Sunday, November 25, 2012

PAL Half Marathon

Me, Jeff, Greg, Donna, Bret and Ken after the race.

Sarasota, FL
November 25, 2012

Since this was a local race, I didn't have to leave my house until just before 6 am, for the 7 am start. I probably could have left later, but I like to sit in my car, drink a little coffee and get all of my gear sorted. The great thing about where this race is held is that there is plenty of parking. The race starts next to a mall! At around 6:30, I headed to the porta potty line were I was able to talk with Jeff, then Jake and then Greg. I then left my bag and sweatshirt with Melissa, at the Fit2Run tent, before heading over to the start. Another great thing about local races, you get to see so many friends! I said a few quick "hellos" to people, before going to stand with the 2:00 pacer. He said he was going to stick to that time, so if I wanted to finish ahead of him, I'd have to leave him behind at one point. After the national anthem was sung, we were off!

Liz, me and Lynette
This race is run through various neighborhoods, on a few main roads and a little on the legacy trail. The first neighborhood is normally gated, so we got to run through and check out all the pretty, big houses. Within half a mile, I had left the pacer behind. I figured he wouldn't be to far behind me, but I had my Garmin, so I could see that I was keeping a 9 min pace, which is what I needed to get my sub 2 hour run. After leaving that neighborhood, we ended up on Palmer Ranch Rd, took a right on McIntosh and then had to run in the narrow bike lane for a bit. The next mile or so was in the bike lane. Thankfully the runners had spread out quite a bit, so I only had one instance of feeling like I was being squished out of the way. Not much interesting to report for the next few miles. The neighborhoods started to all look alike. I was just trying to keep to the tangents. As each mile showed up on my garmin, the sign on the road for the mile markers got further behind. Miles 1 through 89:04, 9:00, 8:56, 9:03, 8:52, 8:59, 9:07, 9:00

Me and Fernanda after the race.
Miles 9 and 10 had the most head wind, which really wasn't much, but I could see my overall 9 min mile pace going away. During mile 11, I looked and saw a 9:03 ave pace, which was slower than I wanted, so I dug in and picked up the pace a bit. I did manage to pass quite a few people in the last miles, which was a little boost. :) As soon as we came out of the last neighborhood, I could see we were back on the road we started on and I knew the finish was close.The last stretch was great. There wasn't much of a crowd on the course, but lots of people cheering at the finish, including Melissa. I gave her a smile and ran the last bit in to finish just under 2 hours! Miles 9 through 13.22 - 9:12, 9:11, 9:03, 8:58, 8:55, 1:48.  

Finish: 1:59:14
Age group (40-44) 12/38; Overall: 165/370

If the course hadn't been a little long, I would have had about a minute off my finish time! Pretty happy, though, considering I ran the Miami half last weekend and a 10K a few days ago! :)

Bling and shirt from the race.

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