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Derek’s Half Marathon Recap

by Meghann on October 7, 2010

Meghann asked that I do a recap on my recently completed first half marathon. I won’t lie. I’m two and a half sentences into this and I’m already having a difficult time. I’ve posted a couple of times on opinions that I had, but never gave an account of a race. Annnnnnd, we’re off!


I’ll start by saying that I was not fully prepared for this race at all and that is my fault. After I ran the Gasparilla 15K back in, I believe, February, I didn’t run another race until a 5K about a month ago in NYC. Not only did I not run any races but I stopped running altogether. HUGE mistake and yes, Meghann told me so. Real quick side bar to Meghann: Ok, it’s admitted publicly…you win a point…and we’re done with it. Just kidding. that wasn’t serious. We joke about it every so often.


Oh yeah, my half mary recap. So there I was, about two months out and committed to run 13.1 miles. The distance I had lost was most evident in a four mile run I had agreed to as Meghann was finishing up a 14 miler or so. I struggled with a simple mile. Well, crap. What to do, what to do. Keep running of course. That I did and was able to get back up to a 6 mile run at the end of my ‘training’ without stopping and averaging about a 10:30 mile. So right about now you’re doing the math in your head; 13.1 – 6 = you’re screwed. Yeah, I figured the same and wasn’t bashful about admitting it. Oh well…the run must go on for MS. Quick shout out to everyone that donated! A million thanks from me to you!


Fast forward to race day (really night) and I really wasn’t scared/nervous/anxious. I knew I wasn’t fully prepared and had made peace with that. My plan was to aim for running about half the race without stopping and then, from there, alternate between running and walking as needed. Despite that aim, as the day got closer and I got a peek at temps that night, I had a suspicion that I’d be able to meet and exceed that aim. I’ve told Meghann on several occasions that I have much more to give when temps are cooler. It was true in NYC and it was true this past Saturday with temps in the low 70’s and low humidity (for Florida).

Screen shot 2010-10-06 at 10.11.33 PM.png

I started out the race and wanted to maintain about a 10:30 pace because I felt that was the ideal speed for me to get the most mileage out of my current running shape while taking advantage of the cooler temps and finishing with a respectful time. I was hoping for any time under 2:30. So I got started and the first 5 miles came and went. It really was a piece of cake. I put the iPod on shuffle and went to town. I think I surprised Meghann when I passed her at the relay station (just after mile 5 I think) with a huge smile on my face. I’m telling you…lower temps equal a much more efficient Derek when running. I said hi, tried for a picture together but to no avail because we were missing that all important 3rd person, said bye, and threw out an I Love You. On to my next 5 miles I went.


The next *almost* five miles were almost as easy as the first. I took some water and powerade along the way, mixed the two, and consumed. Pretty nice trick I got from Meghann. Oh, and another thing. The aid stations were giving out shot bloks…those things are so good. Not like a ‘it helped me power up again’ kind of good but a ‘I could eat these as candy’ kind of good. They’re kind of like a gummy bear but better. As you can tell, that was my first experience with shot bloks. Annnnd another tangent bites the dust.

Screen shot 2010-10-06 at 10.11.50 PM.png

So I’m coming up on finishing 9 and starting 10 and my body begins to realize what the hell is going on. It was pretty weird. The left side of my right foot began to hurt (kind of like a cramp), I had this slight pain behind my right leg about parallel with my knee, and my entire lower body as a whole was just tired. Hello run/walk strategy. I began walking and then running when I could, but I soon faced another predicament. Another weird thing…when I walked, my legs and feet began to hurt more and when I started running, the pain went away. So my choices are pain from walking or no pain when running even though my legs were pretty near done by that point. I chose running but that just didn’t last very long before I started walking again. The last approx. 3.1 was more walking than running…60/40 I’d say.


One of the nicest things I saw as the finish line grew closer was a sign that read ’400 more yards’. Bless whoever made that sign. So I started running again and didn’t let myself stop. Next sign, ’200 more yards’……even BETTER. Finally, I crossed the finish line with my hands in the air and was glad to be done. Final time was 2 hrs 36 min and I think 36 seconds. All in all, I’m quite pleased with my time and just finishing in general. Like I said, it was a bad move to stop running and I paid for it. Lesson learned.

Screen shot 2010-10-06 at 10.12.06 PM.png

In closing, I’d like to say two things; one serious and one funny (I think). First, I didn’t think I’d ever be running a half marathon. I don’t particularly enjoy running like I do watching college football, playing golf, etc. but I do like seeing what I can do. My point is you don’t know what you’re capable of until you try with an honest effort…so why not get out there and find out? Granted I didn’t give training for this an honest effort, but I think you see my point.


My second thing is regarding the recent article that came out. I may have allowed myself to daydream at work for a few minutes yesterday and thought to myself, “If they’re the ‘big 6′, and the six all have bf’s/husband’s, and us men directly support their blogs, that means that we somewhat contribute, even if indirectly, to their blog, which means we could be considered part of the big 6 in a way…….so Katie D., can I PLEASE get an arbitrary 1.5, 2.5, etc. label too?!?” =)) I know, that was one of the worst run-on sentences ever constructed and probably a cheap attempt at a laugh, but I have a quirky sense of humor.


Anyway, I bid y’all a farewell until the next time we ‘meet’. Hope you enjoyed.


{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison (Ali on the Run) October 7, 2010 at 7:34 am

Congratulations, Derek! This was a great recap. You two seem so happy together. Very cute. Bravo on finishing the 1/2!


2 Anna @ Doing Good & Living Well October 7, 2010 at 7:39 am

Thanks for the recap Derek! Congrats again on finishing your half — what an accomplishment! Hopefully I’ll be able to finish a half in the next year too. I’ll be coming back to your post for inspiration as I am particularly bad about stopping running. “Eh, I’ll have plenty of time to build my speed/endurance back up later… oh, wait, it’s race day. Uh oh!” :) So proud that you powered through and finished.

Hopefully there will be more guest posts/race recaps from you in the near future!


3 emily October 7, 2010 at 7:49 am

Fun recap! This read a lot like my half recap; I didn’t train at all, but I still finished and had a good time!


4 Tabitha (From Single to Married) October 7, 2010 at 7:58 am

wow – congrats! That’s so impressive!


5 Brittney October 7, 2010 at 8:04 am

Haha! He’s pretty funny! I wish I could get my hubby to write a guest post for my blog! Nice job Derek! Way to accomplish your goal!!


6 K October 7, 2010 at 8:08 am

Congratulations! As someone else who struggles in the heat and seems to flourish in the cooler temperatures- I definitely understand how much of a difference the weather makes! (the weather for the Disney World marathon this year actually sounded perfect for me :)
I hope there’s another less painful half in your future!


7 Mindy @ just a one girl revolution. October 7, 2010 at 8:09 am

Congrats Derek!!


8 Jillian @ Reshape Your Life October 7, 2010 at 8:26 am

That’s awesome how much you were able to run! Congrats!


9 Julie @ Wearing Mascara October 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

Hahahaha Derek you crack me up. Congrats on the great race!!!!! :-)


10 Sarah October 7, 2010 at 8:36 am

Congrats on finishing! I myself went into my first half marathon without having a STRICT training schedule. Farthest I had ever run was 8 miles.

While that’s more than half of the race, I struggled to finish, but I just kept going.. when you’re that far into the race – you don’t really have any other choice!


11 Kelly October 7, 2010 at 8:57 am

Congrats on your first half Derek! I’m running my first one next month and I can’t wait!


12 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm

good luck!


13 Bria October 7, 2010 at 9:02 am

Great job Derek!!!


14 Carly (Swim, Run, Om) October 7, 2010 at 9:11 am

Derek, you should start a blog! I was cracking up the whole way through. Congratulations … is there a full marathon in your future? Or at least another half? :-)


15 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm

yes, but which one? You’ll have to wait and see =)


16 Sarah October 7, 2010 at 9:12 am

Running a 1/2 Marathon on a whim this weekend! Even though I’ve been training for another one in November this one is going to be a HUGE challenge. Hearing you don’t know what you can do until you try is an awesome thing to hear.

Congratulations! And I liked the MC joke!


17 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm

“Hearing you don’t know what you can do until you try is an awesome thing to hear. ”

Believe it!


18 Amanda October 7, 2010 at 9:17 am

Congrats, Derek! Your first half marathon and first full blog post. :)


19 Sally October 7, 2010 at 9:23 am

Congrats Derek, way to go! You and Meghann are just the cutest running couple about :)


20 Whitney October 7, 2010 at 9:35 am

congrats on finishing your half!! You guys look so happy.


21 emma-kate October 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

so funny :) well done!


22 Jen October 7, 2010 at 10:08 am

Congrats Derek! Great recap!


23 Alexandra @ Bit Better Everyday October 7, 2010 at 10:10 am

Congrats on your race Derek!! That was probably one of the most entertaining race recaps I’ve read in a while! You and Meghann make such a cute couple and seem to have a really great thing going!


24 Caitlin October 7, 2010 at 10:16 am

Dear 1.5:

You had me laughing the entire time. Great job, I’m really proud of you!


25 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Stop dreaming about me! (for the rest of you…inside joke) =)


26 Biz October 7, 2010 at 10:17 am

Great job Derek – even without the proper training, that was a good time!


27 Deirdre October 7, 2010 at 10:22 am

Great recap! And if they’re really the big six I would def call you 1.5!


28 Andrea (@ Puppy Dog Tales) October 7, 2010 at 10:24 am

Go Derek! I’m super impressed. The thought of 5 miles makes me tired, I can’t imagine 13!


29 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm

You’ve got it in you…we all do!


30 Shannon, Tropical Eats October 7, 2010 at 10:41 am

I loved reading this!! You are hilarious! Congrats on the finish! “Bless the people who made that sign” LOL.. so so true


31 Sara October 7, 2010 at 10:46 am

Congratulations, Derek! You did awesome! Seriously, reading this is super inspiring. One day…maybe.

Also: We have a family group on Facebook, and I’ve given all the cousins designated titles, which are numbers in birth order. And anyone who has a spouse? The spouse’s number would look like this: 1a (for example). Great minds think alike! ;)


32 Lauren October 7, 2010 at 10:52 am

Hehe. Derek is funny. Way to go!


33 Katie @ Healthy Heddleston October 7, 2010 at 10:59 am

Great job Derek and I enjoyed all the funnies in the post :)


34 CMae October 7, 2010 at 11:09 am

Congrats, Derek! The “400 yards” and “200 yards” signs made me laugh. When I’m doing a hard run, I think about the gospel choir that Disney always has at the end of the January marathon. Great motivation to make it to the finish!


35 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) October 7, 2010 at 11:45 am

Congrats, Derek! Good for you for following through with the race and crossing the finish line.


36 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers October 7, 2010 at 11:56 am

woohoo derek! great job. i’m not gonna lie, my favorite part of the recap was when you said you “threw out an ‘i love you’” to meghann. ;) i’m a sucker for gushy love stuff!


37 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm

With my back turned and at night……..I could tell I made her blush


38 Sarah for Real October 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Congratulations! I’d like to thank you for running for MS and sticking to it. My sister passed away due to complications from MS (yes, very rare) and so it has become my favorite charity.


39 Melissa October 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Thanks Derek. My boyfriend is running his first half this weekend, so I sent this to him for inspiration. He emailed me back, what’s the big 6? lol


40 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm

haha, that’s all he got out of my post?! geeeez =)


41 Erica October 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Way to go Derek! Love your honesty. And I think you definitely deserve a “.5″ – our men deal with a lot with our blogging and food picture taking ;)


42 Stacey (The Habit of Healthy) October 7, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Great recap, and well done for completing the distance (and raising money for a fab cause)! :)


43 Sarah October 7, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Derek–You are so right about the MC article!!

Congrats on an amazing accomplishment!


44 Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat October 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Congrats on your first half-marathon! You definitely did well for taking that break off from running!


45 Toronto Girl West October 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm

The fact that you finished a half after not really running, gives me hope. My training hasn’t been going great either (I’ve got SERIOUS IT band issues) and my first half is October 17th.

I’ll get a 10 miler in this weekend and that will be my furthest run. Here goes nothing! HA! ;)

Anywho – congratulations! It’s huge!!!!!! No matter what your training looked like!


46 Stephanie October 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Those signs at the end were SUCH a great thing! Congrats on the finish!


47 Sana October 7, 2010 at 12:36 pm

You are so awesome! I can really see what Meghann sees in you! And she is always right.
Just accept it :)


48 Heather October 7, 2010 at 12:41 pm

yay derek! I hope he plans on running another half marathon!


49 Lauren October 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Derek, you did AMAZING!!!!! So proud of you! ;)


50 Theresa @ActiveEggplant October 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Great recap Derek! And quite the impressive finish for only getting up to 6 miles during training! I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment: “…you don’t know what you’re capable of until you try with an honest effort…so why not get out there and find out?” I (and I’m sure lots of others) too frequently think “I can’t do THAT”, and never even give it a try – no matter what the “that” is.

Glad you had a great run – and look forward to future posts from you! You’ve got a fun style to read.


51 Katy October 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm

This may be my favorite race recap EVER…and yes, that includes Meghann’s! I think it’s so important and cool that you shared the crappy side of long-distance runs. They suck, for 13 miles. Then that last .1 comes and it’s such a rush that you sort of forget how bad it was!

Love your tangents, BTW…next time, Lucas and I will try and be at your finish line with beer and shot blocks.


52 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Cha ching ching ching ching ching ching!!! (that was me hitting the jackpot after seeing you and lucas at my next finish line with beer and shot bloks)


53 Quirky Jessi October 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm

You guys are definitely part of the Big 6! Instead of giving you halves, though, how about 1B, 2B, 3B? You’re a total 1B. <3


54 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:48 pm

hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way, but I like the decimal approach. Looking at 1B, 2B, 3B…..I see ‘weird bra sizes’. Yes, I’m quirky too, Jessi.


55 Quirky Jessi October 7, 2010 at 7:02 pm

When I see the 1.5, 2.5, etc, it makes me think you guys are only half
people (don’t get me started on the images that creates). Or the flip side,
that you guys are better than the girls because well, 1.5 is more than 1,
hehe. Hmm…


56 Derek October 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm

haha touché


57 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day October 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Congrats! This was such a fun recap to read! Like yourself, I’m new to running and could never imagine myself running over 13 miles, but you given me hope!

And you are pretty hilarious too :)


58 Jordan October 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Great job on your first half marathon!


59 Reenie October 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm

WOW!!! Derek……I’m impressed. Waaaay to go ~ you did a GREAT job!!


60 Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels October 7, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Congrats Derek! You’re so funny! :)


61 Karen @ Not Just Celery October 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Great job Derek! I think it’s awesome you went out there and did your best even though you came to terms with being underprepared…that’s exactly how I feel about my half marathon (my 2nd) next Sunday!


62 Jess October 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Congrats on your first race Derek! I love your race report it cracked me up.

That’s also almost the exact same time I finished my first half marathon in!


63 Brie @ Brie Fit October 7, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Great job! Also, those medals look huuuuge.

(I am sending this to my husband, as he has recently started running/racing but would prefer watching college football, too. Maybe you should start a support group.)


64 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Won’t lie….I’d change the subject to college football in 2.389 seconds


65 Laura October 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Haha you and Meghann are lucky to have each other! I’m impressed with how supportive you both are!!
Congratulations on your half marathon!! That’s a HUGE achievement!


66 Marika October 7, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Congratulations on your first half marathon! And thanks for making a joke about the Marie Claire debacle– there’s been so much negativity about that terrible article, I think eventually we all just need to laugh about it.


67 Melissa @ TryingToHeal October 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Great Job Derek! I never would have been able to run 13 miles w/o training you like! kudos!


68 Jae October 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm

SO awesome :)
You guys are a perrfect fit! ^^


69 Nikka B October 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm

What a cute couple ;)
Congratulations on your race!


70 suzie franklin October 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm


I love the post! I’m running the Fargo, ND 13.1 this weekend and have not trained at all. I also ran the San Diego this year with the same method and pretty much felt the same as you did on your run. The last 3.1 miles hurt to run and to walk. Reading your post made me relive my San Diego half and gave me the courage that I can do the Fargo this weekend.


71 Derek October 7, 2010 at 6:50 pm

slow and steady gets you across the finish line!


72 Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice October 7, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Great job, Derek! You guys are SO cute.


73 Sarah (A Runner's Heart) October 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Great job Derek! I will be attempting my first half in March and am scared to death! This helped ease my anxiety a bit! :) I hope one day my hubby will be as great as you and do a guest post! :) Thanks for the re-cap! :)


74 Dione October 7, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Congrats on completing your 1st half marathon! Do we see a marathon guest post in our future????


75 Cynthia (It All Changes) October 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I love that you admitted Meghann was right. SO big of you to do so. :-)


76 shorty October 8, 2010 at 12:30 am

Too funny!! Great job on the 1/2!

BTW- you two are a cute couple:)


77 Caroline October 8, 2010 at 7:42 am

Awesome job Derek! I don’t think I would have been nearly as level headed as you if I had done the same. Thanks for the recap! I always really enjoy hearing the guys’ voice on a blog.


78 jessica October 11, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Thanks so much for the race recap Derek! I was totally inspired by your drive to keep going regardless of the pain- way to go!!!! As for your “joke” for Katie D.- I liked it ;-) Showing your lady support is essential and I’m sure much appreciated.


79 Cassie October 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm

That’s awesome-congrats!


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