May 16, 2010

Race Report: The Katie Lynch Heartbreak Hill Half-Marathon

**Edit: After checking the race results this morning, I actually came in at 2:01:45! One minute faster than I thought!

So, I did it! I ran my first Half-Marathon! It was amazing and it was such an incredible feeling! I've been looking forward to this for so long and I finally did it! Here's my first attempt at a race report!

5:00am - Alarm goes off, I get dressed and make myself one of the recipes from Real Girls Eat: Porridge with Apples, Pears and Crispy Walnuts - it wasn't very good, so I tossed it and went with regular old Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal!

6:00am - Lauren picked me up and we made our way out to the race. About halfway there, I started getting really nervous, like queasy, nauseous type nervous.

6:30am - Arrived at Newton South High School, picked up our bibs, stretched, used the bathrooms, lined up and were ready to go!

7:45am - After the Race Director told us the story of Katie Lynch (read it here), and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, we were off!

Miles 1-2: Nice and easy, I was feeling pretty good and was running at about an 8:30 pace. The hills started right around Mile 2. The incline was pretty easy on the first hill and the downhill was surprisingly easy as well. I didn't like how much speed I was picking up on the downhill because it was pretty steep, but I was feeling good.

Miles 3-5: I lost Lauren somewhere between Miles 3-5. I was starting to feel tired so I popped a GU Chomp (after asking one of the race volunteers to open the packet for me!) Mile 4 was the start of another hill which peaked about Mile 5 and was another steep incline down. I started getting tired and my feet started to go a little numb but I was determined to make it to Heartbreak without stopping.

Miles 6-8: Heartbreak Hill. Just at the 10k mark, I had to stop and walk. My legs were cramping up and I felt like I had just spent too much of my energy and started worrying I wouldn't be able to finish. I popped 3 GU Chomps, drank some water and then hit it heard to climb Heartbreak. Just after Heartbreak, we hit a hill that was even worse. Steep climb up on uneven pavement and then a steep drop down.

Miles 9-11: My Power songs started to kick in and I felt awesome. These were a nice easy two miles and I was making great time! My Nike+ told me I was running 7:57 at one point! I've definitely never run that fast and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to finish if I kept it up, but my songs definitely pushed me through.

Mile 12: "Stronger" by Britney Spears came on just as we came up on the last hill. This one was, as the race coordinators referred to it, a doozie! I absolutely HAD to walk some of it, but started pushing through just as the top of the hill. And right when "Stronger" ended, "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls, my all-time favorite song ever came on and I literally yelled out and one of the volunteers was like, YES! YOU CAN DO THIS and I picked it up and maintained an 8:01 pace straight through to about the 12.8 mark when I just started sprinting.

Mile 13: I'm sprinting to the finish and feeling GREAT when out of the crowd jumps my mom! She totally surprised me and I started tearing up and came in strong at 2:01:45..3 minutes and 15 seconds below my goal time!

It was an unbelievable first race! And my mom?! She woke up at 2am and drove from New Jersey to Boston so that she could be at the finish line. Do I have the best mom ever or what???

And Lauren? She was amazing and calming me down and giving me tips and helping me not to totally freak out and run away before the race even started!

The race volunteers were incredible! Every time they said, 'You look great' or 'Awesome job,' I was like yes!

And I could not have gotten through the race without my awesome playlist!

So to avoid this post being any longer, here are some pictures and my playlist!

Mom snapped this picture of me coming up on the Finish!

Lauren and I showing off our medals!


Half-Marathon Playlist

  • Any Way You Want It - Journey
  • Jesse's Girl - Rick Springfield
  • I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas*
  • Fire Burning - Sean Kingston
  • Tik Tok - Ke$ha
  • Shake It - Metro Station*
  • Viva La Vida - Coldplay
  • So What - Pink
  • Shipping up to Boston - Dropkick Murphys**
  • Mr. Brightside - The Killers
  • Autobiography - Ashlee Simpson*
  • Move Along - All American Rejects*
  • Dirty Little Secret - All American Rejects
  • Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson*
  • Living on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
  • Your Love - The Outfield
  • Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
  • Bad Romance - Lady Gaga*
  • Good Girls Go Bad - Cobra Starship
  • We Weren't Born to Follow - Bon Jovi*
  • Semi-Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind**
  • Hey Jealousy - Gin Blossoms**
  • Candyman - Christina Aguilera
  • Halfway Gone - Lifehouse
  • Let's Get it Started - Black Eyed Peas***
  • Eye of the Tiger - Survivor***
  • Don't Stop Believin' - Journey**
  • Run Around - Blues Traveler
  • Check Yes Juliet - We the Kings
  • Stronger - Britney Spears****
  • Slide - Goo Goo Dolls*****
  • Gives You Hell - All American Rejects
  • Hey Soul Sister - Train
Starred songs are what I consider my Power Songs =) Multiple stars means I couldn't have run without it.

Thanks to everyone in Bloggyland who has given me so much support throughout all my training! You guys ROCK!


  1. Congrats! I run too fast to ever do any distance races - I'm too impatient.

  2. Wow! Congrats on your finish AND your amazing time!!! I am so glad I found your blog because your attitude about running and your music choices are SO right on par with mine and I look forward to cheering each other on as we continue! Anyway, I am super happy for you and congrats on a CRAZY awesome time!!!

  3. Great job, Christy! What a tough race- the hills looked ridiculous! And it's so great that your mom could be there. Really happy for you!

  4. YOU DID IT!!! What a great race and a great time!! How sweet of your mom to get up in the middle of the night to be at your race! Thanks for sharing your playlist...I'll have to add some of your songs to mine!

  5. Congratulations!! That's so awesome :)

  6. Way to go, girl! I was waiting at the finish line with BBQ chips but you must have been so excited that your mom was there that you forgot to look for me! :)

  7. Wow! Congratulations! Thanks for the playlist, some of your song choices made me smile (i.e. Since U Been Gone). Perhaps I'll add them to my running playlist!

  8. First, I LOVE the new blog design! It's so cute.

    Congrats on your first half marathon! You have to be so proud of yourself. The fact that your mom drove all that way to see you is so special! She really loves you :-)

    Love the pics and how you documented everything!

  9. CONGRATULATIONS!! so exciting! its such an accomplishment :)

    and you do have the best mom and playlist ever!

  10. I loved reading this post! It sounds like you seriously rocked the half-marathon. Great job :)

  11. Congratulations on the strong finish. It's awesome that your mom made the drive out to meet you at the finish line. :)

  12. GREAT job! Love you playlist as well...very similar to what I have been listened to get me through the rough patches.

  13. Congrats on the race girl! Great time! I just started up a blog about running, if you get the chance check it out. I love your blog!

    Thanks! Em

  14. YAY!!! IM SOOO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU!!! YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO ME!!!! I WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE AT THE FINISH LINE WITH YOUR MOM!- GREAT JOB!!! miss you love you proud of you! cant wait to see you again!

  15. Congrats! It's impressive that you ran a half marathon- but all those hills!? amazing. I think it's great that your mom came down to watch you as well.

  16. Ahhhh congrats girl! Wow - those are a lot of hills! I am IMPRESSED! And what a great shot of you about to cross the finish line. Celebrations are in order! xxSAS

  17. Congrats! I know what you mean about being nervous - before my first triathlon I was so nervous my body's fight or flight response kicked in, and I had to run to the bathroom like 3 times right before the race. It is very scary at first, but you did it. Next time won't be so scary! :)

  18. i can't believe the pace you went. I ran a half and didn't walk at all, and I came in slower than you! you had some quick miles there, lady! Great job!!

  19. Awesome job! Nice time too! It took me 3 halves before I could get a time like that :) I'm really impressed you tackled those hills like you did!

  20. Congrats on your first half! That is such a great accomplishment! Well done!

  21. Congrast to you! I am going to save your playlist to add to my gym playlist! :)

  22. You did it baby. I'm so glad I was able to be there for you.. wouln't have missed it for the world. This shows you one more time that you can do anything you set out to if you have the drive and are willing to work hard. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  23. I've given you a blogger award, check out my page because the HTML link isn't working the way I want it to work!

    have a great week =)

  24. You're amazing! (And so is your Mum!) Good work girl :)


  25. Daily Mile is judging me! lol. I guess I have no choice but to add miles this week... or lie... we'll see


    Congrats again!

  26. wow so impressive! congrats. just found your blog and looking forward to reading more. :)
    nicole visiting from

  27. what a wonderful mom you have. congrats on your race! YOU ROCK!

  28. I ABSOLUTELY love that playlist! Awesome picks! And congrats of course :) Have a beautiful day

  29. wow great race story! congrats on an awesome time!

  30. Whoa-Hoo!!!!
    YOU DID IT... and your rocked it out! Good job!

  31. Congrats, woohoo!! Looks like a great "hilly" race, way to tackle them strong! I love your playlist, too...I need new songs on mine so gonna steal a few of yours. Have a really great day!!

  32. Congrats!! Your mom is so sweet :) I love your playlist, it very similar to mine. Whoo hoo for peppy pop songs!

  33. How did I miss this??? Congrats girly on a really, really strong and awesome hilly first half marathon! I'm very impressed :)
    I loved how you got a volunteer to open your chomps, the sport beans are hard, too!
    You rock! Congrats!!!

  34. Guess who's going to be in Boston to cheer you on for 13.1 Boston???? MEEEEEEE!!!!

  35. OhMyGwassH! You did super, uber, aMazing for your first half, you are such a bad a$$...KUDOS

    Keep Running ^_^

  36. OMG your race recap is MUCH more favorable than probably didn't help that I was dragged OUT the night before and didn't get to bed until after 11pm! NOT OK. Great job though! I can't believe this was your first half, it's SOOO challenging!


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