Holiday Half Marathon Race Recap

Well . . . let’s see here.  It has taken me a bit more time then I had anticipated to post this race recap.

Clearly, this finding life balance thing is still a work in progress.

So, anyway, here I am, a bit late, but still eager to report back on my 2nd year participating in the Foot Traffic Holiday Half Marathon.  I ran this event on December 15th and it was the final race of the season for me (side note: How cool is it that I had a racing season???).

Holiday Half

In 2012, this event was remarkably cold, windy, and damp.  So it was with much joy that this year’s weather played out differently.  It was chilly, for sure, but dry and calm – nothing some strategic layering couldn’t address to keep me warm.

Mr. Move Eat Create accompanied me to the race.  With him handling logistics (such as transportation), I was free to focus on my performance.  My confidence level and thoughts heading in to the race were messy and conflicting.  On the one hand, I was feeling good about having recently noticed improvements in my pace times.  On the other hand, I had been coping with a strange foot pain that had seemingly popped up out of nowhere and I hadn’t completed any real focused or targeted training for this specific event.  Yet I was, of course, still gunning for a PR.  Go figure.

Holiday Half Bib 2013 - edited

With that in mind, here is how things shook out with this race, including the good and the bad.


1. The first mile was frustrating.  Frustrating not because of anything I did or didn’t do, but because of the worst route congestion that I have ever experienced.  With no wave start, no corrals, no pace signs to line people up accordingly, and a large, diverse group of runners and walkers, it was a bit of a mess.  I found myself stuck and blocked in for at least a mile and finished mile one a full 1:00+ minutes slower than I had intended and was capable of.  Boo to that.

2.  I’ve mentioned before that I have Raynaud’s Disorder.  Since going gluten-free, my symptoms have lessened significantly in frequency and severity (Yay!), however, they started raging during this day’s race (Grr!).  It was painful and distracting.

3.  In a total running blunder, I apparently had recorded two different race times for my last half-marathon, which had been my PR – leading to great confusion on my part as to what my best time actually was (huge runner fail on my part).

Holiday Half Medal 2013 - edited


1. The route is a nice one.  I really enjoy running through old Portland neighborhoods and this had a lot of that.  Plus, the clear sky provided an exceptional view of the magnificent St. John’s Bridge.

2.  Transportation and parking for this event are both wonderful.  I love the shuttle buses that take you from the large free parking spaces to the start line.  Stress free!

3.  Plenty of space (indoor and outdoor with heaters) to meander pre-race, lots of port-a-potties, and a coffee truck on hand for warm, caffeinated beverages.  All very good things.

4.  After much confusion, followed by embarrassment about said confusion, and then initial disappointment, I did discover my true previous PR and, to my delight, I set a new one!  Setting this PR provides me with some validation that the consistent work I’ve been putting in, even if it wasn’t via a targeted training plan, is paying off.  It is always nice to see concrete, measurable improvement and growth in my running, and it was a great way to finish up the season.

My final numbers:

  • Finish Time: 1:47:24
  • Overall Finish: 359/2505
  • Age Group Finish: 31/332

Now my off-season has begun!  Slightly reduced mileage and strength training will be the focus for a few weeks while my 2014 calendar takes shape.  More on that to come!

28 comments on “Holiday Half Marathon Race Recap

  1. Laura says:

    Awesome time – congrats! I hate block starts in any distance shorter than a marathon – but at least it keeps me from starting too fast!

  2. sueslaght says:

    Congrats on your amazing time and a PR despite the challenges! How did you feel in the days post race?

    • Thanks, Sue! I felt really great, actually. I had some slight soreness in my quads for about 24 hours, but other than that, it was pretty good. And, funny enough, the foot issue that had been bothering me for a couple of weeks seemed to disappear post-race!

      • sueslaght says:

        Fantastic! So great to come away from a race healthy and strong. It’s funny because I had some weird calf pain that had plagued me for many weeks prior to the race and it has gone too 🙂

  3. piratebobcat says:

    Awesome, congrats!!! I can’t imagine a race that size with no corrals, that’s nutso!

  4. tlsylvan says:

    Congrats on a great race!

  5. runsaltrun says:

    That’s an awesome time despite that cluster in the beginning! The medal is super cute too. 🙂 Cool recap!

  6. Congrats on the PR!!!

  7. Lauren says:

    That’s an awesome little present to yourself. I have Reynaud’s too, though a fairly mild presentation of it. Interesting that your symptoms were partially linked to gluten.

  8. Alaina Maeve says:

    Love that you have a racing season, and congrats on the PR! I love reading about your progress and experiences and have nominated you for Sisterhood of the World Blogger’s Award!

    Thanks for all the guidance and inspiration! 🙂

  9. Jim Brennan says:

    You are awesome, Shannon! Major congrats! Rest up and then run a couple miles for me while I recover. And a Happy and Healthy New Year to you!

  10. 11315miles says:

    I love the race bib and medal. Good for you on the new PR too! For me the start of the race is the most frustrating!

  11. Congrats on your new PR! How exciting! And that is the cutest race bib I’ve ever seen. I think I’d run that race just for the bib 🙂

  12. Joanne says:

    Sounds like a fun race minus the initial congestion!! You did great!!

  13. wordsavant says:

    Wow, great finish time! I ran this race in 2012. The conditions WERE miserable, but you know running 2:30 in cold, windy, damp weather was motivation to improve my pace. I’m glad you had better weather; it is a lovely route.

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