Monday, March 12, 2012

First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon
March 11, 2012

It's all about this bling!
Race morning, once again, started off early. Saturday night was the night to set our clocks forward, so we lost an hour of sleep. Brenda and I decided we were going to have a 4:30 wake up, which would feel like 3:30. I woke up on my own at 4:20 and decided to just get up. I reached over to turn off my alarm, only to discover that I had never set it to go off! Wow, I'm lucky! :) Brenda and I hit the road around 5:30, arriving at the Players Theater parking lot about 10 minutes later. We pulled in right next to Gina and Charlotte and when we got out of our car, we saw Dawn parked just a few spots away. This parking area was just across the street from the main parking area and the race start. Much easier to get in to and more importantly, would be much easier to get out of later! We met up with Jake, Summer, Brett and Jeff and just hung out for a while waiting for the half fanatic photo time. Eventually everyone showed up, we got our photo taken and then headed over to the corral. It was packed! We entered at the 10 min mile spot, but wanted to make our way up to the 8 min mile spot. We weaved our way through the crowd, finally getting as close as we could. They really need to change the way they do this! We only had to wait a few minutes before we were off!

Me and Brenda before the race.
Jake was going to try and lead us all to an under 2 hour race. We started off very fast and used 4/1 intervals right away. The first mile was great, then we hit the bridge. Normally, the bridge is no big deal for me, but today, trying to run it and an 8 min mile pace, I was struggling up that thing! I fell back a little from the group but caught up with them on the down side. There was a water stop at the bottom of the bridge, so I decided to take 2 endurolytes while I was there. I had forgotten to take them before the race and it was already pretty hot out.

Miles 1 through 3: 8:39/ 8:57/ 9:05

Best photo of the day!
I kept up with the group until we got to St Armand's Circle, but then fell back. The pace was just to much for me in the heat. The 2 hour pace group was there, so I decided to hang with them a bit even though they were not walking at all. The pace felt better. Dawn was running with them too. I held on to that pace until we hit the bridge, but once again, they all pulled ahead and I never caught them. I did see my group of runners ahead, so when I saw them walk, I would walk. My legs were feeling pretty good. I only had to stop a couple of times to stretch so far.

Miles 4 through 6: 9:14/ 9:39/ 9:37

I caught up to Jake and Gina around mile 8. Dawn was much further ahead and Brett and Summer were behind me. The heat was really getting to us all. This stretch of the race is on a major road. We were running north and had the far left side of the road for the runners. Unfortunately it was pretty slanted. I kept to the right as much as I could, but that was near the cars, who were driving south. I was so happy when we turned to the left and started our run through the nice neighborhood that is south of the Ringling Museum of Art. Just before the museum, volunteers were handing out cold, lemon scented washcloths. So wonderful! The best thing ever! :)

Miles 7 through 10: 10:00/ 9:07/ 10:04/ 9:58

Focused on the finish line! The
woman in blue is who I passed! :)
Around mile 11, Jake asked if it was OK for him to take off. Of course! We had really slowed him down. The last couple of miles were pretty slow for us. Gina told me to go ahead a couple of times, but there was no way I had the energy to push it any harder than I was. The only good thing was that my legs were feeling pretty good. I didn't need to stretch at all for the last few miles. Around mile 12, we caught up to Dawn. It was so wonderful to know that we were almost done! We took one last walking break around mile 12.5, then got down to finishing this thing. We ran past the relay exchange area, were runners were waiting for their partners so that they could run it in together. That gave me a nice little boost. We turned right just past the crowd and up ahead was the finish line banner. I was just behind this other woman, who had been running near us the past few miles. I pushed myself to the limit, running past her and finishing strong.

Miles 11 through 13.1: 9:47/ 10:03/ 9:26
Finish: 2:04:35

It wasn't the PR I had hoped for, but it is 1:15 faster than last week's half marathon and is now my second best half marathon time! I need to find a flat half marathon with cold temps so that I can get that PR! :)

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