Sunday, December 5, 2010

Candidacy done and Half Marathon PR!!!

Well I am still alive and running.  Friday morning was my big presentation for my candidacy.  I felt really great about the paper and presentation, but I did stumble on some questions due to nerves.  I have to fix something then I will officially have passed and be a doctoral candidate.  Woo-hoo!  I feel like it has consumed my life for weeks now, and it feels good to be past it.

Rather than going out and celebrating with drinks, we celebrated with a pasta dinner to prepare for our half marathon the next morning.  Caitlin and I ran the OUC Half Marathon, which was her first half marathon race, and Chris ran the 5K.  Caitlin and I have been training for distance for the marathon and not for speed, so while I wanted to get a PR, I honestly was not sure it was possible.  I had done some speed work up to 6 miles, but not any farther than that.  In 2007, this same race was my very first half marathon, and I shocked myself then with a time of 2:06:56.  I ran a second half marathon two months later, and it was and still is the worst race I have ever run.  Needless to way, I did not PR on that race.  I have not run a half marathon since then, which made this my third half marathon.

The morning was cold, but I quickly warmed up when the race started.  I knew that if I could keep my pace below 9:45 that I could get a PR.  I kept naturally speeding up but forcing myself to slow down to a 9:30 pace.  I felt really great for the entire run.  Around mile 5 I started to get a little cramp, but after taking a GU at mile 6 it went away (I also started the race with a GU for a total of 2 for the race).  When I was few miles from the end, I let myself speed up a bit, but not too fast.  I was afraid of speeding up too much and getting one of those horrible side stitches that plagued me in my first half marathon (at mile 9).  I only stopped to talk to get water or gatorade at the water stops.  I am happy to say that I did PR!  My official chip time was 2:02:43 (9:22 pace).  I was so excited!  And the absolute best part is that I have never felt so great during a race!  I mean I felt wonderful for the entire race and awesome after!  A few hours later my knees were pretty sore, and wearing heals to Chris's work Christmas party didn't help I'm sure.  Today my knees are better although not perfect yet.  My calves and my hamstrings are sore though.  I did not take an ice bath after, which I think is part of the reason for the muscle soreness.  I did actually fill up the bath tub, but it turned out that the water was pretty warm rather than cold and since it was cold outside I just went with it.  This race made me feel like the marthon training is going well despite the lack of longer runs recently.  After the marathon, my goal is to train to increase my speed and set new PRs for my 5K, 10K, and half marathon.  I really, really want to aim for a sub 2 hour half marathon.

Mile splits according to Garmy:

Mile 1:  9:23
Mile 2:  9:27
Mile 3:  9:25
Mile 4:  9:25
Mile 5:  9:30
Mile 6:  9:24
Mile 7:  9:29
Mile 8:  9:24
Mile 9:  9:18
Mile 10:  9:15
Mile 11:  9:15
Mile 12:  9:11
Mile 13:  9:00
Last 0.17 (according to the Garmin): 7:48 pace

Here we are after the race.  Chris said his 5K went well, and I was really excited when I saw him at the end of my race cheering me on.  He's the best!

As I mentioned, we went to Chris's work Christmas party last night.  It was held at Texas de Brazil.  Basically, just imagine all-you-can-eat meat.  It was delicious!
Then today we started our morning off with Star Wars pancakes, compliments of Chris's mom (she bought the molds, syrup, and pancake mix for Chris while we were visiting over the Thanksgiving holiday).  They were quite tasty.
Yoda, Darth Vader, and a Stormtrooper

Well I'm heading to bed.  I hope you all are doing well!  Happy December!


  1. Congrats on being a doctoral candidate!! That's amazing! Also congrats on the half marathon!!! Great job! My parent's have christmas pancake molds like that but we can never get them to work out. What's the secret? :)

  2. Congratulations on the candidacy!
    And the PR! :) That is fantastic and I am so proud of you!!!

    Also, I am jealous of those Star Wars pancakes! :)

  3. Congratulations on your PR!!! With marathon training you will get even faster! During my training I PR'ed in all distances and I never did speed work outs. Just the increased distance and mileage helps to get faster! Try to run some short races during your training, this helps to motivate yourself.

    LOVE the pancakes :)

  4. Thank you all so very much!

    Kelly... I had some issues with them at first. Make sure that the pan is already hot and greased (I used cooking spray). And very important, make sure that the molds are greased as well. I made the mistake of not greasing them the first time. I also had to gently press down on the pancake to help get it out in those areas that were more "complex" in the mold. Good luck!

  5. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! SOLID WORK! And there is nothing better than feeling great during a race! A little tenderness after is good though...just a little reminder of how bad-ass you were a fw days earlier.

    And I'm not even going to front...those molds just went on my Christmas list. Again...congrats.


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