Sunday, August 14, 2011

Race Recap: Freeport Half Marathon

Today I ran my 7th half-marathon with two of my college friends, Theodora and Lindsay.  Linds and I ran track in college and Theodora was Lindsay's freshman year roommate. Since reconnecting in the blog world, Theo and I have become super tight and I hoped to pace her to her first sub 2 hour half marathon.
But let's rewind. After I ran Boston this year in April, I wrote a post called Marathon Perspective and decided that I needed to run one more marathon before hanging up the sneakers to start a family.  I then convinced Lindsay to sign up for MCM and we found this half marathon to work into our training while she was home from Hawaii.  Our goal was to break 1:50.
Well fast forward a few months and well... I decided I didn't have it in me to run another marathon at this time.  And I also forgot to train for this half marathon.  So a few weeks ago I told Theo I would get her that sub 2.
Well I got news for you.  Even if you've run 5 sub 2 half marathons in the past, you still have to train. I really believed knocking out 9:09 pace and breaking that 2 hour barrier would be a walk in the park.  I really was THAT confident.

And I continued that confidence even after the gun went off.  But something unexpected happened.  The course was WAY hillier than I ever expected.
In the first mile we were were climbing and descending and my calves were already tight.  I felt a little worried that it wasn't Theodora who might not hold on, it was me.

Theo and I continued on our merry way, laughing at the uphills and flying down the downhills only to be frightened to see the next hill.  Things were going smoothly after mile 4.
We started running really consistently. There was gatorade every two miles.  I would stop and drink the gatorade since I knew I needed the calories because I couldn't eat before the race.  Then I would run fast to catch up to Theo. (who by the way kicks ass at drinking while running- I was super impressed!)
Between mile 8-9, I remember a gatorade stop, running fast to catch up to Theo and another massive hill where I slowed down.  When I caught back up to her, I remember saying to Theo, "If I can't keep up, don't look back.  This is not my race, this is yours."  Sure enough the next hill, I had to stop and that was that. Theodora carried on.
After my slow 9th mile, I got my motivation back and I tried like hell to catch up to my friend.  We hit a massive downhill and I ran as fast as I could getting as close as 100 meters back and running an 8:41 mile.  But then I hit another hill and I realized I didn't have it in me.  What kept me going though was knowing that WE were BOTH going to break 2 hours and I was so excited for my friend.

At that point, I began to write this post in my head.  I figured I would name it "The Good, the Bad and the GREAT News."  Good being that I paced a two hour half marathon.  Bad being that I didn't pace Theodora and GREAT being that Theo was able to run much faster.

But as you can tell, that is not the name of this blog post.  Because, well... I couldn't get myself to move in the last two miles.  My last mile was my slowest of the race.  I wanted to break 2 hours to prove to myself I could with minimal training, but I didn't.  And I'm okay with it.

I felt a bit defeated after the race.  Lindsay got her 1:49.  A time I would have loved to run with her (and know someday I will).
I was a little disappointed and started to have a pity party for myself. But then...

...I saw Theodora and the light in her eyes and the smile on her face was enough to turn my dismay into happiness.  She not only broke two hours, but she killed it- negative splitting the course.  To see how far she has come in 3 short years is remarkable.  She is an inspiration to me and so many others.  I can't wait to see what the future holds for her in life and in running.
I love these girls and I feel so happy that I was able to spend the weekend with them : )
After the race, the girls ran 3.5 more miles and I thought to myself how happy I was not to be training for a marathon : )

Words cannot describe how proud I am of both Linds and Theo!  I can't wait to see how well they both do at their fall marathons : )

And for me.... I think I'm serious when I say I'm done with the distance for awhile.  I'll always run but I don't want to do double digits anymore.  I need something else for fitness in my life so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

BIG CONGRATS TO MY GIRL THEODORA- go to her blog and congratulate her!!!!


  1. Dear Lizzy, I love you. That is all :)

    Thank you so much for pacing me at the beginning! You absolutely lit the fire under my ass that kept me going for the rest of the race!


  2. Great job ladies! Reading these recaps makes me love having running friends that much more. I so look forward to Saturday when I have 20 great blogger and HLS friends to motivate me through my long run!

  3. This is such a great post, Lizzy.

    First, CONGRATULATIONS to you, to Lindsay and to Theodora. You all rocked the course and should be pumped about it.

    I love how you wrote this though. It's so refreshing to read about young women who are proud of each other and encouraging and not catty. Yes, running is a competitive sport, and often times we can get caught up in being competitive with each other. But I love that you're not that way at all. You are fantastic. Now come run with ME, please :)

  4. Read every word of this and I'm so inspired! Such a selfless thing to do!

    Congrats on finishing with a great time! There will always be another chance to get 1:49 and below :)


  5. You are truly remarkable. It takes a real friend to be happy even when you aren't completely 100% happy with your own effort. I know I'm competitive sometimes (ok, all the time), but I still hope I'm able to be happy for my friends even if I have a bad race and they have a good one. I know it means the world to me when people are happy for my running "victories."

    Still, 2:01 is ROCK SOLID, esp with no training. WAY TO GO all 3 of your!

  6. wow - tough post, lady! i like your "good bad ugly" description of the day. and congrats to you both!

  7. great job! that's awesome. I'm running a race with frineds in October. I can't wait!

  8. very exciting race! loved this recap!!

  9. Congrats!!! I'm proud that you still finished the race and did the best that you could :)

  10. Great job!! Way to stick in there even though it was tough! Loved this recap.

  11. First, you did rock that race, so please don't sell yourself short. On a tough course with minimal training, you ran strong.

    Second, CONGRATS to Theodora! I am so incredibly happy for her and it's fabulous that you had a part in that special event.

    Third, I totally understand how you're feeling about running and I think that it's all part of the ebbs and flows of your relationship with running. I have very similar feelings and find myself looking for something different lately. Distance running is an incredible sport, but it's not for everyone all the time.

    You are awesome. That is all.

  12. Congrats on the race! It may not have been sub-2, or a PR, but you still got out there and did it, and that's what matters. You always have such a positive attitude about running and racing, and I love it!

  13. That's still an amazing time for hardly any training! You are blowing me away with how well you are doing in the last few races without "trying." Great job!

  14. Your reflections here are awesome! I think this shows how far you've come as a runner - to be able to run your best but also step back and realize that life can get in the way of training, and that you never know the cards you'll be dealt on race day. Instead of getting down on yourself, you were insanely happy for your friend's great race and were able to be proud of the effort you gave - that says so much about you as a person and a runner.
    You are really inspiring to me, Lizzy! I loved reading this post :)

  15. That is an incredible time. You all did well and more importantly got to spend some time together!

  16. I completely know where you're coming from with being done with marathon training. I'm doing NYC again this fall, but I think I might join the 5k-10k club after that!! Or just run for fun, which is why I started running in the first place :)

  17. So the problem with me reading this during the day and talking to you as I'm reading it (ha) is that I sometimes forget I haven't actually gone back and commented.

    Anyway - you are awesome! You really are. You ran two half marathons in a row with very minimal training, you rocked a hilly course, helped pace Theo to a sub-2, AND have an amazing attitude about the whole thing. Pretty impressive, my friend. I hope you truly realize what you accomplished. I know it's tough to not get your goal time (I've been there), but I think you should feel really good about the amount of fitness you've been able to hold onto.

    And as much as I love distance running (and love that you're a sprinter converted to a distance runner!), I can completely understand needing a break from it. It's really easy to get burned out. I know this is still related to running, but I'm super excited to have you on the relay team next month. I think you're going to love it (if you don't kill us first haha), and that could be a fun way to change up your training a bit. Because no one cares how fast you go in those things. It's all just about the team camaraderie and the experience. Also, maybe you should try to find some fall 5Ks for us. I can either run them with you, or help pace you for a PR. :)

    Yes, I know - none of the things I just mentioned are new to you and it's all still running related, but maybe you just need to change up why you're running a little bit? You also don't NEED to be training for a race. I know I race a lot now but I went through a long period of time after college where I just ran for fun. And I was okay with that. Sometimes you just need to return to your running roots for a little while.

    And that's all I have to say (for now)!

  18. Yay congrats to Theo!
    I'm glad you're not training for the marathon either. I see my love/hate relationship with running in you (unfortuantely the hate is stronger than love)... and I truly believe that life is too short to have goals that don't give you joy during the process of getting to them. I know you love running just for fun... and that's enough. I promise, it really is!!

  19. This gave me a great smile. I'm working hard toward a sub-2 right now.

  20. I love those pics, thanks for sharing. Congratulations for a great job well done and looking forward always. It was a challenging and exciting race too.