Friday, October 24, 2014

Newport Half Marathon and a Little PR

When I started to plan my race schedule for 2014, I had one major goal. To run the United Healthcare Triple Crown.  Three races in three Rhode Island cities, Providence, Jamestown and Newport.  Newport was going to be my 'big goal race."  However, you all know that all changed when I won the free entry into the Rhode Warrior Half Ironman Distance Triathlon.

For most of the year, I focused on swimming and biking with some running thrown in there.  My goal of a 2:20 half marathon had slipped away. That is, until I started to really think about the race. Could I actually still pull it off?  With every run, I kept thinking it was possible.

The Saturday before the half, I ran with Beth.  She was going to run the race with me and we talked about her pacing me.  After that run, I was pretty confident that I would give it my all and shoot for a new PR.

The morning of the race, Beth and I met and drove in together.  Traffic was a bit crazy and I was getting worried we wouldn't make it. Of course we did and since it was cold, it wasn't the worst thing in the world.  We were able to watch the full marathoners start and then we lined up.

I was doubting my choice of clothes and was wishing I had throw-a-way gloves.  Once we started, it did not take long to warm up.

To get my 2:20, we would have to stay under a 10:41 pace.  Pacing is not my strong point. I was happy to have Beth just tell me what I needed to do.  After each mile or so, she would tell me what we ran and if we needed to slow down or speed up. We had a couple fast miles which left a few seconds in the bank for the slower ones.  Beth was right on!

Things started to hurt at about mile nine.  Beth would not let me give up.  I am pretty sure if I was alone, I would of taken a walk break here.

I was so happy to hit mile ten, just 5K to go! I have to say though, I wasn't sure at this point I was going to make 2:20.  I did know that it would still be a PR though. My last PR was 2:24 which I also achieved with Beth, and I knew we would at least beat that.

To my surprise, I was able to hit negative splits for the last 3.1 miles: 10:52, 10:51, 10:00 and the last .1, 9:02.

I have never been so relived to stop running before.  We crossed that line and hugged and not only did I get my PR, I finished in 2:19:29!
Absolutely love Beth's smile in this picture!

I cannot thank Beth enough for all her help and encouraging words.  If you run with me, you know I am a talker. I can go on and on and on for miles.  I am pretty sure if we added up how much I talked to Beth during this race, it would be less than 15 minutes.  I know this really surprised Beth, but I was just so focus and all I could do was think about running, so, that is what I did.  I ran my heart out, fueled right, and just kept putting one foot in front of the other until we crossed the finish line.

We got our medals, and then found our way to the table that was giving out the Triple Crown shirt and extra medal.  I almost cried when I got it.

I was exhausted, Beth was tired too. We did not stay for the free beer. We just headed to the shuttles and drove home.

I felt high the rest of the day. So happy to have the best running friends and family.  When I got home, I was greeted with big hugs and a card that the kids made me.  There may have been tears again...

This is me running.

I can't really say that I trained for that PR, but I did train all year for different races and was pretty much half marathon ready the whole year.  With a little help and determination, I did it!  It was my eight half marathon and one of my favorites. I am not sure I will do the Triple Crown again, but I will at least run Newport.  The course is beautiful, and it is well run.

Coming up on Sunday, I will be running the Newport Bridge run for the fourth year in a row.  This is the fourth year for the race and it is just such a good time.  I plan to be there as many years as I can.

I have some really exciting things coming up and I can't wait to share them with you. I am still working out the details but will blog about everything soon.

I hope you are all having a great weekend!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole


  1. In 2012, I ran the Providence Rock 'n Roll Half and the United Healthcare Jamestown Half in 2013. I loved both of those races. I would have liked to have done Newport, too, but I'm not sure if the R'nR half counts toward the triple crown. Also, I heard there are killer hills in the Newport race. What was the course like?

    1. Rock and Roll did not count and actually, they no longer have it.

      Newport has hills, but from what I understand, they are harder the second 13.1. I have only done the half and although it's not the easiest course, I have PR'ed each year. It really is a nice race and I highly recommend it.