Half Marathon recap

You might be asking yourselves, "Didn't that Courtney blogger chick have some kind of big race this weekend?"

The answer to that question is YES.

But you didn't hear too much from me about the race last week because I was too busy quitting my job and helping throw a massive Halloween party (which was a huge success, by the way). And I was so tired from working almost 12 hours on Friday, that I didn't even have the energy to cry when I hugged my supervisor goodbye in the parking lot.

Though I totally managed to shed some tears after I got home, showered and tried to go to sleep. My body was like, "We really need to get some rest for tomorrow's half marathon." But my brain was all like, "Nah, I think we should be in emotional turmoil."


Anyway, after a fitful night of "sleep" (I use the term loosely), Clayton and I woke up and headed to Indianapolis so I could jump in a starting corral and run loose on the streets for 13.1 miles.

It snowed on Friday night. So Saturday? Was cold. I opted not to wear gloves during the race because the only running gloves I own are actually kind of expensive and were given to me as a gift from my in-law's for my birthday. So instead of hitting Wal-Mart for $1 gloves that I could easily toss during the race if I got too warm, I thought I'd just free-finger it and risk the frost bite.

My fingers were so dang FREEZING during the entire race that I totally lost all feeling and basically slapped myself in the face each time I tried to reach up and wipe sweat from my brow. It was like having your hand fall asleep x1000. I had sausage fingers by the time I was done running (and suffering the indignity of trying to go pee-pee when you can't feel your fingers is something I wouldn't wish on anyone).

And the wind. Oh goodness, the wind! My face is still chapped and dry from being whipped for almost 2 hours. When the half marathoners and full marathoners parted ways on the course, one of the volunteers directing traffic shouted into his bullhorn, "Attention half marathoners! You will turn left at the next corner and you WILL get hit in the face with intense amounts of wind!"

Thanks for the warning, buddy.

I took a GU packet around mile 7 and quickly decided it wasn't for me, but when I tried to throw it to the side of the road my hands were too numb. So instead of flinging it to the side, my Gumby arms accidentally chucked it at the stomach of the women behind me. Luckily she was equally as cold and therefore completely forgiving.

So how did my race go overall?

In a word: Amazing.

As you know, I went into this half marathon with very low confidence. My new training plan felt too rigorous and was I sure that I had inadvertently set myself up for a disaster.

I need to learn not to listen to myself quite so often.

Several weeks before the race, I made the decision to try and run the race as a negative split, or half fast. I normally begin all races totally balls-to-wall and just hope that I can maintain that pace the whole way (I can't). So I divided my race in half and ran the second half faster than the first.

I ran the first 6 miles of the race slooooooooow (for me). My first six miles hovered between the 8:45-8:55 minutes per mile range. I was slightly panicked because I thought it would be too difficult to make up the difference later in the race, but this pace felt comfortable and even though I couldn't quite convince my mind of it at the time, I knew that it was allowing me to conserve energy.

After mile 6, I kicked it up which, after running for over an hour, felt oddly effortless (probably because I had about zero feeling in my entire body). I kept checking my current lap pace and it stayed around 8:30-8:40 minutes per mile. Then the times got faster ...


My last mile of the entire race, mile 13, was in 8 minutes and 6 seconds. What the heck is up with that!?

I crossed the finish line at 1:52:23, a new half marathon PR and about a minute and a half faster than the last time I ran the Monumental Half Marathon in 2012. I was elated. I ran one of the strongest, best (and smartest) races of my life. No scratch that, it WAS the strongest, best race of my life to date!

Being on my feet for 12 hours the day before, plus harsh wind and frigid temperatures, and still earning a PR? Yes, sir, I will TAKE IT.

I credit about 90% of Saturday's performance on my playlist. After running races for a few years, I'm now thoroughly convinced that rap is the best music for getting yourself pumped and keeping your energy levels up. In fact, the more gangster the rap, the better.

And for that, DJ Khaled and DMX, I thank you.

I was greeted at the finish line by Ashley and Chris (who competed in the 5k!), as well as Clayton and my in-laws. We exchanged pleasantries, but everyone was ready to bolt for warmer temperatures and we quickly said goodbye.

Clayton bundled me into the car and then drove me straight to IHOP.

While ordering, the waitress asked me what I would like on my waffle. I said, "Lots and lots of whipped cream, please."

"Okay!" she replied, jotting down my order. "You want that instead of butter?"

To which I asked, "I'm sorry, but what do you mean by 'instead of  butter'?"

Then she brought me a plate piled with whipped cream and lots of butter. "She gets me," I said to Clayton as I cut into my food.

So that's another half marathon for the books. My 8th half marathon, my 29th race overall. I know that not all races are going to be good races (Trust me, I know. I was incredibly humbled by April's Hoosier Half Marathon), so I'm definitely grateful for the races that do go well.

I'm certainly looking forward to some downtime over the next several months and not feeling constrained by a training schedule, but before ya know it, the Festival 500 Mini will be calling my name ...

... and I must answer.

P.S. I made the mistake of watching the NYC Marathon the next morning and after watching the men and women run consistent 5 minute miles in even worse winds, I thought to myself, "Nah, Courtney, you kinda suck at running." 0_0


  1. Great Job!! I ran my 3rd half marathon on Sunday. (2:09:54). It was brutally cold here in WV also!! Music always helps me too. I didn't need it until about mile 9 and sadly couldn't get my playlist to start so I had to just sing to myself in my head.

    1. Thank you and congrats on your awesome race as well! I tend to run pretty well in the colder weather, but the wind was NUTS!!!

      I don't even think I pay attention to my music until about halfway through the races, then I need it! Good idea to just sing to yourself! Just be sure not to accidentally sing out loud and look like the crazy person! ha ha


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