I Ran A Half Marathon This Morning…And No, I’m Not Too Thrilled About It

Posted: October 8, 2011 at 10:36 am

Alternate titles to this post:

  • I Promise I’m Not Always This Stupid
  • Mile Markers Stole My Thunder
  • Seriously? Seriously?!?

So, Saturday means long run day for me. I have four weeks until my first half marathon (or official half marathon…but we’ll get to that in a minute). For my last four weeks, I had a game plan. It went something like this:

  • Oct 8 – 12 mile run
  • Oct 15 – 15K race with Lee (in a week?! that one snuck up on me!)
  • Oct 22 – 12 miles again
  • Oct 29 – 10 miles (still good distance, but not as high before race day)
  • Nov 5 – Savannah RNR, baby!!!!

I wanted to fit in a couple of 12 miler runs to help myself feel better prepared, mentally and physically for my run.

In my mind, 12 made the perfect distance to feel more than ready for a half marathon distance, but to still make hitting 13.1 special.

I can’t tell you how many times the image of crossing the Savannah RNR finish line and achieving that goal has motivated me on my long runs. Keeping 13.1 special means a lot to me. I wanted to save it for race day.

Notice that? I wanted to save it for race day.

It may make me a whiny, bratty witch to complain about that…but it bothered me. Allow me to pitch a hissy fit for a few minutes? I promise to get over it by the end of this post.

For my run this morning, I didn’t want to worry about my pace in hitting a new PDR of 12 miles. I strapped on my Garmin but told myself to avoid looking at it at all costs. I did a very good job of that and solely used the mileage markers on the running path to guide my run.

When I thought I had reached 6 miles based on the markers, I checked my Garmin while grabbing my Gu from my Spibelt. It read 6.36 miles. Oh, great. There was nothing I could do about it, besides turn around and run back. I would just end up with about .7 miles extra on my run.

Then…I had to take a pit stop to the bathroom on the way back. The bathroom is off a side trail, that I thought would be relatively short. It was .2 miles each way. Can you do the math? 6.36 + 6.36 + .2 + .2 = right at 13.1 miles.

IMGP1962-1

My special distance. The distance I wanted to hit crossing a finish line, with my husband watching me and then get the chance to celebrate the heck out of that day later with friends. I ended the run feeling strong, but kind of gipped.

I know full well that being able to run 13.1 miles is nothing to whine about. I will still feel so proud crossing the finish line. I feel in awe of my body today that it accomplished that distance.

Thanks for letting me gripe. First, I’m going to have Makenzie help me learn how to count. Then, I’m going to knock some sense into myself and get over it. Feel free to help me out. Punch 

  • Do you get emotionally attached to reaching goals at all?

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37 Comments to “I Ran A Half Marathon This Morning…And No, I’m Not Too Thrilled About It”
  1. I understand what you’re saying, I left the 13.1 until race day last year too, only doing 12 miles as my longest. Look at it this way…now you know you can do it! PS-i bet you’ll end up running more than 13.1 on race day, courses are never exact and you’re never running every tangent so you’ll still hit a new PDR ;)

  2. Samantha says:

    As much as it is exciting to be able to run that distance, I can totally understand the emotional attachment to a goal.

    When I ran my first half marathon – I got wicked excited when I hit 11 miles, then 12, etc… as they were all PDRs for me.

    The same when I hit 21 miles on my first full.

    When I ran my 2nd marathon I had a goal in mind that I was EXTREMELY confident I was going to hit. I lost it by almost an hour. I PR’ed, by 6 minutes, but still. It was 3 weeks ago and I’m still pretty miffed, because I made some serious mistakes during the race that cost me. It wasn’t smart, but I really wanted that goal.

    I’m hoping to make up for it with a much smarter race – another half – next Sunday!

    Good luck with your race – it will still be extremely special!

  3. Christy says:

    I can totally relate to your disappointment. Although that hasn’t happened to me, I would feel the same way. I am training for my first half marathon too!

  4. I completely understand! I am training for a half and have the same process planned. But maybe if you focus on running the race faster than you ran today, you will get some of that feeling of accomplishment back. Congrats on finishing 13.1, though. That is something to be proud of!

  5. Kara says:

    This post cracked me up because I was trying to picture accidentally running 50 miles. Haha :)

  6. Bari says:

    I know exactly how you feel. The race distance is supposed to be special, at least it is in my mind too. I have issues with training plans that take you past race distance (although I know you hitting 13.1 today was for a different reason). HUGE issues. I know they are out there and they are written that way for people hoping to hit certain time goals, but it takes away from the race experience. It’s the same reason I won’t run an entire race’s course before a race. I might run parts of it or do parts in a different order, but I won’t run the race distance or the actual course.

    For my first marathon next week, seeing 21 and up on my garmen and on the mile markers is going to be huge for me. In fact, I’m hoping I don’t turn into a blubbering mess each time because it’s really hard to run and cry at the same time.

    Congrats on hitting your distance though – and with a great time, too! Be proud of that!

  7. Lisa says:

    I feel ya. I felt the same way about my cycling events. I didn’t want to do 72 miles in training I wanted to do it on race day!

  8. Khushboo says:

    WOW congrats on the PDR- that’s awesome! I know you’re worried that the actual race will be anti-climatic but I’m pretty sure that won’t be the case considering the atmosphere. Also another relief is there won’t be pre-race jitters because you know you CAN do it :) ! Celebrate your achievement, my friend….13.1 miles is fabulous!

  9. Lee says:

    I ran 11.6 miles last Sunday instead of 11, so it definitely happens. Even though I understand being disappointed that your race won’t be your PDR, you’ll feel totally different finishing it than you do finishing a training run.

    Yes, the 15K totally snuck up on me too! I’ll email you later in the week and we can coordinate more.

  10. Aww that doesn’t make you a whiner at all. I’d be kind of bummed out too but just look at it like a dress rehearsal and focus on finishing even stronger for the actual race… and it will feel totally different with people cheering you on at the finish line.

    Good luck on your 15K next weekend.

  11. lindsay says:

    sometimes that can be a good thing! you are prepared for the mileage and can enjoy the efforts come race day. Just make sure to take it easy the next couple runs. Recover well. But congrats woman!

    • Tina says:

      Oh, yes. I’m resting up tomorrow. already iced, foam rolled, stretched…and this week is a recovery week. Thank goodness!

  12. Totally awesome that your body was able to power through those miles! But I completely understand what you’re saying! And I think you have a right to complain about it….it makes sense to want to save that for a special moment :) .

  13. Maren says:

    I get super sentimental about stuff like this so I 100% get it. I would be really upset too. The good news is that you know you can do the whole 13.1 on race day.

  14. YES! OMG! I can relate to this post SO much!

    I hate achieving my goals before i actually want to achieve them! LOL

  15. My first half marathon training plan – the Jeff Galloway beginner half plan for run/walkers – had my last long run as 14.5 miles. I didn’t get it, nor did I end up running it because I got crazy sick the few weeks before Disney. But if anything, that longer distance was there to build confidence. You know you can do it – now do it again in a few weeks!!

  16. Jobo says:

    Must be the day of woops runs! I ran 11.11 miles by accidentally going down a wrong turn (looking for a slightly different route), rather than 6! Huge difference (though I’m glad I still have distance in me!), and I really get wanting to save that distance for your race, so I’m glad you vented and feel better. It will feel different and you will still have that awesome feeling at the end! And hey, awesome job today btw!!

  17. Brittany says:

    I totally understand why you would feel upset! But just think of how great it will still feel when you cross that finish line. Although you’ve already run 13.1 miles, it will be a completely different experience because it will be race day and a totally different environment and attitude! You will do awesome :D

  18. Lauren says:

    I would totally feel that way too. But here’s what I would do about it. There are so many times that my Garmin is a little “off” from what I expect the course to be or what I know the course actually is. So I’d work really hard at convincing myself that the Garmin was wrong and I’d only done 12.75 or something. ;)

    Regardless, you will still feel incredible crossing that finish line with Peter there to celebrate.

    Congratulations on a great run!

  19. Even though you feel that you didn’t get the special celebration the distance deserves, believe me, in 4 weeks, it will still feel that much more special! Crowds, other runners, swag bags, and just the race atmosphere make racing special. I could run a 5K every day, but it still won’t be as special as crossing that finish line. So, don’t feel like you’re missing out too much – it will still feel amazing!

  20. I get it. I understand your frustration/disappointment. Gripe away. I’m glad you griped, though, because my old training plan (read: the training plan I was on before I got so off track after vacation that I had to create a new one) had me running 13 miles the last 2 or 3 weeks before my half marathon (the week after yours).

    I thought that was great because I’d be prepared and I was upset that the longest distance I’d run before the 1/2 would be 12. I didn’t think about making my first half special by never having run that far before. Now that you’ve said that, I think I’m going to stick with the twelves (because I was going to work a 13 in there) and be happy about it.

    Thanks for the perspective!

  21. Kellie says:

    75% of this battle is mental, and you had a mental goal and picture in your mind. I understand your disappointment. Don’t let it get you down. You’re a rockstar! Think about it this way, you did it…but you WILL run faster on race day because it’s a race. :)

  22. Meagan says:

    That’s so funny. I ran 13.1 this morning on the treadmill, which is my longest distance to date, and all I’ve been able to think about all day is – “I just ran a half marathon this morning on the treadmill – how freaking AWESOME is that!?!”

    Of course I don’t have any races planned but I still think you should bask in the glory of 13.1 miles which is an AWESOME accomplishment!

  23. Well I know you wanted to save those miles for the actual race – but way to go my friend!!! And even though you ended up doing 13.1 before the race, trust me, they will still be sooo incredibly special that day.

  24. Kelly says:

    I hate to be the voice of negativity here Tina but 13.1 miles regardless when you run it is amazing. There are a lot (A LOT) of people out there who can’t run that distance either because they mentally or physically aren’t strong enough. And they would probably give just about anything to complain about running 13.1 miles at any point in their life…training run, race, just for fun, etc. So while I kind of get that you are upset I think that race day will be special no matter what. Of all the things to complain about I would think this wouldn’t be that high on someone’s life list. Sorry. I don’t mean to be insensitive (you know I love you) but my advice is to just be thankful and grateful for what you did and move on.

    • Tina says:

      Not the voice of negativity at all. I logically knew all that and hated to be upset at all about running 13.1…but the emotional side of me still wanted it to be special.

  25. Amy Lauren says:

    Your race will still be special. Races are always more special than training runs of the same distance. I mean running a treadmill 5K is just like whatev but no matter what in a race it’s more exciting. Even if I walked it in a race, I think I’d be more exciting- just because that’s how races are. You’ll love doing the half :) . And congrats on that awesome time too!

  26. Caroline says:

    I just walked a half marathon a few weeks ago. Maybe not as difficult as running it, but I wanted to cry with joy a little bit when I finally finished. I’ve had this goal for a year, and I finally did it! Congrats on your half marathon run this morning!

  27. Aw, I’d be upset if that happened to me, too, but at least now you KNOW you can make it the 13 miles, because you did! Now you can use that confidence to help you run an even stronger race in 4 weeks :)

  28. Aww, Tina. I understand that concern. But guess what, you’re probably going to run like 13.2+ on your half! There will be a little distance gained from going around people at the start and from not running the shortest tangents. I ran 13.28 in Virginia Beach! So you may not have run the total distance you’re going to run race day. You’re still good, girl!! And you’re going to kill your half! I’m so excited to hear about it :)

  29. Jess says:

    You know what? I can totally see why you were a little bummed that you hit that magic 13.1 before your race. It’s something you’ve been working so hard towards and suddenly, bam – it happens without you even meaning for it to. But on the OTHER hand? You DID it already and at a great pace!! Which means you’re totally gonna kill this half and it’s going to be amazing :-)

    PS. we were on a virtual rundate on Saturday without even planning to! I got my 12.5 mile long run in yesterday and it was gorgeous weather for it!! Felt good almost the whole time too, aside from a coupla side cramps :)

  30. [...] running a half marathon yesterday, my body wanted to do nothing today. Mentally, I’m over the whole thing and not frustrated [...]

  31. Coco says:

    LOL. I thought I’d miss your Half! Nice run anyway. :-P

  32. Amy says:

    I thought that I’d missed the opportunity to say good luck in your half. You had me sweating a little!
    You should be proud of your ‘rehearsal’ half and you know you can do it now so you don’t need to stress out on the morning of the actual performance :)

  33. Katrina says:

    My first time reaching 13.1 was during a 10 mile race. Yep. Mile markers were stolen off the trail and my herd of runners wound up going way too far on and out and back. When we crossed the line, I had run/walked/waddled 14.5 miles. I was a teeny bit miffed.

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