Race Recap, Running

Rutgers Unite Half Marathon 2018 Race Recap

Hi friends! As I said on Monday’s post, here is my race recap from Sunday. Enjoy πŸ™‚

Of all the nights that it was just me home last weekend, Bailey ended up throwing up at 1:36 am on Sunday morning. So my good night’s sleep was a little sleepless going into the race. Not a huge deal at all but I woke up extremely tired and just wanted to sleep. I knew I couldn’t so I got up and moving and my stomach started to hurt. And it wasn’t nerves since getting my typical pre long run breakfast of peanut butter toast down was a very slow process. But it all happened and then it was off to Rutgers.

Rutgers Unite Half Marathon 2018 Starting Line

I opted to park near the finish line and take the shuttle over to the start. Maybe it was because I went to Rutgers so I knew where to park but I found it super easy to find a good spot. Either way getting the shuttle was super quick and it got to the start fairly quick. Once the bus dropped us off, it was maybe a quarter mile walk to the start line. I shed my sweatshirt and was COLD so I opted to keep on my old windbreaker. The weather was not ideal. The temperature started around 47 degrees and got colder as the day went on.

I ran into the corral and tried to get towards the 2:00 pacer but it was hard so I started behind the 2:30 pacer. Not that it really mattered to me since I wasn’t going to rely on a pacer but it was a little annoying. The race started exactly at 8 am which I appreciated and we were off. I’m not sure how many people ran the race but it was crowded at the start so my first mile was a 9:27 minute mile.

Mile 2 included and overpass which wasn’t too bad. I felt like I was getting into a groove and was staying around a 9 – 9:10 minute pace which was part of my plan. Then the wind came. It wasn’t just a little wind either but strong gusts. I just tried to maintain my pace and push through which was a little disheartening when I saw my pace creep up into high 9 minute miles. But I kept with it and tried to get under 9 minute when the wind wasn’t there.

Rutgers Half 2018 4

Once complaint I had about the race was that my watch never lapped for the mile at the mile markers the race had set up. My watch always lapped early so I think the course was long. I had ideas on the range of times I should be at miles 3, 7 and 10 in order to achieve my goal of finishing in under 2 miles. When my watch lapped the 3rd mile, I wasn’t at the mile marker so I wasn’t sure if I should base my goal on my watch mileage or the mile markers. Since it was only mile 3 I didn’t mind too much at that point.


We ran around the Livingston campus from miles 2 – 6 and the wind was prevalent throughout those miles. My body starting warming up so I threw the gloves I had on off since my hands were starting to get really warm. There was no out and back points on this part of the course which I appreciated and it helped my mental running game. I crossed the 7 mile marker around the time I needed to be there in order to finish between 1:55 and 1:58. Then we started going back to the Busch campus and ended up going back to the start line. I loved passing the start since music was playing and the song that was on helped to pump me up. Less than 6 miles to go at that point!

Once we went across the start line in the other direction, the wind picked up again. I was still feeling really strong and just kept my pace under 9 minutes when there was no wind. We went along Route 18 on the pedestrian bridge then ran down to a park. This is where my mental game started to suffer. The course at this point was a fairly long out and back in a park. Okay maybe it wasn’t that long but it felt long. We ran past the 11 mile marker which was on the other side of the course and I saw a bunch of people running in the opposite direction towards the finish. But it got me going a little bit since it meant I was close to the 10th mile and had just over 5k to go. My legs started to feel heavy at this point as well.

The entire race, I planned on picking up the pace at mile 11 and keeping it under 8:40 minutes paces for the last 2.1 miles. But that didn’t happen. With the discrepancy between my watch miles and the race mile markers, I wasn’t sure if I would break 2 hours. Mentally this sucked. Then the wind picked up so I was running into it as we went through the turn around and were on the way to the mile marker. It slowed me down for sure since at that point I was over 11 miles into the race (since my watch was always ahead of the mile markers) and the wind hit me hard. I started thinking about all of the speed workouts where I absolutely crushed the paces I was given and the long runs I did. Thinking back, there was only one run in this training cycle that was horrible. Honestly I got upset. I thought my hard work was going to go all out the window.

Rutgers Half 2018 1

Shortly after 11 miles, I decided to put my watch on the clock screen. Every time I glanced at my pace I just felt discouraged. I kept telling myself that all I had to do was keep running and I would finish under 2:05 if I just kept moving. Would it have been the time I trained for? No but I still would have been okay with it, although I’m sure I would’ve been upset initially. Around 12.25 to 12.5 miles in, I decided to check my time. I saw I was at 1 hour and 54 minutes. I said if I could pick up the pace then I would make my goal. My legs didn’t want to move faster but I knew I’d be more upset if I didn’t try.

So I picked up the pace. It was hard at this point. My legs were tired and I wasn’t 100% positive in my ability to finish in under 2 hours. But I kept going. Clearly I pushed because I thought I was going to throw up in the straight away to the finish. My mind just told me that I can throw up once I gross the finish line and I’m not missing my goal because I got sick in the last little bit of the race.

Rutgers Half 2018 5
The clock is based on the gun time so I was anxiously checking my watch.

The entire last quarter mile or so was a guess if I would make it. I crossed the finish and my watch gave me a time of 1:59:45. My parents and Alex were all tracking me and texted me congratulations. I was happy but I asked them what my official time was. It was 1:59:45. I did it! I finished in under 2 hours! I was so happy I could have cried except I was so tired that I couldn’t even do it.

After crossing the finishing line I just put my hands on my knees and tried to catch my breath. When running stopped, my body got so cold. I believe the feels like was in the 30s at that point. I grabbed my medal and two water bottles and kept walking. They were giving away foil heat blankets. Had it not been windy, I think this would’ve helped more than it actually did. Luckily I had a sweatshirt in my gear check bag so I put it on and then pinned the blanket around me. You guys, my fingers were freezing! I was mad I threw my gloves off mid race and wished I had kept them on.

Overall it was a good race with some strong winds. My biggest complaint was that I think it was longer than 13.1 miles. My watch said I ran 13.32 miles. I kept to the inside of curves and tried to run in the center of the course the entire time. Going a little over a set distance makes sense but almost an entire quarter mile longer? Seems like a long course to me. If I went by the miles on my watch then the half marathon time would have been 1:57:49.

Rutgers Unite Half Marathon 2018 Finisher Picture

The thing that went well was that I didn’t give up. I pushed even when my legs were tired and my mind was telling me I would fail. Yes I gave into those negative thoughts a bit but I didn’t give into my legs. I took a break from checking on my pace and just focused on running. That helped combat the negative thoughts and I think it part of the reason I achieved my goal. My fueling was on point. Like in my long runs, I took one every 30 minutes so I ended up having 3 with water throughout the course.

Chip stats: 13.1 miles in 1:59:45 for a 9:06 minute pace.
Watch stats: 13.32 miles in 1:59:45 for a 8:59 minute pace.
I was 57th out of 180 for my age group, 240th out of 1022 females and 822nd overall with 2432 runners.

Question of the day: Have you ever run a half marathon?

Daily Happenings

Who Cares About Running When You Can Bake

Hello! That’s for stopping by today everyone. I love that you chose to spend a few minutes of your day with me. Have a great day πŸ™‚


Monday started off dark and rainy. It was the type of morning where getting out of bed is infinitely harder because of the weather. Couple that with the fact that my legs were hurting made for a slow morning. Once I was out of bed it went okay. I noticed that as long ad I was continually moving the soreness wasn’t that bad which I’ll consider a win. I had my normal breakfast of scrambled eggs and an oatmeal muffin before heading out the door to work.


Alex worked from home so I didn’t have to go home at lunch to let Bailey out. For the first time in what feels like months, I was able to read. I pulled out the monster of a book calledΒ The Fountainhead. It’s a monster because it’s incredibly thick and over 500 pages long. This book is taking me quite a while to read since I don’t have as much time to read anymore. That’s okay though! It’s just the stage of life I’m in right now.


When I got home from work, I saw Alex and Bailey outside and walked with them for a bit. I headed back in and pulled out everything I would need to make banana chocolate chip muffins. Alex requested I make these when his parents gave us some chocolate bunnies on Easter. I chopped up the milk chocolate one and used that as the chocolate chip. Since it was a recipe I got from Alex’s mom, I may have snuck a taste (or seven) of the batter and it was so tasty. Baking because I wanted to felt AMAZING and it was a fun treat for a Monday afternoon.


For dinner, I got oh so fancy and heated up leftover pizza to have. We decided to order more pizza on Sunday than we would actually eat so that we could have the leftovers for dinner last night. I love when we do that haha. It makes dinner 1) so easy 2) so tasty and 3) who doesn’t love pizza? After eating, Alex and I watched an episode of Billions and had a muffin for dessert. They were absolutely delicious! We hung out a bit before heading to bed.

Question of the day: What are you favorite ways to treat yourself after a tough race?Β 

Running, Sunday In Pictures

Sunday In Pictures Vol. 27

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Spring arrived on Friday and Saturday and we were back to winter like weather on Sunday. Oh well though, can’t do much about that. Now that the half is over, it’s going to feel weird not running tonight after work. But my legs will really appreciate it. They are SORE today. Have a great day πŸ™‚


Bailey discovered the other dog we own. You know, the one that “steals” her toys and lives in the reflection of our fireplace and sliding glass door. She was not having it yesterday while I ate breakfast.

Rutgers Unite Half Marathon 2018 Starting Line

The Rutgers Unite Half Marathon starting line. We were off!

Rutgers Unite Half Marathon 2018 Finisher Picture

13.1 (or according to my watch 13.32) miles later – half marathon complete!! I’ll have a race recap up later this week once the pictures are up online.


After getting home to shower, it was off to the airport to pick Alex up. On the drive I had a peanut butter sandwich and the bag of chips that I got at the race. The pretzel I ate right after finishing wasn’t close to enough to refuel me but it was all I could stomach for a while.


He’s back!! Alex was at his brother’s bachelor party in Florida since Thursday and I was beyond ready to have him home.


Bailey doesn’t understand the importance of foam rolling yet.


An afternoon snack of cheese, pepperoni and crackers.


I earned this Miller.


For dinner we ordered pizza since neither of us were in the mood to cook. Margherita and buffalo chicken pizza made it onto my plate and were amazing.

We ended the night watching Despicable Me 3.

Question of the day: What was the highlight of your weekend?

Daily Happenings, Dog, Weekend

Puppy Playdate

Hi friends! It’s half marathon day finally! I feel like this has been so close yet so far for so long. Alex gets home today too which is SO exciting! He was in Florida for his brother’s bachelor party since Thursday. Bailey and I really missed him and I can not wait to pick him up from the airport today. Have a great day πŸ™‚


Even though I didn’t have a run yesterday morning, I still woke up nice and early so Bailey and I could start the day. When we went out it was absolutely gorgeous weather wise. Once I showered and one of us had eaten breakfast, it was time for me to eat. As my usual routine I scrambled up some eggs to enjoy. I was in the mood for a little something sweet so I had the leftover cinnamon rolls which made one small one once combined.


Bailey and I played a bit before she went in her crate so I could run some errands. The first stop was to Rutgers to pick up the race bib. Traffic was a little crazy since admissions was having the open house event for admitted students. Since Rutgers is my alma mater, I knew the easy places to park and how to avoid traffic which was super nice. The little expo was tiny so I was able to get in and walk around quickly. Once that was done, I headed to the grocery store then home.


Since it was such a nice day, a smoothie sounded really good for lunch. I added frozen strawberries, blueberries and bananas, milk, chia seeds, protein powder and a tiny bit of cashew butter. To give my lunch a little more substance, I had some celery and carrots with hummus plus a few slices of cheese and crackers. It all hit the spot and I missed smoothies in my diet.


Once I was done, Bailey and I rushed out the door to head to Mercer Meadows which is a large park near us. We met Allison and their dogs there so we could hang out and have a dog play date. Bailey didn’t even hesitate when she saw Costa and Charlie. She was running around like a crazy dog with Charlie since they’re both young. It was hot out though so the dogs were panting by the end. Allison and I chatted while trying to control three dogs so sometimes our conversations were interrupted by them but overall it was good.


Bailey came home and crashed hard. While she slept, I made a batch of oatmeal muffins for the next two weeks. Allison texted me saying she and her sister were going to dinner in Princeton and invited me to tag along. I figured why not and quickly changed so that I could be ready when she pulled up. We went to Winberie’s in Princeton and I got chicken fajitas. The picture might be horrible since they were so steamy! I wish I could get the salsa recipe that they used because it was delicious and spicy. Dinner was really good and it was fun to get out of the house for a little bit.

When I got home, Bailey and I FaceTimed Alex for a few minutes. It was adorable because she could recognize Alex’s voice but was very confused why he wasn’t there. We hung out while I got everything ready for the half marathon. I headed to bed nice and early to get plenty of sleep.

Question of the day: How’s your weekend so far?Β 

Daily Happenings, Running

Spring Is Kind Of Here

Hi friends! How are you doing today? I hope your weekend started off on a good note. It’s going to be 82 degrees today and I can’t wait to soak up some sunshine. Hopefully the sun is shining where you are today. Have a great day πŸ™‚


When I took Bailey out yesterday, I was able to go out in just a short sleeve shirt and not freeze. The wind blew a bit but it was amazing to be out and able to enjoy myself without trying to rush he haha. We ended up running out of bread so I had to improvise for breakfast. I took out a leftover waffle that was in the freezer and topped it with peanut butter and chia seeds to enjoy with my scrambled eggs.


For the first time in I don’t know how long, years maybe, I did not have a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. I made a ham, turkey and cheese wrap for my sandwich instead. Bailey and I had a grand time walking around in the sun. After lunch, it took every ounce of my being to head back to the office. It was honestly gorgeous to see the sun and not need a jacket.


After work, I headed home to get my last run in before the race on Sunday. An easy 3 mile shakeout run that didn’t feel too easy due to the weather. Granted high 70s isn’t that hot for Spring but it felt hot since we haven’t had temperatures like that much. When I got back, Bailey and I enjoyed a really long walk to soak up even more sunshine. Can you tell I was excited about the weather?


For dinner, it was leftover night. I made myself a quesadilla with black beans and chicken from earlier in the week. I topped it with a bunch of salsa verde. I relaxed and ate dinner while watchingΒ Zumbo’s Just Desserts. It’s a Netflix show that is a dessert making competition. Adriano Zumbo was on MasterChef Australia and is a well known patissier and chef. The show is addicting!

The rest of the night was spent doing some training with Bailey, taking her on a short walk (or just walking back and forth in the same area for 5 minutes since that’s all she would do) and reading in bed. I felt awake when I got in bed to read and barely made it 5 pages into the chapter before my eyes got super heavy. Instead of fighting it I just went to sleep.

Question of the day: What did you have for diner last night?