Primo’s Run for Education Half Marathon

This was a really hard race for me, from start to finish.  But I’m absolutely THRILLED with my shiny new half marathon PR, so I’ll try and tone down the complaints.

The weather could not have been better:  It was 58 and foggy for the entire race!  After going out to fast and completely falling apart at the SFM half, I was determined to not make that mistake again.  7:35-7:40 pace has felt pretty comfortable lately, so I decided to try and start in that range and see how I felt.

How I felt was honestly pretty crappy.  The course makes about 2345 turns through the endless suburbs, which made for kind of boring scenery.  There were a few rolling hills in the first few miles, but other than that it was pretty much flat.  My legs felt fine, but I was breathing pretty hard and felt like my heart rate was too high.

At mile 2 I tried to get water, but the volunteer turned away to grab another cup at the last second so I ended up having to wait until mile 6 to drink.  I kept going back and forth between feeling pretty dead and defeated and getting little bursts of energy that never seemed to last more than about half a mile.  Around mile 9, I felt like I needed Gu, so I had half of one, but my stomach wasn’t feeling too awesome so I threw the other half away.  Miles 9-11 were on a long, straight stretch of bike path and I tried to pick it up a little bit but it felt like I was running into a headwind (I wasn’t).  Around mile 11, the half marathon joined up with the 5K, which normally spells total disaster, but they had specific lanes for each race and people pretty much stayed where they were supposed to.

I finally saw the 13 mile marker with the finish line in the distance.  A few people flew past me but I didn’t have much of a kick at all.  I crossed the line in 1:38:36, a PR by over a minute.

Even though this race was pretty unpleasant (OK, more than that. It was downright painful most of the time) from start to finish, I’m proud of myself for not giving up, mentally checking out, and slowing down.  I was glancing at my watch and trying to do the math to see if I’d PR for most of the second half, and I knew it would be close, which is a lot less fun than those rare but awesome runs where you realize you can slow down to 10 minute miles and still PR.

I was 17th female, which earned me a Top 50 shirt, and the McMillan Pace Calculator says that I can run a 3:27:30 marathon.  So, all things considered, this race was actually pretty awesome, in spite of (or maybe, weirdly, because of) how hard it felt.



13 Responses to “Primo’s Run for Education Half Marathon”

  1. 1 Annie @ Annie's Cooking Lab October 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Congrats on the PR, that’s awesome!

  2. 2 Alyssa October 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Congrats on an awesomely sucky run!! 😉

  3. 3 Cathryn October 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Yay, congrats. It was a day for PRs…I got one at the Healdsburg Half, faster by 4 mins than I’d dared hope. My husband was cycling on the course and told me at mile 11 that I could do 10 min miles and still get sub-two which was what I wanted…it was an amazing feeling!!! But congrats on your PR…such an exciting day!!! Yippeeeee

  4. 4 Beth October 15, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Congratulations on the PR! Extra impressive to earn one when the race just isn’t going your way.

  5. 6 Kelsey October 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Cate, way to go! You are seriously tough. I’m glad you got a new PR as an added bonus for not giving up!

  6. 7 Kate October 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Seriously, who gets a PR when they feel so crappy? You are beyond amazing.

  7. 8 Jen October 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    cate – you are SO AMAZING! you’re my running role model. seriously…you’re busy but still train well without overdoing it and you have so much natural athleticism. congrats on the pr!!!

  8. 9 Nicole October 18, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Congrats on your PR! You look amazing. 🙂

  9. 10 Jojo October 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    It might not have felt great but you ran an incredible race! You’re SO speedy. 🙂 excited to see you get a shiny new marathon PR at CIM in a few months, this proves you’re ready for it.

  10. 11 Jen October 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Belated congrats on the PR!! My half marathon PR was set at this race too, a million years ago. Well done out there! You’re one speedy momma.

  11. 12 Angela October 21, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Well done!! Congrats on the PR!! 🙂

  12. 13 brigitte October 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm


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