race report: Halloween Halfathon {2012}

This morning started before most people were headed home from the bars.. I got up at 2:15 .. I drank coffee, ate a plain bagel, took a shower, got dressed, drank more coffee, packed a to-go cup of coffee, packed another bagel and hit the road at 3:45.

It’s supposed to be a 2hr drive to Ft. Desoto from my house.. but apparently there isn’t a whole lot of traffic at that time of the morning {and I drive fast} so I arrived at 5:15.  — I’d much rather arrive early then be stressing out over traffic and parking. I’m quite content to sit in my car, listen to the radio, and have free reign over the port-o-potties.

Nothing exciting happened pre-race, like last year – I’d link the recap, but it doesn’t work since the great blog-apocalypse of 2012. Jenny & I went out for a few warm up laps about 6:45 (and stuck to well lit areas so I wouldn’t bust myself up). The National Anthem was sung, and we were off at 7:05.

My original plan was to try & PR, but the forecast wasn’t exactly ideal so I scrapped those plans and decided to just enjoy the first half of the season – not worry about my time.

The first few miles were windy, and gave us a little taste of what the last few miles of the course would be like. I attempted drafting a guy in the first few miles, but he was kind of all over the place with his pace so I gave up and passed him. Sometime in between miles 2 – 3 I lost Jenny –

I was feeling good, so I just went with it. Eventually we got out of the wind and had a nice tail wind from miles 3.5 – the turn around which is somewhere between 8 & 9 (I think).

corridor of hell

I don’t know why some areas were worse for wind than others, but around mile 10ish we hit a headwind that practically blew me backwards. It was all I could do to keep moving forward. I stopped to walk twice – I just couldn’t take it. The wind was just….brutal.

A super nice (& tall) gentleman told me to tuck in behind him! YAY! I’m not sure how far we ran like that, but it was fabulous. I could still feel the wind, but it wasn’t quite as bad. Eventually we got out of the wind and the guy told me that I should lean forward a little bit and I would be able to run through the wind better.. So in the next wind tunnel I leaned forward slightly and I was able to tackle the wind a little better. Somewhere between 11 & 12 we hit an awesome wall and I said, very loudly, “Oh shit.”   Nice draft guy laughed and said, “yeah..”

Thankfully that tunnel didn’t last long and I was able to maintain an okay pace. I picked it up the last mile and finished feeling really strong.

Halloween halfathon 2012

I have my watch set so that I can’t see my overall time, so I had no idea where I actually was in relation to my PR. When I rounded the last corner I saw that I had already passed my PR, but not by much – I was stoked! I didn’t come out to race, but ended up having a {mostly} fantastic race.

Gun time: 1:47:37
Chip time: 1:47:23
AG: 2/56
Female: 13/365
OA: 76/627

big one is my AG award, smaller one is the finishers medal. LOVE them! So pretty, so shiny!


Despite the wind I really enjoyed this race – It was the first race of our season and I felt really strong. I never felt tired – I was over the wind, but I never wanted to just quit.

My knees felt good, no IT band pain. Overall a really terrific race.

Fuel: I ate a bagel when I got up this morning, around 2:30.. I ate a few bites of another bagel in the car around 5:45.

I brought 2 gels on the course, but I dropped one at mile 4 – I could have stopped to pick it up, but I didn’t feel like it. I took my only gel at mile 4.5 …. The course offers gatorade (barf), water & oranges (barf). I took water at 4.5, 6.5 & 8.5(ish) .. small sips – It wasn’t hot, and I never felt thirsty.

As always Chris Lauber threw down an awesome event! So organized, and well run. Looking forward to the Holiday Half on December 9th!


16 thoughts on “race report: Halloween Halfathon {2012}

  1. Congrats on a quick run! I wish I’d found a nice person to run behind. That would have helped. I’ve never run through wind like that, even in training. And what a pretty AG award! I’m posting my whole recap tomorrow or Wednesday. I really enjoyed the race overall; it was my first time doing any in this series.

    • I avoid running in the wind at all costs during training. Every race i’ve ever run in Ft.Desoto has had wind at some point, i guess it can’t be avoided. I LOVE Chris’ races, they are always well organized, and a lot of fun. Are you going to do anymore in the series?

  2. Congrats! Those medals are cool! Wind is the worst, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that spots the tall people to run behind 🙂 I wish we had a group of half races like that, I’d run them all!

  3. Congratulations!! What a speedy race. I think you would have definitely hit that PR if you hadn’t had the wind to deal with. Nice work in your AG placing too. Maybe someday I shall place in a 1/2… (I need to find a small one.:-)

    • Small halfs are the way to go! I wasn’t expecting to place – I looked up the girls who placed ahead of me last year and they were all registered to run.. Not sure what happened there, except we were all fighting the same wind, so maybe I just had a better day

  4. I’m doing the Holiday Halfathon and I’m signed up for the one in March. Are you doing the others? I would have loved to do the Clearwater one in January as a half or full, but I’m doing Disney the weekend before.

    • I will probably run the rest of the series – I’m already registered for Holiday Half – If I’m going to run 2, I might as well run all 4 🙂

  5. GREAT job out there!! dang, in those kinds of conditions to be that close to ur PR that says a lot! way to stay tough out there and get ‘er done. it’s always a bummer when u go in and the weather isn’t idea, so it takes a tough runner to not use that as an excuse and still run hard. great job girl, and okay, i luv those little racing shorts u wore! 🙂

    • I was totally planning to wimp out and just run easy but I felt good so I went for it! The shorts are nike compression shorts. I LOVE them. I’ve found them at Ross 2 or 3 times and cleaned them out of their stock in my size 🙂 Can’t beat a pair of Nike shorts for 8.99 vs 25.99 at sports authority or on the nike website.

  6. I know I’m late, but AWESOME race Jena!! I’m kicking myself that I didn’t catch this one since I found out the other day I’m looking to do the other 3 in this series :/

    • thanks! The series is really great – Chris has a great organization, and he puts on some great races. You should definitely check them out if you’re able to!

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