On a hilly course and unusually humid day in Durham, NC, I completed a holiday half marathon challenge that included finishing three races starting in early November and concluding in mid-December. While my times may not have have been stellar, the goal was to finish and get that new shiny medal that I saw in an email a few weeks ago.
Totals for 2015
What a great year for running. For the most part, I was injury free and got to explore new places during my travels. While I didn’t have any destination races out of the state, I did get to run in Boston, MA, Columbia, SC, Denver, CO, Los Angeles, CA, Oakland, CA, and Portland, OR. And I can’t leave out all those beach runs on the Outer Banks of NC.
In 2015, I ran 858 miles (that I logged) over 189 runs and averaged 4.5 miles per run. I ran in 9 races including 5 half marathons. Check out all of my race results. Now, let’s take a look at that holiday challenge!
Holiday Half Marathon Challenge
I was excited to run the hills of Durham with both Merri Beth and friend/co-worker Rikki Endsley—who was doing a “training run” and decided getting a medal for training was totally worth it. I totally agree! MB and I arrived at North Gate mall about 30 minutes before the race. We stretched out and tried to not think about the low lying fog that was going to create a hellish course for the next few hours—humidity is not that awesome for runners because we can’t breathe.
MB had been training for a few weeks and I was just maintaining my training from my races in early November. I do remember at one point during that race that my training kicked in and I was super glad I put all that time in on the weekends.
Alright. So it was 60º and humid. How did we do? Merri Beth finished in 2 hours and 30 minutes. I finished in 1 hour and 47 minutes. All things considered, we’ll take those time to the bank! After the race, MB and I explored some breweries in Durham. We started at Bull City Burger, ventured to Fullsteam, and ended at Ponysaurus. A full day of exploring NC Beers after burning off some calories.
The other races in the holiday challenge
Let’s shift back to that holiday challenge. It was three races in the Triangle. Hilly. Tough. And definitely not for the untrained. Going all the way back to November 1, I ran the City of Oaks Half Marathon. It wasn’t good for me, but I finished. Not in the time I anticipated or expected. But 1 hour an 48 minutes on a new, hilly course is respectable. This is one of the only races I can remember where I wanted to bail halfway through. But mental toughness persevered. Part one complete.
In the interim, I ran the Outer Banks half marathon the following weekend, shaving off several minutes coming in just under 1 hour and 44 minutes. Flat course and warmer than usual weather. I crossed the finish line confident and ready for more. The complete opposite of the previous race.
The second race in the holiday half marathon challenge was the Skinny Turkey half marathon. I ran this course a few years ago. So I knew it was hilly and challenging. So why not? It would end up being my best time for a Triangle half marathon race this year at 1 hour 47 minutes and 2 seconds. The last three miles were brutal. But visions of Thanksgiving meals danced in our heads.
And the final race for the challenge was the Durham 13.1—and you know how that race panned out.
All-in-all, the holiday half marathon challenge turned out great. Each race was unique, fun, and challenging. I wish my times were better, but at this stage in the game, it’s really about the accomplishment. I’m super stoked that I have the ability to complete these type of runs/races and have the time and support to train for them. I can’t wait to lace up my running shoes and see what 2016 has in store.