Kristen R: Waynesboro Park-to-Park Half Marathon Recap

The utilitarian race medal. Good stuff.

The utilitarian race medal. Good stuff.

Yesterday was my first half marathon of this year. I ran the Waynesboro, Virginia Park-to-Park half which is part of the Run the Valley series.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day. The weather was perfect. We were in a valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so the air was a little crisp making the temperature just right in the sun and the shade.

The only oddity of the event was that my friend — let’s call her Poison Hivey — couldn’t run as planned.

When we left for Waynesboro on Friday, she had developed hives. She brushed it off, took some Benadryl and hoped for the best for race day morning. Well, Saturday morning brought with it more hives which were red and raised and angry. She went back and forth as to whether to run, but when it came down to it, she knew that running would make the situation much worse (which was confirmed by her doctor when she got home).

Instead of tearing up the Park-to-Park course — which she would have smoked, by the way — she drove the course and found a few good spots to cheer on myself and our other friend. Thank you, Poison Hivey, for the cheers. They did wonders for my mental state out there!

I’ve mentioned before that the course was described as having “gentle rolling hills,” and this was most certainly true. It was tucked between the mountains and we crossed streams, ran through farmland as well as quaint little small town roads with homes and shops smattered along the way. It just reminded me how much I love a rural race course. There were cows mooing; roosters crowing; and really nice people at the aid stations who cheered for us runners.

The race is also quite small. I think in total there were about 600 runners (and I’m not sure if that’s the total for just the half marathon or if it includes the 5K, too). After doing the Cherry Blossom 10-miler a couple of weeks ago — a race with so many runners the course never actually thins out — the Park-to-Park course was a welcome change. I’ll definitely try to hit this one again next year.

Cheers to a good half marathon!

Cheers to a good half marathon!

As for how I performed, I started out strong, but definitely felt those hills depleting my energy during the middle section. My final time was 2:06 — not my best, but certainly not my worst, especially now that I’ve been more consistent this year (to say the least!). I really thought my time would be more like 2:15-2:20 because I hadn’t been doing much speed work and, frankly, I didn’t know what to expect from the hills. I came in 19th in my age group. All in all, I’m happy with my time and placement.

So, here are things to work on for the next go-round (advice welcome!):

  • How to keep my energy level steady. Meaning, I need to keep my time consistent throughout and not putter out at the end. (And, yes, I had a GU, plus water and Gatorade along the course.)
  • I need to do more hill training and speed work. Sigh. Obviously, this will help the bullet above, too.
  • I should consider placing my friends in a protective bubble two days before a race so they don’t break out into hives or catch colds or whatever.

One thing I missed out on while at this race was a kids’ fun run here at home that both my girls participated. I’m proud they tackled this course — a track run and obstacle course.  Cute photos below.

Gotta run!
Kristen R.

That's my smallest small fry front and center, arms raised, and ready to get the party started.

That’s my smallest small fry front and center, arms raised, and ready to get the party started. I would follow her and her cuteness in a victory lap or two. Wouldn’t you?

My little noodle wasn't happy at the end of her race, but I found out it's because her daddy ran ahead to get a shot of her crossing the finish line. She recovered

My little noodle wasn’t happy at the end of her race, but I found out it’s because her daddy ran ahead to get a shot of her crossing the finish line. She wanted him by her side and was trying to catch back up to him. She recovered just fine, though, but that sad poked out lip breaks my heart.

The Bean at the finish line. Victory!

The Bean at the finish line. Victory! She is a future track sensation. Watch out, world.

Running log to date.
Running log to date.

KHP Art Below

KHP - Just a little flower to brighten the day:) Not sure if you need it after that post! Wahoo KR!!!

KHP – Just a little flower to brighten the day:) Not sure if you need it after that post! Wahoo KR!!!


About Kristen R.

Counting down to 40, while juggling motherhood, marriage, the corporate grind & middle-of-the-pack running. It's OK to point & laugh.
This entry was posted in Kristen R., Motherhood, Running and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Kristen R: Waynesboro Park-to-Park Half Marathon Recap

  1. Kristen says:

    I love the pictures. Mommy and the little ones kicked butt yesterday!

  2. wwwmama says:

    Congrats on a great race! The kids look so cute!

  3. lehorse says:

    Nice run and good time. Sounds like a fantastic race so much better than running around sprawling cities IMO. Energy wise did you log your run on a garmin etc? I would be useful to look back at your mile splits as you were on about 9:30 ish pace. Would be interesting to see how the first few mile splits were because if they were 7:30 – 8ish min/mil and then the later were 10-11’s min/mils then if you held yourself back at the start @ 9 – 9:30 and held that for the race I bet you will have the same if not better time but not be half as tired. Just a thought but I’m sure I am not saying anything you don’t already know. 🙂 Hope your friend is feeling better

    • Kristen R. says:

      Thanks, Brendon. I did wear my Garmin and found that I was starting out a bit too fast. Not quite 7:30-8s but still, faster than I wanted to be going, especially if trying to maintain a 9:30-ish pace throughout. I was torn as to whether to hold back or just go for it, honestly. I felt so good and didn’t want to slow myself then lose it completely at the end, but I also didn’t want to burn myself out. It’s a tough call sometimes as to whether to hold back or go for it. My goal for my Nov. half is sub-2. Need to start doing more speed work and maintaining a consistent pace. My Garmin is proof that I always slow down during the last quarter of a race.

      How did your long brick session feel?

  4. lehorse says:

    You know you have nailed it when you start getting negative splits. Brick session went really really well thanks a nice steady 90km in 3 hours and then a 5km lap of the regatta lake. Was looking at a 10km run but the wind was so bad that I just shut it down at 5km and headed home. Legs are feeling great today so should be running home from work tonight so that will be 18km-20km.

    • Kristen R. says:

      Sounds like you’ve got a good long run planned this afternoon. Nice! And, I have to say my legs feel great, too, post-race. After my 10-miler a couple of weeks ago, the next day’s run HURT! Yesterday I did a slow, easy mile and felt just fine and wasn’t terribly sore. Maybe this consistency thing is doing me some good. 🙂 Have a good run later today.

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