Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon Recap

It was colder than I planned when I woke up this morning so I had to do some last minute outfit changes. I settled on my favorite capris and what Tom calls my chain mail shirt.

Buddy was very confused by all this early morning activity.

I got a lot of compliments on my shirt and it kept me just the right temperature the whole race! I of course wore my PureFlows, because they are the best.

I knew from the course map that it was going to be a hilly race and I was hoping to finish at around 2 1/2 hours. I didn't check my pace very often and ran based on effort instead.

The race starts right by the Hudson river, which was beautiful, but not enough to distract me from the freezing wind.

I started the race with a side cramp. Awesome. It was so cold/windy at the start that it took me a bit to get going and the side cramp did not help. The first mile was by far my slowest mile (11:45), but once I was warmed up I started to feel a lot better.

They make you run past the finish line right at the start, which I think is cruel.

Mile 4 I took my first GU and it definitely gave me a pick-me-up. My fastest miles were 5-9, all of which were under ten minutes each. My fastest mile was mile 7 (9:22), which had a decent amount of level and downhill running.

There were SO many hills. Some of them felt like they would never end!

 There were some really funny signs along the course:

And some very pretty views:

There was an absolutely killer hill right around mile 9. It was the only part of the course that was gravel and I almost wiped out tripping over a stick on the way back down the hill. It didn't help that I was trying to unpin my GU from my pants at the time. Trail running and I are not the best of friends.

I knew what to expect for the last two miles of the race as the 10K that I ran in October follows the same course. I knew we were getting close and I wanted to keep my pace up, but I also knew that right at mile 13 was going to be the steepest hill of the entire race.

I chugged up the hill, managed to gather myself up, and once I had the finish line in sight I started sprinting. The time on the clock was close to my best half marathon time and I realized there was a chance that I could beat that time. Not only that, I love finishing a race in a dead sprint, it makes me feel strong and awesome. It doesn't hurt that I passed three people in the last few yards.

My clock time ended up being 2:17:04 and my chip time was 2:16:26 - both of which are faster than my previous PR!

Tom's mom found me at the finish line with flowers from Tom, and I completely forgot to have her take a picture of me with my medal! I took one in the car when I remembered. It was really fun having someone at the finish line though - I've never had that at a race before!

We'll see if I can track myself down in any official photos when they have them out.

For now I'll just enjoy my flowers, watch both Hunger Games movies, relax on the couch, and order Chinese food. 

And start thinking about my next race... :)

Do you start thinking about what you want your next race to be right after you finish a race?


  1. Great pictures of the race! And very pretty flowers!

  2. Looks like a fun race! You did awesome :)

  3. Kickin' ass as per usual I see :) Congrats on the new PR!

    1. Thanks! I was expecting so much slower so it was a nice surprise! :)


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