Wild Workout Wednesday: Syracuse Half Marathon Recap

Syracuse Half Marathon Race RecapI trained for over 3 months for the Syracuse Half, waking up at 5 AM almost every single day to either get in my scheduled run or cross train.  During those runs I pushed myself beyond all my comfort zones going further than I had ever gone, a little faster each time all while on the treadmill (yes, nearly all my training runs were on a treadmill including a 15 miler).  

I prepared myself as best I could for everything except the weather hoping that luck would be on my side….it wasn’t, but I knew this several days before hand when the forecast read a high of 27 degrees and snowing.  Even so, I kept my head in the game and made a plan of attack.  I sure as hell didn’t dedicate 3 months of my time to just give up when it really mattered.  

Then the weekend rolled around.  Nicole from Fitful Focus was up for the weekend, we had a little pre-race race to see The Piano Man then her and her boyfriend came over for dinner the night before for a pre-race gluten free CARBOLOAD.  


Thinking it would be a good idea to see what we were in for, we drew the course map on the iFit on my treadmill…. only to watch it go up to 15% incline in the first few minutes…..we shut it off all freaked out and basically convinced ourselves that we were screwed.

Syracuse Half Marathon Race Recap

Screwed because of the more-giant-than-we-thought James Street Hill, screwed because the forecast now read a high of 17 degrees, screwed because it was going to snow and now especially screwed because we no longer felt prepared. 

Flash forward to the morning of the race.  I woke up at 4:30 AM so I could get ready and get to Syracuse by 6:30 to help a fellow Ragnar Relay Ambassador set up our booth at the race expo.  As soon as I pulled out of my garage I saw SNOW and the temperature gauge read 17 degrees…..all I could think was “What the F am I doing? This is INSANE!”  That was when I really started to doubt myself. 

After slipping and sliding on my drive and watching several cars go off the road, I arrived at the On Center and helped Troy set up the Ragnar booth along with the cool Ragnar cookies I made (courtesy of Troy’s cookie cutter).  

Ragnar Relay Cookies

Not too long after Nicole arrived at which point we took our last trip to the bathroom (all inside where it was warm and cozy, by the way) and headed out to the start in what was now 15 degrees with a “feels like” 3 degrees windchill.  

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Syracuse Half Marathon Race Recap

We managed our way toward the front in the 7-9 minute pace corral and as soon as the we were given the go ahead, we were off.  I weaved my way through the crowd and started at a pretty decent speed with the first mile at an 8:00 minute pace. According to my pacing band, I was right on schedule but first I needed to make it up the infamous James Street Hill and maintain an 8 minute pace if I wanted to finish at my goal time of 1:45. 

With my best effort and all my might, I chugged my butt up the hill as fast as I could hitting the 2nd mile at almost exactly 16 minutes.  EXACTLY where I needed to be to make my goal.  I heard that this hill was the worst part of the entire race so in that moment, I decided that I was going to go for it and give it my all. 

Syracuse Half Marathon Course

I won’t bore you with a mile by mile replay but let’s just say that I pretty much stayed on pace the 1st half of the race: 

  • Mile 1: 8:00/mi
  • Mile 2: 7:56/mi
  • Mile 3: 7:59/mi
  • Mile 4: 7:44/mi
  • Mile 5: 7:54/mi
  • Mile 6: 8:07/mi

As you can see I kind fell apart at mile 6 and started to feel sluggish, I realized I hadn’t taken my fuel yet at which point I did and then kept chuggin’ along. 

  • Mile 7: 7:59/mi
  • Mile 8: 7:53/mi
  • Mile 9: 7:34/mi
  • Mile 10: 8:09/mi
  • Mile 11: 8:11/mi
  • Mile 12: 8:11/mi

No, I did not have a second wind at mile 9, it just happened to be that large downhill which I was grateful for….then I just couldn’t manage to maintain my pace after that.  

I was cold and tired from dodging all the potholes and puddles (more than I care to remember) and my feet were freezing from all the puddles that I didn’t manage to dodge.  That last mile was simply ugly….my body had quit but I knew I couldn’t stop when I was almost finished so very, very close to my goal. 

  • Mile 13: 8:14/mi

As I neared the end of the 13th mile, I could hear the finish line and then I could see it.  The end was in sight and I was so close to my goal that I could taste it.  I kept trying to convince my mind to push my body but I was struggling.  

There was this couple running next to me and I heard him say to her “Just push it, if you push it now we can finish in 1:45”  That was all I needed to hear.  I didn’t care that he was saying it to her, I heard it as if he was saying it to me. It was the push I needed. 

  • Mile 13.19 (as read by my GPS): 7:28/mi
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I crossed the finish line as the clock read 1:45:53 and all I knew is that I finished in under 1:46, that it was a PR by nearly 4 minutes and in that moment, it was all that mattered. That and getting my medal, obviously! 😉 

Syracuse Half Marathon Race Recap

I managed to stumble my way (literally) back to the Ragnar booth just so I could sit down.  Across from us was the leaderboard where all the finish times were posted at which point I saw my name and time pop up…..my official finish time was 1:45:26….just 26 seconds past my goal time but I didn’t care.  

Syracuse Half Marathon Race Recap

I gave those 13.1 miles every ounce of what was in me and considering the snow, the freezing cold and all my last minute doubt, it was enough and I was proud.  I shaved nearly 4 minutes off my PR, worked hard for it and it paid off.  

I wasn’t the only one to PR though…in fact, it was a PR for many including Nicole, Renee and my sister! 

Syracuse Half Marathon Race Recap


Hooray it was a PR par-tay! 

Syracuse Half Marathon Race Recap PR PARTY

 And by “party hard” I mean I celebrated by going to LoFo and ate all the gluten free food on the menu.  

Overall, the weather was not ideal and I did a pretty good job of freaking myself out the days leading up to the race but what I learned is to trust my training.  My next race is the CNY 10k followed by the Mountain Goat, a 10 mile race that is ALL HILLS. Those will just be for fun before I start training for the BIG DANCE, my first full marathon in the Fall! YIKES!

Did you race this past weekend? Have you ever doubted yourself then prevailed?

Link up with  Angelena Marie from  Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced , Upala at Pretty in Pink Fitness, and Amber at Bold Fit Mom for Wild Workout Wednesday below! Just make sure to grab the badge or link back and we will be sure to spread the inspiration around! :) 


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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!


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Mary Beth Jackson
Reply March 25, 2015

congrats on that finish! all that hard work did pay off! I am getting a little nervous about running my half next month because my training has been so on and off but I plan on chugging thru it the best way I can! No time to worry now! Cute pics of you and Nicole! I think it is amazing that you logged all those miles on the treadmill and then got on the course and showed it who is boss!!
Mary Beth Jackson recently posted...Lakeside Dinner Trio on Monday night.My Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you!!! You will do awesome at your half, just don't over think it and you will rock it! :)

Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes
Reply March 25, 2015

Ummm, you are amazing! And you absolutely did NOT fall apart. I can only dream about those times. You are my hero. Amazing job girl ESPECIALLY in those conditions!!
Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted...Solidcore Review: THE hardest workout you will EVER do!My Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Aww, thank you so much!!! I am satisfied with my effort and time...though I am not sure I will subject myself to that race at this time of year again! :P

Susie @ SuzLyfe
Reply March 25, 2015

I honestly think sometimes that the best way to go into a race is with lower expectations and some doubts because then you just keep on surprising yourself! All of my PRs have been this way. CONGRATS
Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted...The Skinny Confidential Book : A Swift, Sassy Kick (Giveaway)My Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    I totally agree!!! Thank you! :D

Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
Reply March 25, 2015

That was fun to read! Nice job you all with less than ideal conditions. You ladies rock! I am going to need to make those Ragnar cookies too. Our race is coming up in May
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted...Welcome Runs, BRF’s & CoffeeMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you!!! :D The guy who made the cookie cutter sells them, you should order one from him! :)

Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply March 25, 2015

Wow! What a great race Annmarie! You really killed it. Major bummer about the :26 seconds, but considering the conditions I'd say you slayed that course. If it was nice out, dry and not wet... I'm positive you could take another couple of minutes off.
You have a lot to be proud of congrats. Your recap was even great!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted...5 Ways to Make Fitness Your Routine TODAY!My Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Aw thanks so much Julie! <3 I am proud and very happy though my next half will be 26 seconds shorter at least :P

Lisa @ Lisa Runs for Cupcakes
Reply March 25, 2015

Congrats on the PR! Those Ragnar cookies look amazing!
Lisa @ Lisa Runs for Cupcakes recently posted...Review and Giveaway: Actio926 ActivewearMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you so much, Lisa!!! :)

Katie @ Fit Life by Katie
Reply March 25, 2015

Congrats! That is such an awesome time! I've taken a break from long distance running but this sort of made me want to run another half :-)
Katie @ Fit Life by Katie recently posted...Workout Wednesday: Kettle Bell CircuitMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you!!! I always wanna run after I read or see someone's running post...it is a terrible addiction! :P

Angelena Marie
Reply March 25, 2015

Awesome job Annmarie! I loved reading all about your race and how despite the weather you kicked butt! Congrats on your time and PR! You've inspired me to keep training hard for my little 5k, maybe I'll work my way up to a half!
Angelena Marie recently posted...Wild Workout Wednesday Runner Spotlight: JessMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you so much, Angelena!!! You will rock your 5k and you can absolutely do a half if you get some training in, no doubt!

Reply March 25, 2015

Woohoo! Way to get it done on a really tough looking course! Not to mention the temperature. All your hard work paid off. Congrats!
misszippy recently posted...Why run speed work on the roads?My Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you so much!!! The temperature was the biggest struggle I think, happy to have finished without freezing :)

Reply March 25, 2015

Not surprised at all - you are a wee fire-cracker!
Awesome job Annmarie!

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Aw, thanks Amanda!!! <3

Jen @ Pretty Little Grub
Reply March 25, 2015

Congrats on the PR! That was a tough course to PR so I am beyond impressed.
That sign is so cool at the end, I've never seen that before.
Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted...My running-life-crisisMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you so much! It was my first time seeing a digital board like that at a race too- it was really cool!

Kailey Ingerman
Reply March 25, 2015

great race, you did so awesome! The weather conditions alone were so tough this weekend, way to stay strong!
Kailey Ingerman recently posted...Paddy's Five Miler Recap! (I failed at taking pictures)My Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you so much! They were rough- looking forward to warmer Spring races :)

Reply March 25, 2015

So awesome! Congrats on the PR and for pushing through some cold cold weather and hills to attain your goal. It's hugely imspirational!
Katie recently posted...Workout Wednesday: UnpluggedMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you so much!!! <3

Sam @ PancakeWarriors
Reply March 25, 2015

Girl you are a machine!! I would have turned my butt around and went back to bed at the site of snow! LoL So proud of you for PR'ing and making it through that crazy run!!
Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted...Cauliflower TabboulehMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Haha, I don't believe that for a second, you're a badass!!! Thank you so much- I was just happy to be done with it :P

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply March 25, 2015

That John Candy/Steve Martin GIF pretty much sums it up! So glad I got to experience this race with you and that we both PRed despite being totally freaked out! Now I ain't afraid of no hills!
Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted...Syracuse Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Omg when I found that GIF I couldn't believe how perfect it was! I am so happy that we got to experience it together too!!! It was awesome to conquer it and both have such a successful race! Next time you come up I will show you all the hills around my house....hahahaha *evil laugh*

Tory @ Keep Calm & Live Well
Reply March 25, 2015

Congrats on an awesome race and new PR!

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you so much! :)

Ange @ Cowgirl Runs
Reply March 25, 2015

Races that have inside bathrooms are my favourite :)

That downhill is truly amazing. I would have ran down it, arms flailing ;)

Congratulations on a HUGE PR, that's fantastic!
Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted...A New (Again) Marathon Training PlanMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Omg I was never so happy to see such a large downhill....I was riding it for all it was worth!!! Thank you so much!!! <3

Jess @hellotofit
Reply March 25, 2015

I've been following you through your running journey (hope that doesn't sound creepy...?) and LOVE that you prevailed and made an AMAZEBALLS PR!!! I'm in such awe at your pace for that entire race. You. Rock!
Jess @hellotofit recently posted...Heart-pumping hill repeatsMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Haha omg not creepy at all!!! I love your support and encouragement, it really means a lot! Thank you so much!!! It was nice to prove to myself that I could do it! :)

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
Reply March 25, 2015

Congrats on the PR! You rock!
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted...Comment on Quinoa, Rocket and Pomegranate Salad by VickyMy Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you so much, Dannii!! <3

Mary Long
Reply March 25, 2015

Great recap! The graphics are great too - LOL Congrats on your PR!
Mary Long recently posted...Friday’s 5 – It’s SPRING!My Profile

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Haha, thank you! I didn't take a lot of pictures because it was so cold so I had to fill up the space with something funny instead :P

Nora @ 2 Generations Running
Reply March 25, 2015

Woooo, congrats!!! That's awesome! :) you should be super proud of yourself, it's not easy to run fast in temps like that! What marathon are you doing?

    Reply March 25, 2015

    Thank you, the temps definitely do make a difference with pace. I am doing the Wineglass Marathon in Corning...it is supposed to be flat and pretty! :)

Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
Reply March 26, 2015

Was thinking about you on my long run this weekend and hoping the weather was nicer than predicted.
That weather SUCKS - and you still freaking dominated - so amazing.
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted...A Breakup? Or Just on a Break?My Profile

    Reply March 26, 2015

    Aww, thank you so much! That was so sweet of you think of me- I really do appreciate your support and encouragement! I think running the tangents (best I could bc of the potholes and puddles) was really helpful!

Reply March 26, 2015

Awesome effort and great time! You go girl! I love that episode of the office its so memorable. The weather is ridiculous you are amazing!
Autumn recently posted...Witness the FitnessMy Profile

    Reply March 26, 2015

    Thank you! That episode is so funny...I just had to include that meme!!! :P

Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC
Reply March 26, 2015

awesome job! i love when i overhear folks talking and it motivates me while running :)
Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted...Blog Stats and Income February 2015My Profile

    Reply March 26, 2015

    Thanks so much Courtney!!! :) It is great to hear other runners motivate each other....always makes me go faster!

Reply March 31, 2015

I ran this race too! Man it was cold. Great report - gonna hopefully have one of my own up soon. Well done on the PR - congrats!
Tom recently posted...Well, sh*t is about to get real up in here…My Profile

    Reply April 1, 2015

    Thank you! It was SO COLD! Can't wait to read your report- love hearing different perspectives of the same race! :)

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