half-marathon race

It was my half-marathon race week!  I was excited to go!  I was feeling strong, ready to run.

My trip to Philadelphia took much longer than anticipated. Especially as I maneuvered  the turnpike through a snow storm on Thursday, 11/15.  I had wanted to get into Philadelphia early so I’d have plenty of rest before the race on Saturday morning, 11/17.  The trip turned into a 7 hour trek but I made it intact!

The Big Half-Marathon Race

Race day turned out to be perfect.  The skies had cleared after the recent storm. And the temperature was just about perfect.  I told myself to start slow because I knew my Achilles heel was always pushing too hard early and pooping out.

Unfortunately, I kept true to form!  I ran just under my goal pace the first mile and told myself to back off and conserve energy.  Instead, I went really fast!  I was feeling too energetic from the crowds, I suppose. Or maybe I just took off like I tend to do when I feel good.  I slowed to marathon pace after that then my practiced quicker easy pace.  Less than half way into the race, though, I just couldn’t recover. My energy seemed gone, and the rest of the race was a crawl   I had practiced this scenario during training, but on race day, I couldn’t come back.  I finished almost 30 minutes slower than my goal.

Feeling sorry for myself, I took off for home right after the race.


After I got back, my run coach, Jake, reminded me that we all have bad races and that I managed the training program without injury and got strong.  I did feel really strong so it made the disappointment seem more acute.

And an Unforeseen Unfortunate Event…

A few days after returning home, I got a call from a friend while I was at the gym.  A good friend of ours who was about our age had suffered a massive ischemic stroke.  A blood clot had blocked off a small vessel in his brain.  He did not get to the hospital in time for a clot busting drug to be tried so he sustained loss of the use of the right side of his body.    Going to the hospital that night was tough.  Seeing a dear friend immobilized on one side of his body and struggling to talk made any disappointments that I might have harbored earlier in the week seem so trivial.

We left to spend Thanksgiving at my parents’ home in Harrisburg a few days later.   My friend was in my thoughts all weekend.  I could still run.  I could WALK.  I wanted him to do the same.


When we got back to Pittsburgh, we visited him at the acute rehab floor of a different hospital.  He looked better.  He was speaking more clearly.  The droop in his face had improved.  He was starting to take some steps in physical therapy.   I was thankful.

My friend will continue to recover as much function he can.  And I’m inspired to try again.

Interested in Running or Have Running Concerns?

If you would like to have a PFP running assessment to check your gait or just want to do strength training with a run coach/personal trainer, contact Jake Boyer at  jake@pittsburghfitnessproject.com.  It doesn’t matter your level of running either! Sure Jake can help you with half-marathon training. But he can also help you if you just want to learn to like running! Jake can provide a customized training schedule to help you meet your goals!



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