Yesterday I ran my 5th half marathon.
It wasn’t my best race, in fact it was quite the struggle, but I am proud of my finish and even learned a few things throughout the run. Despite my desires to be a natural born
cage fighter runner, I’m not. If I want an “easier” race I have to prep myself by training. My training for this half was sub-par, and not a single long run was successful for me.
I made a plan for one month. My weekday runs were decent (always 9:30-9:40 pace range), but when I got to my 8,9,10 mile runs I had to walk..too much. Mentally I just couldn’t focus and I caved when my mind told me to walk. I didn’t complete the month.
Fast forward to race week. After a pathetic excuse for a 10 miler, I went in to the race yesterday with the hopes that adrenaline and fellow runners would carry me to the finish.
Pre race we had to wait for two hours inside a building built for small planes. My one and only complaint about this race. Everything else along the course was beautiful, and while the hills kicked my under trained ass, it was lovely and I would definitely do it again.
They won my heart when they provided us with food and coffee.
A giant plate of PB. I hadn’t had PB in months and I welcomed this plate onto my face.
Here’s what I learned while running this race:
- When they tell you to never buy brand new shoes the day before a race…listen to them. Blisters on blisters on blisters.
- When your body says, “I HAVE to go!” You stop..even when it adds 6 minutes to your official time. Trot, trot, TROT.
- When your legs, knees, back, and joints start to physically hurt..it’s OK to walk.
- When you puke while running…you’re officially a bad ass.
- Sometimes listening to your body outweighs finishing with a certain time.
- A finish, is a finish, is a finish.
- I am not a super hero. I can run a half marathon (as can YOU) on minimal training and dead legs, but it won’t be pretty, and my ego will be bruised when I walk.
- It is possible to buy vegan treats and not want a single one of them.
- Not every race will go as planned, but every finish is something to be proud of.
- Running can always relate back to life. If you want something you have to work for it. If I want a new PR, or to run (mostly) pain free, I have to train. Simple as that.
I bought new running shoes much too late, and although they were the newer model of what I ran in before, they hadn’t been broken in and gave me blisters.
I had stomach issues for nearly the entire run (I’ll spare the details) and my legs were dead by mile 3 (this was ridiculous.) I walked…a LOT, and stopped to use the Randy Can which took literally 6 entire minutes (I def stopped my Garmin).
While waiting in line I decided (mile 6) that this was a race I just wanted to complete regardless of my time. Stopping made my “official time” and my Garmin time different, but I’m going with Garmin. I also ran another .2 mi after I stopped my watch. Longer course.
I may sound like I’m complaining, but really I am quite humbled and I’m not at all upset about my performance. Overall I had a good time! I embraced the slower pace, I was able to run across the bridge I have been wanting to run for years, and I finished strong when I wanted to crawl. That’s what I call success. I’m a slower runner, and I finally accept that!
While I am most proud of my first solo half marathon (which holds my current PR), this race I’m proud of myself for not being too critical and embracing another finish!
OH, and did anyone catch what I said about the treats? You know your stomach is in shambles when you buy FOUR treats from your favorite bakery and don’t want ANY!
Not to worry though, I ate the bottom right hours later after destroying a giant salad.
Q: How do you handle humbling experiences like this?
60 thoughts on “Tacoma City Half Marathon”
Amy @ A Desert Girl
You have the perfect attitude! And I think you’re a rockstar for even being out there for 13.1 (+) miles. I certainly have never done that. Humbling experiences are not always the most fun – but gosh, they’re good for us humans, aren’t they?
I hope you enjoy some yummy vegan treats this week to reward yourself and I hope your blisters heal quickly!
So good for us, and thank you my friend! I enjoyed my treats today!! YUM!
oh man – I feel like this could be my race recap in a couple of weeks. Spring training has been redonk-colous (spelling?) and my long runs have not been long at all. Although I feel strong in most of my long runs, I’ve either had to cut runs short because of lack of time or I’ve had to go to the bathroom. I shall see what happens in less than three weeks! Woooo!
Unless you are an elite who makes a living off of racing – as long as you get out there and have fun – that is the attitude to have. I don’t give a crap (ahh haha) about how many pit-stops I make in my half marathon, but I will finish! woo!
I think you’ll be JUST FINE! Especially if your long runs are strong!!
Great job pushing through it, and great attitude! I try to handle humbling experiences by keeping things in perspective. I’ve had better races and I’ll have worse races. You ran a half marathon with minimal training, stomach issues, new shoes, etc. That’s 13.1 miles more than many people will run this month or even this year!
Thank you Matt, you’re SO right! I might have thought to myself around mile 10, “TOO MANY PEOPLE are sitting on their asses right now, KEEP RUNNING!” It helped. 😉
GiGi Eats Celebrities
DUDE FU** THE RUN… I would have just done the back stroke in the peanut butter MOUNDS all morning! I don’t know WTF YOU WERE THINKING!!!!!
You wanna know another reason why we’re twins?? I literally said to my friend, “so..we should just skip the race and sit here and eat this peanut butter instead.”
Davida @The Healthy Maven
oh nooooooo! Can we discuss insanely dedicated runners who straight up poop their pants to PR?! No thanks. Totally legit to stop the garmin. And yeah, I’ve learned I need to be humbled more often. Modesty ain’t my strong suit 😉
HAHA NO THANKS indeed, those people are insane. When I gotta go, I will stop wherever I am. I REFUSE TO SHIT MY PANTS!
Hahaha omg that pb plate is too funny. I would have devoured the whole thing haha
Way to come out on top! I would’ve totally called it quits and eaten my sorrows away with that PB mound, for sure. I think finishing this race, how you did, under those conditions, is way cooler than a new PR. You rock!
Nice job! It ends up being more fun to look back at the struggles than the easy ones!
karla @ finding my fit
At least you still run pretty lady. I gave up on that a long time ago.
Proud of you ❤
congrats on pushing through and running it, despite the less-than-ideal circumstances. you still did well. 🙂
Food, Booze, & Baggage
Congrats on finishing! You have a great attitude and it is just one race. You should listen to your body and if you have to walk, you have to walk.
I embrace the tough races with my chin-up and remind myself that they can’t all be our best. PS. I’m jealous you ran the bridge! I ran the Tacoma St. Paddy’s Day Half and got injured so my plans to run the Tacoma Narrows Half in August have been cancelled (although I already registered, might consider selling my bib, let me know if you’re interested). Maybe next year for me and the bridge 🙂
I ran the Tacoma St. Paddy’s 10K! I love TCMA event races. I DO kinda wanna run the Tacoma Narrows, but an August race scares me because I HATE the heat.
Your experience is a very good reminder for me! I’ve challenged myself to TWO halfs next month (one in the beginning, another in at the end of the month) and I know I’ll have to put in the effort with my long runs.
Rach @ This Italian Family
I’m glad you had a good time overall, girl! Kudos to you for pushing through and finishing! I can barely run a 5k so I’m always amazed by your running! Sorry about the blisters – hope those are healing up now!
Congrats friend!!!!! We all have rougher races but I think its amazing when runners push through the difficulties and power through the race anyway – that takes some serious dedication!! Nothing worse than stomach problems but I am so proud that you finished this bad boy.. the medals are beautiful too!
Ahh, those treats. I don’t know what it is exactly but you seriously have the best treats.. always! Way to go my friend! Be SO PROUD of yourself! 5 half marathons… WOWZA! ❤ ❤
I think YOU have legit looking treats too. Of all my blog babes, you and I are the best treat eaters. 😉 I don’t know if that’s good or bad. HAHA once again though, all the more reason why we MUST HAVE A DATE!
Awesome pushing through everything! I am so incredibly astounded that you’ve done 5 half marathons! I have yet to tackle my first. I have never puked during a race, crazy that your stomach was bothering you so much.
Two things I love:
– that you have new best friends from wearing a shirt (and they don’t know they’re best friends… that’s something I would do/say).
– that you love PB as much as I do.
These races may not be the most fun but they always teach us something — and they are always remembered.
man, you are a better athlete than me! my friend did her first half and she loved it. my SIL also ran that same race and she said by mile 15, she was like THIS IS THE DUMBEST FUCKING THING I’VE EVER DONE WHY AM I DOING THIS??! LOL that made me laugh.
to me, a finish is a finish!! i don’t think i could ever do a half so kudos to you!! and a friend of mine told me that during one of her races, she had to take a dump and because there wasn’t a washroom near anywhere, she ended up shitting behind a retainer wall hahahahahah!!
Four of the five half marathons I’ve done, at one point I have thought to myself “REMEMBER THIS NEXT TIME YOU WANT TO SIGN UP FOR A RACE, THIS SUCKS!” and then I immediately want to sign up for another one. Even after all this that happened in this race, I came home and spent 20 minutes looking for my next half. It’s a viscous cycle. HAHA.
UHH you ran a tough mudder!? Isn’t that like 12 miles!?!? OF OBSTACLES?! Hell yes you could run a half…crazy bitch. You totally should. I would totally shit behind a wall rather than shit my pants like some crazies. Read Davida’s comment. That totally happens! HAHA.
You really are a badass, Brittany!! So happy that you completed the race and that you continue to challenge yourself! Woot! Woot! 🙂
Change of Pace
Congratulations on another half marathon finish! You’re right about #6 and #9 (well, all really!) but a finish is something to be proud of no matter what!
That SUCKS you had stomach issues. Another silver lining? I’m assuming you didn’t poop your pants!
I usually handle humbling experiences like that with lots of sweets 🙂
I DIDN’T POOP MY PANTS! I made it to the port-o-potttt. REJOICE! HAH.
Yo, I have the same shirt. Duhh! 😉 And…I agree that a finish is a finish regardless of the time or how many times you had to puke. I cannot wait to do a race again….I’ve been trying to be good and no run as hard. Way to go on your race. We need to hang out and run or hike soon!! 😀
YES, we DO!
& the perfect attitude & mindset award goes to…. drum roll please – YOU!! 🙂 🙂 If it makes you feel any better, I can hardly ever stomach food after any long run. The next day though .. oh man I’m a bottomless pig 🙂
The Vegan 8
Oh girl you sound JUST like me when I ran my half marathon! I did it with hardly any training and it was excruciating! By mile 6 I was toast and it was a painful struggle to the finish. Very humbling. The last 2 miles I did a lot of oraying and I ended up in the ditch from leg pain literally freezing me. It was a pain I’d never felt. Thank God am angel from heaven stopped to help me and finish with me. She talked me through and helped. I don’t know if I could have finished without her asking me questions the rest of the race to keep my mind off the pain. I was sooo proud of myself for finishing and it was quite the experience. It was so brutal on my body though and I wouldn’t run one again.
I’m seriously so jealous you have a vegan bakery near you. We don’t have ANYTHING in my city and I have to make everything myself !!!!! I love to bake, but dang, sometimes you just don’t want to cook all the time.
I love your half marathon story, that is the definition of an accomplishment!! I hear you on loving to bake, but sometimes I DON’T want 12 cupcakes in my house…because I will eat all 12. So I make the sacrifice for homemade and go to a bakery. 🙂
The Vegan 8
Oh and by the way you are AWESOME!! Well done on the race for finishing! I love #9 on your list!
Nicole @ FruitnFitness
I’m glad you finished the race, that’s a huge accomplishment regardless of how fast or slow. I had been training for a half in June but had to miss a ton of runs for school. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to run the race or not now having not run over 5 miles in weeks
Life After Swimming
You go, girl!!! Pretty impressive for minimal training and stomach issues! That plateful of peanut butter seems like the best treat in the world. Well, that’s what I thought until I got to the cupcakes. YUM. Seems like a good half in my opinion. A finish is all that counts! 🙂
Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy
Wait they provided you a peanut butter jar on a plate?!
IT was a giant blob of PB! It was amazing.
Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy
Wow, they really know how to treat the runner 🙂 I need to get my butt to this kind of race.
A PLATE OF PEANUT BUTTER???? I knew I needed to get back into the racing game and STAT. Also, you look so cute pre-race. I always look like a jumble of nerves (and fairly sweaty because of Texas heat). You, however, look amazing! And finishing ANY race is amazing!!
You are too kind my friend. I call that my, “roll out of bed at 3am and go” look. HA! 😉
“Not every race will go as planned, but every finish is something to be proud of.” you don’t do it purposefully (i don’t think) but all your lesson from the race just feel like good life lessons to me 🙂 and you know what? i’ve never run a half, but i think i would just to see that happy plate of peanut butter – that looks awesome!
I just adore your comments.!
Choc Chip Uru
You have an awesome attitude and determination to keep going my friend! Nice work on finishing 😀
And so many marathons – oh my gosh!
Choc Chip Uru
Natalie @ The Ravenous Mommy
So far I have only run one half and it didn’t go too badly, HAHA. I would have a hard time pushing through I think if things weren’t doing too well. But you rocked it! Well… maybe I would run my a$$ off if there were all those cupcakes waiting for me 🙂
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Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body
I also tan a half on the 4th!!! Mine also wasn’t a PR but that’s alright because I had a fantastic time. Your reviews are so thorough, I love reading them. They will be useful for your own reflections too as I seem to have blurred a bunch of my memories together! !
Luv What You Do
Ah I hate when my stomach doesn’t cooperate with my running! I’ve struggled with that ALOT and have had to make a bunch of modifications to my diet and schedule when marathon training. Usually I just get really annoyed and then try to learn from the experience. No nut butters on race morning for me and water is better than gatorade. Glad that you are proud of your run! It’s always hard to overcome obstacles but they definitely make us stronger!
Ps those deserts look AWESOME!
I’m so sorry your race didn’t go as planned, but I still think you did great! That plateful of PB looks amazing and I love your new running shoes soooo much! I’m sorry they didn’t love you back though…at least not yet. 😉
Good god, that peanut butter looks like it’s been attacked by a pack of hungry badgers.
I think I’m most proud of you for this race. Sometimes it’s not always easy, sometimes we get pushed to our limits, and that’s when real strength of character really shows. You stood up and out and finished the damn thing despite having a host of issues throughout, and you didn’t beat yourself up for it either, which is why you are awesome and my people.
Great job Britt!!
Thank you my lover, this comment made me smile! The badger comment made me LOOOOLL.
Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
HEY you ran it! And you finished! That’s enough to be proud of! That peanut butter…why in the world haha. That’s all I can say. I mean I’m not mad, peanut butter should be its own food group, but I just don’t understand. I’m usually never very hungry after a long race like that (granted i’ve only done like four races haha) but people go out for these huge lunches and I’m like uhhh can I have some lemonade and go to sleep?
Brittany, I am so unbelievably proud of you for finishing this race. It requires monumental courage to keep going when your legs are dead, your stomach wants to lie down on the sofa, and your feet might as well be on fire from the blistery pain. You are my superhero! And I’m even more proud of you for not making yourself stick to your training schedule — it takes guts to deviate from a plan. Go you!!
Thank you!! I’m definitely glad I ran it despite everything else. These are the races/runs that help me grow as a runner!
You have such a positive outlook on life — it’s contagious!! (In the best sort of way! 😉 )
I never EVER EVERNEVEREVER even in the smallest way considered running a marathon….bbbbUUUUuuuuT… that plate of Peanut Butter?
That might just be worth putting it on my bucket list.
Or…nevermind. I’ll just put sitting down to a big plate of peanut butter on my bucket list and call that good. (0:
I’ll swim for it.
Running is …. so hard. ANY running you do you need to consider yourself amazing.
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Melissa @ Al Forno Mementos
5th?! gah … you make me look so bad. haha good job to you though! and uh .. that is the most PB I’ve ever seen at one time on a plate! I thought it was some kind of dessert at first! 😛
I think that we need more of that berry coffee cake.It’s calling my name!