Race Recap: St. Luke’s Half Marathon 2013

At the end of yesterday’s half-marathon, I was feeling not-so-good, as you’re supposed to feel at the end of any race.

In the last mile, I heard a spectator shout, “I see you! You’re still smiling! You’re feeling great!” And I thought, “She must be talking about someone else.”

And as I was coming down the final straightaway on the track—because this race finishes on a track, which other people seem to love—the announcer was like, “I see some smiles out there! Smiling finishers!” And I thought, “He must be talking about someone else.”

Turns out, my Race Face has evolved into a grimace that makes me look happy. But I’m not happy. I’m tired and cranky and don’t appreciate your comments about how smiley I appear to be.


Anyway. The race went really well, and I ran a PR of 1:38:38. I had three goals for this race: Run a PR (any time under 1:41:48). Run sub-1:40. And, the reach goal: Run 7:30 pace. I averaged 7:31 pace. Close enough?

A few other points about the race:

Racing close to home is the greatest. I jogged over to the start not long before the race began, and I walked home. I knew what to expect from the course, since I run on these roads and through these parks all the time.

Paul is the greatest. He made me brunch once I got home and showered. Also, he came out to watch, and he took a few nice photos like this one:


It’s amazing how much gravel and hills can slow you down. I should have known, based on the few times I’ve attempted pace workouts in the Parkway, that I’d have a hard time keeping pace there. Instead, I told everyone who would listen that I thought the miles were marked wrong. (They weren’t. I just slowed by about 30 seconds per mile on the two toughest miles in there.)

Spring racing is tough. It ended up being warm (high 50s, low 60s) and sunny for the first time in my history with this race. There’s not much shade on most of the course. If it had been 50 degrees and overcast like it was the last time I ran here, I’d have been in the 1:37s.

What’s next? Tomorrow, I take the first of three swim lessons I’m taking (from a guy who ran a 1:19 yesterday—fast!) in an effort to have a cross-training option that’s nothing like running. Next week, I’m talking to our company’s coach (who is 56 and ran a 1:20 yesterday—crazy fast!) about how to go about training for my first fall marathon. Hopefully, I won’t have to really pick that up until mid-June.


About Meghan Loftus

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9 Responses to Race Recap: St. Luke’s Half Marathon 2013

  1. I totally do the happy grimace as well. Congrats on a great race and PR!

    • Meghan Loftus says:

      Thanks, Jillian! I don’t think I’ve done this face in other races. We were running straight into the sun, so perhaps that’s why?

  2. I agree those close to home races are so nice on so many levels…and yet I LOVE traveling to race. My goal by the end of the year is to get down around 1:40, you give me hope that I can do it with a grimmace of a smile 🙂

    • Meghan Loftus says:

      I love traveling too–I’ve just been doing that so often, I forgot how convenient it is to not do that! And you can do it! I did lots of speed work consistently last year, which helped me drop significant time in the 5K, 10K, and half. (I don’t know how helpful it was for my marathon, but I did PR in that last year too.)

  3. Congrats on a great race! Really impressive given gravel/hilly parts. Kind of jealous your “race face” doesn’t look ridiculous, haha.

    I’m going to work with a coach for the first time for my fall marathon – really excited about it!

    • Meghan Loftus says:

      Thanks, Colleen! It usually looks a lot worse. I don’t know what happened here. I’ve heard coaches are super-helpful–I have a colleague who dropped from 3:41 to 3:35 to 3:27 to 3:19 (!) in a couple years with a coach. He’s based in DC, actually, if you don’t have one picked out already.

  4. Great race! Found your blog through St. Luke’s retweet! I ran the same half Sunday and PR’d as well but wasn’t happy with my time. GI issues right before the covered bridge. And I totally agree that the trail/gravel slows you down, but what a wonderful race. One of my favorites!!! Great job again!

    • Meghan Loftus says:

      Thank you! A PR is always a good thing, though GI issues are never good. The “heat” (aka, temperatures warmer than I’m accustomed to) seemed to be messing with my stomach a bit, too.

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