First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon Recap
This past Sunday I ran my fourth Half Marathon, but it was my first half marathon as a blogger. I was given a free entry into the race courtesy of the Tampa Bay Bloggers in exchange for a race recap post. **All opinions are my own**
Training started in January. Every week for two months we trained. We had long runs every weekend, and actually stuck to the training plan. We ran Gasparilla and I had a PR for the 8k! Then we moved…The two weeks before this half, we ran maybe 5 times and 6 miles was the longest run. Our whole routine was off and running was put to the side while we got situated in our new temporary living quarters.
I was nervous at first, but then thought that I would just run at my own pace and enjoy the views of this race. No reason for pressure. Just finish the race with a smile…
The morning of the race started super early. Like 4:30 a.m. early. The race was located in Sarasota, by St. Armand’s Circle, which is about an hour away from our home. I got up, told Angelo to make coffee, and hopped in the shower to wake myself up. Coffee + shower = me wide awake and ready to go! Breakfast was a piece of toast with peanut butter. I only ate half of it because my appetite was still sleeping…being it 4:30am and all.
We scooped up my sister-in-law, Katie, on our way.
We scooped up my sister-in-law, Katie, on our way.
By the time we got parked and walked up to the starting area, it was already 6:30. Race started at 7:00. I had to use the bathroom after the long drive, and the bathroom lines were outrageously long and moving super slow. Do you ever wonder why you get stuck in the slowest lines?! We finally walked up to the starting line with under 5 minutes to go. At this time I realized that I left one of my Gu’s in the bag Angelo had checked for us. Damnnnn.
I ripped into my one chocolate Gu while walking to the starting line.
I was placed in the A group so we made our way to the front of the crowd. We ended up literally at the front of the crowd. There were maybe 5 people in-between me and the starting line. That was a first. I’m usually positioned somewhere in the middle of the group. This made me a little nervous because I knew it would make me feel like I had to run faster, therefore making my first couple miles too fast, and tiring me out too fast. My goal was to finish at or under 2:00. This means I had to have an average pace of 9 min/mile or less. That was do-able in my mind. But I knew it wouldn't be easy and it would take some pushing myself.
Mile 1 was run at pace 8:06. By the time I was at mile 5, my pace went to 9:30. Between mile 1 and mile 5, we ran up and down a bridge, TWICE! This killed me and I was almost dead by mile 5. I will say that the view and sunrise while running the bridge was beautiful!
Slowing but surely the different pacers started passing me. I REALLY didn’t want to walk at any point, but my hips were starting to feel extremely tight. I gave in and started walking at every water station. I would grab a water or Gatorade, take a few seconds to drink it and walk. Then start running again once I was done.
I got my “second wind” around mile 6 where the relay runners were switching places. I was both jealous and happy to see this. Jealous that these runners were either beginning or ending the race. Happy that this meant I was half way done! Miles 6-9 were much better and my pace stayed between 9 and 9:30.
There was a Pub along the race path between mile 8-9 that was handing out drinks. I thought it was water. It was pink and the thought of it being some type of liquor went through my head…it WAS from a pub. I took a tiny sip and I think it was some sort of flavored water or lemonade. No idea, but thank goodness it wasn't liquor or I probably would have puked on the person running in front of me.
Everything hit me again at mile 10. I was cursing my legs when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Katie found me and said “Only three more miles!” At this time we were running through a neighborhood with little to no good scenery. I couldn't possibly go any faster or slower than I was going at 9:30-9:40 pace. You know when you get to that point when walker hurts more than running. I was at that point and I could taste the finish line. I could taste the huge bottle of water I was going to chug when I got there! The signs we were running past told me there were pancakes waiting for me…I didn't want pancakes. I wanted a ginormous cup of cold water. My body was craving water.
My NikePlus trainer app told me I was at mile 13, I turned a corner and the finish line was RIGHT there! A smile emerged on my face and I heard angels singing (No joke, I really think I did).
Timing tracker & Photos courtesy of LifeTime Athletic Events
I ended up finishing at 2:01:50!!!!!! Seriously?! I was 1:50 past my goal time and that stung a little. Although I was just past my goal time, I am still very proud of myself, Angelo, and Katie for finishing. Half marathons are not easy. They are both physically and mentally challenging. But having my goal so close has made me eager to sign up for another half and FINALLY get under 2:00.
My next half marathon is still undetermined. I will be signing up for one next week; I just have to figure out which one.
Any suggestions for my next half marathon?