Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Hobble Creek Half Marathon Recap

Where to even begin? This half marathon story has a pretty big backstory that some of you may have been following along the way. But for those who haven't, I'll try to keep the backstory short.  Last year I decided that I'd train for a 10k. I've really only done 5ks except for one relay marathon years ago. While training for that 10k I got injured with Pes Anserine Bursitis and had to take time off instead of race. While I was recovering from that injury the Boston Marathon happened and I watched it and got really inspired. My cousin, Ashley, texted me the next day asking if I wanted to do a half marathon with her. I didn't even hesitate a second before I answered that I, of course, wanted to do this! We decided on finding a race for late summer so that I would have time to recover and we would have a good amount of time to train.

Fast forward to August.  I trained for 4 months, I had worked really really hard and I was really excited and really nervous.  We were almost to race day, two weeks out, and a wildfire started up in the canyon neighboring the one the race was at. And it was bad. The air quality in our area was bad enough that we were told to try to stay indoors as much as possible. My asthma acted up, this has only happened one time before, and I started to worry because it hurt to breathe and I couldn't stop coughing. Thank heaven for my Dr brother, I was able to keep running indoors, and outdoors on good days, with my inhaler and some allergy medicine. But the air didn't seem to be getting any better until a couple of days before the race. On top of that, my knee started to bother me and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to run in any way. Thank heaven for friends who are PT's and willing to work me into a last minute schedule. After a worried text to see if he thought it was ok for me still to run it, he called me and told me to come in before the race to get it taped and told me to rest until the race, then take ibuprofen before the race.

Race day! I was so nervous about my knee and so excited! The air was CLEAR! The temperature was perfect and I can't tell you how smoothly everything went. I got up at 4:45, got dressed, had a piece of banana bread and some water and went to pick Ashley up and we got to the busses right as they were loading. We got on the last bus, she handed me a honey stinger waffle. (you're not really supposed to try anything new before a race but I trusted her with it and I needed to eat something else with my ibuprofen) I am so glad I had that!

We got off the bus and waited for the bathrooms for about 10 minutes. Then we walked up to the starting line. I know some people were not happy about having to walk 3/4 mile up, but I was completely fine with it. It gave me a chance to calm some nerves and it helped me warm up a bit.

Once the race started I knew I needed to use the bathroom again. Ashley and I ran together for the first mile. It was awesome to get to talk to her for a little while before I made the bathroom stop 1 mile down the course.  I was in there for maybe 10 seconds and by the time I got out she was so far ahead, I really thought that there was no way I'd catch back up. So I started to focus on my pace and how my body was feeling.

After a couple of miles, I could still see Ashley and I realized that I probably could catch up to her. I really wanted to run with her for a little while. So I picked it up just a little, ran through one of the water stations and finally after 6ish miles caught up. So we ran together for about a mile before she told me that I was pacing around a 7:30-minute mile at that point. Then she started talking me into running ahead. I kept telling her I thought that if I ran at a faster pace that my knee would get worse and I didn't think I could finish. But she was persistent so I decided to go ahead. I was too much in my own head at that point and didn't realize that I really did have more to give. So I kept a steady pace and pushed ahead.

About mile 9 the course started to flatten out and get more uphills than downhills. Lucky for me, I trained a whole ton of uphills so they didn't slow me down too much, but I did start progressively getting slower and about mile 10, my knee started to bother me more and more. There was no way I was going to DNF by that point because I'd worked so hard, I had gotten that far and I knew I could finish.

Mile 11 I slowed down A LOT. But I knew that I was far enough ahead to still make my goal of finishing in under two hours so I wasn't all that worried about it. I let myself slow down as long as I didn't stop. For the last two miles, I'm pretty sure my pace was slower than a 10-minute mile (I don't have a Garmin or anything so I can't be 100% sure but it felt really slow).

I finished at 1:47:25, taking 3rd in my age group and 48th in the overall women's. Ashley finished pretty soon after me and she said that her energy gels had fallen out of her pocket and we realized I had the rest in my Roosport which I had forgotten about or I would have tried one.

Please forgive the blurriness of this picture. It was actually a video of my finish :)

This course was amazing. It was so pretty! The temperature was perfect. When the sun came up it was at our backs the whole time so there was no squinting.

The course was also really well marked. I can honestly say I didn't question where I was supposed to be going the entire time we were running. There were a good amount of aid stations too.  After the race, they had creamies and fruit for us.

I will definitely be running more races like this. Maybe not super soon, because my body needs some recovery time, but I'll be doing it again. It was such a fun experience and a perfect course!

What race is on your bucket list?

How many races do you do a year? 

Do you have an all-time favorite race?


  1. Wow Jenny! Congrats on your awesome finish time WITH all of the obstacles that you had to go through. I race a few 5ks and 10ks a year and this will be my 4th year running a marathon relay. I've run the course in sequence, so next year I will be able to say that I've run one marathon with a finish time of 5 years:-)

    1. Thank you so much! I love that you’ve done so many relays. Which one is it? That will be awesome for you to finish the last leg. I want to hear how that goes! I hope you have a great day!

  2. It sounds like you went through quite a lot before race day! I am happy that it all turned out okay and that you were able to complete the race you trained so hard for!

    1. I feel like things like this end up happening a lot of time when a big race gets close haha. Thanks! I'm super glad I was able to run it!

  3. Huge congratulations to you! So glad that your knee was feeling ok. Sounds like you really crushed it!

  4. Great recap, and awesome finish time! I aim to do quite a few races every year since I started running again last year. My bucket list race is the Chicago Marathon (hoping I can run it next year)!

    1. I love that. I'm hoping that I will be healthy enough to do more races per year. This last year had a lot of injury involved. I hope you get to the Chicago Marathon!

  5. Lady, you rocked your first half! That is so wonderful!
    I hope you can rock more and more races!
    My bucket list race is the maui marathon!
    I used to race about 10-15 times a year but have been off a few years due to injury.

  6. 10-15! Thats amazing! How far were those? That sounds so fun. Oooo, Maui, I'd run that just to have an excuse to go to Maui. Thanks so much. Have a great day Esther!