Name: Jennifer (Knack for Nutrition)

Race:  Little Rock Half Marathon

Personal Tidbit: Runs her own personal training business; tweets from Knack4Nutrition


In Her Own Words:


The night before the race, I prepped for my run by doing the two things I know how to do best: eat and organize.  I laid out all of my gear, ensuring that I didn’t forget anything important.  After that was done, I made my ‘carbo-load’ meal of pasta with crab.  Even with a heavy dinner and a very powerful sleeping pill willing me to sleep, I tossed and turned in anticipation. When the alarm went off at 5:15 AM, I shot out of my bed. I made like Skinny Runner and put on a full face of make-up while chugging enough coffee to fuel a small army.


The course was flat with the exception of one major hill in the middle. It was the only time throughout the race that I ran above a 10:10 min/mile.  I pretty much zoned out from the start and had a goal of running a 9:55 pace overall. I followed Bart Yasso’s advice and stopped at every single water station to walk, even if only for a few seconds. I think this made a huge difference in my overall stamina.  


I dug really deep in the last two miles. I knew the end was near and that I was on track to hit my goal. My last full mile ended up being a 9:21! Unbelievable!  As I rounded the last corner to the finish line, I spotted my cheering section. It was so great to see my family standing there, cheering me on. Seeing them gave me the last push to finish the final 0.26 miles at an 8:18 pace (the course was a bit long according to my Garmin). 


I finished with an overwhelming sense of pride. Training for this race was grueling, and at times ugly, but every mile and drop of sweat was worthwhile. I felt 100 times stronger today than I did during my first half-marathon in October. It was as if I was a different runner.  With 11 minutes shaved off my personal record, this day was nothing if not a rousing success!  I think it’s time to start contemplating a serious leap of faith… 26.2 anyone!?


Want more Race Recaps?


Do you walk through water stations like Jennifer did?  And are you brave enough to drink coffee before a race?  I usually walk through water stations, and I’ll brave the java!



  • Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble April 29, 2011, 9:03 pm

    Awesome job! I love racing because it gives me motivation to work out and a goal to work towards. I did 2 half this spring and had a great time!

  • Amy April 29, 2011, 9:11 pm

    Nice! I’d love to do a half someday. But I wouldn’t put on a full face of makeup beforehand! I think it’s so funny when girls do that, but I am not one of them. I can just see my mascara smeared with sweat …

    • CaitlinHTP April 29, 2011, 9:21 pm

      Hahah I shower before races 🙂

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas April 29, 2011, 9:15 pm

    Cutting 11 minutes off of your time is a great accomplishment! Congrats girl.. keep on runnin!!

  • Lisa April 29, 2011, 9:34 pm

    Congrats on the PR!!!

    No coffee for me before a run. It makes me go number two two. Lol
    I do wear makeup while running but only a little bit of fondation and some consealer.

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews April 29, 2011, 10:00 pm

    Congrats great job!

  • Tanya April 29, 2011, 10:03 pm

    Coffee & oranges before every race here!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 29, 2011, 10:14 pm

    I “jog” through water stations. Nicely done!!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg April 29, 2011, 10:25 pm

    I walk through water stations — I cannot drink and run at the same time!

  • Ashley April 29, 2011, 11:03 pm

    Dang, what an awesome PR! I walk through aid stations. I’m liable to drown trying to drink and run simultaneously. And I love coffee before races. It wakes me up and gets me moving. Totally worth the dozen porta potty trips before the race start.

  • Laughter-Loving Stacy April 29, 2011, 11:41 pm

    Nicely done, chicka! Shaving that much time off is a big deal! *clapping*

    Lol, it’s bad news if I drink coffee before a run (major stomach cramps!). And i get major zits if i wear make-up while I’m working out, so it’s a negative on that too! It just sweats off anyway! 🙂 🙂

    And if I don’t walk at every station, at least every other one. A nice break for me. 🙂

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 29, 2011, 11:56 pm

    You go, girl! I would die of happiness if I shaved 11 minutes off my time. That is seriously impressive! I have my third half marathon on Sunday and I am hoping to PR, so the part at the end about digging deep is great advice 🙂

  • Khushboo April 30, 2011, 1:38 am

    Super job on the race Jennifer!

    Whenever I have drunk coffee before a run, I do notice the surge of energy it provides! However I wouldn’t drink it before a risk because of the risk of dehydration associated with caffeine- I’m all about the what-ifs!

  • Kristin April 30, 2011, 3:55 am

    Great job on the race Jennifer! And yes, go for 26.2. You can totally do it! I just did my first one in January. I’m ready to figure out when I’m doing my next one. Let’s pick one out! 🙂
    PS-I ALWAYS drink coffee before a race (A soy mocha actually. Goes perfectly with my pre-race banana and peanut butter). Love it!

  • Christine @ Burning It Off April 30, 2011, 6:49 am

    Coffee makes me have to pee like crazy so it’s not a great idea for me pre-race… unless I want to be making a pit stop at the porto-potties every two minutes :S

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 30, 2011, 8:29 am

    Congrats on the race! That’s incredible that you shaved 11 minutes off your time. Hearing this makes me want to sign up to do a half this summer. 😀

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 30, 2011, 8:34 am

    Congrats on your race! That’s awesome that you shaved 11 minutes off your time! Reading this makes me want to sign up for a half this summer. 😀

  • Kris @ Trying to Tri April 30, 2011, 10:18 am

    Way to go! An 11 minute PR is huge!

  • Emily April 30, 2011, 7:06 pm

    Great job on the race, your pace was awesome! I ran my first half in March and plan to run my second in June! I hope I am able to shave so much off my time!!

  • Kristen @ Random Ramblings May 2, 2011, 11:17 pm

    I just ran my first Half yesterday – in 42 degrees, pouring rain, and 20mph winds! I hope to do another one eventually! (and hoping for better conditions next time!)

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