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St. Luke's Half Marathon - Run

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Allentown, Pennsylvania
United States
43F / 6C
Total Time = 2h 36m 49s
Overall Rank = 1411/1588
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 97/113
Pre-race routine:

Arrived in Allentown Saturday with 2 friends to do packet pickup then stayed with another friend. Others from 'the gang' met us for dinner and we had fun catching up and watching ice hockey.

Tried to go to bed in reasonable time but just didn't feel tired. Ended up watching Netflix until 11:15, then attempted to sleep. Sleep was light and sporadic; I awoke frequently. Woke up before my alarm, got up, dressed, packed and downstairs to eat breakfast (Siggi's yogurt, apples, a few Craisins, granola). Drank water and Nuun.

Had a special parking area being part of Team St. Luke's which also provided us with bathrooms and a waiting area inside the hospital, much better than the gym! Stretched a bit, chatted, then my husband arrived to watch the race.

Clothing choice: Brooks shorts (striped), light LS tech shirt from this race in 2015 (I really could've worn short sleeves but this wasn't bad, I just pushed the sleeves up). Swiftwick 4" socks, Newton hat. used my Fuel Belt. 2 bottles of Nuun, 2 of plain water. V-Fuel gels. Brooks Berlin shoes.
Event warmup:

Light stretching.

The weather was absolutely perfect for racing: about 43 degrees when we started and still in the upper 50s when we finished. Sunny and a very light breeze.
  • 2h 36m 49s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 58s  min/mile

I went into this race not having the most confidence in my abilities. I've been putting in the training and not skipping workouts and in reality should've felt ready but didn't. This is my 6th HM, so it's not like I'm new to the distance although it definitely remains a challenge for me physically and mentally.

That said, I set what I thought was a realistic goal for myself: keep it around 11-11:15 minute miles which would bring me in with a finishing range of 2:20-2:30. Sub 2:30 was my main goal. My personal best HM was at this race in 2015, coming in at 2:18:xx. I knew I didn't have that sort of result in me but again hoped I could at least finish below 2:30.

I started out OK and stayed in my desired range for about the first 5 miles. During this time I was so frustrated by these 2 pregnant women running behind me who were very annoying and also very rude and had said something about another runner that was simply uncalled for - it was all I could do to not say something to them about it. While I wasn't happy my pace fell off, I was glad to be away from their incessant blathering.

I was watching for my friends during the out and back and saw 2 out of 3 of them.

I was playing leapfrog with a couple who would run then walk. We constantly kept passing each other. She had some running app that announced pace, time, and whatever else and it seemed every time we passed each other her phone was talking to her. This became a bit annoying after a while! No offense to anyone who uses that app but it would drive me bonkers, hence why I don't!

After the 5 mile mark I (unintentionally) slowed down some but it's also around this point that the course heads into the parkway on crushed gravel trails. I was OK-ish with my slowdown (not really happy but what can ya do) and then at mile 8 exactly the 11:27 min/mile pacer caught and passed me and I simply deflated. Full on meltdown. Walking. Crying (out of frustration at myself). Ugh.

I spent the remainder of the race mainly running slowly with some intermittent walking. Not much remarkable happened except a guy fell in front of me on the choppy road. He was OK and got back up and kept going. I'm not even sure he drew blood.

With less than a mile to go I saw my pal LT standing waiting to cheer me in to the finish. To my surprise, she ran with me (she was supposed to race but didn't because of IT issues) and we chatted a bit as we made our way to the finish. At the bottom of the hill that leads up to the stadium I announced to her that I am not walking up that hill!

I left her at the bottom (or rather she left me, lol) and I ran the best I could up the fairly steep hill. Once I made it to the top I entered the stadium where runners needed to run about 3/4 around the track to the finish line. Here I gave it all I had and actually passed a handful of people. Crossed the finish line and was so happy to be done.
What would you do differently?:

Not have a complete meltdown at mile 8. Lose weight. Have my head in a better place.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around a little bit, then met up with EFP and my friends. Didn't stick around too long, we had a date with Torre, a delicious Mexican restaurant in the area!

This ended up technically being my 2nd fastest HM to date (by a whisker) but that wasn't much consolation.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of self-confidence.

My head was not where it needed to be and I'm not sure why. I am usually so happy to be running/racing and taking in the bands and beautiful scenery but that didn't happen. It was completely missing. I didn't smile much, I didn't talk to too many people, I didn't feel like my usual self and I don't know why.

Event comments:

I love this race! It's at such a beautiful time of year. The bands and the volunteers and spectator support make it even better.

Last updated: 2016-11-08 12:00 AM
02:36:49 | 13.1 miles | 11m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 97/113
Overall: 1411/1588
Performance: Below average
Course: Partly on the road, partly in the beautiful parkway. Live bands of all varieties along the course from rock to blues to string quartets to lounge singer to Taiko drummers, I think 13 bands in all.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2018-05-03 3:37 PM

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Subject: St. Luke's Half Marathon
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