2013 Wallis Sands Half Marathon Recap

This may seem a little anti-climatic if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook but I had a great time at the Wallis Sands Half Marathon on Sunday. So great that I got a 2 minute PR and a 3 minute from last years race! This race has become one of my favorites. It’s very organized, you run along the beach for quite a bit and it’s flat. All the makings of a great race in my book!

Wallis Sands Half Marathon 2013 - happyfitmama.com

Sunday morning I woke up to clear blue, blue skies and upper 30s. The kind of day that just screams pretty. It was chilly but would be warming up quickly. It’s hard to believe I was just wearing running tights less than a week ago and now I was going to wear short sleeves and a skirt. Crazy New Hampshire weather! My plan for race day was to get in a couple of miles beforehand, run the race and then see how I felt afterwards if I could do more. I knew I wasn’t going to go for the 20 miles like my training plan called for so I thought anywhere from 15-17 miles would be good.

2013 Wallis Sands Half Marathon Start - happyfitmama.comI was feeling good the moment my feet started running during my warm up. Too good. So good that I wanted to go fast. Something that would come back to bite me later. I was in the first wave of runners and we took off right on time.

My plan wasn’t to look at my Garmin until the mile markers beeped. I wanted to go by feel more than numbers. The first three miles were faster than I wanted to run – sub 8s. My intention was to keep my pace 8:10-8:15. Obviously I thought I was feeling really good. I reigned myself back a bit for the next 2 miles.

Miles 1-5 : 7:57, 7:55, 7:59, 8:05, 8:11

At mile 4 we had left the beach and were headed inland which meant incline. Nothing big but more like long, gradual hills. At mile 6 I felt like the wheels were going to fall off. I felt tired. I was getting bored. There weren’t many runners around me. I started to doubt myself and ask “What do you think you are doing? You aren’t meant to be a long distance runner.” Funny how doubt has a way of creeping it’s way into your brain. Then magically at mile 7 I got a second wind and started to cruise. My legs felt lighter. Maybe the Gu that I had at mile 5 kicked in? Whatever it was worked because I was back on pace.

Miles 6-8: 8:20, 8:12, 8:00

Mile 9 is usually when I start to tire in a half marathon. Ron and the kids were going to be between miles 9 and 10 so I had something to push and look forward to. There is nothing like seeing your family out on the race course even if it’s only for 5 seconds. That’s enough to put a big smile on your face and give a little a more effort.

Wallis Sands Half Marathon mile 9 - happyfitmama.comMiles 9-10: 8:20, 8:07

And just like that I was tired again. I knew I only had three miles left but my legs didn’t want to move. The pad of my right foot felt torn up. My left knee was giving me a weird feeling. My mind – oh my mind – was all over the place. One minute I was thinking “I’m going to PR!” The next “You should just walk. Your foot will feel better.” I passed two women who had been quite a ways ahead of me. They both were walking. As soon as I passed they started up again. Knowing they were behind me gave me an extra push. I was bound not to let them pass me the last 1.5 miles.

Miles 11-13: 8:25, 8:32, 8:21 and the last .1 7:34 pace

Finish 1:47:44 (8:14 pace) 12th in my age group

Wallis Sands Half Marathon post race - happyfitmama.com

I’m pretty happy with the PR. I never would have thought I could run that fast 6 years ago when I did my first half marathon. However, I still think I could have done better. Obviously, I need to work on pacing, pacing, pacing. The little (but very loud) voices of doubt that creep up on me need a stern talking to as well.


I decided at the finish line that was enough running for the day. A thirteen mile tempo run is equivalent to a 20 miler right? ๐Ÿ™‚ Besides, I had some monkeys to chase on the beach.

What do you do to quiet the voices of doubt in your head?


41 comments on “2013 Wallis Sands Half Marathon Recap

  1. Wow!!! What a PR !! Congrats! Reading your recap gives me an idea of what to expect for my very first race (half-marathon) on May 5! I just need to know when to take an energy drink before getting tired. So many things to figure out so your blog helps me a lot! Thanks Angela. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Congrats on your PR! Any race you can PR is a GREAT race in my book. And the pics are great, especially the one of your whole family. Isn’t it great to have the kiddos cheering you on?! And those negative thoughts in your head – just drown them out with all of the positive mojo you’ve got going on! You’ve trained, you’ve put in the time, and you’re ready to rock your first marathon in a few weeks!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Breastfeeding Mythbusters – Will I Be Able to Produce Enough Milk?My Profile

  3. Great job speedy!!! I had to wrestle with some doubt during my race Sunday too…telling me to walk…that I’m tired…just to stop pushing…each time I get stronger and stronger at telling them to shut it! You did awesome!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

    1. It is such a weird distance to pace. I felt so good at the beginning that I thought I’d be able to maintain. Lesson learned – slow first then speed up. Good luck at Big Lake!

  4. Congrats on a great race and PR! I LOVE LOVE LOVE how happy you look in that photo of you running when you saw your family.

    This race is proof that you are runner, and a darn good one despite anything that you may think! Think about this next time those voices in your head try and tell you any different!
    Laura recently posted..Flower City Half MarathonMy Profile

  5. Amazing job on your new pr!! Was it Ron that took the action shot? Nice pics from race day. 13 tempo definitely equals a long slow 20 in my mind. ๐Ÿ™‚ As for the voices of doubt, it’s tough. I think acknowledging them is a great start so you can catch them and try to turn them into positives in the race, but it takes lots of practice and is not easy. I’m so glad you had this good confidence boosting run before the full!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Sugar Detox Challenge- Round TwoMy Profile

  6. Oh those damn voices!!!! Mine came even earlier than yours this past Sunday for me…mile 4 I thought how the hell am I going to go another 9 miles!!? Luckily I ignored the nasty voices as best I could and pushed through even though I didn’t feel the greatest. I’m going to work on pacing too and work on those little voices as well!! Great job on the PR! And you looked fab too!

    1. Thanks Heather! Mile 9 is always, always the wall for me in a half. It’s probably more mental now than anything – like I expect it’s going to happen even if I feel good. I definitely think you have a sub 1:50 in you!

  7. That’s great you managed to overcome those voices of doubt and get a PR, well done! And it just shows your training is working which must be a great confidence boost for your upcoming marathon.
    Love the action shot – you’re looking so super strong and relaxed!
    Sherry recently posted..My Running Watch Died, And Now I’m LostMy Profile

  8. 12th in your age group! Wow!

    Congrats on your PR! Honestly if I have continuing flash of doubts I’ll re-access my goal to see if it’s realistic.
    Carli recently posted..May Loves!My Profile

  9. huge congrats on your PR!!!

    I’ll admit, most of the time the voices of doubt win, but in the rare occasion I do quiet them during a race, I remind myself how I’m much stronger than I give myself credit for, that today i’m going to do something awesome with this race, and to continually think of how great it will be cross the finish line at X time and be proud of myself for not giving in.
    lisa j recently posted..Country Music 1/2 round 3.My Profile

Comments are closed.