by now you know: Brandon 1/2 race report

Remember when Sarah from OUAL ran a “secret” marathon? No? Do you read her blog? You should, you’re seriously missing out if you don’t.

Anyways, after proclaiming to the world that she was going to “SUB4ORDIE” at the Long Beach Marathon, and then not running a SUB4 she decided a secret marathon was in order.

She’s smart, that Sarah. Racing in secret is kind of hard, but kind of fun. After my failed attempt at a 1:50 or better at the Women’s Half, I felt bad/sad/mad.  I needed another race to run, quick. The Striders are running a local half on December 11th, but it’s not a course I’m thrilled about.

Someone mentioned that the Brandon 1/2 was on Dec 4th and that I should check it out. The race is a small race, 330 participants today, and it’s an out-and-back course (my favorite). On Tuesday, a few days after the Women’s Half, I rec’d an e-mail from offering 51% off the already low price of $35.. $17 for a half? Duh. sign me up.

I’m a super anxious person, and the anxiety over the WHM was almost unbearable. So, I decided that in order to avoid all the pre-race/race day anxiety, I would run this half under the radar.

I told a few friends, Chris & my Mom. This week, leading up the race, I felt great. No pressure, no anxiety, I barely even felt like I was running a 1/2 on Sunday. Quite the difference from the WHM.

Race Day:

Unfortunately Brandon is about 1.5hrs from me, so I had to get up super early (3:30). For breakfast I ate a toasted bagel with butter (mmmm) had a cup of coffee with my bagel, and a 2nd one in the car.

I arrived at 6, picked up my shirt & number, and then just relaxed in my car. Not much to do at 6am, pretty much no one is tweeting, no one is on facebook, and I can only read so many blogs from my iPhone before I start to go cross-eyed.

At 7:01 the gun sounded, and we were off. I told myself that I was just going to run this race like a long run. I wasn’t stressing out over this race.

Next time I should look @ the course map a little closer because I had no idea when a water stop was coming up. I’m not even sure there was any rhyme or reason to the water stops. It felt like they were just scattered sporadically through out the course.

I had no idea there would actually be a causeway on causeway blvd. Huh, who would have thought? The causeway was in the first 1/2 mile of the race and you know what that means on an out-and-back course…that stupid thing would be in the last 1/2 mile as well. bummer dude.


I made sure not to go out to fast. I didn’t want to crash & burn. I didn’t get caught up in the crowd, I looked at my watch pretty often the first 2 miles to make sure I wasn’t going to fast. It was difficult to watch so many people pass by, but it was probably more difficult for them when I passed them later in the race. I actually did end up passing quite a few people through out miles 5-9. I picked a person ahead of me and then focused on passing them. I know one girl just ran the WHM and I was pretty sure that she started out way to fast. I don’t know her name, so I can’t check her time, but I got ahead of her by quite a bit. There was another female in turquoise spandex shorts that I was behind for quite a few miles, and finally I was able to pick her off. I think she finished just behind me. Picking people off is kind of fun Smile with tongue out

I started really feeling tired around mile 10. I don’t know what it is about miles 9 & 10, but they seem to be a breaking point for me. Thankfully I didn’t fall completely apart. My last 3 miles were slower than the pace I wanted, but I’ll take it. The causeway at 12.something nearly killed me. I think I stopped once, maybe twice on the causeway.. it wasn’t fun.

The course: was boring, but I pretty much knew this going into the race. It’s what I wanted. I wanted a low-key, out & back race course. There was little to no spectators for the majority of the course. As I said before, the water stations were weird. Some of them were set back off the road which left the volunteers running from the table back out to the runners with cups of water. It was strange, but I got water at every station so I guess it works.

I took two gels, but I’m not exactly sure where. I normally take one around 4ish, and another around 8. I think I took the first one somewhere between 4 & 5, and the 2nd one I stupidly took at mile 10. The 8-9mi water stop snuck up on me and I didn’t have time to take the gel before I hit the water stop.

Overall a good race. I’m just not a rainbows & butterflies kind of person during 13.1 miles. I am SUPER DUPER happy with my time !! I’m excited to see a 4 in that second digit spot!

Alright. Enough talking. Here’s the splits:image
and the rest of the deets:
Chip time: 1:49:19
Gun time: 1:49:25

AG: 4/22
Sex: 22/142
OA: 114/330



Now I can stop fretting over that sub 1:50 time goal, and move on with my life! Not sure what is next up on the calendar. I’m planning a 1/2 in January, I just don’t know which one yet.


16 thoughts on “by now you know: Brandon 1/2 race report

  1. When I saw your tweet w/ your time I was seriously wondering how I missed that you were running another 1/2 this wknd. Now I get it – you did it without telling! Sneaky 🙂 Glad it worked out so well for you. Congratulations on your 1:49.

    • Ha Ha! It was REALLY REALLY hard not to say anything about the race. I barely blogged last week because I was barely running. It was tough. It was especially tough to keep it a secret from the running group, or anyone else that I Talked to about racing! I’m so stoked for my time!!!

  2. So happy for you!! I know how hard you’ve work to go sub 1:50 – and how much it meant to you! I think taking off the stress of a situation is super important- and you have just shown us how much of a difference it can make!!
    Congrats agaiN! (Oh.. and Colby whined three small whines in his crate when justin brought him in.. and then slept. WIN!)

    • Oh man! I’m so happy with my time!! Now I can’t wait for the next half !! But I think I feel less pressure all around since I got that 1:4X now.. Obviously I want to keep it in the 4’s, but at least I know I can run that time! Glad Colby-dog is adjusting well !! (uhm, i have a million nicknames for my dogs, so i’ll start making up some for yours too! ha ha)

  3. Congrats Jena! You did it!

    Nothing like a bad race to really fire you up for the next one. I thought you were going for the one on the 11th. Can’t beat a $17 entry fee. and all the other pieces fell into place nicely too.

    This is the best time of year to race on Florida. You’re just at the beginning of a hot streak of PR’s 🙂

    • Yippeeeeee (this is my new favorite word!) I was so upset after the WHM, and then when that email came for 51% off the race fee it was like a sign from above that I was supposed to run this race!! I love this time of year in Florida.. RACE SEASON! YAYYYY

    • Thanks! I’m still getting used to those mile splits! Sometimes I can’t believe that I can manage a run that fast!! It’s fantastic! It feels really funny to run a slower run around a 8:45-9, and be like, “yah, i was just taking it easy.” ha, it’s weird. 🙂

  4. Awesome. Congrats!! That’s a fantastic time and I know you have put in so much work to get there.

    And a $17 half entry fee??? Heck yeah!!

    Congratulations again.

    • Thanks! I feel like I can relax a little bit now that I got that 1:49.. I get freakishly obsessive about race times I guess. and yes $17 for a half. I would have been a darn fool not to run!

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