It Pays to Listen to Your Coach – Providence Half Marathon Race Report

25th Half Outfit

25th Half Outfit

This weekend I went to Providence, Rhode Island to run the marathon.  At the race expo I reluctantly downgraded from the full to the half marathon.  It was an emotionally painful acceptance (see Providence Marathon Pity Party of One) since 4 of my friends were running the full.

My Full Marathon Bib

My Full Marathon Bib

I wasn’t allowed to run the 26.2 distance and truth be told, I wasn’t in any shape to run having not trained.  So based on conversations with my coach, I decided to embrace the Half and celebrate my 25th Half Marathon wearing my Half Fanatics (#4192) singlet!

Prior to the race, I wrote down the intervals Coach Galloway had instructed.  He suggested:  5/55 for 3 miles, 10/50 for 3 miles, 10/30 for 3 miles and then 15/45 for the rest.  However, once at the start I realized I had forgotten the paper up in the hotel room so I ended up running from memory and ran:  10/50 for 3 miles, 10/45 for 3 miles,15/45 from mile 6-12 and then 15/15 for the last mile.

Beautiful day

Beautiful day for a race

I was so proud of myself for listening to my coach until I realized that I hadn’t followed his plan at all!  However, I did my best with what I could remember (chemo brain) and I sorta/kinda/not really got the intervals right.  The most important thing – I didn’t run or push myself when I was told not to – I listened to my coach.

Coach had mentally prepared me for a 3 1/2 hour marathon.  At mile 10 I realized I was going to finish under 3 hours.  I had so much energy and was passing other halfers one by one.  I was overjoyed when I crossed the finish of the Providence Half in 2:48:06 with a 12:50 pace.  To say I was Ecstatic would be an understatement!

Finisher of the Providence Half Marathon

Finisher of the Providence Half Marathon

What I learned from the Providence Half Marathon:

  1. You have the power to change your attitude:  I didn’t have to feel down about downgrading from the full to the half so I made the choice not to
  2. Listen to your coach and follow the plan:  I meant to and was under the impression I had – so I’ll take it and be happy with the results
  3. Be prepared:  Make sure you know your run/walk/plan prior to going to the start line
  4. Sometimes running your own race is best:  I enjoy running alone and even though my friends were running that day, it was best I face my inner demons alone

What was your experience when you followed or didn’t follow your coach’s advice?

Click here for the Providence Full and Half Race Report

13 Comments on “It Pays to Listen to Your Coach – Providence Half Marathon Race Report

  1. Fantastic job Kymberly. I am so impressed that you embraced the race (did not mean to rhyme) instead of resenting the fact they you had to change to the half marathon. I have only once had specific race instructions and they were out perfectly. My coach is pretty loose about races unless it involves trying to qualify for Boston! 🙂


  2. All great lessons to remember! I’m so glad to hear that you embraced the race, despite being frustrated with your doctor’s lack of approval to complete the full marathon. Way to forge forward and keep at it!


  3. So awesome!! CONGRATS on a great half finish! I’ve had to downgrade to the half a few times. It’s tough, but I knew it was the right decision for me at the time. Super job!


  4. Way to go!! I have never had a coach really so I have no input. I can say I should *not* have listened to my husband at our marathon when we decided to do the full and not the half. I knew it was going to hurt and it did! He agrees now that we should have done just the half. A little too late! LoL


  5. I just came across your blog a couple of days ago and I am blown away by your courage, willpower and persistence. You amaze me and inspire me and I have so much respect for you.
    Will keep following your blog from now on 🙂 Stay strong!

    A runner from the Netherlands (with 10k as her furthest distance but planning on running my first half in September!)


  6. Pingback: Jeff Galloway’s e-Coaching | Maker Mother Marathon Runner

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