, come to find out. Negative splits are where it’s at.)

The wind wasn’t really all that bad at that point. No rain, either. I’d say we lucked out! The race announcer mentioned that it was some of the best weather this race had ever experienced!

(photo copyright Bay Island Photo)

Anyways, after a few miles of sub-8 time, my thought process kind of changed. I wanted to keep it up as long as I could (my initial goal being half way through the race – at 6.5ish miles) then I would allow myself to slow down. I kept thinking, just keep it up for one more mile. That mile marker would come and go, and I’d again think just keep it up for even just one more mile.

After the 5k group broke away from us, I really got into my groove. A runner passed by me not too long after the split. I ended up catching a glance at the back of her shirt. In big red letters, I saw the word believe. When I declared my word for 2015, I had been so torn between Dare and Believe. Both seemed incredibly appropriate – yet I went with Dare. Lately however, the word Believe has been smacking me in the face! (So much so that I thought my word for the year was Believe!) When I saw the shirt with the lettering, I kind of felt like it was a gift.

Mile 7 was one of the hardest miles of the entire thing. The wind had picked up and we were running directly into it. I had fallen slightly behind a guy about my age and really liked his pace – so I decided to try to keep up with him. He’d help keep my pace on track.

I was slowing down quite a bit at this point. So much of this second half was facing the wind. I was struggling, definitely. To keep my mind occupied, I decided to do a few calculations. I determined that if I kept my pace under 8:00 miles, I could potentially make a sub-1:40 half. That really excited me. That I could not only do a sub-1:50, but also a sub-1:40!? Remember when my goal was sub-2:00?

Seeing mile 10 was both a blessing and a curse. I was hurting and 3 miles felt like an eternity to the finish. Yet, they did switch up the mile markers from 10-13 so they were larger, felt more like a celebration! Slowly, (well, kind of fast, actually) I trudged through mile 10…then 11. At 12, I started to feel nauseous. (That’s good news I suppose. During the Mid-Winter Classic I was feeling nauseous around mile 8-9. At least I can hold out until 12 miles now! That’s improvement, eh?)

One more mile though! One more mile and I get to cross that finish line, grab a drink of water, breathe in and out, and re-friggin-lax.

A half a mile…
Do I see the finish? Nope. False alarm.
A third of a mile…
Wait, why are we turning?
A quarter of a mile…
I hear cheering!
Finisher’s chute!
Mom and Ally are here, screaming and cheering! I’ll wave!


Official time: 1:39:49 a sub-1:40!!

I stood around with mom and Ally outside until I got a little cold, then we decided to go inside. I found where the official times were posted and learned something else – I was first in my age group! I won an engraved pint glass!

I learned that you can take time to stop and drink your water!
I get it – wind really is the runner’s worst enemy.

After the half, I had to get in 7 more miles. I decided to run with my mom since she was looking to get a run in as well. Upon returning and uploading my watch data, I realized that I just completed my first 50-mile week!



  1. Congratulations! Love reading about your race and WOW! Congratulations!


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