Our race weekend started on Saturday with a soccer game, drop off at Grandma & Grandpa’s house, and then we drove to Columbus.  We zipped in to the expo with just a little time to spare.  We did get to take this cool picture though.  Love it!

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We stopped by the Glass City marathon booth at the expo for a quick picture…

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And then was off to dinner with our friends!  That’s Coach Chris across the table from me.

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We stuffed ourselves with lots of lasagna, and soon enough the 5am alarm was waking us at the hotel.  We needed to leave at 5:45am to get downtown, and that left us plenty of time to meet up with our friends again at the YMCA. In the past it was a great place to keep warm, in addition to using clean bathrooms – but there was no need to stay warm this year.  It was already 60 degrees!  Usually it’s in the 40’s on race day.  Big difference!  Here we all are pre race…

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Shame that it wasn’t cold out because I had these super cute arm warmers.  That’s right, it’s all about me 🙂 I pitched those after a half a mile.

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I lined up near the back of corral A because my plan was to take it a bit conservative at first, and then pick up the pace half way through.  So, start around 8:25 and then several miles at 8:15, and several miles at 8:05.  However, looking back at my Garmin data from last year I realized that I needed to end with a pace of 8:0x to get a PR.  That sounded fast, but I did run 8:09 a mile last year, so yeah, it’s achievable for me I think.

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After the gun went off, I didn’t want to look at my watch.  If it was too fast, I would stress out that I need to slow down.  If it was too slow, I’d wonder why I’m not fast enough!  However, soon I needed to look.  My hamstring/glute was feeling sore and I wished I had done a warm up run.  First mile: 8:31.  Hmmm.  Thoughts going through my head:  “Holy crap, I’m sweating.  Sweating big time.  How am I so warm at mile 1.  Oops, I didn’t wash my face.  Maybe it’s my night cream blocking my pores.  Hey, how can some people be wearing long sleeves and full leggings and I’m dying in a little tank top and shorts??”

Mile 2: 8:35  No more hamstring/glue pain, but Ugh. Still not fast enough. That first mile had a bit of uphill, now we’ve got some downhill I think. [In actuality, no downhill was recorded on Garmin.  Maybe I was just hoping it was downhill!]

Mile 3: 8:27  Dang it.  This is not getting any easier.  Today is not my PR day.  Just run it “easy” and maybe I can pick up later.  This feels hard!  Still so sweaty and warm.  Is it 90 degrees??  [nope, only 64 degrees]

Miles 4 – 7:   8:38, 8:46, 8:46, 9:00, 9:05…  I’m starting to see a trend here.  My paces will not be getting any better than 8:30.  Oh crap.  I calculated a “worst case scenero” finish time for 8:30 average pace to be 1:52, but I never figured I would be running slower than that.  Wondering what the finish time will be for 8:45??  I do know I have to be under 9:00 to get sub 2 hrs, so I now am focused on that.

Miles 8 – 12:  8:45, 8:51, 9:01, 9:08  Just running.  I kind of have two race modes: “feeling good, all in” and “not in the mood, not trying”.  I pretty much went into the second category.  I wasn’t pushing it because I knew I wouldn’t be any where close to PR, so why bother?  Slap some hands and cheer back to the crowd!

Miles 13-13.2:  Columbus has a downhill finish for the most part.  I tried to run fast and only got 8:40!  Oh snap!!

Official finish time: 1:56:28  Phew, that was a tough race!!

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My day could have gone better with some cooler temps.  Out of our group, only 2 of us had races close to PRs.  Everyone was a bit off.  Even so, I ended up 34th out of 564 in my age group. That made me happy to see those numbers!

Alan ran the full, and if it was a better day, he might have been able to go sub 3hrs again.  He finished in 3:17.  A bit off of his goal too, but still, a BQ.  Nice job Alan!

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Funny story:  as I was waiting for Alan to finish I was standing next to a man who had finished the half also.  He asked who I was looking for, and I told him Alan, who was running the full.  He looked at my bib and he said “Oh, you ran the half?  That’s OK.  I would have run the full but I’ve been injured.”  WTF?, it’s “OK” that I ran the half?  Like he was feeling sorry for me, that I was incapable of running the full, or I hadn’t chosen to run the half on purpose because I love it!  I couldn’t believe it.  Seriously dude.

Regardless of my finish time, I really love this race and I’ll be back again next year!


Q: What’s your favorite pre-race meal?

Q: Do you have a favorite race (full, half or 5K!)?

Q: Have any funny stories to share that you’ve heard lately??


11 thoughts on “Columbus half marathon 2016 race recap”
  1. Man sounds like a tough race, Lisa, but congrats on holding it together and getting in under two hours! Congrats to Alan on his BQ- he’s a machine! What’s his PR? Has he been running his whole life? I looooove your arm warmers. 🙂

    Ugh that freaking guy at the finish line! I hate people who take themselves too seriously.
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Weekend Wrap Up!My Profile

    1. Alan’s PR is 2:59:59! We both took up running right around the time our kids were born. We always went to the gym together and biked prior to that, but never really serious runners.

  2. Way to go getting in under 2 hours. It may not be a PR, but given the warmer conditions it’s still a WIN!

    Alan is so fast! That’s so awesome that he can perform like he can at ultras and in road marathons! Incredible!

    Major eyeroll to that guy at the end! I’m sure all of the Olympic runners that train for shorter distances wish they could be him! 😀
    Kristina Running recently posted…Garmin Vívoactive Giveaway!My Profile

    1. Alan really did an impressive job, especially since he told me after the race that he wanted to bail at the half!! But he wouldn’t get a medal, so he had to finish 🙂
      There were quite a few people walking early in the race which I haven’t seen in the past. I consider it a win any day I cross that finish line!!

  3. It’s a shame that the half doesn’t get the respect it deserves. 13.1 is my favorite race distance. It requires training but doesn’t beat your body to a pulp the way a full can. Any time under 2:00 hours is a good race. It was warm over in Illinois also. Friend of mine who won the Peoria Marathon last year had to DNF this year. Warm temps, humidity, and just not having a good day caused him to drop. Congrats to hubby on the 2018 BQ. Are you going to try to BQ at Eire again? As far as pre-race meals, I learned early in my running to stay away from salad the night before! I am not a huge pasta fan, so I usually skip the official pasta dinners and go with chicken or fish and vegetables at a local restaurant.

    1. I eat salads almost every day for lunch, but for race week I have to stop a few days before.
      Wow, that DNF in Peoria would have been a tough one. Bummer.
      I do think I’ll target Erie again next Fall. Too bad with the timing of Boston 2018 – my birthday is 4 days after the race. I would have got an extra 5 mins in a new age group!! Drat!

  4. Around mile 12, I really, REALLY wished I was smart and switched to the half. Trying to train and race with a injury isn’t much fun, especially when the temps aren’t even cooperating! And halfs are a great race, hard enough that you can push yourself but don’t take as much of a time commitment for training.

  5. Oh my gosh – I can’t believe that guy said that! I wish I was the kind of person that could come up with some sort of fabulous response to people like that.

    Sorry your race didn’t go quite according to plan. My first half, I did almost all of my training on my treadmill with no incline (what was I thinking?) and a lovely fan, and a super handy water bottle holder. Race day I was DYING. The course was super hilly and I was convinced it was at least 90 degrees (I think it was in the mid 70’s), and even though I had a 7 oz. water bottle with me and there were three water stations, I was soooo thirsty the whole time. My pace ended up almost 45 sec/mile slower than I’d trained.
    Megan @ Lazy Runner Girl recently posted…Happy Tuesday, My Inner Runner, and ListsMy Profile

    1. Well you know, the half is the consolation distance. haha! Thanks, the race was weird. I swore I was going faster. Just one of those days when it felt unnecessarily hard. I’m doing another half on Nov. 12th. That’s gotta be cooler!!

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