13.1 goal: crushed.

My goal for my 4th half marathon: to run (13.1) happy.

That goal?

From the moment I went to bed on Saturday night, to the moment the alarm clock rang at 4:50am — I didn’t feel nervous. I felt ready. I felt happy.

Upon meeting up with Christine for the drive down to Providence, we chatted about our goals (goal-less, truly) for this race, both agreeing that running a happy race was our #1 priority. And Sam readily agreed when we met up with her in the parking lot near the starting line.

It just felt…right. That we were all in this to run happy, proud, strong. Much, much, much less focus on numbers than ever before. For any of us. (of course, there is now a big ‘ol number in my head after the fact, but let’s get there first, shall we?)

And that difference? The focus on running happy miles? It put me in the exact right mindset for this race.
…I felt trust.

Trust that my body would carry me through the miles.

Trust that my mind would quiet, allowing me to run freely, proudly.

Trust that I wouldn’t hit that wall, that I’d power through.

Trust in Scott who would push me when I’d start to fall into my comfy little pace on him.

Trust in my training.

Trust in me.

And that, my friends, is what carried me through 13.1 — along a beautiful course in Providence where I’m damn proud to say that I killed every hill that crossed my path and powered through the miles, never once hitting the wall (not truly anyway, though miles 9-11 felt like forever), finally trusting my body to do the work. Doubt was left in the dust.

So when I say that I CRUSHED my goal for this half marathon? It’s true. I have never felt prouder or stronger in my life.

(Pre-race — ready to rock it out)

(Post-race — those are some happy runners, huh??)

Now. Let’s talk numbers. Just for a sec. I finished this race in 2:03:10, that’s about a 2-minute PR off my last half marathon, and a mere 3 minutes from a secret reach-goal of mine. (Yes, I had a secret reach goal!).


I hate to say it but I just can’t help it. I have a goal in mind now that, yes, is very much numbers-driven. I want a sub-2 half marathon. So badly. It was just three teeny tiny minutes away today. Three. I can eat those three minutes. I KNOW I can.

So now what? Is there another half marathon in my future before the big 26.2?
…I think there may be.

As Scott said to me after the race (and he is SO right)“If you met every goal the first time you tried for it, life would be boring.”

So here’s to living as un-boring a life as possible. One filled with infinite possibilities. No limits, whatsoever.  One where I’m always game for reaching and re-reaching for dreams and goals until I capture them. And one where for now? I’m drinking in these moments. The post-race glow — a glow driven by pride and joy, above all else.

88 thoughts on “13.1 goal: crushed.

  1. Congratulations! What a great race. And PLEEEASE don’t worry about those tiny 3 minutes. 2:03 is terrific anyway. And it’s your PR. And if you’re ready for a sub-2-hrs half marathon, you’ll do that. Enjoy that afterglow feeling and take the time for being proud of yourself.

    • Oh YES. I promise you, I am *not* feeling badly about those 3 minutes. I’m merely looking at it as a fun challenge I’d like to conquer — and KNOW that I can conquer after yesterday’s race. I came away from that race feeling stronger and more sure of myself as a runner than I ever have before. And that is something to be proud of and to enjoy for as long as possible, right? 🙂

    • THANK YOU, friend. SO much. I am thrilled. Totally and utterly happy with yesterday’s race. The 3 minutes? Sure, I’d love to eat those next time around, but for now — this afterglow feels damn good.

    • I love that you did. You know I’m normally not a numbers girl at ALL. I just felt like I needed to be honest about this secret little reach-goal of mine. A ‘someday’ goal, if you will. Right now, I am more than happy and proud with how I performed yesterday, it was my best race yet, particularly mentally. SUCH a good feeling.

    • Haha awww, thank you! He is my biggest support and fan — and the best “rabbit” around, he always runs ahead of me so I have no choice but to push my own pace to keep up! Sneaky, sneaky, but it works! 😉

  2. So so so happy for you. That sounded like the perfect day and I am so proud of you for killing it. You absolutely have the sub-2 in you. And I agree with your husband, life would be boring if you could just meet every goal immediately. You can get that sub-2 and then find another one and then another one. 🙂 Congrats!!!!!!!

    • Thank you so much, friend. You’re the best. It really was the perfect day in every way — the right race conditions (weather-wise), a great and well-organized race and course, awesome running companions (who also PR’d which is very cool!), and my body felt rested and strong and GOOD the entire time. Huge for me. Just huge.

      And you’re right — I can totally go for that sub-2 later, it was a reach goal for this race, a nice-to-have goal. My main goal was to run a really strong race which I totally did. And that makes me so happy!

  3. That is awesome! I’m so proud of you girl. Nothing can take away from an amazing race. I’m glad I found your blog and I can’t wait to follow you on your journey from crushing a sub 2 hour!

    • Aww thank you so much for stopping by!! I’m super excited about this race and REALLY feeling ready to train for Chicago now!! (and crushing a sub-2 sometime along the way as well!)

    • Oh you KNOW there was lots of healthy bites fueling during my training for this one!! can’t wait for the next batch — I may have to save them for the start of full training in June. Oh wait…I don’t think I can do that, they taste too good to wait that long! hehe 😉

  4. GREAT JOB JESS–New you had it in you! Keep this momentum going while training for Chicago in October. Cheers!

  5. I am so happy for you Jess! Yeah, the numbers do matter when you make your goals, but you have it so right. The mental goals are first. You sound so happy and confident! That, my friend, is how you accomplish goals! Congratulations!

    • Exactly. I’ve always been more about the mental goals than the physical/time goals. And this race proved to me that I can run hard and push myself and still enjoy the miles vs. stressing the time and all that. It feels so good to be where I am right now. 🙂

    • Thank you friend, seriously. I am really, really happy with this time and KNOW that it’s only up from here. It gave me the confidence I need to go into marathon training strong, so important to me! Sub-2 or not!

  6. LOL – I knew you had a secret goal 😉 I usually do as well and just don’t announce it out loud until after the fact. Jason and I were running Sunday probably around the time you were texting me and I commented that I knew you had it in you for a sub-2. I know you will reach that one. You’re getting fast AND confident. So proud of you.

    • You know me way too well 😉
      You are the cutest, thank you for rooting for me and cheering me on the entire time. You and my sis make a great virtual cheering squad!! Love you!!

  7. So proud of you sis! I beamed reading this. I love that you had a secret goal but I also agree with those here that agree that numbers are just numbers and seriously, 3 mins? you can totally do it if you want to do another half down the road, or as part of marathon training. Either way, I am so proud of my speedy sis and just wish I was there to have seen it live 🙂 XOXO

    • Aww sis, thank you. I felt all of your energy and proud spirit ALL DAY yesterday. It meant the world to me and truly made all the difference during this race. Even though you weren’t there, I felt your presence the entire time. Love you sis!!

  8. You are AWESOME girl! I love the way that you went into this race with the mindset of just running happy! I mean, that’s the point of it all, isn’t it?! I can’t wait until Chicago with you…but I’m kind with you on this one…I’m interested maybe another half before October. It just seems too far away!

    • It was such a fun way to go into this race — with barely any pre-race jitters either! I looooved that feeling of just running happy. And you’re right — Chicago seems so far away (which is GOOD haha) so I may get antsy and seek out another half before then. We shall see!

  9. Awesome awesome awesome!!
    Congrats on such a great race–and you look great too!
    I bet you will reach that sub-2 before you know it 🙂

    • Thank you so much, it was a hard fought race, but one that I am extremely proud of. I feel even happier about it the more time that passes. It’s like the joy, that runner’s high, is still settling in nicely 🙂

  10. Congrats, Jess!!! I absolutely LOVE that your goal was happiness, and that you focused on the mental part of the race moreso than the numbers, although I wish you all the best in crushing your time goal for next time, too 🙂

    • Thank you SO much! I feel so good knowing that I finally conquered that mental mind game issue I’ve been fighting for so long. I finally got out of my own way and just ran my heart out. ❤

  11. yay for CRUSHING!!!!!!!

    the next thing you’ll crush will be that 2h mark 😀 😀 😀

  12. First of all, congrats on the race & having a great time!! Secondly, that is a smart man you’ve got. He’s exactly right – if you met every goal with “ease”, then you’re not really challenging yourself or your potential. You will undoubtedly get under 2 hours, when you’re ready – take it another step, to really see what you can do! D always motivates (ahem, pushes / coaches) me to go further, faster. I set a 26.2 goal, and he always thinks I have more in me. It’s a good reminder to get out of the safety zone! 🙂

    • He is a smart man, huh? (He is loving all of this love he’s getting on my blog today, btw, hehe) But really — that’s all I needed to hear yesterday when I started to mull the three minute thing. Truly, a goal isn’t meant to be crushed right out of the gate every single time. You gotta fight for those goals, work and reach and reach for those goals. And that’s what I plan to do, and continue to do. It was the reminder that I needed, for sure!

      PS LOVE that D pushes/coaches you too!!

  13. Congrats Congrats Congrats!! So very happy for you. You are a rock star. I love the trust that you had in yourself, your body, your training – everything and that you ran happy. Scott’s so right about life being boring if you could just easily meet all your goals. Those pesky three minutes will be yours before you know it.

    • I feel like I’m in this amazing running “moment” right now — like I’m more than ready for whatever comes next in the months ahead, another half marathon (maybe) and the full marathon this fall. I am not taking it for granted in the slightest — I am loving every single moment, truly.

  14. Congrats! What an awesome race you had and you should be so proud of yourself! I bet you can rock that sub-2 half easily when you train for Chicago! Go for it!

  15. So, so very proud of you! What a race….what amazing goals and ownership you took of them…very inspiring my friend! I thought of you yesterday as I was pounding out miles along the marathon course. I dug deep into the motto I will always associate with you….”Run a race you can be proud of…” You did! And after digging deep, I did too. Thank you for your blog that inspires! And keep rocking on…oh the places you will go!

    • Um hi — I was thinking about YOU, channeling YOU, yesterday. You inspired the hell outta me with your persistence, your strength, your dedication, and most of all? Your JOY while training for your marathon. I was trying so hard to channel that joy most of all yesterday. And I’m pretty sure it worked. For both of us. SO proud of you girl, cannot wait to read all the details!!!

  16. YEAAAA! Applause!! Oh, I am so incredibly overjoyed for you. You had such a good training schedule, head space, all that you need to truly rock out. And you are right, you blew away your competition.

    Damn! Way to go — you should have a nice runner’s high all month! SO happy for you!!

  17. Half marathons are a great distance. You get to give it your all and you don’t feel demolished afterwards (for too long at least). Congrats on the PR. Once you break sub-2, there is no stopping. I did it last October and last month was aiming for sub 1:50. Once you break it, you want more. Keep training strong and enojy the glory of being a KICK ASS HALF MARATHONER!

    • I really do love the distance too. Like you said, just long enough that its a really good challenge but not so far that you feel like trash for days and days afterwards. I am excited to go for a sub-2 in the future — and can totally see why it can be addicting!!

  18. Congrats girl, I am so proud of you for rocking out that race. That is NOT an easy race to run at all. It’s good to see you talk numbers just once in a great while 😉 teehee

    P.S. Two more halfs this summer that I just happen to be registered for 😉 #justsayin

    • I LOVED this race — thank you for convincing me to go for it with you!! I LOVED experiencing it with you and Christine, made the day even more special. 🙂
      Congrats to you on your own PR, you did AWESOME!

  19. Congrats on running happy! It’s amazing what our bodies will do when there isn’t an pressure.

    We’ve got VERY similar stories – I ran my 4th half marathon yesterday and got a PR! 2012 is also the year of the marathon for me. Let the training begin! Good luck to you in all your goals and aspirations! 🙂

  20. hugs for this recap and hugs for you!

    so glad we could share in yesterday together. we have such a similar story from the race and it’s the best kind of story! 🙂

    slowly but surely (and HAPPILY) we are MAKING IT!


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  22. Congrats on your PR Yoda!!! When you talk “minute” improvements on times you’re talking amazing achievement. All those intervals paid off!!!

  23. AMAZING so proud of you Jess. Seriously, there’s nothing like the feeling of a PR, especially when you look back at how hard you trained, how much you put into it, and where your heart and mind were at. Way to go, you must feel incredible 🙂

  24. WAY TO GO FRIEND!!!! I hadn’t caught what your time was yet, and that’s fantastic!!! So proud of you, and you’ll be leaving those last three minutes in your dust soon enough!!

    PS: Has anyone ever told you you’re such a beautiful woman!? And shoot…especially after those miles! 😀

    And I love your running posts…they always inspire me to keep going. ALWAYS.

    • Awww you are SO freakin’ sweet, I heart you!! Thank you friend, I happen to think YOU are beautiful too, as I said in my gushing tweet to you earlier today. teehee.

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