Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon race weekend as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!
This past weekend was supposed to include a road trip with Rachel to Virginia Beach, a gathering of BibRave Pros, and a Personal Record at the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon.
It actually included two of the three things listed.
10 days ago I received word that both this race and the upcoming Allstate Hot Chocolate Philly race were cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus. 10 days feels like forever ago at this point.
Both races quickly offered virtual options. At first, my local friends and I planned to run on, we’d meet up as a group and do a half marathon. However as the week continued and our Governor stated we needed to maintain social distance/stay home, we scratched those plans.
I knew I wanted to run the half marathon distance but then it became a matter of WHERE. At first I defaulted to where I started out running, the treadmill. However, it’s been a long time since I’ve logged serious treadmill miles.
Outside on the trail would’ve been preferable, but I didn’t want to run alone, especially with the high anxiety I’ve been feeling lately. My 15 year old actually volunteered to run it with me; he’s been doing a lot of long training runs with me lately.
But the more and more I thought about it (while I was not sleeping at night) the more I decided that I didn’t feel comfortable with that idea.
After chatting with friends on Twitter, I landed on running the majority of the 13.1 miles on the treadmill. I actually thought that I’d do 12.1 on the treadmill and do the last mile outside. Spoiler alert, that didn’t happen because it was pretty cold outside and I was extremely warm and sweaty from my inside miles.
I decided to break the half marathon down into three sections, an hour, and hour, and then the last portion. I’d been training with a goal of getting finished within 2:30-2:39. With the knowledge that I could possibly fizzle out mentally on the treadmill, I wasn’t going into this expected a PR. Actually, I thought I’d just get the miles done and call it good.
My first hour I used the Peloton Tread app and did a 60 minute Fun Run with Matty Maggiacomo.
I definitely pushed harder than I expected to during the 60 minutes and wound up finishing the hour at 5.15 miles, which means I was keeping at 11:39 pace. Knowing this, I started to think that a PR for this run was actually attainable if I kept up the positive vibes and spirit.
While I was filling my water bottle I quickly tweeted out my progress and got a whole slew of responses from our running community, which I was able to read on my Garmin as I ran.
For my second 5 mile segment I tapped into my playlist that I made specifically for the Shamrock 1/2. It’s an eclectic mix of everything from big band to Lizzo to Franz Ferdinand. I was able to accomplish that in 58:38.
Which meant I only had 3 more miles left to go! After filling my water bottle one last time, I got on the treadmill once more. My legs were getting tired and my lower back ached but I knew that unless something went terribly wrong, I’d be able to hit my goal time.
And I did! All together I ran 13.1 miles in 2:34.22. While it’s not official, it’s absolutely a PR for me in the half marathon distance. The fact that I was able to do it on the treadmill makes me believe that there is no doubt I could do it within a race setting.
My cheering squad was waiting for me when I came upstairs to celebrate. They wouldn’t hug me though… not because of social distancing but because I was very sweaty.
Today is #MedalMonday and while my medal isn’t actually physically here, it will just prolong the happiness of this particular accomplishment when it does arrive. And right now, I’ll take what I can get.
Hope you are all safe, well, and staying home.