Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sarasota Half Marathon

March 14, 2010

Sunday morning I left the house at 5:45 a.m. and drove over to my friend Karen’s house. She had bought a VIP parking spot so we could be right next to the start area. The morning was a coolish 60 degrees. It felt colder in the wind, but Karen and I found a sheltered spot to hang out at for a while, so I was comfortable in my tank and shorts. About 15 minutes before the start we decided to get lined up behind the start sign. There were signs for the different paces, but they were to close together! I ended up standing behind the 13+ mile sign, which normally would have been too far back. Looking behind me though, I could see a lot of people, so figured I was somewhere in the middle and that would work.

The race got started on time at 7:15 am. It was still a little dark out, but not as dark as previous years. I had to maneuver around a few walkers that had started to far forward, but soon I was able to run at a good pace without weaving. The first 3 miles are though a nice neighborhood near the water. After we turned on to Tamiami trail, we had to stay to the right lane of the road because cars were allowed to drive in the lane next to us. I hit the water station at about mile 4, grabbed a cup of water and had my first bit of fuel. We ran to the right, through a parking lot next to the Van Wezel and coast guard station and then back out to the main road.

Mile 1 - 9:54
Mile 2 – 9:38
Mile 3 – 9:35
Mile 4 – 9:36

This part of the course is great. Lots of people cheering on while we run by. I was at about mile 4.75 when the first half marathoner ran past me heading home. About a mile down the road, we turned to the right and headed toward Ringling bridge. We stayed to the right, ran next to the bridge and then under and back around to the other side. Going up the bridge wasn’t too hard. It’s the bridge I run my repeats on, it's the steepest "hill" around. Mile six ended at the top and I noticed on my Garmin that I didn’t lose much time. I passed a bunch of people on the down side. At the bottom we once again ran a loop under the bridge and back around. I walked through the water station here and had more fuel. We then turned and headed back over the bridge. I kept a look out on the other side for my friend. At the top I finally saw her and yelled out a greeting and waved. She heard me and yelled back.

Mile 5 - -9:40
Mile 6 – 9:59
Mile 7 – 9:44

I felt pretty good heading into mile 8. I noticed that if I could keep up 10 minute miles I would finish with my fastest time this season and close to my course PR. I tried not to get too pumped about it though, thinking of my last 2 weekends of races. By mile 10 I started to feel some pain. My right knee was hurting, but then I moved to the middle of the road and it felt better. I had been running to much on the down slope of the road. Running back through the neighborhood was tough. I told myself to just make it to the 11 mile water stop then I could take a longer walking break. I got there had more fuel and water and did walk a bit longer than I had before. Once I got going I felt a bit better, but then a mile later I was hurting. It wasn't so much a body hurt as a mental tiredness. I once again told myself I could take a walking break once I turned the corner and was about half a mile from the end. Then I saw this woman I often see out on my long runs. She has always been a person that I challenge myself to keep up with, so I once again tried to keep up with her. She was struggling to. I passed her twice, but then we got to mile 12.5 and she passed me. I couldn’t stop and walk! So I kept going and tried to make a strong finish. Got to the finish line, held up 3 fingers to show I’d finished 3 in a row! Got my medal and a bottle of water and then remembered to turn off the Garmin!

Mile 8- 9:53
Mile 9 – 10:06
Mile 10 – 10:25
Mile 11 – 10:30
Mile 12 – 11:03
Mile 13 – 10:24
27.71 feet – 0:05

Chip Time: 2:10:29. The one thing I noticed on the course was that my garmin was showing the miles well after I passed the signs. So I think I ran less than a 13.1 according to Garmin. That’s a first!

Overall this is a great race. The shirt wasn’t so great, but the medal and post race food was good. One more race to go before I move to the Jupiter level of the Half Fanatics!
Age group- 68/143; Overall- 824/1750

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