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Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
United States
50F / 10C
Total Time = 2h 11m 15s
Overall Rank = 312/456
Age Group = F 20-29
Age Group Rank = 41/68
Event warmup:

Just jogged around the area for a few minutes. Nothing major. It was a bit chilly (50 degrees), but I figured I'd feel fine once the race started.
  • 2h 11m 15s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 01s  min/mile

This was my first half marathon, and I set a rather ambitious goal back in August of finishing in 2:11, or a 10 min/mile pace. I got closer and closer as the weeks went on, focusing on medium length runs (7-8) at faster than 10 min/mi and long runs (10+ miles) at a bit slower, with the hope that I'd be able to "merge" the two on race day. But to be honest, I had no idea if I'd even come close to finishing in 2:11 in the actual race.

So, I started near the back, and stayed in the pack when the gun went off. I don't have a Garmin or anything, just a plain old digital wristwatch, but when I passed mile marker 1, it said 9:59. Good! I picked up the pace a little more. I kept passing/being passed by a father and daughter who would run pretty hard for a couple of minutes, then stop to walk, then run again. Finally passed them for good around mile 4. At mile 4 I had a GU and some water. I was still feeling good but it was starting to get a lot warmer. At mile 6, I needed to be at, or under, 1 hour, and I was at 59:47, yikes! I definitely got a little extra spring in my step at that point.

Mile 6 was about the point that I started feeling really hot. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, but I didn't want to roll up the sleeves for fear of sunburn. It just seemed like the sun was beating down (there was pretty much no shade anywhere on the course), and I would have guessed the temp had reached the 60s. (Though, I just checked, and actually it only reached the upper 50s). Still, I would have happily traded in my long sleeve shirt and pants for short sleeves, shorts, and some sunscreen. :P Oh well, nothing to be done about it...

At mile 8 it got harder physically; there was a somewhat large hill there, my legs started feeling pretty heavy, and those things combined with the heat made it tough. A volunteer raised my spirits though; he had a cowbell and was yelling out everyone's name (they were printed on our race numbers) and cheering for everyone individually. He was very peppy. :) So I perked up a little from that. I also had another gel, which at least helped psychologically I think.

After mile 10 it REALLY got tough mentally. You'd think the end of the race would be the easiest but no, I found it SO hard. I wanted to walk so badly. No matter how much I told myself I was almost done, it still seemed like I had ages still to go. And I knew if I slowed down too much, I'd lose my chance at 2:11. (At mile 10, my time elapsed was 1:39:25; still safe but not much room for error!) Also, I never saw mile marker 11 which kind of screwed with my head; I knew after a point that I must have simply missed it, but still. At mile 12 I was at 2:00:54; uh oh. I admit I walked a couple of times (maybe 15-20 seconds each) in the last mile; I was so freakin' exhausted and hot and I didn't think I could break 2:11. I did have my handheld water bottle with me at least, but still. A couple of volunteers were cheering at a corner and pointing which way to go as I walked up, and they said "it's a less than a quarter mile left! run run run!" Ok, I figured I could dig deep and manage that! So I did run into the finish. My chip time was 2:11:15. My husband says it still counts as a victory to finish in 2:11:xx, even if I didn't actually beat 2:11. I guess I agree. :)
What would you do differently?:

Win the mental battle and keep pushing those last few miles. A few more longer runs in my training probably would have helped too.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around a little (probably not enough), tried to eat a bagel but I just really didn't have an appetite. I did manage to eat a banana and drink some gatorade though.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mostly just training (or lack thereof); would like to have more miles under my belt, especially long ones, for next time. Being overdressed probably didn't help too; I should have sucked it up and been cold and miserable at the beginning in exchange for greater comfort for the rest of the race.

Event comments:

It was a lot of fun; I would strongly consider doing this race again. It was Civil War-themed; you got to pick whether you wanted to run for the north or the south, and there was an overall competition for which side was fastest. And north people got a blue race shirt, and south people got a gray one. It was cool.

Last updated: 2012-08-28 12:00 AM
02:11:15 | 13.1 miles | 10m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 41/68
Overall: 312/456
Performance: Good
Time elapsed Mile 2: 19:32 Mile 4: 39:22 Mile 6: 59:47 Mile 8: 1:19:30 Mile 10: 1:39:25 Mile 12: 2:00:54
Course: Rolling hills, and very scenic with lots of open farmland, and some trees that were changing color.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-10-21 8:23 PM

Subject: Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon

2012-10-24 7:07 AM
in reply to: #4462727

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Extreme Veteran
Frederick, Maryland
Subject: RE: Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon
CONGRATULATIONS - YOU DID IT! Now perhaps a full? Buy a bike and go for a tri? Hey super job! Hopefully, many for you!
2012-10-24 11:31 AM
in reply to: #4462727

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon
Congrats on your race! I have this on my list of HM to finish in the near future, glad to see it was a positive race experience for you.
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