All the ways I should have screwed this race up — but didn’t

As I may or may not have done a good job reminding you over the past several weeks, I’d been training for a half marathon this weekend. That’s running 13.1 miles, straight.

I started this plan on New Years Day when I ran ~8 miles with Felicity. It proved to myself that I was ready to train to run distances again, and that I could take the baby with me when I did it.

Remember those days? In January? When there was less snow than there is in April?

Remember those days? In January? When there was less snow on the ground than there is in April?

But my training went way downhill after that. We all caught a cold later that month. Felicity was waking up more during the night. And the weather was, shall we say, not mild. There were a lot of weeks where I only ran once. There were not many weeks where I ran more than 3 miles at a time.

Miles that I ran each month … embarrassingly low.



But HUZZAH I ran a half-marathon yesterday anyway!

And you know what? It was so liberating to just run it for the sake of it. My first half-marathon was this same race four years ago. Here’s all the things that a “seasoned” serious racer would never do but I did anyway:

Carb load with McDonalds.


We had to drive down to Auburn at 6 p.m. the night before with an infant who needed to get to bed. So, I’m sorry, it was dinner on the road.

Get a less-than-perfect night’s sleep.

Hah! Like anything less than that was an option. After the baby refused to sleep in her pack-n-play at memere’s house, I asked her father to take her for the 1-2 a.m. hour so I could get some? sleep.

Run without a watch.

Derp. I’m going to blame mom-brain for leaving that at the house.

Then run without a fully charged phone …

… so I have no data from my splits after mile 9. Also, I didn’t have a charger. #mombrain

I brought no fuel for the race.

This was a mistake on my last half-marathon, which feels like a million years ago, though it was only the summer before last. Ideally for a half-marathon I’d have 3 gels to down on the course, and for this one it didn’t even occur to me until I was driving there.

But enough with the negativity!

Because I had a great time. Like, in the sense of the race and in the sense of the time I ran it.

You know what’s nice about being at the bottom? Like, totally unprepared? That it only goes up from there. And so I started the race really slow, like marathon pace slow.

I hadn’t run long in like, years, so I had no idea how I would feel at mile 10. I figured that 2:30 was an optimistic pace for this race, so I put myself with the 3:00 pacer. Isn’t that walking? Whatever.

My awesome co-worker and friend Pat trained with me all this season and we ran together for the first 7 miles. At that time he felt good, and he took off. And a little while later (mile 9ish) I felt good, so I took off.

My slowest half-marathon before this was a bad case of cramps at the Old Port Half Marathon in 2011, which was my second half. I think I ran 2:17, and I was 15 pounds lighter and training for a marathon. This race was 2:20, and I’m sure I did that well because I paced myself so slow in the beginning, and I have 1000s of miles of running experience, even if I not many of those miles have happened recently.


After the race, I went back to my mother-in-laws and kissed the baby and took a nap. Because grandmothers are wonderful, right?

Can’t wait to do this all again in a few months at the Black Bear Half Marathon.




Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

I'm a new mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, our daughter Felicity, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.