Monday, December 2, 2013

St Pete Women's Half Marathon

November 24, 2013

This was the 5th year of the race and my 4th time running. I ran a half down in Miami last year, so missed the great weather they had up here! Today's weather was going to be a little warmer than I would like, but I wasn't planning on running hard just a week before the Space Coast Marathon! I wanted to take it easy, just run a comfortable pace. My periformis had been hurting for a couple of days, so I didn't want to get injured further.

I started out running with Gina and her friend, but just after a mile, when I saw how fast we were running, I decided to pull back. I did not want to be running any faster than a 9 min mile pace. Around mile 3, I got a sharp pain in my periformis and thought for a minute I would have to pull out of the race. I worked on running with good form, which helped to alleviate the pain. The course has changed a little this year, but besides the starting line beginning further back on the main road and not running out to the end of the pier, the course is the same for the first half.
Splits mile 1 through 6 - 8:34, 8:35, 8:56, 8:33, 8:49, 8:52

Once we pass the Vinoy and turn right along the water front, the first big change in the course happens. Instead of running down Central, we turn a block or two early. This takes us directly to the lake that we run around. I actually like this change. Once we get around the lake, we make a right and then another right turn on to Central. This becomes my least favorite part of the race. We seem to run West on this road forever! I soon realize that, while we go out on this street, we do not come back this way. I take a peek down a side street to my left, and see runners over there. This is a bummer. I love an out and back section where you can see all your friends. A few blocks past the interstate, we run left, down a side street and then another left. We are now heading back to the water front. Just before we pass The Tropicana stadium, which we do not run in this year, the 2 hour pacer passes me. I didn't think I had fallen so far off of pace, but I was feeling good at my pace, and didn't really care about my time, so I didn't try to catch up with him. I saw Darlene pass me a little later. I went over to say hi, then continued on. We are now on a slight down hill. I feel my speed picking up, which feels good. Finally, we turn right onto First Ave. Then turn left onto 5th ave, running in a big semi-circle to get to the finish. I push it hard once I see the clock still shows 1:59. I finish strong with my 4th sub 2 hour half!
Splits mile 7 through 13 - 9:00, 9:11, 9:02, 9:22, 9:13, 9:27, 8:55

Finish: 1:59:43
Total miles: 13.37. Pace: 8:55, OA place: 344/2852, AG: 49/487

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