Monday, November 21, 2011

Women's Half Marathon
St Pete, FL
November 20, 2011

This is the third year of the race and also my third time running it. Even though I ran a marathon last weekend, a marathon the weekend before and my knee had been hurting, I decided to run this race, but with no time expectations. I just wanted to go out and have fun.

Dawn and I drove up early, getting there around 5:30 am. We got everything ready and then walked across the street to the Hilton, where Brenda was staying. We used their nice bathrooms and hung out in the lobby for a while, waiting for Brenda to come down. We decided to head over to the race area at 6:15, even though Brenda hadn't come down yet. Couldn't get her on the room phone and I forgot my cell phone in the car. Thankfully we ran into her down near the porta potties. We made one more pit stop before heading to the corrals. Dawn and I were in corral 2, while Brenda was in 3. We managed to sneak her in with us, yeah! :) After only a few minutes, we were off!

The first part of the race was new. We headed in the opposite direction then in previous years, turned right and then right again heading north. Another right turn a few blocks later and we were back on the regular, waterfront course. I was feeling pretty good and keeping up a fast (for me) pace. I tried my best to keep off the slopes of the streets and run down the flat middle. We crossed a small bridge just before mile 3. There is a short out and back section here. I saw the 1:45 pacer and right in the thick of the runners was Renee! I yelled out a hello to her and continued on. I yelled hello to a couple of other friendly faces before hitting the turnaround. I slowed and walked through the water stop and then kept an eye out for any friends heading my way. My knee was feeling a little tight, but otherwise it was OK.

Miles 1 through 4 - 8:33, 9:04,8:55, 8:54
Just before mile 5, we hit the water front area again and also the brick street. Most everyone, including me, jumped to the sidewalk and ran on there for the next mile or so. I was still feeling good as we headed back toward downtown and the pier. Lots of crowd support once we hit Bayshore drive. We took a left onto the Pier, ran down to the end and came back around. I saw Dawn on the otherside and yelled a hello. Comming off the pier we turned left and then pretty quick after that turned right heading up 1st Ave. This is a long. slight incline. My knee was really feeling that incline! I could tell I was starting to stiffin up.

Miles 5 through 9 - 9:20, 9:19, 9:29, 9:21, 10:03

Just after mile 9 we turned right towards Mirror lake. We ran a loop around the lake and headed back to 1st Ave. The road around the lake was really slanted. I had to get on the sidewalk because my knee hurt on the slant. We ran a little past Tropicana Field, then turned around and headed back. New course change here. We turned right towards the Trop building, cutting out a huge block of parking lot that we had to run through the year before. The little downhill and astroturf in the Trop did me in. I got in there and walked most of the lap around. I managed to get into a slow run for the photographer, but once I made it back outside, I had to walk again.

Miles 10 and 11 - 9:59, 10:25
I tried to get back into running in the parking lot and then again on 1st Ave, but it wasn't working. My knee was really hurting. I stopped at a medical station around mile 12 to get ice. I wasted over a minute here while they tried to bandage on an ice pack. It lasted about half a mile before starting to slide down my leg. I stopped and took it off. I just decided to walk it in. My knee wasn't hurting while I walked, just felt stiff. It was super hard to walk that last mile in. So many people cheering on the course. My name was on my bib and a lot of people were calling out to me to keep going. After the turn back onto Bayshore, I tried to walk it in faster. As seen in the photo at right, I wasn't feeling so hot, but I kept it up and finished with a pretty decent time considering I walked most of the last 2 miles.

Miles 12, 13 and .25: 13:25, 17:36, 3:45

Finish: 2:18:05

Even though it was super warm and humid, I felt great through the race. If it hadn't been for my bum knee, it would have been a great race. I'm trying not to be dissapointed with my performance. I know there wasn't anything else I could do. I wish I had had a better race, but it is what it is. I had a PR in my 5 mile race 3 weeks ago and a marathon PR 2 weeks ago that I am proud of.

Once home, I iced my knee and then went to the Children's reading festival and walked around for an hour that afternoon. The knee is feeling better, but I still plan on taking at least a week off from running. I want to be in good running shape for the Ragnar Fl Keys in early January.

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