Silver Comet Half Marathon

Silver Comet Half Marathon - 10/31/09

So I got roped into doing a half marathon by Kate. This is not normally something I would come up with on my own.

"Hmm, let's see, the tri season is over, I think I'll run 13.1 miles as fast as I can!"

Nope, that's not me. It is however, Kate AND Andrea as well, who also approached me to say, let's run! Well, I might not be the person who thinks to do it, but when asked, I'm pretty much always going to say...

"hell, yes!"

So here I am calling Laura... "I know my season is almost over, but would you mind getting me ready for a half marathon in 5 weeks?" Luckily, I have the coolest coach in the world, who, instead of worrying about the fact that my longest run to that point had been 8 miles, wrote up a plan that said "Saturday: long run... 12 miles with pickups; I think you can do it" and then the following week "Saturday: long run... 14 miles"

OK, I'm paraphrasing there, but you get the picture...

So here we are, two long runs under my belt, and I'm at the starting line of my first half marathon (the only time I've run 13.1 in a race previously was after a swim and bike).

Kate, unfortunately had family in town and didn't make it to the race start, but Andrea and I were there, and we had a PLAN! Start slow, get faster. A well thought out plan don't you think? Laura wanted me to focus on the "negative split". "You'll want to go too fast in the begging, hold back.", she said. So we did... Another bonus, was having another rockstar coach, Dan Arnett, in our midst. He was there to pace Ben Holiday to a PR Half Marathon... once we heard his plan, Andrea and I kind of tagged along! Hope we didn't bug you guys!!

OK, on to the race portion (what the hell kind of race report is this anyway?) Gun goes off... we start out, it's SUPER windy... and then at about .5 miles, it starts to pour down rain. Now, I have to say, this isn't a big deal for me because I really love running in the rain. Andrea and I are feeling great and the miles just tick by, we are chatting, making stupid comments, and following our race plan... 8:10, 8:05; 8:00; 7:58; 7:58; 7:55, etc... we are feeling fabulous, we hit the turn around and still feel great... then I start to fade... around mile 10.5 I'm just done, seriously. I've never felt that way in a race before. My mind kept saying... go go go and my HR was totally fine as well, but my legs... the just would not go go go.

And this is the part of the race where I learned something about myself: I told Andrea to go, I was holding her back and didn't want that (she rocked her way to 1:42 finish!!) Left alone (and amazingly in a race of 2000 people on a bike path I was actually by myself) I kept chanting to myself "the faster you go, the faster you are done". Trying to mentally will myself to the finish line. It honestly felt like I was breaking down. Then I tried to focus on my form, making sure I was still running as efficiently as possible. My watch is beeping at my to speed up and I try, I honestly try, but I just can't. I hobble to the finish line avg 8:26 for the last two miles.

When I get to the finish line (The only time I've ever been more excited to see a finish line was my first half ironoman) there is an urge to sprint... the message does not communicate to my legs... but I make it across and I look at my watch and I am very happy to see 1:44! This was my goal time around 7:55 m/mile avg. I really wanted to stop and walk during those last two miles, but I didn't; and I think because of that, I was able to make my goal time AND finish my first half marathon!

On a side note: if you had asked my a year ago if I ever thought I could run 13.1 in 1:44 I would have looked at you like you were crazy. I was a solid 9:00 mpm girl. What changed? A lot of it, is my coach Laura Sophiea, another part, my focus on getting workouts completed during this tri season and another big big part, was changing my running form to mid-foot/fore-foot striking. I don't wear my Newtons for just their looks; they truly help me run more efficiently.

Things I will do differently for my next: no fuel belt, I would have been fine with a gel and water on the course, it added a good deal of weight. and hit all of my workouts in the weeks leading up to the race... I took taper a little too "seriously". That's about it!

It was a great race, with a bunch of cool stuff at the finish line (Ted's Burgers, Mix 1, fancy water, etc.) And I LOVE the shirt that I got! and the little medal, that was pretty cool... Andrea was waiting for me at the finish and we hung around, kept walking around, saw Dan and Ben (Ben PRed by 9 min!!!) and generally had an awesome morning.

I'm so ready to do another one!! but for now it's pre-season... I'm getting ready for a new challenge... IRONMAN!

I'll be racing my first Iron Distance triathlon on September 15, 2010. The FullRev in Cedar Point as part of the Revolution3 Series.

more on that to follow...


  1. You inspire me Jill. Thanks for posting this detail. So interesting to read.

  2. You're a rock star! Nice work out there.

  3. GREAT job!! Solid effort! :)

  4. Thanks guys! Ann, glad you liked it! While I write this all down for me, I post it just in case someone else might want to read it, so thanks for the comment :-D


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