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Half Marathon PR and Blogger Meetup!

The last time I blogged about trying to PR at the half marathon distance and come in under 2 hours,  I puked, got a personal worst (2:18), cried and then hid with a bag of jelly beans for 48 hours. So you can understand why this time around I was a little more shy about the whole ordeal. Thankfully, things went much, much better.

I ran the Women's Half Marathon in Nashville, TN this weekend with three wonderful bloggers: Suz, Beth and Jenny. I also got to meet up briefly with Kelsey at the expo. The only downside was that I kind of didn't take many pictures. No, let me rephrase. I took one picture of someone's headband as an inside joke. In poor lighting. Without proper focus. It's a real winner, but I'll spare you all from it. Thankfully, at least one person in our group was thinking ahead and took a photo. I've completely stolen it from Beth, but here's one pre-race shot. By the way, head over to her blog for a much better recap with TWO (count 'em) photos. Rock star.

Suz, me, Beth and Jenny!
So...I drove up to Nashville on Friday, checked into the swanky hotel downtown (four people in a room  = actually affordable) and got chatting with these ladies. I had met Suz before, but Beth and Jenny were new friends and it was great to get to know them OUTSIDE of their blogs. We ate dinner at the completely reasonable hour of 5pm and then spent all evening talking.

Saturday morning was race day, so I did what all smart people do and tried a completely new breakfast. Genius, right? Two slices of toast (gluten-free) with peanut butter and honey and some black coffee worked though, so I'm sticking with it from now on. We got in the corrals with roughly 90 seconds to spare and I ran right behind Jenny for as long as I could....which was about one minute.

I never know if people like to hear the details of the race itself, but here are my thoughts: it was hilly. Really hilly. Luckily, trail running lately has made that less of a problem for me than it normally is, but I still routinely get passed on uphills. The same group of women were all running with me and I would fall behind on every hill and catch up on every downhill. Clearly, I have some more work to do in that area. The temps were pretty great (about 60 at the start and 70 at the finish) and everything was just....great. Really. I enjoyed myself, I got in a groove after about three miles and I felt strong until about mile 11.5. The last 14 minutes or so was tough, but isn't that how a race is supposed to be?

Final numbers: (Hey all you guys who scrolled down to read this first!) 1:55:39 is my chip time. That's a PR by about 6 minutes and admission to the ever-elusive sub-2 half marathon club, and I will take it gladly.  I didn't run the tangents for a perfect 13.1 miles, but I know that I do better having more space anyway, so that's fine. Jenny had a specific target leading up to her next big race, and she killed it! Suz came close to her PR time on this hilly course, and Beth ran side by side with Suz the whole time. I don't mean to brag, but we were kind of all awesome. I couldn't have asked for a better group of women to experience the race with.

The rest of the day was spent doing what all good bloggers do. We showered, ate lunch, went shopping at Trader Joe's for more food to blog about (holy cow dark chocolate covered ginger was incredible), ate frozen yogurt, went to R.E.I. for future race nutrition needs (AKA yet more to blog about) and then had a great dinner in Nashville. All in all? Successful weekend all around.

To those of you who have met bloggers in real life: was it what you expected?
Yes and no. In some ways, I feel like I know certain bloggers so well without ever meeting them! But heading their voices and/or mannerisms that I don't expect can catch me off guard, too.

I've been out of the blogging world for a little bit (nothing exciting, I promise) so fill me in: anything exciting happen in the past 2 weeks?


  1. I'm trying to catch up too! Congrats on your new PR! SUB 2! Wahoo!!

  2. Great recap! You really did have an awesome race….now to see what you can do with a nice FLAT course :) It was great to finally meet you and congrats again on an awesome PR!

  3. You missed so much in these last 2 weeks. I don't know if you'll ever catch up. Cliff notes: I'm even fatter than you last remember.

    Good job on the PR!

  4. Congratulations!!!

    I've met three bloggers, and each one of them were JUST what I expected!

  5. Wow, awesome time! Congrats on your PR Vanessa!

  6. Congratulations on hitting your sub-2 goal!

  7. i love suzanne and jenny! i haven’t met beth yet. :( and huge congrats on your PR!! i think i learned a ton about people and their blogs and who they are after HTC. some are 100% spot on, others are completely different. it’s funny. hmm, what have you missed? I ran on the treadmill today! woohoo!! look forward to lunch on the 2nd (if it works out)!

  8. That looks like fun! Congrats on the PR. I love blogger meetups! Everyone I have met has been exactly like their blog, so basically exactly how I thought they would be!

  9. Congrats on your PR! it is always a great feeling.

  10. Huge congrats on your PR - that must feel so good! I've never met a blogger but I also haven't made blogging a big priority as far as making meaningful connections with anyone.

  11. Oh I am so impressed and happy
    This is a huge PR
    I am so happy for you

    Blogger meetup....I usually like them one of my
    favorite was in Seattle...this really nice gal in a green sweater wait it was you!

  12. Congrats on that new PR! Six minutes is a big deal!!

    I met three bloggers, two at once and one alone. I'm pretty quiet so it was nerve-wracking for me.

    I ran to the bottom of the Grand Canyon last weekend. It was sweet.

  13. Awesome about your new PR! Congrats! Aww, bloggie friends are great. I am actually great friends in person with a girl I met through my other blog. We have become like family. We are like sister from another mother. We are so alike in personality its scary. New developments...hmmm...I signed for my first marathon in January and I'm pretty excited about it! :)

  14. YAY well done girls, you all ROCK but especially Vanessa because this is your blog ;-)

    I'm yet to actually meet any blogger friends - in a way I kinda actually like the anonymity of it all ... you'd struggle to get a "boo" out of me in real life.

  15. Yay! Great job on a new half marathon PR! Sounds like a fun meetup. I have never met any blogger people in real life. I hope to some day. Not much ne here, just running slow, cross training and loving the cooler weather.

  16. Awesome job on the PR!

    I've met a few bloggers in real life and I feel like they are usually what I expect, but they NEVER sound like I expect their voices to.

    1. I know right? Some even have man voices, which can come as quite a shock.

  17. Way to go Vanessa! Great job on a hilly course.
    I've met very few bloggers in real life and they were mostly what I expected - nice people :)

  18. whoohoo! congrats! that is one pretty sweet PR! hope you toasted it off with a bag of jelly beans anyways ;)

  19. Congrats on the PR and finally nailing the elusive sub 2! The bloggers I've met have definitely been what I expected, but you're right it is different to meet someone in the real world and pick up on everything you couldn't possibly see in print. Since I talk about my blog peeps and tell their stories to my friends/family it is nice to say that I've met them. Like once I've met you, I can really say "Oh hey, my friend ____ that lives in ____..." Anyway, long story short... come to Chicago. ;)

  20. Great run and awesome PR, well done! One day I will visit your country and there will be some huge blogger meetups.

  21. Congrats on your PR. I've met a couple of bloggers and all have been great!

  22. I've heard the hills can be rough and you still set a PR - good work!!

  23. Wow awesome PR and on a hilly course at that! Congrats! I want to go sub 2 but I'm a ways away :-)

  24. Congratulations again on a new PR! I really feel like you've got a sub-1:50 half in you if this was on a flat course. This past weekend was so much fun. We will have to plan another girl's weekend!

  25. CONGRATS!!! That's AMAZING!! What have you missed with me? I was asked to be part of the Canadian Olympic Heroes Parade which was held last Friday in Toronto and obviously I couldn't say no to that experience!

  26. Congrats on you PR. Would love to meet some of my fellow bloggers.

  27. Congratulations on the PR! Good job girl!

  28. You ran such a great race! I was so excited for your PR! You've got big things in store for you--I just know it!
    It was great meeting you and I can't wait to see you in Chicago next year, if not before. :D <3

  29. I'm so happy for you! Crossing that finish line must have felt absolutely amazing! I love meeting bloggers, so much so that now I'm spending the next three weekends with them, haha. Oh, and I picked up a total stranger at a hotel at 5:40am last Sat. Normal.

  30. Aw dang, I wish I had seen you guys there! Great job working out that PR. Those hills were killer. My butt still hates me for that.

  31. Don't you just love it when everything falls into place? Congratulations on a fantastic PR!! A PR with a fun weekend with friends couldn't be any better, right!?!?! :)

  32. Yay! You're back! I don'tknow how I missed your last couple of posts but I am so excited to read them. First off congrats on your PR! That is so amazing!!! Second, I am so jealous of your blogger meet up. I want to meet you so bad! I've been caught off guard by some bloggers too but loved them nonetheless :)

  33. This is pretty outstanding. Congrats, Vanessa :)


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