Long Island Half Marathon Recap 2016


I did it! I did it! I did it!! I ran my 9th half marathon yesterday and earned myself a new PR.

I am so proud of myself. Let’s talk about it!

Pre-Race Stuff:

I planned to leave my house at 6:30 am. I got out of bed around 4:30 am just to give myself plenty of time to wake up and adjust so that I didn’t feel rushed.

I had one and a half cups of coffee plus a few glasses of water.

I really wasn’t all that hungry but I had my usual pre-race breakfast at 6:00 am.

pre race oatmeal

I packed a small lululemon bag to bring with me (and leave in the car) which contained:

  • Watermelon for after the race < – I didn’t eat it
  • My headphones
  • My number
  • My Runner’s World Hat
  • Two Hammer Gels
  • Sweatshirt for after the race
  • Three pairs of socks < – Don’t ask, I was having sock issues and just couldn’t decide which I wanted to wear!

The Weather:

The forecast was calling for rain but it actually turned out to be perfect weather for a race! It was about 50 degrees, completely cloudy, the wind was calm and I do not think it even started to drizzle until the race started!

I didn’t even notice it was raining, the ground was not slippery at all — it was perfect.

What I Wore:

I planned my outfit based upon the chance of rain and cooler temps.

  • lululemon Run Inspire Crop II’s
  • lululemon Run Swiftly short sleeve
  • lululemon light weight pullover rain jacket
  • Runner’s World Hat Trick hat
  • Adidas Energy Boosts
  • Gap Athletic socks < – because my Thorlos, which I love, just didn’t feel right
  • Gap Athletic sports bra < – Not sure which one it is


Warm Up:

I parked my car inside Eisenhower Park by 6:55 am. I was able to use the regular bathrooms (3 times!!) before the race started at 8:00 am so I didn’t need a port-o-potty which they have along the start line.

I ran a one mile warm up around the park before pinning my bib, putting on my hat, placing my gels in my pockets and then making the long walk (almost a mile I think) to the start line.

long island half

The Race:

I was completely calm while waiting in the corrals for the start. I timed my morning so perfectly that I only waited at the start line for about ten minutes before the race started.

Miles 1 – 3: I really kept it easy. I was right on target for where I needed to be and felt good. Laura and I spoke over and over about not starting out fast, going easy for the first few miles and that’s exactly what I did.

Miles 4 – 7: A bit of a blur but I know that I felt strong and focused. I have come to know this race course so well that I was able to realize the points along the course where I was feeling better than I have in past races and that was an amazing feeling.

I was not really looking up very much or paying attention to the crowds or the stores on the streets, I think I was extremely focused and trying to power right through the miles.

I opened a hammer gel right before mile 5. I don’t know if/when I finished it. I can’t remember!

What I do remember is that there was a naked man dancing on the sidelines around mile 4. What the heck was that about?


Miles 8 – 10: I knew the Wantagh Parkway portion of the race was approaching. When it’s sunny and hot, this part of the race can be brutal which made me extra grateful for the lack of sun during the race this year!

I was prepared for this part of this race. I thought about it probably more than any other part of the race as I mentally prepared for this half during my training.

I tried reserving some energy for the entrance to the Wantagh Parkway, knowing I would seriously give all that I could at this point to make this part of the race go as fast as possible!

The parkway enters on a bit of an incline so I took that a little slower, picking up my pace on the downhill. I opened another hammer gel at this point but don’t think I finished it.

I surprised myself and felt pretty strong during the boring stretch of road which I sort of dread, going as fast as I could within reason. We exit the parkway at mile 10 which is also the point where the half marathon and marathon split (we run with the marathoners until mile 10, they continue on the Wantagh Parkway for much longer – peace see you later!)

I remember hearing my pace at the mile 10 mark as 7:50 — I was really happy with that!

Mile 10 – 13: The adrenaline for getting through the Wantagh Parkway portion of the race took a slight toll on me. I felt tired while approaching mile 11. I tried really hard to focus and keep going strong, ignoring any negative thoughts of the races from the past years because this is the point where this race really tries to get the best of me.

I sort of knew at this point that I was on track for a PR.

The only problem was, I actually thought I was on track for around 1:43 or 1:44 so when we turned into the park and I saw a time clock (maybe mile 12 or maybe 13), I quickly freaked! I was behind where I thought I was at and I still don’t understand enough to even explain it!

Mile 13 – 13.1: I gave it all I had to cross that finish line! It was mentally more tiring than anything. My legs were tired, yes, but I had the strength to push. Most races I do not have an ounce left!

My official finish time is 1:45:18.

A new PR by 6 seconds and the fastest I have run a half in 3 years.

I texted Laura as soon as I crossed the finish line. I don’t even think I took a bottle of water before contacting her.

half marathon splits

Overall Thoughts:

I didn’t know my adjusted finish time until a little while after I got home to look it up. I knew I was super close to a PR but wasn’t sure what the adjusted time would look like. When I saw my time, I absolutely teared up.

I really did feel the best I have during a half marathon in maybe, um, ever. The weather definitely helped with this but so did training with Laura. She prepared me very well, fine tuning my usual miles and taking my workouts to another level in order to get my body used to holding a race pace.

While yes, I have run these paces before, I never held so comfortably or stayed so consistent like I did for this long of a race.

I believe I gave it all I had.

I am trying to find those 18 seconds where I could have gone faster to finish under 1:45 and I am struggling to figure anything out that I could have done differently. I can’t even say that I should have gone faster at the beginning because those slower miles at the start helped me to stay consistent throughout the race without burning out.

I grabbed water at multiple water stops but really didn’t slow to drink them. Had a sip and kept going.

The only issues I had involved the separate time clocks at each mile. There was one for the half marathon and then one for the marathon. I didn’t know which was which and they were several feet apart which totally confused me.

MapMyRun, as usual, was slightly off from the race course timing too. What I am focusing on though, is that I trained according to MapMyRun so my splits and times are exactly where I wanted to be! I nailed this race.

And then, before I knew it, I was home eating my favorite post-run oatmeal in a jar.

post run oatmeal

Thank you to everyone who reached out via comment, social media, text and by email. And thank you to all of my readers who follow along on a daily basis. I am pretty sure that I speak for all running bloggers when I say that we think about our readers as we run our races, trying to keep track of the details in order to tell you all about our experiences!

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  1. says

    YES! When I saw that perfect cloudy cool weather at 8am yesterday I was so happy for you – knew you would crush this race with the right weather! Annoying that your tracking was off, but either way you still got your PR and have a whole lot to be proud of! Maybe next year I need to run this race – too bad I can’t guarantee the weather lol 🙂
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Week in Review – Edible Play Dough, Birthday Boy, and 5 inch Heels HangoverMy Profile

  2. says

    Pure awesome!!! Thanks for sharing the whole experience!! We tweak and adjust our own running from other runners experiences. Have a great week!!

  3. says

    Congrats again!! You speak so kindly of me, thank you so much! 🙂 You ran such a strong race and those even splits are amazing! I can’t believe the naked guy, that is probably the weirdest thing I’ve heard of along a race course. And I raced in Portland where we saw goats riding around in Subarus.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 3My Profile

  4. says

    A big congrats to you Meredith! That is quite an accomplishment, especially after all your hard work and efforts to chase that PR! I’m always so inspired by these race recaps! I hope you have a wonderful Monday and get some well-deserved rest and eat some amazing oatmeal and chocolate cake 🙂
    Caroline M recently posted…K-Cup Review!My Profile

  5. Amanda says

    Yay!! Congratulations! You nailed the recap. Perfect amount of detail and well-written. Thank you!

    • says

      haha – I don’t know, it was at mile 4 and that part of the race was sort of a blur by the end! weird things happen in ny too – I sort of assumed it was like one of the weirdos that parade around times square.