Handcart Half Marathon Recap and Advice Request

Published July 25, 2014 by shanisko

Yesterday marked my first official half marathon.  I have completed a virtual half marathon with US Road Running in June in order to make sure I was prepared for the one where I’m racing with other people.   Things didn’t go quite as I expected and I’m not sure what happened to make it so, but please join me for the recap.

July 24th is the day Utah became a state, so it’s a state holiday, and it seemed like the Handcart Half Marathon would be a good test for myself.  It has a decent route that runs for a good portion along a beautiful trail parallel to Legacy Highway, an environmental area filled with water birds and dragonflies (dragonflies are very important to my family, we consider them to be symbols of my grandmother and I had a few show up just when I needed a little extra push).

I was up at 3:30 AM to prepare, fuel and drive to Bountiful.

I enjoyed my usual long run breakfast of a banana and a bagel with peanut butter.  A very small cup of coffee and water.


I headed out around 4:30 for the half hour drive to the South Davis Recreation Center (hosts for the half).  I was there early for packet pick up and to relax for a little while before the event started.  I picked up my bib #24, my shirt, and the other swag for the race and returned to my car to prepare my belt and water bottle.


Around 6:00 I went to the start to watch the early option races (for people who thought they would take over 4 hours to finish) head out.  I sat around on the benches, talked to a few folks and enjoyed a brief sprinkle of rain.  It was very, very hot.  86′ at 6:00 AM, so the cold rain was welcome.


At 6:30 they lined us up and set us off with a fire from a cannon.


See me (in the center area with a blue Team Run Disney shirt)


My start out goal was to stay somewhere between the 2:30 and 2:45 Pacer…which I did for about half of the race.

I started out too fast and I decided to change my intervals…which I think was my first mistake.  Thinking this was a race I upped my intervals from 30:30 to 1:30/:30.  That was a bad idea I think.  All of my long runs had been with the 30:30 and I’d done well.  I think my brain was in an “I have to compete” mode instead of a “I just need to finish mode.”

We were off through the streets of Bountiful and headed west toward the Legacy Trail.


I was great until about mile 5 when I realized the 1:30/:30 interval was going to be too much for me.  I had to stop my Garmin and reset the intervals to 30:30.  Which helped significantly on the mental realm.

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But by mile 8 I was seriously hurting after a big hill.


Something was wrong with my feet, a soreness which I have never experienced on any of my long runs before.  All of my long runs before I felt good, I felt like I could finish strong, something was definitely not going right with this run.

I knew my feet pain was affecting my stride and form, I felt myself leaning forward more then I should have toward the end and I just wanted to stop.  I wanted to be done, I was close to crying my feet were in such bad shape.  But I didn’t.  I reached the 10 mile mark and the adorable boys there (kids) were so cute and cheered me on as I filled my water bottle back up to the top (did I mention it was hot?).

From that point on I just focused on each interval of 3o seconds and didn’t take any more pictures.  I had to keep telling myself, just get through the next 30 seconds.  And honestly after mile 10, I started walking much more then running.  At mile 12 I must have got a second wind, topped off my water, and started trusting the intervals again. I passed a few people, which shocked me and finished the last curve with a run over the finish line.  I was just so happy to be done I couldn’t help but smile.  And I got a little emotional as the volunteers gave me my medal.  I’d done it. I hurt like hell, I wanted to stop, but I kept going.


I grabbed a bagel and refilled my water bottle, sent some pics to my husband and mom, Instagram and headed over to the pancake breakfast which I devoured.  I was starving and the pancakes, eggs, ham and OJ hit the spot.


Later I enjoyed my beer.


I have 2 more half marathons lined up for August, with a week rest between them.  I’m worried about both of them and need to rethink what I did before and during this race to make sure I’m ready for these.  One is completely downhill and does have a set time in which you have to reach the mouth of the canyon or be picked up (because they are closing the road).

I would appreciate any advice from other runners on how to reflect on this race and figure out what happened to my feet.

These are unofficial results, I’m a  little confused as Map My Run had different results. 228 out of 242 runners.  I’m a little concerned over the distance too, I know I did a little bit of weaving but that seems like a lot of extra mileage to me.


All I keep telling myself is that I finished, I pushed through some pain and discomfort to get to the end.  That in and of itself is a major accomplishment.

Sarah Hanisko

Event: Half Marathon
Bib #: 24    Gender: F    Age: 35    Location: Ogden, UT

Clock Time: 03:06:04.233
Chip Time: 03:05:32.248
Pace: 14:09/mile
Overall: 228 / 242
Gender: 134 / 146
Age Group:
Start Time: 6:36 AM

Shut up and go

Published July 23, 2014 by shanisko

Remember yesterday I didn’t want to run. Well I did. I just shut up and went. I still didn’t enjoy it. Between the stroller and the pulling Golden my left heel and right forearm hurt. I think I’m heel striking when I push the stroller.

But I did it.


Later, after little one woke up from her nap we went and spent her birthday money.

She had good taste:


I knew I wanted to get her a Big Wheel. She had three options: Doc McStuffins, Princesses or Pirates. She chose Pirates. Which left enough to also get that singing Olaf which I just caught Lucian trying to sneak away with.

I also made a stop for these:


I will be wearing them with my running shoes today in the hopes they help with my heel pain. Half Marathon tomorrow and I don’t want to be hurting before I start.

You can follow me on twitter @therealsarah or on Instagram @ luvslikepi for live updates during tomorrow’s race.

Last Run before I Half

Published July 22, 2014 by shanisko

Today I’m supposed to do my last short, shake out run before my half on Thursday. Only problem.  I really don’t feel like going today.  There’s a part of me that wants to save everything for Thursday.  It’s a short run, 2 miles, really, but the thought of dragging out the jogging stroller, fighting that damn front tire that has issues (still) and keeping the crazy golden in check just makes me want to save my energy for Thursday.  I know I’ll be mad at myself if I don’t go for this short run.  I know, I know, just shut up and do it.

Do you struggle with motivation for shake out runs before a big race?

Weekend Review

Published July 21, 2014 by shanisko

It was a quiet weekend.

Saturday we attempted to go to the Irish Music Festival in Ogden. I was not impressed. They weren’t allowing chairs, coolers, or re entry. None of those things are good with a 2 year old. Music also started 30 mins late and no vendors were ready. Did I mention it was hot? It just wasn’t a good situation. The little one hot overheated and I decided to leave after she got some dancing in:


I tested out the tutu.

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I reminded myself….



We played and I took a few moments to myself.

Plans: rest for the Half on Thursday. I taped up my heel last night because I’m having some fatty heel pad pain. I went to long with bad shoes.

Dissertation: yesterday I managed to prep two appendices which added some heft to my pages but I still have a long way to go. Analysis and Discussion/Synthesis are on the to do list this week.

Stay tuned for some product reviews and a race recap this week.

Tutu Test Run

Published July 20, 2014 by shanisko

Tested out the Mickey themed tutu this morning. Short run. It worked relatively well other than bunching up in the crotch area. Good think I wear capris…that would have been some nasty chafing.

Do you tutu?




Handcart Half Playlist

Published July 19, 2014 by shanisko

I’m a bit addicted to music and my preferences are highly, highly eclectic.  I listen to almost anything and some weird stuff at that.

I’ve put together a 2 hour 45 minute playlist for the Handcart Half Marathon.  My goal is to finish in 2:45 or less.  My first half distance was about 2:46.

See the list here. Handcart Half Playlist

Do you have to listen to music when you run or do you prefer silence?  What are some of your running playlist favorites?

Handcart Half Marathon Prep and Week in Review

Published July 18, 2014 by shanisko

My first official half marathon takes place in less then one week.  Phew.  It feels like it’s been a long time coming.  I started running in January with the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World being my key race this year.  After I started running, and fell in love with it, I knew I needed to do some more.

I ran my first half distance over a month ago and earned the US Road Running Half Marathon Diamond Medal.  That is serious bling. It’s nice and I need to work on my medal rack which has been sitting in pieces up in my office for months.

Today I ran a little farther then I had planned….my plan was 2 and I ran 3.08. #Run3rd for Peace today.  Years ago I wrote in a journal that I wanted to be a peace maker. That was before I even finished my undergraduate degree in History.  Today I am almost finished with a PhD in Conflict Resolution and the events of the last 24 hours had me incredibly depressed last night (Invasion of Gaza and the death of 298 innocents on the plane shot down over Ukraine.)  I am a firm believer that violence will never bring true peace.  Why?  It has everything to do with my dissertation, generational memory.  We NEVER forget the past traumas inflicted on us by others.  We may forgive but the stories we continue to tell our children do not forge a road to peace.  So today I ran for peace.   And it felt good.


I also finalized my prep for the Handcart Half this morning after chores.  While the race planners do have Gu and Water stops available I am still going to pack my own.  I’m in the better to be prepared then to be in trouble camp.  I’ll be packing 4 Gu’s (though I know I probably will not use all four of them), Nuun for my large water bottle, and two 6oz bottles for plain water.  I’ve been studying the route map provided and feel like I am ready.


So this next week will be very short shakeout runs and rest, yoga, foam rolling and eating well (no drinking for the 4 days leading up to the race and for me…who likes rum and wine…I will celebrate later that night with a good Devastator Double Bock from Wasatch Brewery).


I also prepared a new running list that starts slow and builds up to beats to keep me going.

This week, we actually didn’t do much after recovering from last weeks three days of bbq and picnics in a row.  Yesterday we (little one and I) did go to the zoo.  We have a membership so I really need to start putting it to good use.

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And I bought one of these to keep us cool at the Irish music festival this weekend.  Yay! Irish Music!

What did you #run3rd for this week?  Did you do anything amazing or fun?


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