Monday, April 22, 2013

Asbury Half Marathon Recap

Well to begin with recap is misleading. Should be titled "That time I Jogged a Half Marathon" - I don't have a whole hell of a lot to say about this race. The two most important takeaways are:
  • I not only ran the whole race without stomach issues but never once did it even give me trouble AFTER the race and we are still going strong!
  • I kind of didn't give a s**t if I am totally honest
I went into this race knowing that it was going to go one of two ways either I was going to rock it and gun for a PR or I was going to frolick.

Morning of we were in our hotel room (we stayed at the Berkeley Hotel which was not only the site of the expo but the starting line, booyah!) and all we could hear was the WIND. I knew in my heart if I was going to be battling wind for 13.1 miles I was not going to be gunning for a PR which would take enough effort as it was.

I finally go out of bed and ran downstairs to grab my bib then came up and promptly wanted to get right back into bed. My hip was already feeling tight so I probably should have planned a warm up and stretch but again thoughts of cold and wind kept me wanting to stay inside as long as possible.
Bib = Better than the medal. Which I didn't even bother to photgraph.

What took me so long to hop on the NIKE Pro train?
I ate a Special K crisp (you know something new just for fun and see how my body does) and grabbed a couple of gu's and headed on down. I decided to also have an espresso gu before the race began because I was feeling quite lethargic and needed a caffeine boost.

We went outside right before 8:30 got into position and a few minutes later we were off with Born to Run blasting (oh so appropriate for Asbury Park!).
Happy Little Cold Runners.

Rock Star - her not me. She almost PR'd again. Consistency at it's best!
Immediately I realized my legs felt like lead. I had also worn my Asics Speedstars (because they have blue and I really wanted some blue in my outfit since the rest was yellow!) and could feel that was a wrong choice. Love these bad boys but they need to be treadmill only now.

I kept my pace for the first mile around 9:00 but that was feeling hard. I eased back to run the second in about 9:10 and third just a little slower even trying to figure out what my body wanted to do. It seemed most comfortable running around 9:25. I knew off the bat 8:30's were not happening to PR so decided to run at a comfortable pace throughout. The wind was obnoxious. I just can't win. I was excited to have a flat half and see what my body could do but 15-25mph "swirling, gusting winds" pffttt my head was out of the game.

Somewhere around mile 4 I was over the whole thing. My left hip started to ache, my legs would not warm up. I did a lot of thinking between the next few miles about how much I wanted to DNF. And not going to lie, when there was the turn around for the 5 mile (we started at the same time) I had visions of turning back. Only thing that kept me was knowing I needed this mileage for marathon training!

I started to stop and stretch my hip as needed hoping my body would loosen up, to no avail. It didn't help that the course was super boring. (Sigh preview to the NJ Marathon I am thinking).

At mile 8 or so I actually called and made a massage appointment. That is how little effort was being put into this race.

When we hit the turn around point I don't think I have ever been happier. I also took another gu. I had noticed that there was ONE port-o-potty the entire race, right before the turn around - thank GOD I was feeling great! But thought that maybe taking a roctane would infuse some inspiration into the final miles.

In a way it did. When I was running I was in the low 9's. But every mile I would stop to stretch it out at least a little bit. At this point I am more concerned with mileage and making it to the marathon than I am in time for this race.

The last couple miles slowly went by. When it came to about half a mile left I said a small prayer and just jogged my way in to the finish, happy to be done running for the day.

My takeaways from this:
  • I seem to have nailed what is going to work for my body. Boring diet is here to stay.
  • But - it also seems that because I am eating less, I am not fueled properly and am feeling lethargic - Friday was busy at work so I missed most meals.
  • Shoes make a difference - 100% know that was the issue for the hip since I feel fine now
  • I need to up my mental game. I threw that race out early on. I know it wouldn't have been wise to push with the marathon in a couple weeks, but seriously - the desire to run uncomfortably in a race has been lost on me recently (even though last week proved what I am capable of - BUT I had a partner pacing).
  • Flatness = not as easy as I thought. It got boring and it started to ache. Here's hoping proper fuel + shoes = different outcome
  • I still feel ready for the marathon. I think that now that I am tapering my body is just recovering so tired legs will hopefully finally be refreshed legs come May 5th
So now we are less than two weeks away from the Marathon! I am excited but slightly indifferent. I feel ready to go just kind of in disbelief that it is already almost here.

Starting to obsessively stalk the weather and pray for a nice day. Fingers crossed mother nature gives us something good to work with. I swear if I see gusting winds I will punch someone. That is all.


  1. I think maybe it's a blessing in disguise that your body, the weather, your mental state, etc. worked "against you." If you had pushed yourself to a PR point? Maybe you would have fatigued too much for your taper. Sounds like a "Half Marathon Jog" was exactly what your body needed to keep you ready to roll for NJ. Take care of yourself and keep it up :)

    1. 100% agree. I think racing would have been a stupid decision! I kept reminding myself that it was marathon preparation. Thank you, I can't believe less than 2 weeks until another marathon!

  2. I also want to punch someone or something when it is ridiculously windy. It's not as bad if I know it's windy, but when I go outside, walk 10 minutes to warmup, and THEN as soon as I hit the start button on my run tracker on the phone, that's when the wind starts---that's when I get pissed off.

    1. When that wind hits you like a wall and you feel like you are running in place...ohhhh how I want to hurt someone. I try to channel that anger INTO the run but usually am just still angry!

  3. I think every time you push through a rough run or race, you train yourself for those days when conditions are perfect and you can really race for a great new PR. I think you're well on your way with the rough past few races you've had!!

    1. Seriously - I'm accumulating quite a few rough races. Here's hoping this all leads to a great marathon! :)

  4. I'm pretty much dying over the fact that you called for a massage appointment!

    Seriously, though... wind is the worst. It crushes me. I think I prefer climbing hills to running into the wind. All that push on my whole body wears me out. Hills just make my quads burn temporarily.

    When the tough gets going in the marathon, just keep going!

    1. A man that was running near me after asked if he just heard that right. Yup, massage booked!

      I felt better doing my 20 in the hills of Central Park vs flat and crazy wind. I think I definitely have a mental block when it comes to wind after the awful All State 13.1 NY at the end of March. But ready to marathon on!

  5. Congrats on the half! Sorry it was a tough one, but I'm glad you feel ready for the marathon. Two weeks, wow!!