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The Kiawah Half I'd Rather Forget

At the end of the Kiawah Half last year, there were high fives. There were exclamations of joy. There was pride, sheer exhaustion, a sense of accomplishment, exhilaration, and {happy} tears.

This year?

Frustration. Disappointment. Annoyance. A lot of sweat, a little bit of blood. A need for redemption.


Leading up to the race, I was pumped. I had put in all of the miles and hills and sprints and long runs necessary to complete a half marathon. I ran when I didn't want to. I ran when it was unbearably, miserably hot outside. I ran when the thunder rumbled in the distance and I ran when it was 20 something degrees outside. I improved on my speed & broke my 5K PR three separate times, most recently a week prior to the half.

I was ready.

Until I saw the weather forecast: mid 60s during race time.

& if there is anything that I know about myself when it comes to running, it's that I run the very best when it's cold out. Like 30 degrees cold. Not 60 - 70 degrees.


Mile 1
I knew I was in trouble when I was already drenched in sweat before we rounded Night Heron Park and reached mile marker 1.

Mile 2
Spent most of this mile trying to get back ahead of the 10:18/mile pace group. That pace group was on track to finish in 2:15... and I wanted to beat my time from last year {2:14:53}, so I needed to get ahead of those runners.

Mile 3
Got ahead of the pace group!

Mile 4
Thought process this whole mile? Run on the yellow line in the middle of the road and focus on that and nothing else. Kind of worked and it distracted me from the sunny/hot part of the course.

Mile 5
Absolutely kicking some booty at this point! The focusing on the yellow line on the road was working wonders.

Mile 6
Uh oh, back in the sunshine. Slowing it down in the heat.

Mile 7
... and y'all, this is where things broke down. I don't ever drink water when I run. Mostly because it's impossible to drink without stopping to walk but also because the feeling of water sloshing around while running is fairly nauseating.

But... I drank some water. Chugged it, actually. Then proceeded to run. Any guesses at what immediately came back up and out?

{still trying to figure out how this was my fastest mile?}

Mile 8
Commence the walking.

New goal: run to the next water station at mile 8, get some water, and walk a minute. Lies. The water station was somewhat closer to mile 8.5 and I bailed at mile 8 to do a little walking to try and cool down.

Mile 9

More water, more walking. I wasn't making the chug water & run mistake again.

Mile 10

Things really broke down at mile 10. There's something about those last three miles that gets me every single time. They're always longer than I think they are. I was entirely too hot at this point. But, on the bright side, the Kiawah Marathon people prepared well for the hotter than anticipated weather and had set up lots of precautions. One of them was the course volunteer on the golf cart who kept suggesting that I call it a day & hop on her cart for a ride back to the start line.

Not going to lie, I was a little bit tempted to take her up on her offer.

Mile 11

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Walk. Run. Walk. Run. Ugh.

Mile 12

Pit stop! Enjoy the "I'm super miserable, give me water" photos somewhere between mile 11 & 12.


Mile 13.1

Can't even make it out of the finish line chute to get my medal and water. Leaned up against the barrier and couldn't move.


Official Results
Chip Time - 2:19:20
Pace - 10:33/mile
Overall Finish - 1,606/2,742
Age Group - 151/259

Last year I was so excited and thrilled and elated at the finish line. This year? Complete opposite.

But now it's time to learn how to let go of a bad race & time to remember why I run in the first place. Those are two super hard things to do when you were 100% expecting to set a PR and failed miserably at doing so.

Step One: find that friend that got you involved in running in the first place. Try not to tell her how much you hate running in that moment.

Step Two: put on favorite "Run for You" shirt and your hard-earned, well-deserved finisher's medal. Smile and give thumbs up because even though it sucked, you survived.

Step Three: get into the freezing cold Atlantic ocean.

Step Four: ... sign up for the 2016 Kiawah Half Marathon...and a 5K, a 10K, and a 15K this winter while it's still {hopefully} super cold out. Completely scratch the idea of doing a half in Columbia in May and consider signing up to volunteer instead.


  1. The shitty runs are the ones that teach us the most. And, as the cliché Pinterest saying goes, "No matter how slow you are, you're still running laps around everyone sitting on the couch."

  2. Girl, water or no water you still did great - not sure I could even run a mile in 9 minutes without dying, I'll stick to mty 5k's :)

  3. I'm sorry to hear it wasn't your best race, but you know what you still killed it and finished!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  4. Congrats on finishing the race and not giving up!

  5. What a bummer, but you should still be proud of that time! Sometimes it is just not in the cards, but the next big win will be even sweeter :)

  6. Girl... I can barely rock a 5K so kudos to you for finishing tough!! You rock!

  7. I was thinking about you while I was golfing in a sleeveless top and shorts on Saturday... I cannot even imagine how hot it must have been. Great job for finishing!!

  8. Wow girl, you still rocked it!! I don't know how it would be possible to run that far when it's so hot out!! Hope the weather is much cooler next year for you!

  9. I cannot imagine how hot that was - I was hot up here just walking miles. Way to go finishing and looking good while doing soon - love the ocean pic, definitely a great way to cool off!

  10. Bummer you didn't have a great race, but I still think it's awesome that you completed it!! Good luck getting ready for your future races! :)

  11. That is such a bummer you didn't do as well as you had hoped. But I still think it is amazing you did a half! That is so cool! I totally agree with you though - running in the warmer weather is no fun at all. Give me the cold over the warm any day!

  12. ugh i'm sorry ti was a crappy race girl. and ugh i have made the chug water mistake.. not good. but just think about how amazing you will feel after you smash the next one -because i know you will ;)


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