Rutgers Half Marathon Recap

It’s Boston marathon Monday!

Despite my mile long to do list, I’m hoping to watch as much as possible of the live feed and cheer on many friends running.  It’s a beautiful weekend for running, but just a tad bit warm!

Rutgers expo with L

I had a great time running the Rutgers half marathon yesterday.  I felt really strong and ready for it, although I was a bit disappointed by the final results.  Here’s the story:

The race was really well organized.  I went with a friend and we parked at the finish and took the shuttle to the start, where I checked my gear bag.  Everything went smoothly and we weaved through the crowd to find our starting pace flags.

As we took off, I started my watch- only to learn 6 minutes later as it threatened to power off that it never actually started.  I found the satellite again and started it toward the end of mile 1.  This through me off, as I was never sure what my overall time was.

I started relatively conservatively and the paces felt easy and my legs were ready to run.

The course had a few mild rolling hills, which were reflected a bit in my paces.  It was a pretty course through the Rutger’s campus.  Miles 1-6: 7:12, 7:06, 6:59, 7:14 (hill), 7:05, 7:14 (rolling hills)

I spent the first half slowly passing people and settling into a good pace.  I was feeling confident that it was going to be a good racing day!

By the halfway mark, I was glad I had ditched my arm sleeves pre-race.  The sun was out and it was warm!

I took a Huma chia gel at mile 6 and got through about half of it.  It wasn’t sitting well in my stomach and I spent a mile or two wondering if my stomach would settle.

:Miles 7 and 8 continued to have a few rolling hills before we descended gradually during mile 9.  Splits: 7:09, 7:12, 6:59

With three miles to go, my legs were starting to feel tired and my breathing was getting heavier.  I was determined to stay within the 7:05-7:10 range in order to pr but I didn’t realize how much of the last two miles was a steady, gradual incline.  It wasn’t easy and I could feel my pace slipping.

Miles 10-12: 7:14, 7:08, 7:16

The final mile was more gradual climbing with one short steep incline before the final flat dash to the finish.  Talk about bad timing! My legs would have happily climbed that incline earlier in the course but wow, that was brutal.

Splits Mile 13 and the final .3: 7:22, 6:45

This is the first half in a long time that mile 13 was my slowest! I did still have a kick at the end, so I’m blaming the demoralizing hills.

Rutgers finish

There was no clock at the end and I still thought I had a chance of beating my pr by at least a few seconds until I checked online and saw 1:35:33… tied yet again!!

My stomach was pretty unhappy for a few hours post race so I might need to experiment with warm weather fuel.  I haven’t been training with fuel so I just hoped for the best today but something was a little off.

Honestly, I was initially bummed because I had a pretty good training cycle and really felt good in the first half.  But as I looked over my splits, I began to feel better.  My watch told me my average pace for the 13.35 was 7:10, which is technically a pr – (the long course averaged my overall pace to be 7:17, if it had been a strict 13.1).  My average watch pace in the fall was a 7:12 (again the course averaged it as 7:17).  So a 2 second improvement, right?!

Sometimes these tough just-missed-it races can be discouraging but I’m feeling happy with my overall effort and more fired up to shave some time off! I know I’ll get it one of these days.

Rutgers medal

But for now, I have the Broad Street 10 miler in 2 weeks which is my all time favorite distance, so I’ll channel my energy there!

Did you ever come within seconds of a pr?

Have you had races with challenging finishes where you watched your pace slipping away?

15 thoughts on “Rutgers Half Marathon Recap

  1. On the bright side, you are consistent! So close! And that’s so not funny when there’s a hill right at the end of the race. So cruel! Way to tough it out despite a wonky tummy and just coming back from vacation.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..BostonMy Profile

  2. I will be completely honest: it is nice to hear someone else found this race to be quite hilly and (at times) demoralizing! I have run this race multiple times, as it is right in my own “backyard” and I thought I was the only one who found it surprisingly hilly. They sort of sneak up on you, some of them, and then at the end they’re full force! I enjoyed reading your review 🙂

  3. Great race! Hills are so challenging! My next 10 mile race has hills for the first 5 miles, and then at mile 9.

  4. Hills anywhere on a racecourse are challenging. Hills at the end are just plain cruel. Congrats on a strong race despite the challenges with fuel and your Garmin. Mine pulled that trick a few years back. Not fun.

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