Monday, March 14, 2011

Sarasota Half Marathon

March 13, 2011

Race morning started off with an hour less sleep. We had to "spring forward" our clocks before going to bed. I didn't sleep all that great and knew when I got up that I was in for a long day. Amy picked me up just before 6 am and we made our way to the race. We found a parking spot a couple of blocks away, which was great. There were a lot of cars on the road already looking for a place to park. We hit the porta potties (short lines) then looked around for friends that were running the race too. We talked with half fanatics Chester "Southernmost Walker" Kalb and Gerda Kalb for a little bit. Chester has completed an impressive list of races.

With 15 minutes to race start, Amy and I hit the porta potties again and then wormed our way through the packed group of runners in the corral. The closest I could get was to the 11 min mile pace. To slow. I had all my gear ready. Garmin, headphones plugged into my mp3, shot blocks in one pocket, Endurolytes in another. A last minute addition was my waist pack to carry water and my phone. Big mistake!

The race started just after 7am. It took about 2 minutes for me to cross the start line and then I had a lot of people to weave through to get out of the mass. Right away my waist pack was bothering me. I had worn it before with the running skirt I had on, but not with the tank I was wearing. The tank was to short, so the pack was riding up and rubbing my stomach. This was going to be a problem. As we came up to where we had parked I thought maybe I could toss the pack to the side and just hope it was there later, but my phone was to heavy in my pack skirt pocket. I took off my sweatshirt and as I ran to the side to toss it, I noticed Susan (my dentist's wife) on the sidewalk taking photos. I asked her if she would mind holding the pack for me and thankfully she said yes! So thankful to her! It would have been a miserable race if I had that thing on for 13 miles.

The next mile was a breeze. :) I ran up the bridge at a good pace and then took it easy on the downside. I didn't want to aggravate my hips. I grabbed a cup of water at the first water stop at the bottom of the bridge and then began the watch for familiar friendly faces of the runners heading back towards me on the other side of the road. At mile 3 we turned and headed back to the bridge. It was fun to see all my friends and call out to them as we ran by each other. I ended up running a bit fast during this time, but I slowed down again as we started up the bridge and into the headwind.

Mile 1: 9:43
Mile 2: 9:23
Mile 3: 9:24
Mile 4: 9:43
Mile 5: 9:52

From mile 6 to just past mile 8, we ran on one of the main north/south roads in the city. Very boring! It's also a big area for the local prostitutes to patrol. Only one Ho sighting. :) My hips and psoas muscles started to get tight during this stretch. At the next water stop they had a medical tent where I was able to get some tylenol and then was on my way again. The course moved off the main road and through a nice neighborhood near the water. The next few miles went by pretty smoothly. I slowed my pace a bit, but was still making better time that I thought I would before the race.

Mile 6: 10:10
Mile 7: 9:49
Mile 8: 10:05
Mile 9: 10:51 (stop for tylenol)
Mile 10: 10:08
Mile 11: 10:21
Mile 12: 10:11

With a half a mile to go, I noticed this woman ahead of me who I had been running near the entire race. My goal was to catch up to her. I did that by mile 12.75. I hung back a little, thinking I would pass her closer to the finish. But she slowed down, so I surged ahead. The last .1 to the finish was great. I had some speed left and turned it on. I passed a few people on my way in and passed 2 women just before we crossed the finish line. :)

Mile 13: 9:59
Mile .1: 55 seconds
Finish: 2:10:36

After finishing, I made my way back to the sidelines, so that I could look for Amy and cheer her on as she finished. She did great, breaking her previous record by over 20 minutes! We hung out for a bit after the race then headed back to the car. Luckily, both our tossed sweatshirts were waiting for us on the grassy area were we had left them earlier. Before taking off we had our photo taken with the Leprechaun from the Lucky Charms cereal. I can't believe he carried that box for the whole race!

Best shirt of the race: "Can't wait to finish... That's what she said!" :)