Race Report: Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Heartbreak Hill Half medals. (Photo: Grace Donnelly)

The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival from June 5-8, 2014 in Newton and Boston, Massachusetts felt a lot like running camp. But the titular half-marathon lived up to its name: it was a bit heartbreaky and a bit hilly. And I loved almost every minute of it.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Taking the Heartbreak Hill Half seriously. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

I attended the race courtesy of Runner’s World as part of their official blogger crew. (They covered my race entries, dorm room and some meals. I covered my transportation to and from Boston and other meals.)

The race was a chance to run along the most famous section of Boston Marathon course. For Boston Marathon qualifiers and hopefuls, it was a chance to test their legs on the storied climb. For runners like me—for whom qualifying for Boston is a distant “someday” dream—it was a chance to know exactly what all those faster runners are talking about when they dismiss Heartbreak Hill as “not that bad” or confirm its notoriety as “brutal.” I’ve heard the hill described both ways and was excited to find out for myself.

Roughly 6,700 finishers from 47 U.S. states ran in the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids’ run and dog run at the weekend. Exactly 3,074 runners finished the half-marathon; 1,838 completed the 10K; 1,565 crossed the line in the 5K, and 69 doggies finished the Eukanuba Dog Run.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

The post-race festival. (Photo: Brita Meng Outzen)

There’s too much for me to cover in one post, so I’ll share all my doings at the race over the next few weeks. I already covered the Runner’s World 5K, Expo, Festival programming, on-campus accommodations and blogger crew in Race Report: Runner’s World 5K at Heartbreak Hill Half.

Up now is the half-marathon!

Heartbreak Hill Half Course
Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

The course map

The Heartbreak Hill Half course started on Boston College’s campus. Runners exited the school’s main gate and ran into Boston on Commonwealth Avenue, away from the infamous Heartbreak Hill. The course looped around campus to Beacon Street before returning to “Comm Ave” to run down the famed Newton Hills of the Boston Marathon course. I say “down,” but that’s a bit of a misnomer. As you can see from the elevation chart, the hills really undulated the whole way.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Elevation

After five miles, runners turned to make a loop around Brae Burn Country Club on quiet residential streets and the busier Beacon Street. By Mile 10, it was back onto Commonwealth Avenue to run back up the four Newton Hills with the final climb at Heartbreak Hill coming just after the 12 mile marker.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Volunteers handed out Clif shots. (Photo: Marissa McClain)

Water and Gatorade were spaced roughly every 1.5 miles. Clif shots were available at Mile 9. I thought that some of the water stations late in the race were a little undermanned, however. There was plenty of water to go around, but the day was so hot that volunteers seemed swamped, handing out water faster than they could pour it. The volunteers and workers at the race were awesome, though.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Crowds were biggest at Boston College. (Photo: Grace Donnelly)

Crowd support waxed and waned depending on where we were on the course. Boston College was busiest with many spectators lining campus. There were a few entertainment zones with music and I appreciated them greatly. For the most part, though, this was a quiet, but pretty course along residential and bustling streets. The scenery to take in consisted largely of Boston Marathon landmarks like the statue of Johnny Kelley, who ran the Boston Marathon 61 times.

One caveat: the course was partially open to traffic. Late in the race, I got stopped by a police officer in order to let cars cross the course at a major intersection. Since I was no longer pushing for a PR at that point, I didn’t care. But if I had still been trying for a personal best, I would have liked to know that this might be a possibility in advance so I could bank time for it.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Heartbreak Hill Half start. (Photo: Brita Meng Outzen)

Heartbreak Hill Half Start and Finish

The start and finish were in the same place: in front of the Bapst Art Library at Boston College. Surrounded by Gothic architecture, leafy lanes and green lawns, I can’t think of a lovelier start among the 75 races I’ve run. Finishes are usually iconic. But this is one race where the start is just as inspiring.

The course was partially open to traffic. Late in the race, I got stopped by a police officer in order to let cars cross a major intersection. Since I was no longer racing at that point, I didn't care. But if I had still been pushing for a personal best, I would have liked to know that this might be a possibility in advance. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

Runners wait in the corral. (Photo:

Gear check was easy and a short jaunt from the corrals. But the college road that housed the corrals was narrow, so they became congested quickly. Signs marked where runners of each pace should line up.

However, the corrals were barricaded on each side; the only way to properly enter was from the rear. I’m not sure that people really lined up according to speed, but instead just joined the mass of runners already in front of them. I ended up jumping the barricade to line up with the 2 hour pace group rather than elbow my way up there from behind.

Race Report: Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival

Heading out at the start. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

This is the one area I think this race could be improved for next year: allow entry into the corrals from the side so that it’s easier to line up according to pace.

Runners were sent off in waves or “pulses,” as race announcers Bart Yasso and Rudy Novotny called them.

The first few miles were a bit, but not too badly, crowded, especially since many of the people in front of me were running both slower and faster than a 2 hour pace. Things finally spread and evened out before two miles into the race when runners reached Commonwealth Avenue.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

The post-race spread. (Photo: Grace Donnelly)

Runners finished under the same banner that started the race. In the finish chute, runners got a medal and a post-race spread that included Cape Cod potato chips, belVita biscuits, bagels, bananas, Poland Spring water and Gatorade. Best of all, the food was under a tent; a nice reprieve from the heat of the sun.

The festival area with music was a short walk away on a sprawling lawn.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

‘Smell the fart’ acting? No, I’m just running a half-marathon. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

Karla’s Race

The Heartbreak Hill Half was to be my triumphant success at finally running a sub-2 hour half marathon. I had just 31 seconds to shave off my personal best time.

But as race day approached and the forecast sharpened into focus, I worried that it might not be the day for me, as I wrote in Heartbreak Hill Half Is Here! Will I or Won’t I PR?

You might not know this about me: I generally expect the worst from just about every situation in life. My husband—a self-described “enthusiasm enthusiast”—calls this pessimism. I call it realism, which just goes to show our differing perspectives.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Survived! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Now, you might think that living as a pessimist/realist would make you an unhappy person. Quite the contrary. Because I constantly expect the worst, I’m prepared when it happens and delighted when it doesn’t. As a result, I walk around constantly delighted by life because, let’s face it, the worst rarely happens. Sometimes the best happens, but more often something between “best” and “worst” is the norm.

WaitButWhy.com nailed this outlook in a post, Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy: “It’s pretty straightforward—when the reality of someone’s life is better than they had expected, they’re happy. When reality turns out to be worse than the expectations, they’re unhappy.”

Exactly.

What does this mean for running? Most races? I love them! Because I always go in with low expectations, I have a blast at the vast majority of races I run. My personal bests? Shocked every time they happen. Because I’m always doubtful that I’ll be able to pull it off.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Happy to be finished! (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

And the Heartbreak Hill Half was no exception. Though I hoped to run a personal best, I expected to be done in by the challenging course and blistering, late spring day.

In this instance, the rarely delivered “worst” was true. Yep, it was hilly as I expected. And yep, it was incredibly hot: 72 degrees at the start and 80 by the time I finished, with nary a cloud in sight.

But after the training and mental preparations, I didn’t want to just throw in the towel because it would be a hot day. I hoped that maybe I was so well trained what would have been a 1:55 half-marathon might turn into a 1:59:59. I wanted to at least give it a shot even though my expectations were low.

Bloggers to the rescue!

Amanada from RunToTheFinish.com kindly offered to pace me, and I gladly took her up on the offer. When I discovered that I’d forgotten my beloved Headsweats visor, Katy from KatyWidrick.com offered hers; she wasn’t wearing it. So with a sweat-wicking visor on my forehead and pacer by my side, I was ready to give this hot race a run.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Amanda (#4757) lead the way for me through the crowded first miles. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

My plan was to run the first few miles at PR pace and reassess from there. Amanda and I set out to take advantage of the downhills and hang on during the uphills. She was a great pacer and broke ground for me through the crowded first miles.

We hit 8:51, 9:03, 8:33 and 9:01 as our first four miles, reflecting the undulating terrain for an overall pace of 8:52. I was right on the money.

But my breath was already too labored and I was sweating buckets. How sweaty? This sweaty.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Sweaty! (Photo: Running Skirts)

As I slowed to get water, I realized I had chills and goosebumps, a sign of heat exhaustion. It was too darn hot.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Still smiling, even though the PR attempt is over. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

So I pulled the plug on the attempt shortly before the Mile 5 marker. At Mile 5, my overall pace was 9:07. Still on target to PR. My legs felt great, but the rest of my body just wasn’t having it. There was absolutely no way I was going to run a personal best that day. I felt at Mile 5 what I should have felt like at Mile 10 or 12.

Amanda and I slowed to a walk and called a moratorium on the PR attempt. Amanda offered to stay with me, but I set her free to keep pushing forward in the race. I knew that I’d need to dial it way back in order to enjoy this one, which is what I wanted to do at that point. So I jogged at a 10 minute per mile pace, one minute per mile slower than goal pace, and walked the uphills.

Yep, I ended up walking a lot.

I dumped water on my head at all the fluid stations and kept chugging along.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

It’s all good. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

I bumped into some of the other bloggers on the course and chatted a bit before letting them push on ahead. I was actually enjoying my altered race plan.

Then I reached it, right around the 12 mile marker, the hill of honor, the titular climb that gave the race its name: Heartbreak Hill.

For some inexplicable reason, I burst into tears. I wasn’t upset about the PR attempt; I knew the day would likely be too hot. My pessimism had prepared me well for this outcome. I knew I’d get my sub-2 half later in the season, on a cool fall day like the one when I ran my current 2:00:30 half-marathon PR.

So why was I crying? Exhaustion? Dehydration?

My mind started scanning through all the experiences in my life that I associate with the word “heartbreak.” I relived them one by one. Wasn’t expecting that.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Walking with gel in hand. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

It seems that when you expect the worst, and the worst happens, sometimes it still hurts. Like when my father—a lifelong alcoholic—finally succumbed to the disease in 2003. Warning: I’m going to get gruesome for a moment. My dad bled to death on his living room floor when his esophageal veins ruptured, a common complication of liver disease. That’s just one of the things I thought about as I walked up Heartbreak Hill. Heavy.

I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot lately. He is the major reason why I developed my pessimistic outlook on life. Being his daughter trained me to expect the worst. Because when it came to him, the worst often happened. And I just started applying the viewpoint to the rest of my life, which constantly delighted and surprised me with all the “bests” that came along.

But in that moment on Heartbreak Hill, the “worsts” got the best of me for a moment. I contemplated sitting on the side of the road and just letting myself have a good cry. That’s how overwhelming the feeling was. But I kept walking up the hill, my head hung low as I tried to pull myself together.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Having a heartbreaky moment. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

Near the top, less than a half-mile to the finish, another runner waved to me.

“Come on,” she said. “We’re almost there.”

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Finishing with Sarah. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

Her voice was gentle and her tone was casual. But she snapped me out of my funk. I started running to catch up with her.

“Mind if I finish with you?” I asked her.

“Let’s do this,” she said.

We ran stride for stride, picking up speed as we heard Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” welcoming runners into the finish.

I thanked her after we crossed and made sure to get a picture, so I’d know who she was. Sarah, you were my hero in that last half mile!

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

My hero! (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

With the Heartbreak Hill Half behind me, I gathered my medal, grabbed some food, and found the other bloggers at the post-race festival. A band played as I sat under the sun contemplating the race I’d just run-walked.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

My second slowest half-marathon. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

I crossed in 2:32:06, which is officially my second slowest half-marathon ever. Only the Jerusalem Half Marathon was slower, and I actually stopped at that one to film runners all along the course and even ran some of the course twice when I realized my camera battery had died. (I swear, that Race Report is still coming. I’m really slow to edit video.)

Even my Disney races where I stopped for tons of photos with Disney characters have been faster: 2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon—2:15:55; 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon—2:21:26 ; 2014 Walt Disney World Half Marathon—2:28:28. Waaaaiiit a second, am getting slower? Hmmmmm.

Overall, I pushed hard for almost five miles, nailing my PR paces. I enjoyed seven and a half miles at a leisurely run-walk. And walked an emotional half mile. But even that “worst” moment had a bright side that delighted and surprised me: the kindness of a stranger. So all in all, I’ll chalk this race up to a win. No, it didn’t go the way I hoped, but it did go the way I expected with some surprises thrown in. And that’s OK with me. Like the hills in Newton, I’m rolling with it.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

On the way to the finish festival. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

However, I think I may swear off spring half-marathons as PR attempts and focus instead on finding on a nice, flat, cool-weather race in the fall. I still know I have this in me. I’ve just got to put myself in a position where I’m not fending off hills, heat and humidity in the process.

And the verdict on that infamous Heartbreak Hill? I get why some runners shrug it off as “not that bad.” The hill itself isn’t isn’t a monster. If it came at the beginning of a race, I’d barely be fazed. But I’m more inclined to agree with the folks who describe it as “brutal.” As the last of a series of four hills late in a marathon, I think the climb is worthy of its “Heartbreak” moniker. It certainly was for me, and I was “only” running a half-marathon.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Crossing the finish. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

What I wore

I get lots of question about what I run and race in, what products I like and would recommend.

Well, I save my favorite gear for race day.

Here’s what I wore at the Runner’s World 5K at Heartbreak Hill Half, from the bottom up:

New Balance 1400v2 Shoes

CEP Progressive+ Run Socks 2.0

Oakley Nadi Printed Shorts

New Balance Impact Tunic Tank

Motoactv GPS Fitness Watch

Oakley Polarized Half Jacket Sungalsses with Red Iridium Polarized Lenses

Headsweats Visor

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Thanks for pacing me, Amanda! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The Takeaway

The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival certainly didn’t disappoint. Were there things that could be improved? Sure—a few more hands at water stations, a better corral system, and a course that didn’t necessitate being stopped for crossing traffic. But really, that’s me nitpicking.

Overall, I thought the race had a beautiful, challenging and iconic course that really captures the spirit of the Boston Marathon for those of us who may never be fast enough to qualify. Best of all, the camaraderie among runners was very present throughout the weekend and along the course.

Throw in the excellent programming all weekend long, and I feel comfortable adding this race weekend to my list of “favorites.” It was running camp for grown-ups, and I loved almost every minute of it. Yeah, those few minutes up Heartbreak Hill were rough!

As mentioned above, Runner’s World covered my race entries, dorm room and some meals. I covered my transportation to and from Boston and other meals. As always, all opinions are purely my own and are, frankly, honest. That’s not just some legalese.

Karla Bruning

About 

Karla Bruning hosts On The Run for New York Road Runners. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now she freelances as a running reporter. She's run 7 marathons, 18 halves, 6 triathlons, sings in an '80s cover band, spoils her dog and travels compulsively.

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19

06 2014

28 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    What a great race report Karla! Races seem to have the power to raise all kinds of emotions, I think that is part of why we do them over and over again. They aren’t just about paces and finish times.
    I laughed when I read about your “pessimistic” views – we are cut from the same cloth!
    Kristi@ Blog for an Average Runner recently posted..A New Running ExperienceMy Profile

  2. 3

    I know those roads but I never ran on them. I’m also a realist because I’ve never had good luck, but I still have fun. Good luck on breaking the sub-2:00 half, I know there are great races in the fall for your quest.
    Lesley recently posted..2nd Round of PTMy Profile

  3. 5

    Oh Karla, I have to tell you when I ran the 10k the day before as soon as I started struggling with the heat and the hills I kept thinking about you and trying to run a sub-2…unfortunately your stars seems to misalign each race day that you’re going to try! But Heartbreak Hill is definitely not the course and hot and humid is definitely not the weather for it! It was smart of you to listen to your body and slow down, had you kept pushing the pace you could have put yourself in a dangerous situation, so high five for doing the right thing and knowing that a PR is not worth injury or heat exhaustion!

    I say go for a flat late fall race when you’e been training through the summer in heat and humidity and then have a nice cool day for the race! I really liked the course NYC Runs uses in Brooklyn along the water, Shore Park I think? It’s sort of boring and you go out and back, but as far as I’m concerned, straight, flat & boring is just what you need for a PR attempt! You’re ready for a sub-2, you just need the weather and the course to cooperate!
    Danielle recently posted..Hyannis Sprint Tri: Swim, Bike, RunMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      6

      Thanks, Danielle, and you’re right on all counts. I haven’t run that NYC runs course. I think it’s a great one if it’s not too windy. I will certainly be choosing my fall race with care. A farmer’s almanac will be consulted for weather! After summer training I should be in great shape come fall!
      Karla Bruning recently posted..Win in24 Philadelphia Midnight Madness/Finale 5K EntryMy Profile

  4. Sarah #
    7

    So glad we happened to connect, Karla!

  5. 9

    Thank you for sharing. Races sometimes have a way of getting us to release emotions we didn’t expect to feel at that moment.
    I’m looking forward to following your journey to a sub 2 hour 1/2–it’s coming!! :)
    Angelica recently posted..5 Tips on Finding a Running GroupMy Profile

  6. 11

    I would have never pegged you as a pessimist/realist.

    That was a hard half course to PR on. It’s unsurprising that you were feeling vulnerable with everything going on – the physical and mental exhaustion of running, + heat, + lots of time to mull over evoked memories stirred by the word “heartbreak.”

    I’ve read your story about your father. You wrote with a lot of compassion and sympathy, which is a testament to your strength.
    Elle recently posted..Running Away to Join the CircusMy Profile

  7. 13

    LOVE this race report. I am totally with you on your outlook on life – my husband calls me pessimistic, but honestly it’s just realism! And if I expect the worst, then I’m (usually) always pleasantly surprised! It’s a win-win, right? Well, sometimes… it does, however, make me think in the negative way more than I probably should be. Oh well.

    I’m so sorry your race didn’t pan out like you thought it would, but good for you for not harming your well being in your attempt to achieve your goal. You were smart for stopping at Mile 5 and realizing it just wasn’t a good idea to keep going at that pace if you were getting chills. So, good for you for being a smart runner!

    You’ll get that sub-2 someday. I only got mine because it was exactly 52 degrees, and I changed up my playlist… it’s the littlest things that work on race day. I, and many others, believe in you!! :)
    Hayley in Training recently posted..Summer Shape Up Day 2: Meals, Running, and an NTC Workout!My Profile

  8. 15

    I got emotional too during the race, but it was when I passed Newton-Wellesley Hospital where I was born. I don’t have a relationship with my parents, and this race was a little of me taking back my childhood. So I was totally choked up for a bit.

    Terrific race report, and I agree that they needed more people at the water stations and better corrals at the start. Hopefully they will sort that out for next year.
    Judith recently posted..ResilienceMy Profile

  9. Arun #
    17

    Karla,

    I can imagine that you’re disappointed. But you pushed through it. I don’t even bother to aim for PRs on hot days. My body just can’t keep up the pace. I once ran a half in Boston/Cambridge in May… and it was NOT easy because of the humidity and SUN. WHERE IS THE SHADE, BOSTON?!?

    I have a feeling that PR is not far away… it’s waiting for you in a fall/winter half!

  10. 19

    I am honestly the most pessimistic person (though I too prefer to consider myself simply realistic) and frankly I find it refreshing when other running/fitness/Disney bloggers can claim the same. Being positive all the time is ridiculous and impossible to keep up, and not everyone writes about their experiences just to pump everyone full of sunshine and rainbows. As such, thank you for writing such a moving, honest race report here. Most people have low points in races and I don’t think recaps should gloss over them, as that’s what makes these relatable and real and engaging. Not that you don’t consider this race a success — you do, and rightfully so! It’s good that you listened to your body — and your emotions. Way to go, seriously.
    Katherine recently posted..Feeling Rather DopeyMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      20

      Thank you, Katherine. Life is full of sunshine and rainbows…and storm clouds and rain. It’s the balance of the two that makes life interesting. If we didn’t have the crappy stuff, we might not appreciate the good stuff. Though one of the reasons I love Disney is the dose of sunshine and rainbows. But even there dark things lurk…dead parents, jealous relatives, murderous villains, monsters and worse. Thankfully I have running to help me work through it all!
      Karla Bruning recently posted..Win in24 Philadelphia Midnight Madness/Finale 5K EntryMy Profile

  11. 21

    Thanks Karla. I wasn’t expecting such an emotional report. You found a new friend at the finish, which is a better outcome than any PB. Interesting about your pessimist/realist view leading to happy situations – makes sense when you explain it. I’m a ‘super realist’ about race times (comes from having raced so much and knowing what training produces what results), however like you I’m extremely delighted when I exceed my ‘realistic’ expectations.

    Anyway, enjoy your break and then the build-up for that cool autumn flat sub-2 half!
    Ewen recently posted..Confounded by unexpected tacticsMy Profile

  12. 23

    I always love your recaps! I totally relate to so many things here — with one being that tendency to expect the worst (but, like you, I’m totally capable of experiencing that sheer excitement/joy/pride that occurs when you surprise yourself! I NEVER go into a race thinking “I’ve got this”…it doesn’t matter how prepared I am. There’s always a part of me that doubts my abilities, whether it’s running or writing or just about anything I’ve ever done. It’s just the way I am. So when I do something like pull off the Dopey Challenge, it just makes the victory that much sweeter. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being prepared for the worst, as long as you still know how to appreciate and enjoy it when the “best” happens. :-D

    Anyway, I think it’s a little nuts that you had to stop during your race for traffic. Also, I have totally and COMPLETELY had an emotional breakdown in the middle of the race. In fact, my biggest meltdown occurred during the Runner’s World “Hat Trick” last fall! I struggled up hill after hill after hill, and with my first marathon looming over me (and so many other personal challenges going on in my life at the time, which I won’t bore you with), I just lost it. But, sometimes, that’s just what you need…and the challenge of running is so personal, and means something so different to each one of us, that it only makes sense that you might relate how you were feeling that day to other struggles in your past.

    Sorry you didn’t hit your sub-2. That’s still my ultimate half goal, too! But I just can NOT perform well in the heat. I just can’t. So I know that I’ll likely never PR in a spring/summer race, and I’ve totally accepted that. So we’ll look forward to fall and I know you’ll reach your goal! Congrats on finishing a tough race!
    Jennifer @ The Final Forty recently posted..Exciting Firsts: Trail Running and Our Anniversary!My Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      24

      Thanks, Jennifer! I agree: expecting the worst is great as long as you appreciate the bests when they happen, and don’t let pessimism turn you into a Debbie Downer. I like to consider myself a happy, sunshiny realist! Yep, running can be an incredibly emotional endeavor. I think we get ourselves into an open, vulnerable state when we push out bodies and it translates to the mental side sometimes. Let’s keep pushing for that Sub-2 and celebrate BIG when it happens!
      Karla Bruning recently posted..Run Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF For Charity TNTMy Profile

  13. 25

    I love the story you weave with your race recaps (and taking us along for the ride). I definitely think you need to find a nice cool fall half for your sub-2 PR (which I know you have in you). It is amazing how a word, song, sign can bring up all different kinds of emotions. Thanks for sharing!
    Emily recently posted..2014 Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll HalfMy Profile

  14. 27

    Talk about an emotional race…the PR attempt became so secondary compared to everything that happened mentally. It is stories like this that help reinforce how strong the running community is. That kind of support to help you get out of your funk from a total stranger is just amazing! I am glad you still had a fun time at the race!

    • Karla Bruning
      28

      Thanks, Lauren and so true! I love being a part of such a largely supportive community. I’ve definitely talked a few people through tough patches in races. And it was a real blessing to have it happen to me when I needed it most!
      Karla Bruning recently posted..Run Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF For Charity TNTMy Profile


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