Ralston Creek Half Marathon + Training Update

This Sunday was the final race in the Racing Underground Winter Series, the Ralston Creek Half Marathon. All week we debated doing this race, but the reasons changed throughout the week.


It started with a plan to spend the weekend in the mountains celebrating Kirk’s birthday and an early Valentine’s Day, then we cancelled the mountain trip when I admitted I was sick, then I wondered if I was well enough to run. I ultimately decided it I ran slowly, the race atmosphere would at least make the distance more interesting.

At mile 4 of the race, I decided I was an idiot. Lucky for me, I had no idea where I was or how to get back to the start – so I competed a half marathon on Sunday morning!

2013-02-10 12.11.15

The course started flat to uphill, with a HUGE hill in the middle. I wish I had taken a picture, but picture a climb bad enough to have 3-4 switchbacks crossing the face of the hill/mountain. Yep – that was fun. And yes, I walked. I was not in a good place during this point.

When I saw the gentle downhill from the top of the hill, I reminded myself I like downhills and started moving again. I actually ran 95% of the remaining miles, which isn’t something I should be proud of, but sometimes it’s the best you can do! I even started having fun again and chatted with a nice girl for about a half mile.

There was a bit of an uphill at the end, which my lungs did not enjoy. I think uphills were the parts where I had a hard time ignoring I was still a little sick, which happened to be about half the course.

2013-02-10 12.26.05

At the finish line, I told Kirk that might not have been the smartest idea. But a few days later, I’m still getting better, so maybe it was okay after all. It’s my slowest half marathon in years, but I got to run in a beautiful location, with the last 5 miles mostly downhill, with pretty snow for a few minutes.

My official finish time was 2:21:07. A normal time for me is at the very least sub-2 hours, with a PR of 1:50:xx. I’m falling back on DFL > DNF > DNS.


I also remembered how important the mental aspect of running can be. If you let yourself get negative in the race, things get worse. Turn that around and convince yourself to be positive and running really does get better.


Because of sickness (and Kirk’s birthday), I completely missed my training update on Saturday. There’s not much to tell, but here’s what last week’s training looked like:

Saturday 2/2: 45 minute Bike

We were in Columbia for our cousin’s wedding last weekend and skipped this workout. No good excuse, just didn’t do it. But we had fun at the wedding!

Saturday Wedding in Columbia

Sunday 2/3: 8 Mile Run

I was counting on this East Coast, sea-level run to feel awesome, but it was rough. I ate way too much fried stuff at t he wedding and this was the after effects. Looking back, this was probably also the start of being sick.

Sunday Run through Columbia

Monday 2/4: 2400 Swim + Chest/Tri

Woke up with a severely sore throat and decided to take an unplanned rest day and get well. Kirk made me a yummy latte to help me feel better.


Tuesday 2/5 – Friday 2/8: Lots of workouts that didn’t happen

Every day I hoped that resting would make it better, but couldn’t kick it.

Sick Week

But don’t feel too bad, I’m feeling more normal this week! I am traveling for work from Thursday – Sunday, including a very long work schedule each day, so this week will be interesting. I’m ready to REALLY get back to normal soon!


Questions for you:

  • What did you learn from your “worst” race?
  • I know a lot of people have been sick lately – how are you feeling?

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  1. Lee says

    DFL > DNF > DNS is definitely true! Plus, also, I’m sure you weren’t dead last anyway!

    It seems like the whole country has the same sickness. It hit me too. I’m pretty much over it now, but still have a cold.

    • Stacey S. says

      OMG – this reminds me of my worse race ever and it was related to running when I probably shouldn’t have. It was a 20 mile race and I had been training for what had seemed like forever and in the week leading up to it, I came down with a nasty cold. The cold pretty much settled in my chest and was coupled with horrible coughing spells. Well, I was bound and determined to at least try and run when race day came and I think it was much earlier in that race, like mile 1 or 2, that I realized what a complete idiot I was and that it wasn’t the best idea that I ever had! Unfortunately, it was a point to point race and it was in the middle of nowhere, so I was forced to keep moving. lol, to this day I remember scheming how if I could find a car that was driving by, I would flag them down and beg for a ride back! Granted, there were no cars and I probably could have called it quits at an aid station, but I pushed through to the finish – why I did that, I’ll never know. Perhaps I was feverish and delusional as well? 😉

    • says

      No, I wasn’t last, which means my result is even better, right? 😉

      I am annoyed at myself for getting sick, because I did everything wrong that weekend that I know better. Too much crap to eat, no vitamins, too little water, and we were traveling. Live and learn!

  2. says

    okay not too bad considering you were sick all week! my worst was a half i did last year. very hilly trail half. the night before i thought it would be okay to guzzle a lot of wine-duh. and raced the whole half feeling like death and burping up red wine even at mile 10! i would have stopped too but i was out in the middle of no where. my time was about 2:20 too.
    kalli recently posted…Palm Springs Half MarathonMy Profile

  3. says

    Wow – you go girl! I wish I had gotten this sooner b/c I totally would have included you in the way to go Wednesday post!! I ran a half last year after injuries and not running for 6 wks. It sucked so bad, but was one of my best races b/c it taught me time isn’t always important – that day I crossed the finish line with my hubby (his first half)
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted…HIIT Bike & Full Body WorkoutMy Profile

    • says

      Haha – it’s not one that I’m proud of, but a lesson learned is a good thing. :) And you’re so right – time is not always important. I am sure your hubby LOVED getting to finish his first half with you!

  4. says

    Ugh! I’m feeling sick too. I ran yesterday at the gym, and I probably pushed myself more than I should have. No half marathons though. Good for you (or not good?) for finishing. The mental aspect of it all is definitely something I’ve come to realize. Some days it is just HARD. [Luckily, most days are great. :)]

    Feel better!!! I’m hoping to kick this head cold soon…
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted…Roasted Red Pepper + Pinto Bean DipMy Profile


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