Half Marathon History

In less than 2 weeks, I am running my first race of the year…a half marathon!


Prepping for this race really got me thinking about my Half Marathon History.  Usually I start my race season with a smaller run, but this year I am diving right in to a longer one.  I haven’t run a race since the Marathon last October and haven’t run a half marathon since 2009.  I am starting to feel a little nervous.  Seems silly…I have run numerous races in the past and after running a full marathon, you’d think a half marathon would feel simple.  Yet, surprisingly this race seems like a challenge.  Maybe it is because I decided to set the goal of running a half marathon PR (personal record) this year (under 1:50:00), and this is my first chance.   Here is a little history on how I got to this point…


I ran my first half marathon in 2006.  I had a blast and my friend and I finished in just over 2 hours. 


Kelley and Jen Post Race


It was such a positive experience (and I had a wonderful coach) that I was ready to sign up for my next race before I crossed the finish line. Unfortunately, a broken toe sidelined me from the 2007 St. Jude Half Marathon, and I was cheering on the sidelines instead of running.  In early 2008, I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my leg and PE’s.  One day, I will entertain you with stories from a Memphis hospital.


DSCN0742 DSCN0743


I had to take 6 months of Coumadin (a blood thinner), and during this time, my hematologist recommended that I stop running.  It was a total bummer, but I was seriously determined to run the St. Jude half marathon in December 2008.  I wanted to honor my patients and prove to myself that I was healed and recovered.  A close friend of mine flew down to run with me and we layered up for this uncharacteristically cold day.


Race 2


The race was fun and more emotional than I had expected.  I crossed the finish line with tears in my eyes in 1:50:24.  It was such an amazing way to finish a rollercoaster year and a race that I will never forget.


After Race 2


When I moved back to Chicago, I was excited to run a hometown race.  I signed up for the Chicago Half Marathon in the fall of 2009, but sadly hurt my back over the summer.  This is where I discovered cross training.  I was attending a weekly spin class at the gym where we followed the Lance Armstrong training program.  Despite not running as much as I wanted, I was in great cardiovascular shape.  It was fun to be back home and have a great support system cheering us on!


Group Before


I decided to run a smart race with my goal being to run the race pain free.  I had a blast, despite the heat and was surprised when I finished in 1:51:52, not too far behind my PR.




I took 2010 off from long races and focused on triathlons.  Last year’s big goal was the marathon, during which my half marathon time was 1:54:34.  I was impressed with my time and this is what actually motivated me to try for a PR this year.




So far this year my race training has been inconsistent.  I took a week off from working out in March due to a busy schedule and fatigue.  However, I have gotten in some nice long hilly runs (10 miles this past weekend).  During the week, I have been doing some mid distance runs, some faster and some slower. I have not been doing any specific speed training or tempo runs and I have gone back and forth between thinking a PR this spring is a reality.  I have had a lot of doubt about my goal race pace (8:30 minute/miles), however, this morning, I was able to finally kick in some speed running 6 miles in under 49 minutes.




This was just the confidence boost that I needed 2 weeks before my race.  Rumor has it, that this is a flat course and I am feeling healthy.  A little pre-race pasta, and I think I may have a PR in me on May 6th.  Either way, I know that I will have a lot of fun adding another half marathon to my growing list!!!


Me After Race



Have you ever run a half marathon?

What is your PR?  Any last minute training advice?

9 thoughts on “Half Marathon History

  1. It’s a great feeling when you step up to the start line, determined to PR. I did that recently in Alabama and killed my time. It was mostly a mix of good training and sterling confidence. Also, I ran the Chicago Half in 2009 and finished in 1:51 also — the heat totally did me in :-/

    Good luck on May 6!

      • No problem! I’m impressed that you proof read. As I’m sure you can see my grammer and spelling are lacking.

        I am hoping for that surge of confidence at the start line. It is always the goals mixed with adrenaline (and all those miles pounding the pavement) that push me through to the next race. Crossing my fingers for better weather than my two Chicago races that happened to have ‘heat waves’. At least the trees should give me some shade. That Chicago half is SO OPEN with lots of sun along Lake Shore and very little breeze. Thanks for commenting! Best of luck in your next state!

  2. Hey! Nice to “meet” a local blogger! I love Nozumi – I’ve been there about 8 times now and it never disappoints! A 5k is about the farthest I run – but I haven’t actually run a race since 2008!

    • I agree! This is exciting!

      There are so many great trails for biking, running, and hiking in our neighborhood which is so nice. I think the arboretum does a walk/run this summer that is always full of kids and looks like fun. Can’t wait to get some of those calamari fries!

  3. […] to finish strong, healthy, and happy no matter what the time clock says!  As I mentioned in my Half Marathon History,  I run because it’s fun and always try to focus on how lucky I am to be able to run whether […]

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