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. 75 degrees+full sun+bad stations=my personal hell.

    Fuck that. I say we do the Maine half. I hear it’s cold there.

  2. I have been looking forward to hearing how it went. You are so amazing and not every race is going to be stellar and somedays our bodies just say NO!!! You WILL come back and conquer (after some rest and more ice cream right?!?!) and show that half marathon who is boss!

    1. Yes! Definitely after some ice cream. In fact, I just started with a huge bowl of neopolitan :) Hope you got some sleep today!

  3. I think you did bloody great!! Congratulations on ANOTHER 13 plus miles!! :) And love the pics of you guys! That camo stuff is hilarious… they cypriot men around where I live are all hunter types and would go crazy for it!! Haha!

  4. You have such a great attitude about the race. And even though it wasn’t your fastest, I’m still impressed with that time!

    I have a self-serve fro yo place up the street from me, but I don’t think it compares to Menchie’s from what I’ve read. Still, it gets the job done. :)

  5. Ugh, that is a serious bummer. We both need a redemption half. Let’s look for something in the spring!

    What is Gander Mountain? I need to go. Do they have cheesecake?

  6. Even though you didn’t PR .. you still had an awesome race.. I mean.. it was in PALM BEACH! How awesome is that? I am kind of jealous of your destination half!! Great run, girl!!!

  7. I’m glad that you weren’t hard on yourself, because when you look at the bigger picture, you finished, you’re healthy and in great shape, your loved one was there to support you, and you had a good weekend! Bad races, bad workouts, bad yoga classes happen to all of us. It’s how you respond, bounce back, and keep moving on. Not many people can say they completed 13 miles. :) Great job!

  8. I’m impressed with your performance. Does that count? :)
    I actually had a similar thing happen to me at the 15k this weekend. I walked a majority if it even. Horrible. But I finished, so my goal was met. At least your next run will be better :)