Sunday, November 11, 2012

Huntsville Half Marathon

The Huntsville Half Marathon was held on Saturday, November 10, 2012.  Rick and I were both able to run since we had sitters for the kids at the race.  This race has a big turnout of nearly 900 people, including a couple who got married during the race (see here)!  The weather was almost 50 degrees and sunny at the start.  

I'd had a bad cough that had been lingering for over a week, but it wasn't bothering me too much this morning.  I didn't train hard for this race (Rick's been out of town some the last 2 weeks so I've had limited running), but I figured I was in decent shape and would try to get close to my time from last year (1:30:53).

I went into the race much too fast.  Not seeing the first mile marker was hard for me, though I somewhat judged my time by the people I knew around me.  I vied for a spot among the top women during the first few miles.  Kathy and I went back and forth a little and ran together some, and Kylie and I did the same until I passed her around Mile 5.  At Mile 8, Kathy kept going and I fell back.  I knew I'd started too fast and saw my splits get higher and higher.  I think being sick all week took a lot of my strength and energy today, and I just tried to hold on as long as I could.  I was doing some bad math in my head and thought I could still PR, but I missed it by 30 seconds.  My time was 1:31:17, a time I'm happy with given the conditions for me today.  

A new friend and blog reader, Alison Fields, took this picture of Kathy and me approaching Mile 7.  We are on the greenway section of the course.

Kathy and Katie
Picture by Alison Fields

Miles 1-2 13:29
Mile 3 6:47
Mile 4 6:57
Mile 5 6:37
Mile 6 6:50
Mile 7 6:55
Mile 8 7:02
Mile 9 7:12
Mile 10 7:07
Mile 11 7:07
Mile 12 7:32
Mile 13 +.1 7:37
1:31:17 Official Time (7:00 pace)
4th Overall Female

A Few Numbers:

*So here are the ages of the top 8 woman: 26, 38, 22, 35, 25, 24, 26, 28.  Kathy is 38, and I am 35.  She remarked after the race that we are still running strong, just as we were a decade ago.  I am proud to have held my own amongst all of the youngsters in this race!  

*A generic rule-of-thumb is that you take your half marathon time, double it, and then add 10 minutes, and you get what you can run a marathon in.  Well, if you apply that formula to my half today, you will get 3:12:32, almost to the second what I got in Baltimore last month (3:12:31).  McMillan calculates my half marathon time at 1:31:29 given my Baltimore time.  So my half marathon time correlates very well with my recent marathon time.

It was great having Gregg Gelmis take pictures of us before and after the race.  Below are Julia and Kylie with me.  Both girls did amazing out there today too.  Julia got a PR of 1:37 and ran a good race.  Kylie is proving to be tough competition for me.  We are both pushing each other at many local races.  Her strength is definitely in the 5Ks and 10Ks, but she is training for her first marathon now, and I'm sure she will do well at that distance too.

Katie, Julia, and Kylie
Running group friends Allison and Michelle also finished strong today.  I am wearing a finisher's shirt from today's race in this picture.

Julia, Katie, Allison, and Michelle
Kathy placed first in our age group but got an overall prize, leaving me to get first in the age group.  This race has the best age group awards I've ever seen.  For ONE race, I got a coffee mug with race logo, nice glass plaque, reflective runner's vest (got one last year and LOVE it and wear it all the time), AND gift card to Fleet Feet.  Awesome prizes!

LOTS of goodies!
Closing Thoughts
I would love to train for and race another half marathon.  Doing only one a year doesn't give me much room for improvement, especially since I was getting over an illness today.  I am considering adding one more half marathon into my winter racing schedule.  I would love to get my time under 1:30 one day, and I think I could if I trained more specifically for this distance.


  1. You are right- lots of great swag from that race!! Congrats on a solid run- especially considering you weren't feeling 100% AND you are running this a few weeks after a marathon.

    If you live around a half marathon in the spring you should definitely put one in your schedule! I'm sure based on your other race times you could go under 1:30! I wish we had more HM options around here. There are several from October-December but not as much in the spring.

    Congrats on the AG win too! You've been on a roll!

    1. There is one in Birmingham in February that may fit in perfectly in my schedule--can drive there the morning of. Question is, how badly do I want this?? I'm not used to traveling for halfs, and that is why the Huntsville Half always appealed to me. Thanks for the nice words of encouragement too!

    2. If you could drive there in the morning that is not bad at all!! If it wouldn't be too hard on your family and if you could fit it in your schedule I say go for it! It would be great training for LRM! :-)

  2. Congratulations on your AG win! I saw you on the greenway on the way back and you looked like you were having a really strong race. I would have had no idea you weren't feeling well. Did you see where there's going to be a half marathon in Scottsboro on March 30?

    1. Hi Suz, I may check that one out, but it would be after the Little Rock Marathon I'm doing, and I'm not sure the timing will be right. I hope we can meet up at a race sometime soon. I would like to meet you in person!

  3. Sounds like a tough and awesome day all in one! I love the AG prizes! I don't think I've received anything for an AG win, so yay you! I think whenever you only get to race a distance once a year, it can be hard (precisely because life is life and you can be sick or injured or recovering on race day). I love winter halfs! My favorite half is in February!

    1. I love AG prizes, and our area gives lots of things away. My favorites are the Fleet Feet gift cards and things I can use--like the vest. I've also gotten arm warmers and a nice hat. I use them all the time! I am possibly going to try a February half this year if it fits into my marathon training. GREAT job on your 3:11 by the way!

  4. Congrats on a great race! You are super speedy! Some of my running buddies ran it and saw the couple getting married. I don't know why I didn't sign up. I'd be running Rocket City if I wasn't expecting. Good luck on a special race. I guess Mercedes is that "special" race for me. :)

  5. Congrats on your AG win! I am amazed that you ran so fast despite being sick. You're one tough chick! I like that the women in their 30s are still going strong! That's awesome that you and Kathy were in the top 8!