Race Recap: St. Luke’s Half Marathon 2014

Until I have photos from the race to share, here is a picture of my cat sprawled out in a sunbeam. (Edited to add: I have photos now, but I’m still going to leave this here. Everybody loves Nermal.)

photo

So, I ran a PR! My first PR in the Big, Frequently-Run Distances (5K, 10K, half, marathon) since this race last year. A 1:36:33, 2:05 faster than my previous best.

Stoked at the finish line. Moments before I'd been making a pukey face but then I noticed the photographer.

Stoked at the finish line. Moments before I’d been making a pukey face but then I noticed the photographer.

In my buildup (January 1-race day), I ran about 150 miles more than I did to prepare for this race last year. YOWZA. Coaches make you WORK.

We had perfect weather (45 degrees, overcast) except for the wind (intense enough that I tried drafting for the first time). It was 60 and sunny last year. How much of this PR is thanks to the weather? I will never know.

I tucked in for the first 6 miles or so with a coach and his coachee who were aiming for a 1:37. (See below.) I don’t know that they appreciated my company, but…whatever.
Splits:  7:28, 7:28, 7:21, 7:23, ~7:06, ~7:06 (I missed a mile marker.)

diagram

Then, they started to slow, so I went around them. This is about when I tried to take a Peanut Butter Gu and realized how important it is for me to have my handheld water bottle for washing-it-down purposes. Couldn’t choke down the whole thing. #FuelingProblems. This would have spelled the death of me in a full marathon. Can anyone recommend savory, caffeine-free gels that aren’t as thick as Gu?
Splits: 7:26, 7:20

Post-Gu, we hit the section in the race that majorly slowed me down last year — a couple crushed-gravel hills, a pass through a kind of treacherous covered bridge (uneven boards + very low lighting + sunglasses = wipeout risk), and then a climb up the race’s largest (paved) hill. Somehow, I kept pace for the first of these two miles. I was pleased with that.
Splits: 7:18, 7:52

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 10.11.50 AM

Then, just a 5K to go. This is where my coach told me to “ROLL OUT,” so of course I had Ludacris in my head, which was not a bad thing. I did my best, but we were suddenly going into the wind, and this section ain’t flat, either. I tried to tuck in behind people, I may have been hunching over to do so, and that may have been what gave me some pretty gnarly side stitches. Whatever — I finished strong.
Splits: 7:22, 7:27, 7:59 (for last 1.1 — that’s 7:15 pace)

Looks like I still haven't fixed my wonky form.

Looks like I still haven’t fixed my wonky form.

Does anyone know why there are two mats at the finish sometimes? Which one is the actual finish? Also, I need to not do this with my watch.

Does anyone know why there are two mats at the finish sometimes? Which one is the actual finish? Also, I need to not do this with my watch.

So, I am happy with this, and excited to see what kind of marathon I can run this fall.

Me and my friend Lauren -- who also ran super-well! -- after the race.

Me and my friend Lauren — who also ran super-well! — after the race.

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About Meghan Loftus

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8 Responses to Race Recap: St. Luke’s Half Marathon 2014

  1. Congrats on a great race – fellow 1:36 PR-er! Now we both need to crush a fall marathon ;)

    • Meghan Loftus says:

      Heck yes! I’ll be in Philly with you if the weather doesn’t cooperate for Wineglass. (So, hopefully not!) Happy training!

  2. Congrats – great race! Good luck with Wineglass training!

  3. Megan says:

    I think having multiple mats at the start and finish lines helps ensure that all the racers’ times are picked up, even when there are many people crossing at the same time (i.e. the second mat is a backup). I have no idea which actually counts, or whether I’m actually correct.

    • Meghan Loftus says:

      I’m making it my personal mission to find out! Sometimes you just don’t want to run one more step.

  4. elissahersh says:

    Congrats on your race!

    I switched over to Powerbar gels because they are WAY less thick than Gu and much easier to get down. The ones I get have caffeine, but I think you can get them without.

    • Meghan Loftus says:

      Thanks! I used to use PowerBar Strawberry Banana and loved them, but wanted to get away from caffeine (and the sugaryness). I think I’m going to start using their Pomegranate Blueberry Acai, which has no caffeine (but plenty of sweetness). It looks like watery, savory gels just don’t exist!

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