Thursday, February 16, 2012
Rock n Roll St. Pete Half Marathon
Race morning started off super early and cold! I met up with Gina, Stephanie and Dawn at 4:45 am at the Starbucks by the interstate. Charlotte was supposed to be there too, but ended up over sleeping, so we went on without her.
We made it to St Pete in about half an hour and found a parking spot in the garage closer to the finish. No hassles with traffic at all! We stopped for a coffee at the Starbucks on the corner (the one we meet up with at earlier had been closed!) and then walked the 2 miles to the Tropicana Field. Once there, we met up with Brett and Ken and then huddled together to try and stay warm. Temps were in the low 40s. Wind chill made it feel like mid 30s. We are not used to these temps! I wore a tank top, with a short sleeved top on top. Arm warmers and then a toss away sweatshirt on top. Capri skirt and long compression socks kept my legs covered. I had gloves on my hands and a wide headband to cover my ears. I was ready! :) We headed towards the corrals at 7:15. I told them I would catch up with them. I had to use the porta potties one more time. The lines were very long. I waited and waited. I still had two people in front of me as the national anthem was playing. I decided to just wait it out. I was in corral 5, so I knew it would take a few minutes for my corral to get up to the start. Plus, I was planning on taking it easy this race. My congested nose and lungs were not going to let me run a fast race. And I wanted to test out how my knee would do. I finally got into the porta pottie and it was disgusting! Yuck! I did my business and was out of there fast. I made it to my corral as they were moving up to the front and about ready to start. I had enough time to get my garmin going and to turn on my music and then we were off!
Within minutes I was able to find my friends. Ken, Gina and Brett took off at a fast pace, so I ran with Dawn for a while. Within minutes we had turned two corners and were heading into the wind. That was brutal. I had various body parts that were frozen. I couldn't feel my bum at all! I kept feeling the back of my skirt to make sure it was down. It felt like nothing was back there! We kept up a pretty brisk pace for the first few miles, only stopping to walk through the first water stop. Just after mile 3, I knew I would need to get into a normal walk break schedule, so I told Dawn to just go on ahead. I then started walk breaks at about every half mile.
Miles 1 through 4: 8:58, 9:01, 9:09, 9:26.
Just after mile 4, I decided I was warm enough to toss of the sweatshirt. It was a little cold at first, but soon I was feeling fine with the temps. I kept the gloves on for another mile. When I did pull them off, I held on to them. I worried that I might get stronger wind later in the race. I wish I would have studied where the water stops were. I took my Peanut Butter Gu just after the 10K mark, thinking there would be water soon. Next water stop was after mile 7.I think it was this water stop that I noticed the big plastic garbage bin, with a liner, filled with water. The volunteers, who had plastic gloves on, were dipping cups in the water bin and placing them on the table. Gross. I had heard this was done, just never saw it before at a race!.
Once we hit the water, I was so happy to have my gloves. The wind was much stronger near the water. I was still getting in a longer walk break about every half mile, sometimes it was longer then a half mile. I was feeling pretty good through. Just feeling the congestion. Once we hit the pier, we could see runners to our left who were running in the opposite direction. I kept a look out for familiar faces. About halfway down the pier I saw Dawn running strong. I yelled out to her, cheering her on. I got to the end and walked the whole way around. Knee was feeling a little achy, but not bad. I just didn't want to push it. Once around the end loop, I started running again. Mile 10 was a longer mile. I took a much longer walking break here. It was hard passing the finish area. You couldn't see it. But I knew it was to our right and you could hear it.
Once we got to the waterfront again, we had runners on our right that were heading to the finish. I think they were about half a mile away. I had a great time looking out for familar faces. I helped the last few miles go by fast. I saw Dr Jeff pass by and then just before the little bridge I saw Gina. I yelled out to her in my breaking voice (voice was almost gone). She was running strong. About a mile ahead of me! I kept a look out for Dawn, but must have just missed her as I made the loop around the park. Soon I hit mile 12 and was on my way back towards the finish! I yelled a hello to Anne and Claire as I saw them heading towards mile 11. I felt strong the last mile. I took one long break in the middle and then finished with a strong kick.
Miles 11 through finish: 10:35, 10:40, 10:48 and 1:58 for the last .22
Finish time: 2:11
Gina and Dawn were waiting just past the finish line. They had both PR'd! Gina got 2:00 and Dawn had 2:02! So proud of them. I hope to get close to those times at Gasparilla in a few weeks. Hopefully the congestion will be gone.
We hung out for a while watching Flo Rida. It was a fun concert, but it was cold, so we didn't stay for the whole thing.
Overall this was a fun race. I want to run it again next year. Hopefully I can give it my all! :)