Plattsburgh Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:39:28, 7:37 pace
Watch: 13.28 miles, 1:39:38, 7:30 pace
Overall: 43/351 AG: 3rd/53 Gender: 9/179
At the beginning of 2017 I made one of my fitness goals to break 1:40 in the half marathon and as of this weekend I can successfully cross that off my list! Going into the weekend I was honestly pretty nervous because this will probably be my last half marathon for a while and potentially for the year due to my personal and tri/marathon schedule. I was starting to put pressure on myself to hit this goal and quite honestly I hate that feeling so I tried to be as calm as possible and remind myself to have fun, it’s just running after all.
My dad was also running the race and we stayed at our condo in Lake Placid the night before so all I had to do was wake up at 5ish, eat my normal rice cake with almond butter, banana, honey, and cinnamon and then let him drive us there. I checked the weather nonstop leading up the race because the chance of rain kept showing up. And low and behold on race morning it was raining! I’m talking soak-through-your-clothes rain, not just showers. Side note- I am 2 for 2 for cold, rainy half marathons this year. But also 2 for 2 getting PRs, so maybe rain is my good luck charm! Unfortunately, we had to park a half a mile from the start but luckily I had my rain jacket with me and there was a rec center to hide out in next to the start. My dad and I wore garbage bags at the start once we couldn’t stay inside any longer, threw them off, I started my watch, then covered it (I get wayyy too obsessed with it otherwise) and we were off!
LOL, I briefly thought it was warm enough for a tank top
Honestly, a lot of this race was a mental game. One minute I was all “yes, you got this Fiona” and the next I was doubting everything and saying I was just going to slow down and finish for fun.
I wish I could remember more about each mile but they honestly seem to all blend together. At mile 2 I ran with some guy for a few miles, hoping I could hold on to his pace but he pulled away. By half way through I was like “oh wow I still have 7 miles, not sure how I am going to manage that”. I would check my watch occasionally and sometimes it would say I was going 7;20 pace, other times 7:55. So honestly I had no clue, but I did feel like I was going fast. At mile 8 we briefly went on the Plattsburgh State campus and I immediately started smiling the biggest, cheesiest grin ever. In 2012 I ran my first ever cross country race at Plattsburgh (as a junior in college). I just kept thinking about how far I’ve come and how much running has truly impacted my life. I had no idea when I stepped up to that starting line in 2012 that I would be back there five years later breaking 1:40 in a half marathon.
At this point I also started looking at my overall time and started doing mental math, which is super hard to do while running fast, this is coming from an engineer! It seemed like I would be able to do it but my watch was also beeping before the course mile markers. I ended up running 13.28 miles. I think this is because there were many sections where you would be on one side of the street and then have to cross over to the other. I tried to run the tangents where I could, but clearly failed. On the plus side, this means I was actually faster than the results show! With three miles left to go, I started feeling the effects of the race but trudged on. The last mile it really hit me though and go figure it was a mile long gradual hill (mile 13 + uphill = slowest mile of the race). I got to the oval and could see the finish line. I had 3 minutes to get half way around. I started pumping my arms and when I got to the Mile 13 marker pushed with everything in me to finish in 1:39:38.
I was super excited to find out that I also got third in my age group, which was female 20-29 years old. I got an awesome trophy for that, which they were kind enough to give me early since I had to get to a wedding. Then… I may or may not have changed into dry clothes in a Dunkin’ Donuts bathroom. A runner’s gotta do what a runner’s gotta do.
I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt in the moment. And this week I am pretty darn sore- I don’t think that dancing at a wedding later in the day helped much 😉 But I am so excited to see how my body is getting faster and stronger and I am overcoming the mental part of running, that little voice telling me I can’t do it.
Next up is 70.3 training! And then I have my eyes set on NYC Marathon. I am so excited to see what this body of mine will do for those races.
Moral of the story- Dream big. Put in the work. Stop that voice that is telling you that you can’t. You can and you will.