Posts Tagged With: half marathon

Race Recap: Frederick Half Marathon

So I should start by saying that while I did not reach my sub-2hr goal, I did get a PR in the half marathon distance.  And a PR is a PR, and I’m okay with it.

Yep, now I do!

Let’s start at the beginning…

Sunday morning, Kevin and I hopped in his car (at around 5am!) and headed up to Frederick, MD.  Although the race didn’t start until 7:00am, we were aiming to be there by 6:15, because parking traffic apparently gets really bad.  We made it there by 6:00am and hung out in his car for a little bit.  It was chillier than I expected (about 60-65 degrees) so I wanted to stay as warm as possible.  Yes, I’m basically cold-blooded and 65 can feel chilly to me. 🙂

Eventually we exited the car, and headed toward bag check.  For some reason I felt the need to check my bag even though I could have left it in Kevin’s car.  Bag check was quick and easy, and we quickly headed to the start line.  The race was relatively small (5,000 runners for the half) so everything was pretty easy to find.  Oh, I should also note that they did a GREAT job with port-o-potties and bathrooms at the start.  There were so many options, which made the start super relaxed!

I had been warned about how hilly the course was, so that was running through my mind.  I had looked at the course profile, and although there was nothing GIANT, there were definitely rolling hills. However, I tried to stay cool, telling myself that running up Capitol Hill had prepared me well.

Anyway, we continued to the start line.  There were no corrals, but there were pace signs and pace groups, so you could line up according to that.  I decided to jump in with the 2:00 hour group, determined to hang onto them.  After the National Anthem (which included the obligatory O! from Orioles fans), we were off! As usual, my plan was to start off conservatively, and then start to speed up after the 10 or 11 mile mark.

Miles 1-3

Hated it.  I felt like I was putting so much effort into every step.  I was so into my misery, that I didn’t really notice the scenery.  And sadly, this is typical for me.  I need to start planning my music so that I’m pumped up.

Miles 4-7

Started to settle into a groove.  I was enjoying the rolling hills, the cute neighborhoods, and the community that was out cheering us on.  It was super cute, and I was really enjoying the race.  Because it was so humid, I decided that I needed to stop at every water stop.  And also bc it was raining (sprinkling really) so I wasn’t sure what was sweat and what was rain.  I thought it would be better to be safe and hydrate.  Around mile 6, I realized I needed to make a pit stop at a port-o-potty.  Found one at mile 7 and made the stop as quick as I could.  Sadly I think it was still about 3 min.  Needless to say, I lost the 2:00 hour pace group. 😦

Miles 8-10

I took my Gu, and spent probably a mile and half trying to find my pace and get into it.  Since I didn’t have my watch (rawr!) I was clueless as to how I was doing, my current pace, etc.  And let me tell you, it’s not a good feeling.  I seriously lost all hope during this point.  I got to the point where I told myself I didn’t care about a sub-2 race.  Eventually, I was able to push through it.  I may credit this song with saving me. 🙂

Miles 11-13.1

I was ready to go and feeling good.  I got to mile 12 and saw that I had about 8 minutes to make it under 2 hours.  Panic, excitement, nerves, relief all set in.  Yes, it was a whirlwind of emotions.  I was cruising along at a comfortably hard pace, and then I saw it.  The final hill.  The loooong endless final hill.  I’m pretty sure I audibly groaned.  Twice.  Regardless, I trudged up that hill as quick as I could, hoping that it would finish in a downhill right into the finish (this is one of those moments where I wished I had studied the course map/profile).  Welp, the finish was not there.  I had to go a little ways, around a turn, and then we entered the track, where we completed 3/4 of a lap.  It’s important to mention that the track was dirt and gravel (you can see it in the picture).  And very uneven.  I had to keep my eyes on the ground to make sure I didn’t roll my ankle.

I’m pretty sure I’m eyeing the clock

And then I saw it.  The stupid 2:01:xx. And I was angry. I was sad. I was disappointed. But I was still determined to finish strong.  And I did.  But I still wasn’t happy.

At the time, the only thing I could think of what that I missed.  How the bathroom break ruined my race.  And I was a huge brat about it.  Poor Kevin had to deal with me being a grump all day.  2:01:30.  Just not good enough.

Later, I found out that my official chip time was 2:00:48.  Which sounds better, no? Nope. It just made me feel worse. All I could feel was regret, and mass amounts of pity for myself. I had so many “if only’s” running through my head.

But now, I’ve accepted it.  Even more, I’m happy with it.  Sure, that 2:00:48 is 49 seconds short of my goal.  But it is still almost a 7 minute PR for me! And 49 seconds is way closer than 1:30! Also, 49 is going to be easy to knock off my next half-marathon, especially if I skip the port-o-potties!

Joey’s wearing my medal because it was apparently his turn!

I want to thank all of you for your positive comments! Yes, I am super close and I will certainly get it next time! I also had negative splits which is a great thing! And I even got some great tips on when best to look for port-o-potties (early in the race – I never even thought of that before).

Overall, it was a great race and I would certainly do it again next year.  It’s challenging because of the rolling hills, but not so much that its all you think about.  There’s so much community support all along the course.  While going through the neighborhoods, there were kids, teens and adults all handing out water, bananas, snacks and high-fives.  It was really great! And, it didn’t ever feel crowded too! And the best part? It’s half of the Maryland Double medal – now I just need to figure out if I’m going to do Baltimore in the fall!

So now, I have a new half-marathon PR of 2:00:48!  I’m excited now for my next race!

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Decision made

Well, a decision has been made.  A while ago (actually a reeeeeeeallly long time ago) I mentioned how I had a few races that I wanted to do, but wasn’t ready to commit.  The Harper’s Ferry Half Marathon was one that Sarah and I were debating, and I was also thinking about the Frederick Half Marathon.

Well, the decision has been made.  Harper’s Ferry, we’ll see ya next year.  Frederick, I’m cominggggg!

Next Sunday, I will be heading up to Frederick, MD to run 13.1 glorious miles and to hopefully do it in under 2 hours.  Well, assuming that they don’t sell out before I can buy a bib.  (Online registration is closed to I have to wait until next week to buy one in person).

I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty excited about the race schwag.

So now, I turn from despair over my 10 miler performance, to excitement about doing a half-marathon! Haha! But for real, I’m excited! The last half I did (ING Miami Half Marathon) I was still struggling with ITBS.  So, I wasn’t able to run as well as I wanted to (I had to stop and stretch the IT Band like every 2 miles).  This is going to be my chance at redemption! Okay, maybe that’s too much pressure on one race, but I am really excited to see what I can do!

Do you have any upcoming races you’re excited for?


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Patience is a virtue

But does it equal a PR?

In an attempt to stay injury free, I’m beginning to add a few recovery runs to follow hard/long runs.  Doing a recovery run sounds easy and fun, right? Well yes, unless you’re me.

You see, I have trouble slowing down. (which is funny, bc I’m not at all fast!) I like to go out for every run and run at a comfortably hard pace.  I only feel good, and like I’ve made a difference, if I’ve pushed the pace a bit.  But this new strategy tells me to do otherwise.

Yesterday, I went out for my long run – a little over 6.5 miles.  About a mile into it, I decided, since the distance isn’t so great, I could push the pace a bit.  So I did, and I finished with an avg 8:53 pace.  In the grand scheme of things, the pace isn’t amazing, but I’m happy with the amount of effort and work I put into it.  I feel that I really challenged myself, when I could have easily just taken it back and relaxed.  In the end, it was a great run (with Kevin!) and I’m pleased with it.

Following a long run, I’m supposed to do a recovery run the next day.  So today, I planned to run 4 miles at a nice easy pace.  And since my new shoes just arrived, I decided to start breaking these babies!

Rocking the Brooks Adrenalines again!

I decided to bring my watch, but left the footpod at home so I wouldn’t have pace or distance (yes, i’m about the only person that doesn’t have GPS.  Waiting for a racing breakthrough so i can “earn” it!).  Again, it was VERY challenging to not pick up the pace.  Especially when there are people constantly passing you. 😦 not happy.  I focused on my purpose and my mission (get strong and stay healthy!) and maintained control.  Finished 4.2 miles with a 10:08 pace.  Still, looking at that pace makes me cringe a bit, but I just keep reminding myself that I will soon be capable of so much more!

Everyone always tells me that patience is a virtue.  And I get that.  But i really, REALLY hope it’s a PR too! 🙂

In other news, HUGE CONGRATS to everyone that ran the Rock and Roll USA Half & Full yesterday! I made it out to spectate and cheer on two of my friends for their first half marathon! Congrats Jane and Maria! It was a perfect way to start off St.Patrick’s Day! (I look forward to running some races with y’all this summer!)

In true spectating fashion, I busted out markers and glitter.

And this one was made with special reference for Krystal-Rose and Rachelle! You ladies did great! 2016 will be our turn for the Olympic Marathon!

At first when I started watching, I had a bit of race envy.  But then I just had so much fun spectating, and was so proud of everyone that I was really glad I was on the sidelines!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!

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Race Recap: ING Miami Half Marathon

First, I gotta apologize for this race recap coming so late.  This week has been pretty busy.  We arrived back in DC on Tuesday afternoon/evening, and catching up with work these past few days has had me completely drained in the evenings.  But alas, I digress…

So when we all first signed up for the ING Miami Marathon, the plan was to get away from the cold DC winter and frolick and play in warm sunny Miami.  This plan was solid.

Amelia, me, Emily and Kevin in sunny Miami Beach!

Upon arrival the temps were in the upper 70s.  Beautiful.  Well, until you consider running 13 miles in that kind of warmth.  I immediately began to worry.  Forecasts said to expect temps of 66 at the start and mid-70s by noon.  Those sounds like great hanging out temps, but for someone that has been running in relatively cold winter temps (and performs terribly in the heat) it was no good.  And the only thing I could do was hydrate and hope for the best.

Water! Water! Water!


And hydrate I did.  Along with some carb-loading.  Well, I guess spaghetti bread would really be double-carb-loading. But it was some seriously good double-carb-loading.  Will def be making that again! Yum! Thanks to Amelia for finding that recipe!

Pre-race dinner: spaghetti rolled up inside bread = Spaghetti bread!

The next morning, we took a cab to the start, and as predicted it was already in the mid-60s. And a lot more humid than I was used to. Panic. More hydrating.

Amelia, Kevin, me, Rachelle and Emily before the start of the ING Miami Half Marathon

We got to the start, hopped in our corrals, and waited for the race to begin. The entire time, I was worried about my “race strategy”.  I found a knee strap at the expo the day before, but I didn’t know how it would actually hold up for me.  So I decided I would stop and stretch my IT band every 2 miles.  More hoping. *fingers crossed for a good race!*

Eventually we were off and running through the streets of Miami and over the bridge to Miami Beach.  As predicted the course was flat, so that was nice.  The only hills were the bridges we went over.  But it was certainly warmer than I was used to.  By mile 2, I was already a sweaty mess.

This is exactly how I felt


I managed to continue trucking along, stretching every 2 miles, and then later in the race, at every mile.  I remember getting to the 6 mile marker and feeling relief that I had no IT band pain.  I hadn’t run over 5 in more than a month! And there I was at 6, still ready to do more. 🙂  And when I finally got to the mile 12 marker, I was SUPER pumped.  But also SO over running.  Regardless, I decided to high-tail it for my last 1.1 miles.  When I felt like we were close, I upped the pace a bit more.  And then, we hit this turn that took us to the finish.  I started to really stride, and then got BOXED-IN! I couldn’t believe it! What happened to everyone trying to finish strong!  Eventually got around those idiots runners and sprinted to the finish.  DONE!

Overall, the race went well, and I think I would do it again.  The temps did climb a bit, but the water stops were great.  There was a water stop about every mile or so, so it was very easy to stay hydrated.  I will say that the water stops were a bit hard to run through (either bc the race was too crowded or bc the stops were too short), so I ended up walking through them (fine by me!).   And the volunteers at the water stops even started launching the bags of water (yes, they had bags of water) to race participants with outstretched arms!  It seemed like a great idea, until I had to start ducking out of the way of flying water pouches!

My IT band was fine until about mile 7 or 8, when I started to feel some pressure/tightness.  At that point, I stopped to stretch every mile to prevent it from getting worse.  Also because I was (and really, still am) terribly out of shape.  By mile 8, I was really wishing that I only had 2 more miles to go.  And also wishing I had been able to run anything over 5 miles for the past 2 months.  Actually training for a half-marathon is key.  But that is neither here nor there. It was great to be in Miami and enjoy a race with friends!

Kevin and I after we finished! Woohoo!

Huge shout-out to Kevin: he finished his first half-marathon! He did quite a bit of training leading up to it, and ended up racing a great race! He totally beat me (this time…).  I think this boy is totally hooked on running (and maybe the medals too!)  Now on to the full marathons, eh? 🙂

This race was not my best time ever, but I’ll take it.  2:15:37.  Considering that 2 weeks before the race, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to run it at all, running the 13.1 was a huge accomplishment.  But, next time, I’m going sub-2.  And that’s a PROMISE. (i’ll also make sure i train)

Do you like traveling south for winter racing?  What’s your favorite race/destination?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to everyone! I hope you get to enjoy lots of delicious (and maybe healthy?) snack!


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Sunshine, drinks and a bit of running

Now that I’m back in DC, im really, really missing the sunshine and mid-70s temps of Miami, FL.  I know DC isn’t terrrrrribly cold, but it’s certainly not ANYWHERE close to the weather of Miami.  Being down there just forces you to smile 🙂

The whole trip was fantastic.  The food was delicious, the drinks plentiful, and beach time great. Some of us enjoyed the sun more than others, but there will be more on that later (Kevin…).

Cheers! We all got glasses of white wine, yet none were in wine glasses... 🙂

I would also like to add that the sea-gulls were aggressive.  All they wanted were some crumbs, and they did anything to get it.  Despite their ridiculous behavior, Emily did try to save the life of a young sea-gull.  He had some plastic in his beak (he was trying to chow down on it), and Emily loves the earth, and the sea-gull species too much to let that happen.  So, she chased until he let go…

Emily works hard to save a sea-gull life

But the real highlight of the trip was running the ING Miami Half Marathon!  At the expo, I found a knee-strap and was able to run all 13.1 miles, sans ITBS pain! It was far from my best half-marathon, but I’m not allowing myself to think about it too much.  After all, my longest training run was under 5 miles.  But, Rachelle and I did learn a valuable lesson: when you don’t train, 13.1 can be quite difficult (although she TOTALLY blew my time out of the water).

Oh yeah, look at those awesome medals.

I promise I’ll recap the race tomorrow (too much to write, right now), but before I head to bed, I will leave you with the dinner Kevin and I had last night.

Yum, yum, yum! Nachos and beer!

Once we arrived back in DC, I declared that I wanted nachos.  And yes, I stuck to that declaration even after stuffing a Cosi sandwich in my face (for the record, we had skipped lunch, so that was my 4:30pm lunch.  I hope there’s no judgement).  So when we finally arrived chez moi, we went grocery store shopping for nacho ingredients.  (Plus, I had to take advantage of the fact that Kevin had a car!).  Ground beef, (Kevin’s choice!) tomatoes, red & green bell peppers, onions, cheese and chips.  Nice and simple.  And yes, I’m the fat kid that HAD to have the dollop of sour cream on the side.

How do you make your favorite nachos?

Tonight, I tried to be healthier and placed the leftover nacho fixings on a bed of salad as my dinner.  Haha, hardly qualified as healthy, but I think it was a step in the right direction 🙂

Night y’all!


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Well, hello there!

Welcome, welcome to the CandyCoatedRunner! I’m brand new to the blogging world, but I’m hoping to share some of my experiences, and hear all about yours! I love running, and usually have an upcoming race on the calendar.  In addition to my minor interests in running and candy, I’m also passionate about international development, traveling, seriously good food, and even better drinks (okay, the drinks don’t have to be that good to get my attention).

Currently, I’m training for the ING Miami Half Marathon in Miami (in 2 weeks!).  Super pumped to do my first half in OVER TWO YEARS, but even more pumped to be in MIAMI BEACH with an awesome group of friends.  Fingers are crossed that my body does not reject my current 2 week training plan…

Miami Beach? Oh yeah, I'll see you in 2 weeks!

In the meantime, I’ll continue my “training” and candy chomping (obviously with a little bit of ab work thrown in)!

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