Hogsback Half Recap

First off, I want to thank everyone for such kind words and congratulations after my race on Saturday. It really means the world to me. Running is just part of who I am, but I am so happy that it ties me to a community full of wonderful people.

Like I’ve said previously, I like running halfs during marathon training to tune-up before race day. If my pre-race nerves for this half was any indication, it has been far too long since I’ve raced. Although I stayed in Friday night in hopes of getting a lot of sleep, I couldn’t relax. Between the pre-race jitters, wondering how I was going to run 13 miles (um I ran 20 7 days before… you would think I’d know I would finish but nope!) and the idea of moving apartments getting real, I was up until after midnight. Which made for a 6AM wake-up not the most fun.

I sweet talked my wonderful parents into road tripping with me. I’ve run this race the past two years and have driven myself. No matter what, I always finish and wish someone was there to drive me home because I just want to close my eyes and rest. But this year my mom and step-dad made the trip with me which was super nice and really fun to have some fans waiting for me at the end!

For me personally, I race fasted. So for half marathons I do not fuel. I don’t eat before and I do not take in any fuel during the run. I usually find this helps me race my best. I like feeling light pre-race, and usually get some GI issues if I am running at a tempo pace.

My goal for this race was to go in and run slightly faster than marathon goal pace. The course is challenging. It mimics Boston as the first portion has a steep decline in elevation, followed by a mildly flat stretch, and the finishing with rolling hills, and the last mile up hill. Because that’s fun and what everyone wants to run up after 12+ miles.

Before the race I was able to fit in a 1.5 mile warm up at about a 9’30” pace. I never used to be a fan of warming up, but after a long car ride and sitting most the morning, I need something to get my legs moving. Although I didn’t warm up for Boston, I think the walk from Athlete’s Village to the start line was sufficient enough warm up.

Before the race I actually bumped into a friend from college. She was a fabulous runner in college and a triathlete. She had taken a break from racing, but is back training for NYCM as part of Fred’s Team as she has personally seen the tragic effects of cancer on loved ones. If you’re interested in donating, this is her page. I’m super excited because this means I have a friend to hang out with in NYC!

The race was scheduled to start at 9:00AM which is late for me. I like running early and being done by then, but the race offers an early start at 8:15 for runners who will take longer than 2:30 to complete the race.

I have seen some familiar faces at these races before and enjoy casually chatting before the race. I heard a small group of males saying they’d like to run around 1:30. Going into this race, I was hoping for a 1:34. It is a challenging course, I was coming off a 60+ mile week, and I was not rested.

The gun went off promptly at 9:00 and I was out in the front with two other women. Though the race starts downhill, I tried my best to reign in my pace. Last year I ran the first mile sub 6 and was absolutely DYING for the last three miles. Lesson learned.

My splits were as followed:

6’26” 6’23” 6’45” 6’42” 6’47” 6’55” 6’51” 6’53” 7’05” 7’01” 7’00” 7’00” 7’16”
Watch time 1:29:51

For the first few miles I found myself running with two other women and with a few men. It was a great group as we were mostly on pace. After the third/fourth mile I was first female which was an interesting experience, because I’ve never been first female for a half. I was escorted by a race official on a bike which was pretty cool, and to be quite honest, probably attributed to falling into a groove with my pace.

Pain train

I took water around mile 8 – and in pure form splashed 99% of it all over my face. I kept chugging along and with the exception of the last mile (uphill – ugh) I felt good. In all honesty, I felt like I could’ve kept going. I’m sure my pace would’ve slowed a bit, but on a course with less of a climb at the end (+350ft elevation change), I think I would’ve been able to hold  on for longer at comfortable pace. Last year I came in third overall, but this year I finished as first woman and can now proudly say I won my first half marathon. Truly something I NEVER thought would happen. Although as my mom put it – I was only 4+ minutes slower than the overall finisher… next year mom… next year : )

All I can think when I see this is “wow I look tired”

I cooled down at the end with a half mile run making it 15 miles for the day. It was a perfect day weather wise, and the race had a strong group of competitors. Again, it was so nice to see my parents at the finish line as they are always such great supporters. I am usually pretty nauseous after I run so I stuck with water for the time being. I had a few orange slices but was barely able to stomach anything else. Therefore, the amazing homemade post-race food was 100% consumed by my parents. And of course I had to steal a Rice Krispy treat for my mom. : )

Would’ve preferred a real cupcake… but I’m not picky 🙂

We hung out on the grass for a bit while waiting for awards. While it was perfect weather to race, it was a bit chilly with the wind. Sitting in sweaty clothes didn’t really help either. I won a super awesome bottle of white wine, a hat, two cookies (which are now gone), and a pretty neat metal.

Hogsback is one of my favorite races. The people. The course. Everything about it. If you’re near Colebrook, CT and want to run a really awesome half marathon, remember this next fall! I know I’ll be back!

I have one more half before NYCM. This week is another week of lighter milage, before peaking next week with 70+ miles. The third weekend in October I’ll have a very local half which means a lot more sleeping the morning before! I can’t believe I’m already this far in my training. It seems like just yesterday I started making my training plan…


What’s your favorite half marathon course? How is it challenging for you?

Would anyone like me to talk specifically about fasted training/racing? I started doing this about 15 months ago and have had a lot of success with it.

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49 thoughts on “Hogsback Half Recap

  1. Again, congrats! Sounds like a great race, and a great mini Boston. I don’t run fasted (I like food too much) but I don’t fuel for 13 miles unless I’m racing. I don’t even fuel during 16 miles unless I think I’m going to have an issue. I blame stubbornness and support my decision based on the fact that it might make me a better runner by not being so dependent on fuel.

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  2. Congratulations! Sounds like you had a fabulous race – and paced very well considering those hills! So interesting that you do HMs fasted – I guess thats great to help train fat-burning for the marathon – but I would find it so hard psychologically… I think you’ll do really well in your marathon, this race proves you’re in great shape – well done!

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  3. Congrats on your finish!

    Any tips for getting into running? I always tell myself I’m going to start running more, but never follow through, I love weight lifting so much more! Everyone says just get out there, but that doesn’t seem to work haha

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  4. Seriously a rockstar! I race/run fasted too. But I eat something during runs longer than 15 usually. Stomach problems for the win. I am debating what to do about warming up before my race. I really don’t get “into” the run right away so it might be helpful to do a short warm-up, but I don’t know about running more than 26.2 miles…

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  5. So proud of you, that is wicked fast! I would love to hear more about fasted races/training. I ran my first half fasted, never having eaten pre- or mid-run before, and it was fine because I was more freezing than anything else but I CRASHED about 30 minutes after finishing. Since then I’ve tried to stomach 1/2 a banana or a few GF pretzels beforehand. It may be tougher for me because for a half my times have ranged from 2:08-2:15, so I’m out there longer…

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    1. It definitely took my body a long time to get used to. Initially I would cramp up a lot, but over time I found that it actually allows me to preform at a higher level and aids my training for longer races. I will definitely put together a post about it. I know it’s something that really worked for me so maybe it’ll work for others!

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  6. Girl, you are a speed demon!!! I would love to hear more about fasted training/racing. Someday I would love to break the 1:30 half marathon – we’ll see how I can bounce back after pregnancy. I honestly think you would make an awesome triathlete. Come train with me in Oregon! 🙂

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    1. I would so love to ! 🙂 I’m going to put something together about why I race fasted/more information on it’s benefits. It worked pretty well for me – but it took a LONG time for my body to get used to !

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  7. Congratulations!! So happy for you that you had such an awesome day!!!

    WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE SHORTS. I love them soooooooooo much!!! I MUST KNOW!!!

    I never fuel during half marathons. I do eat maybe a piece of toast or something before, but in general I just don’t find I need much fuel during runs. Usually only 15+ miles. So yeah, tell us all about fasting!!

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  8. *Bows Down* Jamie you are a ROCKSTAR! Holy impressed!!! Such a fantastic race! Congratulations! You have inspired me to run it next fall. Although I can say with certainty that I will not be anywhere near as fast as you Ms. Zippy. 🙂 The wine and cookies was well deserved!

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  9. AMAZING RACE!! Congrats on WINNING!!! That’s so awesome and you’re so freakin speedy 🙂 My favorite half marathon course is the NJ Long Branch one in the spring. I’ve run it three years in a row now and it’s on my list for next year too.
    In terms of the fasted running/racing, I’d love to hear how you do it even though I don’t think my body is made for that. Even on short 5-6 mile runs if I haven’t had something to eat, I start feeling hungry while I’m running and my energy levels slip. However, the amount of fuel I have definitely depends on how long I’m going for!

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  10. dude you are crazy fast. insanely fast. congrats on that race! the other day i ran 3 x 800s at 6:40 pace, but have never seen that pace during any of my races. pass me along some of your juju! 🙂

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  11. Wow. You are fast. I have a friend who lives there. I was tempted to run that race. It sounded like a fun one. But instead I signed up for Brooklyn in 2 weeks. Maybe next year. But those hills scare me.

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  12. You’re so amazing – congrats on the first place finish! I’m pretty sure you’re going to win this race next year and run an amazing PR at NYC.
    I eat before runs but don’t like to eat a lot and carrying gels can just be so cumbersome, so I’m definitely interested in learning more about fasted training and racing. I get the same way after races – I can maybe eat some fruit but it takes a couple hours for my appetite to appear.

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  13. OHHHHkay the fact that you casually pulled a 1:29 out of a high mileage week… you’re amazing. I don’t know how you do it. I don’t eat before most races and I don’t take fuel during. I mean, I will for the marathon, but anything under that for races I don’t. I don’t like feeling like I have a lot of anything in my stomach, and I’m super nauseous after. I can’t eat sweets for several hours and it usually takes me at least an hour to get a bagel down, which is my post-race food of choice. I’m so boring haha

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  14. Congrats again, so amazing to win!!!
    I had no idea fueling was a thing when I started running halfs so never touched it since I already had an awful stomach; until I started training for a full and then it was constant GI issues. I run every morning fasted so I am just used to it. BUT I ate a plain kaiser roll before my last half and was okay but that was not the norm and took a wild chance on race day!

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  15. I train and race fasted and it works for me as well. I don’t like the feeling of sloshing in my tummy when I’m trying to go fast. You ran such a great race! Doesn’t winning a race feel great?

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  16. I have NEVER thought of racing fasted…I stick to intermittent fasting with my regular diet but I throw it out the window on race day because I feel like I “need” the calories. This is so interesting to me! And I am so excited for you! I can’t believe you placed! That is awesome and amazing and so cool! Congrats! ❤

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