Thursday, May 30, 2013

A half marathon PR

Well, hello new friends! I was honored to be featured on Runs for Cookies on Monday as part of Katie's Motivational Monday series, and it looks like a lot of you visited! Make sure you check out these posts to get a better sense of who I am and how I lost the weight (to be honest, it was more of a byproduct of using exercise and healthy eating to become the happiest version of myself I could be):

About me
How I lost the weight
My experience with disordered eating
What I eat now

If you follow me on social media at all (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), you know that Sunday was a big day for me! As part of my Running for Miss Virginia self-challenge, I completed the Alexandria Half Marathon. It was my first half marathon since I ran the Charlottesville Half last April, and my training since has consisted of two marathons and generally averaging about 10-15 miles a week.

Not optimal half training, if we're being fair.

I woke up on Sunday feeling pretty good and setting a goal of finishing in under 2:10. My previous fastest recorded half marathon time was 2:20:10, and that was during the Marine Corps Marathon last year, not even a legitimate half marathon. Anyways, I thought 2:10 was a pretty lofty goal, but fit pretty well with my "not fast, not last" running motto.
Ready to go
 My plan was to bank time early on, and then not feel bad if I needed to slow down a little later on. I wanted to run the whole thing, but given my "training" program, didn't know if that was a realistic expectation. I finished the first mile in 9:17 and patted myself on the back for not going out too fast. But then the most bizarre thing happened: I got faster.

And faster.

And then, my pace evened out at 8:57 minutes per mile, which my Nike+ app cheerfully informed me of each mile from 6-12.

I saw my dad during mile 12 with our dog, Rusty, and he yelled out that I was going to finish sub 2:00. I yelled back not to jinx it, but knew he was right: it was in the middle of mile 12, and I felt great.
Mile 6: Shouting out that I'm averaging 8:57

My official time was 1:58:17, but the course was long (13.27 miles), and Nike+ clocked me in at 1:57:05 -- a 23 minute PR. I placed 144 out of 546 females.

Celebrating with the pup!

I love running because it's full of unexpected accomplishments. Every run is an opportunity to surprise yourself, and it's safe to say that this half was pretty darn surprising. I've got a 15k this weekend, and the Baltimore 10-miler in three weeks, and am honestly looking forward to setting time goals, something I never thought I'd be doing.

I ran my first half marathon in January 2011, and finished in over 2:48. It's pretty incredible how I've changed as a runner and as a person since then, and just goes to show you: you can accomplish anything you want to, given enough time, energy, and effort.

What's your biggest running accomplishment thus far? What's something you'd like to accomplish?


  1. My biggest accomplishment was two weeks ago when I ran 8 miles with hills, without stopping. I felt so proud and I can't wait to do it again. My big goal is to be able to run a half marathon. I have my first race ever this weekend. It's a 5k and im running it with my entire family. I love stories like yours because it helps me realize how far you can go when you give it your all.

    1. Hi Diane! First of all, congratulations on the 8 mile run -- that is seriously impressive with it being hills! I got lucky in that the last half I ran had only a couple hills and they didn't last very long :) I bet you're excited for your first 5k -- I love races because the running community is so supportive, plus there's always free bananas at the finish line... Please let me know how it goes! Also, if you can run 8 miles, you can run a half marathon. Running is so cool because every person has the ability to rebuild themselves and challenge themselves to accomplish their goals - if I can do it, so can you. So this is me telling you to bite the bullet, pick a half, and sign up - you've got this :)(And thank you for reading!)

    2. Thank you for the encouragement. I love reading your blog and find you so inspiring. My 5K was wonderful. I really loved the excitement and how supportive everyone was. I signed up for a half marathon yesterday! :)