No lamb, no garden, no immaculate conception but there IS something about me.


Turning Stone Half Marathon review

The best and worst shower you will ever take is one directly following a double digit run. The best because getting all the dried salt off is amazing (especially if you're like me and forget that it's on your face and then go through the sprinklers at the finish line and scream silently inside when your eyes feel like they're melting out of your head) and the worst because you figure out every spot you should have put Body Glide on but forgot to. Thankfully for me it wasn't many yesterday.

So yes, race! It happened! And it was great!

It was at the Turning Stone Casino so how cool is the medal that's supposed to be three cards? The same image is on the tech shirt I got but I'll never wear it so I will probably give it to a friend of mine who I force all of my race shirts on.

Ironically I forgot my Body Glide yesterday. I got home pretty late on Saturday night but I laid out (what I thought was) all of my stuff for the next morning since I was getting picked up at 6:30am but I forgot my running sunglasses, my Body Glide and to load my new running play list on my phone. Sunglasses and playlist I can live without, Body Glide I can not. Luckily there was a vendor at the race that was selling it so I forked over $10 for a stick and lived a happier life (Body Glide is an anti chafing substance, it looks just like deodorant but doesn't really feel like anything on your skin but it protects all that needs protecting. It's a gift from God and I use it for everything including when I am breaking in new high heels).

I was pretty excited about running when I got up yesterday and told my friend that was running with me (and who gave me the bib) that it was just a mental health run. I realized on the way there that I hadn't run more than 9 mile since the Mountain Goat in May because of my asthma issues I was having for a few weeks and I really just wanted a nice easy run to clear my head out. I took my phone and headphones with me but didn't use them (which I didn't think I would). It seemed like a pretty small race, the half marathon started at 8am and the 10k at 8:30am and I am really bad at number estimates but it wasn't large by any means. Which is nice, I hate jostling for a good comfortable spot (I'm looking at you, Boilermaker and you, Nike Women's Half).

The course was beautiful, it was near where I grew up and was all rural running so no cars to compete with. It was also pretty easy, all rolling hills and the "serious" hills were gradual so it didn't really feel like I was putting in a ton of effort to get up them. The first 10 miles I felt great, I kept a really easy pace (about 10:30-11 minute miles) and just enjoyed running and talking to people. Oh, and singing. I like to sing when I run easy and I am 100% sure everyone around me appreciated it. There were a good amount of water stops every two miles or so and every one had water and Gatorade as options.

At mile 10 things got a little hairy for me, I told my friend (he stayed with me until that point) that I felt like I hit a wall. Not "the" wall, just a wall. He asked me if I needed a Gu and I said no, I literally felt like I was running against a wall and not going anywhere. So he left me. Typical (I would have done it to him).

I got through mile 10 and mile 11 was a little rough mentally (which is exactly what I have been using crossfit to try and work through). At one point I remember thinking, "I either need a downhill, some shade or some water...or a gun". The gun part was just me trying to be funny in my own head, it was nowhere near the hardest mile I have ever run. That, in case you are wondering, is tied for first place. Hardest physical mile was during the Yuengling half marathon in VA Beach in 2012 when I wasn't trained for it at all and did it anyway and hit the literal running wall so hard at mile 9 that I was shuffling along looking for a place to lay down on the side of the road and never get up. Hardest mental mile was the Mountain Goat this year when at mile 9.25 of 10 it finally hit me that that was the day I was supposed to get married (but obviously wasn't) and I had a total meltdown on the side of the road about it for 15 minutes straight in the middle of downtown Syracuse .75 miles from the finish. Not one of my best moments for sure but I lived.

Anyway, THIS mile 11 was just mental and I thought to myself, "Can I keep going?" and the answer was, "Yes but I don't want to" which was  fair assesment seeing as I was running it for fun. So I walked for a little bit, encouraged some people who were running a half for the first time and enjoyed the scenery. At mile 12 I got back on it and ran it in and only finished 5 minutes after my friend. Up until mile 11 I was set to PR (personal record) it but I decided I didn't want to anyway because I was running under someone else's name. Right before I crossed the finish line I saw my mom which made me happy that she came, she's a hit or miss on such things so I crossed, got my medal and Gatorade and then went to see her. I got a lecture about life for about 15 minutes (she can't help herself) and then I went inside to drink my weight in (free!!) chocolate milk (My love for chocolate milk knows no bounds and I rarely share it, FYI. So don't be asking).

Overall it was a really fun race and I'm glad I did it. I was pretty tired yesterday afternoon because I spent the entire day before at the state fair so my legs were shot but I feel ok today and am still going to go to crossfit. I'm not sure yet if that's a good idea or a bad one so I'll let you know tomorrow if I live through it today.


  1. Nice review. I ran this yesterday and really enjoyed it. This was my first ever half. A nice and peaceful course. Mile 12 was the toughest for me and my slowest mile. I'm still trying to figure out what was up with that older guy with the megaphone near the start/finish line - I could barely understand what he was saying.

    1. Hi John! Congrats on your first half, you picked a good one! I thought that guy with the megaphone was awesome, thanks for reminding me about him. I have no idea what he was saying either but he was pretty entertaining :)