March 20, 2013

Quintiles Half Marathon Race Recap

Apologies in advance for the long post!  It is always fun to write a race recap after a good performance.  This one is especially happy for me, since my race PR Sunday at the Quintiles Half Marathon was a big surprise.  Life sometimes gets in the way of training and it certainly has for me since the Goofy Challenge and WDW Marathon weekend.  I worked for half of 2012 to be well prepared for my races marathon weekend and a letdown afterwards was inevitable.  It was about a week before I laced up my running shoes and then the runs were really just runs without a purpose or plan.  Less than two weeks later, my husband and I left for a three week trip that would include very little running.

Fast forward to March 17 and it was race day.  It was over a year since I had a half marathon PR which happened at the Chip and Dale Relay in January of 2012. (2:03.47).  I was curious to see if I could hold that speed for another half. My race preparation really consisted of two weeks of really good training (and one long run of 8 miles).  A carefully chosen race strategy was necessary so there I sat staring at my computer trying to come up with a plan. I looked up the Cool Running Pace Calculator to check my prior PR and settled on a hopeful finish time of 2:05!

Since our small race expo did not offer pace bands, I used my beer band for that purpose!  I turned it over and wrote food/fuel stops on the top and then wrote the pace/time per mile necessary to reach my goal of 2:05. (By the way, the graffiti on my wristband did not prevent me from enjoying an adult beverage post race!) The other decision made was to be very cautious the first few miles and then decide if I felt good enough to attempt to run that pace.
Tom got up to take this photo, but I would not let him drive me...too early!
Race morning came way too early as I left my house at 4:30am after getting up at 2:45am.  That was not planned, but I woke up and just could not get back to sleep!  Race day nerves were in full force at this early hour. After quickly getting ready and eating my banana and English muffin with peanut butter I got in my car to drive to the race. I hopped the first trolley to the start and waited and waited with another girl, Suzanne who had also arrived early. It was so nice to have someone to talk to, especially since we both had  race day jitters.  She was running the her seventh full marathon and all her races are run to benefit needy children. We passed the time chatting about children, the race, needing to use the porta potty too many times etc!

Finally it was time to start and at 6:40 the gun went off.  For some reason, I was placed in the fast corral, but after talking to the race director on Saturday, he assured me that is where I should be.  There were many very speedy runners around me, but I held my planned pace and finished the first mile in 9:35.  The miles ticked by and soon we were crossing the Wrightsville Beach Bridge and moving toward the beautiful gated subdivision, Landfall, where we would run miles 5.5-11.  Lou, from my local running store, TrySports, saw me and we chatted for a bit.  I asked what his goal was and when he said 2 hours, I told him that I would try to keep him in my sights! Lou navigated the next water stop with ease, while this klutzy girl wasted time and spilled more than she drank, so Lou was now 200 yards ahead. Keeping him in my sights was helpful and I picked up the tempo at around mile 6 and thereafter kept trying to increase my speed mile by mile.  I always try to negative split a race, finishing strong at the end.  When I saw the finish line, my adrenalin kicked in and my last .12 was run at 6:58 pace! Next time I will try to speed up for the last mile!  By the way, if anyone wants to run a fast, flat course, this is the one, and Wilmington has great restaurants, the beach and nice locals! :)

3.5 miles: 33:34 (9:36 pace)
7 miles: 1:06.10 (9:27 pace)
13.1 miles: 2:02.05  (9.2:0 pace)

Placed 379/1193 females
6th in age group (55-59) 

Back at home post race, drenched but happy!


  1. Way to go, Pam! You crushed it!!

    1. Thanks Karen. It was a really fun race and the weather conditions were ideal!

  2. are amazing! Thank you for this blog post and all the inspiration~ Congratulations on a Great Race....
    and YES...Wilmington is a great and so pretty too!

    1. Thank you....yes, Wilmington has been our home for a little over two years and we really enjoy it here!

  3. Whoop Whoop! Way to go! Love the post race reports!

    1. Thanks Sarah. It was fun writing this post!

  4. That is awesome and very inspiring!! Congrats on the PR!!