2015 Emerald City Half Marathon — Achieving Millennial

Emerald City Half Marathon Medal and Sweat Towel

I put the cold, wet, icy towel on my head at the finishing chute. Yes, I walked around with that on my head like a crazy person for ten minutes; one other woman also had the right idea

Have you ever had everything go right for you when you’ve work so hard to achieve it?  Because, I feel that way after running the 2015 Emerald City Half Marathon in Dublin, Ohio.  Emerald City acted as a “tune up” race for my marathon in eight weeks.  I had no idea how the run would go, but it was the fastest, best-executed race I’ve run (although I haven’t run a 5K in year, I ran Emerald City as a faster pace. This is my second half marathon of the year, the first being Capital City in May.

I’ll try this in bullet form, for better reading.  As I have a tendency to ramble on and on and on.


  • Obligatory outfit shot

    Obligatory outfit shot

    Nothing for the half, I went from Hidgon’s Inter. II to my own of “more is more”, until that wore me down

  • I went from a PR of 47 miles to 83 miles in four weeks; although I have the body for that, fatigue started wearing me down; the past month+ I’ve run all willie-nillie with no structure…
  • I ran two times totaling 8 miles since last Friday; I did yoga four times this week (including race day) and some squats as I felt my legs whither away

Race Day

  • I woke up to my preset coffee and premade fruit smoothie at 0300
  • That was the freshest I’ve ever been for a race — it felt like I had 7+ hours of sleep; I went to bed at 2045
  • It was a 0700 race, so the first hour while waking up I searched online which 50mm Zeiss I want: the f/2.0 Makro (which I already owned, and it’s as sharp as Alen’s scalpel) or the faster, cheaper f/1.4
  • After my German optic research I did a prerun yoga session, courtesy of RWOL
  • I made my way out the door around 0530 to drive to Dublin

    Because why would you leave enough room on the screen for all miles?

    Because why would you leave enough room on the screen for all miles?

  • I wore my Hyperspeeds, racing splits, compression socks, Under Armor singlet, and carried a Camelback waterbottle


  • The Emerald City Half, and quarter, is a fairly new race, only about four years running; that means it’s a smaller operation, so there’s less hoopla than the marathon-priced Cap City Half
  • I walked and walked and walked around as there wasn’t much to see
  • I ran a mile prerace at 9:30ish pace, picking it up a little bit from time to time, per instruction from my running pals
  • Lots and lots of beginner/new runners/walkers; the quarter included many walkers
  • Although I’m not that fast, the corrals <9:00 weren’t super occupied
  • I might have been the only person running faster than 8:00 who brought his own water; I have a 21 oz. Camelback with a Gu gel and two Hammer salt tabs — I didn’t take either, I didn’t need to, and I only drank about 12 – 15 oz. of water
  • One of the last songs was “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy; as an Ohio State fan, you’re not going to not get pumped by that song, every. single. time.


  • I completely ripped that idea off the football team.

    I completely ripped that idea off the football team.

    My plan was to start the race at ~7:30, ~7:15, then ~7:00 for the remainder; it was 7:19 ( I actually had to slow myself down a couple of times!), 7:11, 6:59, then a gradual negative split for the remainder — my fastest mile was the 13th at 6:49, the .2mile remainder was 6:25 pace

  • The temperature was fall-like in August: started at 59 and ended mid-60s; mostly sunny
  • Dublin is stupid flat; I had elevation gain of 88ft. and that seems high; there was one plane/inclide/bump a few miles in
  • We went through a metro park — Glacial Park, I believe — at this point I started turning it up more because I love metro park trails, it was into the race enough I didn’t feel like I’d burn out, and my legs were finally firing on all cyclinders
  • I started passing people midway through, but really only a few as although it’s a fast course it didn’t have too many fast runner; I don’t believe anyone ever passed me that I didn’t pass them back — one guy congratulated me afterward that I passed him after he passed me during the latter miles
  • The last few miles had a shared road of Half and Quarter participants, meaning faster runners and walkers; it was a little annoying going around them, as runners often had to run left of center to pass
  • This was the first race in which I wore headphones earbuds; it was my race and I usually run better listening to music, so…
  • I never stopped — I didn’t have to, and I didn’t want to unnecessarily and slow myself down; an object in motion
  • I got to meet a running friend — Tigger!  He also PRed

    I got to meet a new friend!

    I got to meet a new friend! The funny thing is he and I have passed each other on Alum Creek a few times…


  • Officially I ran 1:32.36 or 7:05, 58 of 1492, 51 of 723 men, 14 of 109 M20-29 (yes they had 10 year AG instead of 5, I was kind of miffed because guys in my age group run slower than 2-0-24)
  • Strava/Garmin say I ran 13.2 in 1:32:35 (one second less) at 7:00; Facebook says I ran a 6:59 — I don’t know how they got that, but I might use that one…
  • This was one of those races that I could have run a 1:4# or a 1:2# and it really wouldn’t have surprised me too much (okay,  1:29 would have but it’s “only” 10 seconds faster)
  • I fucking nailed my negative splits with near-perfect execution; I had a game plan and stuck with it
  • Events like this do so much in that they prove that hard work and proper planning can pay off big time
  • I know I’m fast, many of my running friends know that I’m fast, but this race proved on paper that I can run a race fast — which helps me psychologically as much as anything
  • This also validates my belief that I can run a <3:20 marathon in two months, with a chance of an hour PR. The weather should be cooler yet and at 7:30 it felt like I was jogging the first mile (actually I was running faster than that but tried to slow down…)
  • As of writing this, my calves are a little tight but not too bad, it doesn’t feel like I had an 11-minute PR a few hours ago; I plan on starting the remainder of Pfitz’s 12/70 tomorrow
  • I enjoyed cheese-stuffed deluxed pizza and Great Lakes Oktoberfest beer; it didn’t take too much to get a buzz on…

Final Random Thoughts

  • Oh, a sign I bought at the OBX that offers sage advice.

    Oh, a sign I bought at the OBX that offers sage advice.

    This case went a long way as to teach me how to run a race; yeah, the last bit hurt, but it’ll end and you don’t want to slow down — pain is temporary, pride lasts forever

  • The Asics Hyperspeed 6 continues to be my favorite shoe of all-time; you just feel fast in its 5.7 oz. of glory
  • I think Emerald City needs to do a little better job with separating the quarter and half participants
  • I’m going to eventually start to run more races as they are fun, just as long as you don’t freak yourself out too much
  • With more racing experience I’ll learn to enjoy actually running races instead of freaking myself out (I suppose it’s the paradigm of I only run a few so I don’t want to fuck them up)
  • I hope I didn’t leave anything important out…
Obligatory Instagram "Look what I ran!" GPS watch shot

Obligatory Instagram “Look what I ran!” GPS watch shot

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2 Responses

  1. William Carpenter says:

    Awesome! Congrats! Enjoyed reading your thoughts on it all too. You are an inspiration!????