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Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Walla Walla 1/2 Marathon Recap

To be clear, I didn’t win but I did finish!

There were a number of cards stacked against me on this race, the most significant being that I was at work until 1:30 am the night (morning?) before.

Proof? This is what I was doing at 2:02 am, trying to get my brain settled down from a crazy night of volleyball/soccer tournaments.


You’ll notice that I won. Also, Subway is pretty adamant on their bacon opinions.

I had my clothes all laid out the night before, so even though I wasn’t asleep until 2:30, my 7 am wake-up call wasn’t too harsh.


1/2 cup of coffee with almond milk and a couple spoonfuls of oatmeal with hemp hearts, cacao nibs and chia seeds was all that I could stomach.

Right before I left, J Man said, “Will you win this race?”

“Probably not,” I answered, “but I will finish!”

“Oh,” he responded, obviously disappointed. “When will you win?”

I guess I should’ve shown him my solitaire skills.

Apparently 7 am was cutting it a little close. By the time I parked, used the bathroom and found the starting line, they were counting down “10-9-8-7…”

And we were off! At least I didn’t have time to sit around and get cold.


I took my first ever running selfie at mile 3. I ran the first three miles sans music, just being in the moment.

At mile 3 I listened to my friends Joy and Traci gab away on the Joy the Baker podcast. They got me through to mile 9 where I switched over to loud music. Loud music makes me run faster.

My 1/2 marathon playlist:

Best Day Of My Life, American Authors
Til I Collapse, Eminem
Sour Cherry, The Kills
Roar, Katy Perry
Radioactive, Imagine Dragons
Happy, Pharrell Williams
I’m All About That Bass, Im The One
Brave, Sara Bareilles

And then my phone died at mile 11. And I was scared. By this time there were a lot of people waaaaay ahead of me and a few people behind me and I felt alone.

And then someone yelled “Way to go, Holley!” (Or something like that).

It was my dad:) He was parked along the side of the course and just hearing that one shout of encouragement gave me enough oomph to go those last few miles.

As I got closer to the finish line, I could hear it before I could see it. And I got really emotional! I had been training for what seemed like so long and I was so tired and this was really hard…and then it was going to be all over. I had to purposely stop thinking about this “journey” (I hate that phrase, but it fits the best) because it was choking me up and making it hard to breathe.


And just like that it was over.


I did it! The official results aren’t posted yet, but I think I was between 2.10-2.20.


As soon as I saw these little cheerleaders I lost it. Luckily, they were too distracted by their (my) pretzels to notice.

Some final thoughts on the WW 1/2:

1. The course was well marked. There were 4 aid stations with water, Gatorade, and Gu. In general, great race.

2. I almost got hit by a car. Around mile 12.5, a volunteer directing traffic (wearing official garb and holding a giant stop sign) waved me across the street but a car ignored her stop sign and almost crashed into me. She would’ve if I hadn’t stopped short. Yikes.

3. My two goals were a) to finish and b) to run the whole way. I accomplished both of those goals, (I walked through water stations) but I think I could’ve been faster. I was so worried (based on poor sleep the night before) that I was going to hit a wall, so I kept checking my pace, seeing 9.33 or 9.45 and forcing myself to slow down.

4. Afterward I felt pretty nauseous. Is this normal? I really didn’t want to eat anything until about 5 hours later when I craved ketchup (probably for the salt) and satisfied that craving at Walla Walla’s very own greasy spoon, Clarette’s. So good.


Thanks to my mom, dad and Aunt Pam for coming out and cheering me on!

Thanks to Matty B for babysitting for hours while I ran 10-11-12 milers on Sundays.

Thanks to Unk C for really wanting to eat Clarette’s with me.

Thanks to J Man for believing that I could win:)


6 responses »

  1. Finishing is winning. Finishing the race was your goal and you accomplished that with flying colors. Congratulations!!! (PS. I never could have done it) Sharon

    • I’m with Sharon – you did win. You were in a race against all the parts of life that slow you down – but you WON! Congratulations

  2. 5 reasons You won. #1 you did it. #2 you did it after an almost all-nighter. #3 you did it while still looking amazing (if I was just up that early after being up so late I’d look trashed!) All your pictures look like you should be STARTING the marathon – not finishing it. #4 there’s a reason they call it a “marathon” and not a “race”. As Sharon pointed out – finishing is winning. #5 You accomplished your goals even despite the lack of sleep!

    Have I mentioned you’re amazing??

  3. …and you look great after racing! I swear you’re wonder woman!


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