Fitness · Just my Thoughts

My Second Half Marathon

This past weekend the weather cooperated to have a beautiful Sunday for running.  Sunday was the date of my April race.  Remember that goal I set to run a race a month?  I am now into April and have run one in February, March and April.  I ran my second half marathon on Sunday – the Skunk Cabbage Classic in Ithaca, New York.

When I head to Ithaca, I tend to head to South Hill – Ithaca College area – or downtown or the lake.  It has been a while since I was on the East Hill – Cornell University area – for anything other than Happy Hour in lower Collegetown.  Yesterday, I never even went down into the city.  I headed right past the plantations and onto Cornell’s campus for the Skunk Cabbage.

While this was a great race and I cut three minutes off my personal best for this distance, I finished dead last.  I am okay with that.  I know I passed at least two other people who never came back by me so I am presuming they didn’t finish.  Once again, there were some awesome lessons learned that will help with my next run.

Lessons Learned

Time Between Races

One lesson that I am teetering on is running this distance back-to-back.  I am truly hesitant about running the Mountain Goat in three weeks but I have three weeks to decide on that issue.  And, the Mountain Goat is only ten miles.  I actually had someone tell me yesterday that the Skunk Cabbage is a harder course than the Mountain Goat.

Asthma Still an Issue

I had a smaller, but still had one, asthma attack somewhere around mile ten.  This is the same distance that the one hit me in the first half I ran.  I am unsure what it is about mile ten.  I do long runs in training.  I admit usually they are done at a slower pace but I do them and do not have these issues.  I am figuring the cold air during the March race made the attack slightly more severe than yesterday’s.  Breathing yesterday was an issue with all the pollen and pollenating “stuff.”

Running Partners

I do better when I have someone to run with.  I hooked up with two women in my first race.  I did run with a couple of women in this one but did not stay with them the whole way.  I run better when with someone.  Everyone who runs has told me this before so why is it taking me so long to figure it out.


Sleep is so important.  I was amazed at how I slept through things I wanted to see on television at the hotel the night before my first race.  Unfortunately for my sleep but fortunately for my wallet, Ithaca is just a quick drive so I stayed home the night before.  Problem is my sleeping was not a priority of my oldest who managed to get rip-roaring – I feel a talk coming on that he is an adult now, not a teenaged college student – drunk.  When he got home, he woke me up and kept me awake for several hours.  I do manage much better when I sleep better the night before.

Goals for Upcoming Weeks

For the next few weeks – whether I end up running the Mountain Goat or not – I am going to work some strength training and some speed work into my weeks.  I am also going to spend some concentrated time and effort on my diet.

20 thoughts on “My Second Half Marathon

  1. Yay Nicki! Yay yay yay. Way to go. I’m totally impressed. And wish I could say the same about running a race a month. Or even every other. Alas, I have been a runner slacker recently. Heading to the gym for a spin class instead of lacing up my sneakers.

    One thing I can say about speed is this: you have to push and train your body to run at a faster speed if you want to finish faster in the race. Speed work is good. And quick sprints are great. But training your body to maintain that faster pace is sooooo important. Maybe try a minute at your goal pace, then two minutes off? Or once around the track at goal pace, and twice at a jogging speed. Something like that. But I’m sure you already know this. 🙂

    1. I wish I had a spin class to go to. I would love to try it!

      I hate the thought of working on speeding up. I like my pace. 🙂

  2. The fact that you can get to the starting line of any race is something to be celebrated. Some people will never have that privilege. There was a time in my life when I was able to run marathons. I will never forget those experiences. Now, I run the most challenging race of all – the marathon of life – albeit a little differently to most others. It’s a marathon on wheels! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Tracy! I would never have seen myself doing these things five years ago. I hope your marathon is smooth and not hilly or bumpy.

  3. What an accomplishment! Congrats! And remember, dead last is better than dead! I think that’s pretty damn good! I would have dropped dead after mile #1!

  4. I am so impressed that you were able to do these races so close together! You can only race against yourself and the fact that you shaved off so much time from your last race is really awesome! The asthma thing might be that in a race situation you are pushing your pace for a long period of time–something you don’t usually do in training runs. It might be your body having a tough time coping until it gets used to the faster pace.

    You are really on a roll. Way to go!!

    1. Thanks, Jen! The asthma thing is what it is. I do think the cold definitely made it worse in the first race. This time – no panic, just a slow down and some deep breaths.

      The pollen Sunday was horrible. My eyes hurt for hours after the race.

  5. I do not know how you do this. A half-marathon. OMG. You amaze me.

    (I hope you are currently soaking or sleeping – and get your kids to wait on you hand and foot! (Or foot and foot.))


    1. Yeah, not so much on getting the kids to wait on me. LOL! Now I have to decide about the May 2 10 miler.

  6. Good job! And you broke your record by 3 minutes? Fantastic.

    You are encouraging me to take every measure possible to ensure my kids leave the house (and stay moved out) after graduating high school!

  7. Great work, Nicki! As always, I’m impressed by your strength and dedication. But I also appreciate your introspection: such a good model for others – like me – who set goals, and sometimes even meet them, but don’t always take the time to reflect on what the goal means or how I might have done things differently.

    Hope you’re not feeling too sore today!

    1. Thanks, Kristen! Now if only I could have some of that introspection on my personal life. LOL!

      Monday was not bad as soreness goes. Today, Tues, is great. Would never know I ran 13.1 on Sunday.

  8. Nicki, you are an inspiration! Good for you! I did have to giggle at “Skunk Cabbage Classic”! What a moniker!

    And that naughty son of yours, keeping you awake! He needs a spanking!

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