I feel like I have talked about the BRF (Baltimore Running Festival) on here so much that you would have thought it was my goal race. I guess in a way, maybe it was. I had been itching for a new half-marathon PR all year, especially after holding the pace I wanted in both a 10 miler and 12 miler. My previous PR was from March 2012, and since then nothing has gone right when it came to half-marathons.
Race morning started out unlike most others. First of all, the race start for the half-marathon was 8:45. It is usually 9:45 but all the race times had been moved up because of a potential Oriole’s game. Still, this was later than I am used to. I spread out my food intake throughout the morning: 5:45- scrambled eggs; 7:15- honey stinger waffle; 8:15- 1/2 banana. This seemed to work well and luckily there were no stomach issues! I also took a Powerbar Performance Energy Blend at mile 7. I think it helped that the night before I had a sweet potato instead of pasta. (I ate a few bites but felt like the sweet potato was enough).
My parents and Rob were running the 5k, which started at 7:20. So my parents came by to park at our place and drop off their stuff around 6:15. After the three of them headed off I got ready, warmed up, and watched the start of the race on TV. I even got to see Rob start the 5k!
At 7:45 my friend Katie was dropped off by her dad to run her very first half-marathon! Shortly after she arrived, the other three runners made it back. My parents had run together and I think they were just happy to be done!
Rob had set a new PR in the 5k! He then had to get ready to run the half-marathon. (He signed up for both races, and told me after “Never again”).
Around 8:15 I headed outside and ran a warm up mile. I came back home and those of us running the half made our way over to the start. (Are you confused yet? I couldn’t really keep track of everything going on at the time). Also, my sister was running the first leg of the relay (which is like the first 7 miles of the marathon) but we never saw her with everything else that was going on.
I dropped off Katie in her corral and tried to make my way up to corral 1. I didn’t quite make it there when the gun went off because it was so crowded, but I made it to the front of corral 2. I was feeling good and ready to run!
Running through the starting line was just as awesome as I remembered it. As the half-marathoners are lining up, the full-marathoners are running by next to us. We will all merge together later around mile 3 of the half.
My first mile was an 8:15, mostly because I was a little boxed in. Each mile after was slightly faster and I felt like I was running the pace I had planned. I just wanted to survive the hills feeling strong so I could finish fast.
I was hitting the “lap” button on my watch eat time I passed a mile marker rather than using auto lap since it always ends up so far off. Mile 6 ended up measuring 1.1 miles and apparently it took me 8:50. This freaked me out a little but I was able to stay positive and focus on getting back on pace. I’m not sure if I was weaving, or the mile was actually long, or my watch was really that far off, but I also know that mile was mostly uphill and there was a quick turnaround point.
After we ran around Lake Montabello (which is nice and flat!) we had 8 miles done and I knew the uphills weren’t as bad from that point on. I began to pick up my pace slightly.
At mile 11 I did the math and knew I could PR. I didn’t want to take any chances, so I started to run harder, especially on the downhills. I realized I ran mile 11 in 7:16 and got a little nervous, but knew I could hold on for 2 more miles. Plus I knew I had given myself more of a cushion to PR.
As I got closer to the finish I could start to hear and see all the crowds. It is really amazing to run through the last portion with all the cheering.
As you can see from the pictures, I was actually able to smile at the end. I was so excited to see a 1:43:16 on my watch- almost a minute and a half PR!
The finishers chute was SO much better this year than last. There was no line so I was able to get my medal, some snacks, water, and beer tickets and make my way out of the runner’s area. I found some friends and then my dad. Eventually Rob also found us and then Katie finished and was officially a half-marathoner!!!
We all hung out for a bit and got to meet up with Katie’s family but then she realized she had to walk a few miles to their car. That is not something that someone who just ran 13 miles for the first time ever wants to hear! So they headed out to begin the trek before her legs could realize what just happened. Rob and I got food with my parents before they headed home.
While I am THRILLED with my time I do think I could have run a little faster if conditions were perfect. But the thing is, conditions usually aren’t perfect so I am very much accepting this time for now. Hopefully it won’t be another three years until I get another half-marathon PR!
Now it’s time to recover and get back into marathon training mode. Only 5 weeks to go!!
Have you ever run a local race with a lot of family and/or friends?
Have you ever set a PR but felt like you could have done even better?
meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles says
In my head after every race, I think about the few seconds here and there where I could have made up the speed to finish faster. I think we will do that every time, with a PR or not, right? Great race!
Yes, I know that I analyze every lost second after a race! I think it just means that we are always striving to be better!
Susie @ SuzLyfe says
A) Congrats on your PR! (Training must be working!)
B) CRAB MALLETS??? Sooooo Bmore.
Yep the crab mallets are such a Baltimore thing. It was awesome to have something besides the medal for this race since its such a big race and so difficult to place!
Great job Lisa! It was so good to see you, Rob, and your mom! These pictures are awesome, and it was fun to be at the finish to see my daughter come in. Thank you for coaching Katie with her training, she looked so strong at the finish. Now, on to Philly for you. Such a great city to run the marathon! Happy training!
Katie did so great! It was great to see you guys and we will need to get together soon!
Sam @ The Running Graduate says
Congrats on an awesome race and a new PR! I knew you would do it! You seemed to have the perfect day for the race. It’s just so convenient that you live near the start. And the crab mallets are super awesome. I’m already dreaming of being there next year.
It was so much fun! I hope you end up running it next year!
Chrissy @ Pink Polish and Running Shoes says
Congrats on your PR! Sounds like a great race.
Thank you!! And I think some of your comments went to my spam…sorry about that!
Sarah @pickyrunner says
Congrats on the PR!!! You’ve been training so hard this fall so I’m not surprised at all, but that is seriously amazing 🙂 I think I’d like to try the BRF someday.. probably not the marathon but for sure the half. Maybe next year. I love that realization when you just know you’re going to PR. It’s the best feeling and is certainly a reason to cross the finish line smiling. Excited for you- you earned it!
Thank you! It was a great feeling especially on that course. Its a really fun race and I hope you decide to run it someday!
Michele @ paleorunningmomma says
Congrats! Splits look great and you can definitely see where the hills were and I think you paced really well. Can’t believe Rob did both races, that would not be for me! Very cool that your parents ran too!
The only time I ever PRed but thought I could go faster was in the 5k that is now over 2 years ago. I haven’t run a 5k since. I’m really curious what my time would be now.
There was so way I wanted to do more than one race in that amount of time! One was plenty for me!
I think that after the marathon is over you should try racing a 5k!
Yay on a new PR! You did an awesome job! That is a late start for a race. I’m not sure I would like that. I would probably be starving but afraid to eat too much. I ran the Nike Women’s Half this weekend and had a blast! Definitely thinking of doing it again next year 🙂
The eating for such a late start was really tricky, but luckily it ended up being just fine!
Great race, Lisa! Congrats! You ran it really smart. I hope it gives you a big confidence boost for Phila!
Love the crab mallets…that’s a new addition! And your parents are too cute. Love that you made it a family affair.
Thanks! Its always such a fun event. I love the crab mallets since its such a big race and so challenging to get an AG award!
CONGRATS!!! I love your finisher’s photos, you look so happy! Now on to the marathon where you’ll kick butt again! 😉
Way to go Rob for knocking out a 5K pr before doing the half! NICE!
Thanks! I as so happy with the pictures and I was definitely happy crossing that finish line!
Congrats on your PR!!! And great pics!! The BRF was so awesome! Those are pretty awesome crab mallets.
Being that it was my first half, it was a PR. I had really wanted to come in under 3 hours and my potty break pushed me over. I’m okay with it – it was my first and after coming over the injury I was just glad I was able to finish it – and I was able to run across the finish line! There’s always next year and no where to go but up!
That is a perfect way to think about it- you will have many more chances to improve! But for now you can enjoy the feeling of being a half-marathoner, which is amazing!!
Michael Anderson says
Great job on the race and congrats on the PR! Looks like you did everything right! That will help your confidence soar as you head into your final weeks of training!
Thank you! I need to remember how well that race went when I start to doubt my training for the full:)
Congrats again on your PR! It’s gotta feel great after so long & on such a hilly course 🙂
I think the stress along from such a busy morning would’ve worn me out, haha. But hopefully everything comes together just as well in Philly!
A couple years ago I ran the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon in DC and finished feeling like I had sooo much left in the tank. I was itching to run another half, but since winter was approaching, didn’t get the chance until almost 6 months later. I ended up getting a huge PR at my next half though 🙂
That’s awesome, and I hope I can do something similar! I am signed up for the Rock N Roll DC half and at this point i’m not planning on a spring marathon, so that will probably be my goal race.
Congrats on the monster PR Lisa! I love the whole crab theme and the mallets are so fun! How great your whole family ran!
Thanks!! The mallets and crab theme will be such a cool way to remember the race.
Great job on your race. Congrats on your PR. What a unique gift. A Crab mallet.
Congrats on your PR! It looks as if all of that marathon training is really paying off!
That sounds like an awesome race! You really planned well for it, and it shows! While I am running the Philly marathon, my sister and her husband will be running the half marathon. I hope we have as great a time as your family!
That’s so fun that they will be doing the half! I have a feeling we will be jealous when they get to veer off at the halfway point:)
MALLETS!? Next time I’m not taking a GU break! That’s so cool! Congrats on the awesome PR and those killer splits! You are going to destroy that marathon and I can’t wait to hear all about it!
Thank you!! I bet you were pretty close to being in the top 100 women! I thought it was pretty cool that they gave something to such a large group of finishers, since it’s so tough to actually place in a race like that!
Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes says
Congrats! What a great race. I think I definitely want to put this on my list for next year! Those crab mallets are cool!
It’s such a fun event! And no matter what distance you are looking for they pretty much have it, between the 5k, half, full, and relay!
I LOVED reading this PR recap! It really seems like a fun race! I don’t know if i could do two races either like your husband, but i think it would be fun to try! I LOVE your finish line pic-you look so strong and happy!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! There is nothing like a shiny new PR!!
Thank you!! I was fine doing just one race that day and had no desire to do a second! I think he was happy he did both because he did well in the 5k, but I know he will never do both again!
Woo! Congrats on the PR on what sounds like a pretty challenging course! Proof that you’re headed in the right direction for the big race coming up! Your race picture are great too! I don’t think I’ve ever had a finish line photo of mine look that good haha 🙂
Thanks! I was really happy with the pictures! I’m thinking about buying them if I get a coupon. I wish they weren’t so expensive!!