BOOM shaka laka-I am now a third time half marathoner. I have to admit I was slightly worried going into this race for multiple different reasons. One reason being that my training wasn’t quite on par and I actually ended up skipping my last long run due to the fact that I was a week off when I started…oops. Mentally this sort of tripped me up.
Secondly, and as much as I hate to admit to this, I was worried to be alone during this race. Emotionally this was a huge accomplishment for me and almost as if I was fully closing a door to my previous chapter in life (almost.) Running this race alone meant that if I hit the wall, I had to pull myself through. Thankfully my mind was right this entire run.
The course was amazing, with winding back roads and views of the foggy mountains and colorful leaved trees around every corner. Views of the water and farm land for 80% of the course. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful location. October is officially my favorite time of year to race. Perfect fall running month.
I prepared the day before by consuming carbs slowly throughout the entire day, and capped off my night with a giant bowl of veggies and pasta. I also made sure to guzzle water and ended off with 100oz by the end of the night. I’m OK with that!
Miles 1-8 were great. I felt strong, and I knew at this point the run was going to go well. Once I hit mile 8 I needed to stop for the bathroom..NEEDED. This added 3 minutes to my chip time, but I made sure to stop my Garmin while I…was…going to the bathroom. HA.
The hills started to get intense around mile 8. Giant hills, which would then balance out into mild, gradual hills, which would turn back into giant hills. I had to walk a few of the intense hills and I have no regrets about that. I was already sitting good for a PR.
Mile 10.5 was the game changer. I suddenly felt something sharp on both of my calves in almost the same spot on each side. I thought maybe I brushed against a thorn, but then realized that would only make sense on one side. When I looked down I got my answer. Still clinging for dear life onto my pant leg, butt inside my skin, was a hornet. Ugh. One of them fell off or escaped who knows, but I had to flick the other one off while running.
At first things felt fine, but when I got to mile 12 my calves were KILLING. All I could feel were the throbs from the stings. Of course the last 3miles were some of the hilliest and I was dyyyinnngg. Finally at mile 12.5 it was smooth sailing and the roads balanced out.
I stopped my Garmin when it reached 13.1, with a time of 2:09:28. A twelve minute PR from my last half marathon. I kept running about .1 of a mile more to cross the finish line and accept my medal. Second proudest running moment of my life. First was Disney. Along with my bee stings, I got my first subungual hematoma on my right foot. Real runner alert.
To be honest the last two weeks leading up to this race I was ready to take a break from running. I even said to myself a couple times during the race, “just finish this up and then you can take a break from running.” After getting a PR and once again experiencing that high of crossing the finish line..I already want to find another half marathon. This race empowered me in ways I thought impossible, and re-sparked my fire for running.
Thank you to all my blog friends and family for the texts, and messages wishing me luck.
Q: Do you stop your Garmin when you take a bathroom break? Maybe it’s cheating, but I always stop my watch. My time is for when I RUN, not for when I go to the bathroom!!
86 thoughts on “Poulsbo Half Marathon”
oh my, i love this re-cap….. i was stalking you and waiting for it. (creep) I didn’t realize it was a fish with legs!!! ahhh best race mascot ever. i sitll cant believe you a)PR by 12 minutes b)got stung while running c)continues and ran like the strong, independent, warrior woman you are! CONGRATSSSSSSSSSSS YAYAYAYYAYYAYYA.
I never stop my garmin when i break to make a poopy or peepee. i just do my business and continue….!
You’re my favorite creep..so please keep creeping. HAHA. Is it weird that when I stopped to poopy you were the first one I thought of? Hmmm…
WOOOOOOOOO SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!! This is awesome and congrats on the huge PR! I think it probably has a lot to do with your newfound running mentality- maybe those last few runs weren’t your best and you missed a long run, but you have a really positive outlook on the sport as a whole that is far more important than any one day. You. Are. Awesome.
YES YES YES. My mental state is the best it’s ever been with running!! Thank you friend!!
UGH. I hate having to… urm… “use the bathroom” while running a race. My first one (10 miles) was the worst run of my LIFE. 4 bathroom stops. FOUR. And I had to ask some lady for a tissue hahaha. So embarrassing. CONGRATS ON THE PR!
omg I can’t believe you got stung while running!!!! You are the definition of a CHAMP! Congrats my love!!!
Firstly, Garmin time is the only real life time. Chip time is make believe!
Secondly, HOLY PR!! And getting stung by hornets. I would have just sat down and cried, I am a very large baby about bugs and stings!
Congrats on and AMAZING race!!
Ohhh thank God..HAHA. I ALWAYS stop my watch if I stop…ALWAYS.
Change of Pace
A 12 minute PR is insane!!! Congratulations- you are amazing!
I love that physically you rocked it, but mentally too. I am really proud!
Umm, I can’t believe you got stung. You are a machine to keep going! It sounds like a gorgeous course, too.
Hop you are rewarding yourself for this!
Tessa @ Amazing Asset
There is nothing like a PR to give you a sense of pride, motivation and satisfaction, I don’t blame you for being ignited with drive toward running again! Twelve minute PR, that is fantastic stuff Brittany, especially with hornet stings! What the heck… those suckers hurt like no other, as you are well aware ha
Great job woman 🙂
Alex @ therunwithin
12 minute pr??? heck girl that is amazing! You should be totally proud of that even with a tough hilly course. You rocked it. Nothing like a race to make you running crazy, i swear it is what sparked my fire again
Congrats on your race and PR! Awesome! That sounded like such a beautiful race and I agree, I love running in the fall!! It’s so so beautiful. Oh, and I would stop the Garmin while using the bathroom too. Running is tough enough….we need all the help and morale boosts we can get!
Amy @ A Desert Girl
Looooooove!!! Congratulations. You rocked that race. A PR! A beautiful, successful run! In SPITE of those silly hornets. Well done!
wow awesome britt!!! congrats on the PR!! love the medal. omg at the hornet.
kelly @ racesrepsramblings
CONGRATS!!! Sounds like you had an awesome race, and congrats on the PR. That’s seriously fantastic!! What a feeling 🙂 Also, pretty unbelievable with the hornets, holy scary. I would’ve FLIPPED (I hate bees), so great job keeping it together. Also, most importantly congrats on running it alone and closing that chapter! I actually had a similar experience a few years ago and BOOM does it feel good to finish that thing ALL ON YOUR OWN!!! YOU GO.
WOW! I am in awe of you! Not only for your strength and endurance but for the adorable top you wore to the race and the autumn-ess pictures you took with all the props! Oh, and the yummy food. It must feel amazing to finish and finish strong! Good for you! 🙂
I love having seasonal props in my photos, even photos of random things like a running ID. Thanks for noticing!! 😉
Angela @ Health's Angel
CONGRATS! You are a rockstar and you look so cute at the start! I cannot believe that about the hornet…I would have freaked.
You are awesome! Good job! Can’t believe you got stung…twice! Way to show those hornets by finishing strong!
Heck yes!! Thank you! 🙂
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
A PR with hills AND bee stings? Holy.snap, lady… Huge accomplishment is right! I’m terrified of bees and wasps, and although I’ve gotten better at remaining calm, sometimes I still bust out the “OMG GTF AWAY FROM ME” dance, flailing limbs and all…
Congrats again ❤
Woohoo!! Congrats! And you thought you were a badass for running in the rain…now you can officially say you’ve been stung and continued to finish a race – now that screams BADASS!! haha! On to the next… 🙂
Not gonna lie…I totally had that though about 2 minutes after I got stung. I was like, “shiiiittt, if this doesn’t scream badass I don’t know WHAT does.” HAHA! Thank you!
Her Happy Balance
Congrats on your PR! And running with bees attached to your legs is crazy!!! I ran my first alone race over the summer (it was just a 5k) and I was definitely nervous about that but ended up feeling so accomplished when it was through. It’s not quite the same but still I can understand the idea of running solo being scary. Fun medal 🙂
Technically this was my second race “alone,” but it was my first “big” race alone. I ran a 5K last April alone and it was scary! My running partner couldn’t make it, so I had to drive to Seattle by myself (an hour away) and figure it out alone (I’m a wuss sometimes alone haha.) SO I know what it feels like to run a 5K alone!! It’s totally a big accomplishment, way to go!
Brittany, you are the most incredible and inspirational person I know. The emotional side of races, especially preparing for your first one alone, is even harder than the physical training, and I am so proud of you for following through, despite worrying about being a week off and having hornets attached to your calves. You are SO hardcore to keep going!
That chapter will close, eventually, once you’re ready for it to close. But that doesn’t mean it has to stay permanently shut. You’re allowed to go back and revisit memories and emotions if you ever feel like you want to. Life really is just like a book — some chapters we speed through, a few make us want to slam the book shut, and others we want to reread again and again. Your story is rich from your humor and love, and I’m grateful that you share so much of it with us on your blog!
Amy, your comments are always SO sweet and uplifting. This comment brought tears to my eyes!! The words you write are so true and sometimes emotional to read (in a GOOD WAY) that I just can’t help but feel something deep in my core.
I don’t know if this recent chapter will ever fully close, as it was such a huge part of my life and helped me grow into the person I am today! I feel like I’ve learned so much in the last year and for that I suspect I will occasionally revisit the memories and adventures! Thank you for all your support and kind words throughout the last few months! ❤
I agree, it’s hard for a chapter to truly “close” when it’s as big as your past year has been. It’s been a joy to see you change and grow and face your fears since I first started reading your blog.
[Side Note: The first post I saw was where you were running a race, christened a porta-potty, and snagged the best-looking donut. I was immediately hooked by your wit, sense of humor, and lust for life. Besides, how many people (besides myself) would get that excited over using a porta-potty first??]
It’s truly been my pleasure to read and respond to your blog all this time. And I think this just reinforces how important it is (and how excited I’d be) for us to meet in real life! 🙂
OH MY GOODNESS, I know exactly which post you speak of!! I am so glad you found that post and that we’ve been blogger friends ever since!! You make me smile!
There really is something magical about being the first one in a race porta-potty…those things get nasty! HA!
WAY TO GO!! CONGRATS! I also experienced the same calf pain around mile 10 or so at the half marathon I did on Saturday. I was pissed that they finished the race with a hill. Come on, at least have us start with a hill not end with one when my legs are dead. I still need to get a Garmin asap. I am not sure what kind to get..
Allison @ Life's a Bowl
Congrats, way to go lady! I’ve been in a huge running rut, have only run a couple of times since my 3 halfs this past spring, but I’m starting to get antsy and anxious to register for one this spring… I remember immediately after running my first half I was so tempted to register for another half the following weekend 😛 When the race bug bites, it bites HARD!
Congrats on your race and PR! Also, I fully support the decision to stop and pee and turn off your Garmin. Nothing weirds me out more than people peeing during their race, or holding it in. I get that its for some people, but not the casual racer like me! I need to get back into the racing. Next year! Gotta heal fully first 🙂 ❤
Davida @The Healthy Maven
nbd, you’re a 3 x Half Marathoner…time to take over the world! You’re amazing girl!
Heather @ HeatherRunsFast.com
Holy Crap Woman! a 12 min PR after peeing, hills and begin stung… Who are you? Super woman?! What an amazing high you must have had! So glad you were in a better place mentally. Your bib pic is too cute 🙂 So proud and happy for you!
1) Maybe, just maybe I could manage a half marathon if I had such pretty scenery. 2) LOVE your pics in this post. 3) Just kidding about #1…I don’t wanna get stung. Congrats!
Nicole @ FruitnFitness
I am so proud of you, I think the emotional aspect of this race must have been very hard but you did it! Also, how horrible about the stings, that alone would have kept me from finishing as I was rushed to the hospital. Horribly allergic. Enjoy a light week and feel good about finishing and pring!
I always stop my garmin when I go pee… I totally agree.
Congrats on your new PR! Boom shaka laka indeed!! I love the picture that the person took of you LOL … that happened to me this weekend. I asked someone to take me and Jimmy’s picture and he didn’t hit the button hard enough haha!!
kathy @ vodka and soda
girl, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! finishing the race with bee stings?! i would have cried because bees terrify me!
i’m so glad that this half rekindled your love for running and congrats!!
when i was doing the mudder race, i couldn’t even SEE my watch because it was covered in mud and grit and was afraid to press any buttons because it was soaking wet! so i had to let it run even during the bathroom breaks 😦
Matt @ The Athlete's Plate
Congrats on the great race!
I looooove how this race was so good for you :)! I find myself trying to figure out my next race, even before running the ones I registered for. I’m eager to find some new ones for next year already :P!
The Healthy Flavor
Way to go girl! That is such an awesome time! I have done one half marathon and I nearly died. I finished but I almost died, lol! At mile 8, I started cramping and suffered like hell all the way to the finish. I cannot believe you got stung, that is awful! 😦
An Unrefined Vegan
Awesome, girl! I’m so proud of you. Big milestone for sure. Bee stings? That just ain’t right.
Congrats girl!!! You’re amazing. Seriously, running alone is hard!
Jan @ Sprouts n Squats
Yay!!! Well done lovely, you did so well!! Especially running through that calf pain too 🙂
I always stop my garmin on training runs at traffic lights but I’ve half considered maybe it is not always the best idea but I find if I don’t stop it for that lap the pace it shows for ages is just completely off and I find myself trying to push myself to run harder to try and catch it back up. Sure you feel my pain!
Boom Shaka-laka is right! I can’t believe you ran while hornets were stinging you in BOTH calves. That’s crazy and totally Tough Mudder material, which is great so you’ll be ready when we tackle it next year.
You are my running inspiration.
Max says Great Job. If he hadn’t already eaten the entire thing, he would have shared his pancake with you.
I legitimately laughed out loud at the last line. HAHAHA I just love Max. He is my favorite.
Melissa @ Al Forno Mementos
whooo! good job!! I always feel so lazy when I read your posts. haha
ps. love your fall background!
Luv What You Do
Congratulations!!! That is an amazing PR and you overcame so many hills and obstacles! It sounds like a fantastic race to participate in!
Kristina at damntenpounds
Um, what the hell with the hornets?! Maybe they injected you with an extra dose of badass cause you killed it, girl! 12 minutes is a HUGE PR! I’m not surprised at all. Your training was right on track for a great race. Enjoy your awesome runners high. You deserve it!
GiGi Eats Celebrities
All I can say… is that I feel 282738274783647863764% honored that you took a SNAP CHAT photo of yourself ON THE TOILET just for ME!!! Unless, you send photos like that to ALL of your snap chat friends – LMFAO. Then in that case, I don’t feel special ONE BIT.
Since our friendship is based on 100% honesty, I must admit that I sent that snap to a couple other people. Please still love me. Only special people got that snap! HAHAHA.
GiGi Eats Celebrities
I am not sure if I can love you anymore. You have to make this up to me. I am very hurt at the moment.
Those damn bees! I swear, their the most devil like bug out there. Congrats on a new PR & getting it done. You’re awesome!
Congrats again on the race! I am totally with you when it comes to pausing the watch if you are not running. I have actually never used a toilet during a race. I am not sure if that is normal or not… If I stop it is tough to get going again. But yea awesome race and a million congrats on the new PR.
Congrats! So I’ve never run a race this long before, so I never even thought about having to go to the bathroom while running.
OUTSTANDING job, Brittany! That is one heck of a PR & an even bigger accomplishment since it was your first solo race. Who needs men anyways 😉
For real though, great job. You deserved it and so glad that spark was re-lit. Want to come light a fire under my ass to get me going again?!!
Thanks love!! Get your ass to WA and I will light you UP! That sounds bizarre…you know what I mean. HAHA.
SO awesome Brittany! You are amazing.
Seriously that is a great PR and so nice that it was the first time you ran a race solo.
I can barely run 3 miles, so these things always astound me 😉
Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body
Wow, getting stung while running a race is a very unfortunate thing to happen! BUT you still PR’ed and that is so great to hear! It is always a very great feeling to have that sense of accomplishment after a race. I race my half on Sunday and have a feeling I’m not going to be able to do my best, but I’m still looking forward to doing it. Hopefully it is good weather…so far this October it keeps raining on my long runs 😦
Life After Swimming
You are so stinking awesome! A PR with a bee sting?! You are my hero!
First off, how freaking AWESOME are you? Running a half marathon whilst having to tinkle AND battling a swarm of killer hornets?!?!?!? Seriously, that is just amazing. I’m cyber high-fiving you!
Second, please don’t use sentences like ‘I got my first subungual hematoma” without some warning for us non-runners. I googled it expecting it to be some ultra flexed calf muscle. I literally screamed when the images popped up. I’m not sure I’ll get to sleep tonight.
Congratulations again! What a great milestone!
AHH hahaha sorry!! I totally laughed out loud at the mental image of you searching Google. MY BAD!
Congrats! I’ve started taking Imodium before my races. I was skeptical at first but it makes for a more comfortable run!
Hahaha ohh thanks for the tip!! I might have to consider that, running is such a glamorous sport! 😉
Yay for the runner’s high and new PB! 🙂
Can’t believe you got stung by a hornet. That’s pretty unlucky, but you carried on through to get your PB! Imagine how much more you would have taken off your time had you a) not needed to pee and b) not been stung by some crazy super-jealous beast!
GIRL you are a warrior!! Congrats on making it through this thing babe! And I must say, I love that you’re wearing a tank top but still the rocking the gloves lol You are too adorable 🙂
Congrats! I also wanted to say that your “carb-up” meal looks amazing.
Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
I was so relieved you hadn’t done something to your achilles.. but hornets?!! Seriously.. what are the chances! I can’t believe you ran through that pain, you’re definitely full of courage and strength!! Congratulations, Brittany!! xx
BOOM! You are amazing! I cannot believe you got stung- that is truly horrible!! SOO sorry love!!
Don’t you love getting bitten by the racing bug??
Girl you are SO amazing! I’ve wanted to do a half marathon for ages, but I’m so scared! You make it seem so doable though! I love how the race looks so fallish! I love your race outfit too. You look real tough girl! I can’t believe you got bitten! During a soccer game last year, I got stung by a bee, and it was not pleasant, so I can’t imagine getting bitten during a half marathon! Either way, GREAT JOB! You should be SO proud!
OH MY GOSH, PLEASE sign up for a half…you will ROCK IT!! Seriously…if you need any help or advice I will give you EVERYTHING I have!! DO NOT BE SCARED it’s all in your mind seriously..omg please..just please sign up HAHA! I swore I would NEVER be able to run a half marathon let alone 5 miles, and I did. It is so possible.
I cannot believe I am the LAST person to comment… you posted THREE DAYS AGO. Oh boy. I’m slacking. ANYWHO!
YOU HAVE A 12 MINUTE PR?!?!! You are such a beasttttttt!!! CONGRATS! That is flipping so amazing and I am so proud!!!! Wahooooooo!!!! Of course a hornet would sting you one race day… seriously, HOW in the world did that happened?! bah hum bug that is so flipping crazy! Glad you had a great race though and man, all those hills would have definitely killed meh. Ugh, hate hills. CONGRATS again! You did so flipping amazing!!!! ❤
Lindsay @ The Functional Foodie
Girl congrats on your marathon! That is amazing. I am so impressed. You are a major beast!!!!!
wow! This was so inspiring to read, you go girl!! Amazing job. Hornet stings and everything? You are a trooper!
Ahhhh congratulations Brittany!!!! Your new PR is awesome! Knocking off 12 minutes… that’s running almost a minute/mile faster! I could only hope for such an awesome improvement!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!
I’m sorry you had to run it alone. 😦 It would have been super hard for me to run mine without my brother there. Maybe someday we can run a race together!?! 😀
I always stop the time whenever I stop – shoe tying, traffic lights… like you said, it’s supposed to keep track of your actually RUNNING time haha.
Also, I love how you described the foggy mountains and forest. Washington and Oregon are just too gorgeous in the fall, and even in the winter!
Girl you already know I would LOVE to run a race with you!! We are close enough to make that happen! I LOVE WASHINGTON/OREGON! Thank you thank you! 🙂
Brittany, reading about how you ran that damn race uphill, through the fine autumn mists, through your emotional (this is not the right word, but I will use it anyway) turmoil (yep, not the right word, but I just took a test and my brain is having issues), and then through freaking HORNET ATTACK…holy moly, you are awesome. I hope to one day exhibit such grace under fire.
I think emotional turmoil actually fit perfectly!! I knew what you meant, and in a way I did have a bit of internal turmoil! HA! Thank you, the mind is a powerful tool when you set it to believe you CAN do something.
Rach @ This Italian Family
Oh my goodness, are you kidding me?! You got double stung by HORNETS while running?! I’m not even kidding when I say that I would’ve stopped right then! Good for you for sticking it out!
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