Just Frances

Made with 100% pure awesomeness.

A new PB!

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 9th, 2014 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: stubborn, running, happy, goals, friends, ego, celebrations

Wow, oh wow! I just don’t know what to say other than that. Just ... Wow!! (Don’t worry; I’ll manage to find more words, too.)

So, why the wow? Well, because I ran an amazing half marathon today. I broke my goal time. I broke my personal half marathon record. And I didn’t take any walk breaks. All with very little training.


I really doubted my abilities for today’s race—my first running of the Inverness Half Marathon—and I expected to have a miserable time that would include a lot of pain, a bit a lot of walking, and a really sore ego. In fact, I kind of thought that I might have such a bad experience (and disappointing time) that it would guilt me into doing a bit more training for my next half marathon. Instead, I’m going to have to remind myself that just because I did well without training, that doesn’t mean non-training is the best (or healthiest!) tactic.

First, my goal: I had hoped to just finish, but I also hoped to do that in between 2:30 and 2:45. I honestly thought that would be a struggle of its own—though I was planning to do my very best.

I gave myself a short goal of hitting sub-10 miles for the first half of the race, figuring that I would be lagging quite a bit on the second half when/if I had to walk (or crawl) for part of the race. Happily, I managed that quite well for the first eight miles—and I wasn’t far off for the last five. (The miles did get slower as the second half went on—with my last mile taking 12 minutes!)

Next, the non-walking: I really did expect to have to walk for part of the race—especially when I’ve had to take short walk breaks for my last two “long” runs of 6.75 and 7 miles. But as I came up on mile 7 marker—where I told myself I’d take the first walk break—I felt like I could keep running. Then when I came upon the mile 8 marker I realised that I might be able to run the whole thing. After all, it was only another 5 miles from that point.

I don’t know how I managed it—other than stubbornness—but I did. And that means that this is officially the first time I’ve not taken a walk break for a half marathon. I am extremely pleased with myself for that!

Finally, the personal best: With my first half marathon time of 2:34:36 and my second time of 2:16:57—both of which I trained for—I didn’t expect to break a record today. But as I kept creeping along mile after mile, I realised that I would be able to finish under goal. Then, I started to realise that I would be able to come close to my 2:16:57 time. It wasn’t until I hit the mile 10 marker that I actually realised I might be able to break that time.

And I did, with a time of 2:12:02!

I feel amazing for today’s accomplishments and I am sure it will energize me for the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May. After all, I now have a new PB to break!

I am now enjoying a post-race glow as I lounge around in my friends’ living room before a (well-earned) fish-and-chips dinner.

Oh, and did I say “WOW!” yet? Well, just in case I forgot: WOW!

(You can see more photos from my races here. Today’s race will be added after the fish!)

[Photo note: This was taken before the start with my friend, David, who also finished under goal about six minutes before me. Good job, David!]


I knew you could do it! I’m so proud of you. Good luck for your next race.

by Jenn at 11:38am (GMT) on March 10th, 2014

Thank you, Jenn!! I’m glad someone knew I could do it. I really did doubt it, myself! I’m sure my next race will be easier on my emotional preparedness now that I’ve shown myself that I’m capable! (Still, I’ll take all the luck I can get!)

by Just Frances at 12:30pm (GMT) on March 11th, 2014

good job lovey. but how will you manage to find a man if you run too fast for him to catch you? i guess you’ll just have to look at their finishing times before a first date to make sure they’re fast enough for someone as awesome as you. xoxox

by mm at 1:14pm (GMT) on March 12th, 2014

Thanks, Matthew; I can always count on you to come up with great prerequisite ideas! And encouragement. You’re good at that, too.

Of course, I don’t require potential dating partners to be runners. In fact, I’d almost rather they aren’t so that 1) I don’t get too competitive (come on, you know I can get that way!) and 2) they can meet me at the finish line with beer and crisps - and carry me home if need be! :)

by Just Frances at 2:03pm (GMT) on March 12th, 2014

Awesome job! That is so cool that you are feeling well enough to run and that you are breaking personal records. Keep it up. I am going to try to get back into cycling, and I think a 13 mile ride for me will really bust my butt, literally. I will need to ease into it when the rainy season ends. Til then, weights at the Y 3x a week for me.

by Ant Elizabeth at 9:19pm (GMT) on March 16th, 2014

Thank you! It’s such a great ego boost to have done so well that I think it will help to keep me active - and hopefully help me train better for my next race. I’ve already registered for the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May, but am thinking I might do the Edinburgh 10-mile in April, too. It’s an extremely hilly course but it runs right through the heart of the city so it will be an amazing course. (And great training for the half!)

I hope your biking goals go well and that you’re able to get out there as soon as the rain lets up. I wish I could be more dedicated about doing weights like you are. Maybe I should try for 2-3x a week, too! (Good luck!!)

by Just Frances at 9:13am (GMT) on March 17th, 2014

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