I came, I saw…..uh, I did not conquer.

Don’t let those thumbs up fool you, there was a grimace, a head shake and a thumbs down when I first saw Ulysses about .25 miles from the finish, but I quickly realized how horrible of a picture that would make and changed my tune.

Some days running is easy and some days it’s not. Yesterday, it definitely was NOT.


There are plenty of external contributing factors to the outcome (30 mph wind gusts, 75 degrees, full sun, limited water stations and even more limited sports drinks at the water stations) but in the end, I own the outcome and yesterday just wasn’t my day.


(No, I am not wearing a singlet. Although, the all black get up does make it look that way.)

It actually started out good. Despite my lack of motivation on Saturday (and all week leading up to the race) I woke up feeling great and ready to run! Ulysses waited with me until the wheel chairs started and then I made my way into the corrals and waited for the start.

Miles 1-5 were great. There were lots of people cheering (mostly because miles 1-3 are an out and back through the start area) and I was on pace feeling ok despite the full sun and seriously gusty winds. Thoughts of a PR were at the forefront of my mind.

  • Mile 1: 8:35
  • Mile 2: 8:30
  • Mile 3: 8:44
  • Mile 4: 8:37
  • Mile 5: 8:47

And then mile 6 hit and my body just literally stopped wanting to move. It was the most bizarre experience ever because I’ve never had such fatigue hit me like that, especially after only 6 miles. I started walking through water stations (something I didn’t do at all in Philly and only did during the last two in Palm Beach last year) and towards the end of the race, even between water stations. I saw splits I’ve never seen before and not in a good way. Seriously, I’ve never run slower miles than I did yesterday in the second half of the race. I eventually stopped looking at the Garmin after about mile 8.

Surprisingly, it was not a mental thing at all. My head was in the game, my body was not. I kept repeating my mantras, telling myself I could do this and yet, just getting to a 9:00 min/mile required my full out effort and was only sustainable for about a quarter mile at a time.

Around mile 7.5, I knew a PR was out. Around mile 9, I knew beating my time from last year was out. By mile 11, I knew under 2 hours was in jeopardy. And by mile 12, I knew I was going to finish just over 2. It was kind of an out of body experience because it honestly didn’t feel like my body. It just would not move and every step was incredibly hard.

  • Mile 6: 8:57
  • Mile 7: 9:30
  • Mile 8: 9:31
  • Mile 9: 9:24
  • Mile 10: 9:42
  • Mile 11: 9:36
  • Mile 12: 9:41
  • Mile 13: 10:16 <—10’s! WTF!??
  • Mile 13-13.21: 1:52 (8:41 pace)

Official Time: 2:01:41

More than 5 whole minutes slower than 2 weeks ago.

The weirdest thing of all though? I’m not actually upset.

In fact, I can’t remember ever in my life whether it was soccer, basketball, a paper, a test or running, not caring this much after a poor performance. It was just an off day and there’s nothing you can do about those. My head was in the game, my body was not and it’s not because I prepared poorly, so there’s nothing to be upset or beat myself up about. I still ran 13+ miles. As Ulysses always says, (which usually drives me crazy when it’s in response to a question of mine) “it is what it is.”

I’ve still got a new PR this season and now I’m done half marathoning for awhile…


We took advantage of the rest of the day (it’s amazing how long the day is when you’re up at 4am!) doing everything we can’t do in NY.

Our old stomping grounds, Juno Beach.

Juno beach

Glorious Whole Foods.

whole foods

Collards, holla!

Gander Mountain antics.

gander mountain

Way cooler than Cabela’s.



So sad this wasn’t around when we lived here. We will meet again!

One day left and we get to spend it back at the condos doing renovations yet again. Being a landlord is oh, so glamorous.

PS- If you’re catching up from the weekend, you may want to check out these cranberry chocolate chip cookies. Too good to miss! ;)

How do you usually react to a bad race?

Do you have a Menchie’s or a self-serve fro-yo place near you?

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. Aww, I think that’s a great time, Gina!! Glad you’re not too upset over it though.
    You’re right though, running is so unpredictable.

  2. I’m with you: a bad day physically is so much easier to stomach than a bad day mentally – because the latter is totally in your control. Glad you were able to keep your head in the game, bad day and all.

  3. We’re our own worst judges, but I think you did great with the half. It’s just frustrating when you expect so much of yourself and don’t feel like you go there. But it was a strong performance in spite of how you felt physically.
    We don’t have a Menchi’s but we do have several others like Tutti Fruitti and Yogurtland. I love self serve yogurt. It’s so good!

  4. Awww, sorry it wasn’t the best race– but you finished, and that’s what’s important…well, that and the fact that you got an awesome sunny vacation for a few days!!

  5. I know it wasn’t what you were hoping for, but I’d be so thrilled if I could finish a half so close to 2 hours. I’m still impressed. (You were running this race for me, right? ;) )

  6. you still finished in an awesome time! so congrats! running 13.1 miles is always an accomplishment regardless of the time!
    I love menchies! self serve fro yo is the best

  7. I hate when your body doesn’t care what your mind has to say – but I think everyone has days like that.

    Really craving self serve fro-yo – we have a local chain that I love called Razzy Fresh. ;)

  8. At least you can say that you ran two half marathons this year!

    I hope you bought that coat because seriously hot! ;)

    FroYo World in New Haven was my favorite and I miss it so much. But I hear there is a froyo place going up in Jenkintown. Excited!!

  9. I’m really glad you are looking at this race experience in the right way – not beating yourself up (nor should you) and just recognizing the reasons why it wasn’t your day to race. Nothing at all wrong with admitting that and I’m glad you did – and without hesitation. Like you said, you *did* run 13.1 miles and you *did* just PR that last half marathon like a fiend so you’re still badass (like whoa) in my book :)