Mar 21, 2016

Sarasota Half Marathon Recap... a new PR!

Let's take it back to last year. I saw the Sarasota Half Marathon medals and fell in love! They were HUGE. I needed this medal. So in our naïveté, Kris and I signed up during the blitz, and got a great deal on the race. You can't keep us away from a sale.

Soon enough it was almost March, and due to the craziness that was the half Wine & Dine Half Marathon, we hadn't done a half in over a year. Crazy! Well as luck would have it, my little brother's engagement party was Saturday afternoon. I didn't want to miss it, so I went to the party, with my car fully packed, and then headed straight to Sarasota.

Luckily, our friend Annie lives in Sarasota now, so we raided her apartment for the night. It was a smooth ride up there and, I got in a little after Kris did. Annie made us some pasta for dinner, and Paul, her husband, even manage to make some extra well done garlic bread (LOL thanks Paul!).

After dinner we called it a night since we were also losing an hour due to daylight savings time. And even though Kris told me she checked that our phones would update, I was still paranoid. We set extra alarms just in case. But of course, I barely slept. We finally got up when our real 5:30 alarm went off. The race started at 6:45am, but we wanted to get there at about 6 to make sure we had time. We got dressed and headed out.

We got to the race start in no time. Annie was also volunteering, so she drove us over. We walked over used the port-a-pottys, and then headed back to the start area. There were no corrals, but we kind of hung out on the side, since we always start with a 5 minute warm up walk.

We had decided with the craziness of the time change and the insane weekend, that we'd just take it easy and not even push it for the race. I wanted to try for a PR, but it was just too hectic to think about, so we started on our way and headed towards that bridge. 

Now, I knew about the bridge, since a friend that did this race before told me about it. I knew it would be an out and back on the bridge. Luckily, compared to the McArhtur Causeway in the Miami Half this was nothing. We were also alongside the 2:45 pace group, which had a fabulous pacer. She was motivating and helping everyone get over that bridge. And she even said hi to us and cheered us on.

We got over the bridge and then looped around before turning back and tackling the bridge again. This time we were treated to the sunrise while we ran over the bridge. Not too shabby. I'm not gonna say this was pleasant, but I was glad we got in both out and back on the bridge before mile 6.

Now we crossed the start area again, which is where the relay switch was. This race is also a relay, where you can run with a partner and both do half of the course. Back before a half marathon was NBD, Kris and I had talked about doing this as a relay. But now, I feel like why bother, the second runner gets stuck running in the heat, since the sun is up, and we can't talk as we run. I'd rather suffer together. LOL

The back part of the course was another out and back, but it was by some really nice houses. And thankfully, there were a lot of trees covering the route for most of it. It was great, cause the sun was out and it was getting hot. I could feel the sweat dripping down my back. Thankfully, there were plenty of water and gatorade stops on the course, and they even hand strawberries at mile 9. 

Now, I have to say that past mile 9 is always the hardest part for me during a half. And with the heat, this wasn't easy. I really wanted to skip a run interval, but I knew a water stop was coming up, so we'd prob have a little extra walking time. Each time my app told me that we passed another mile and I heard our pace and total time I knew we were doing good. But, of course, I didn't want to jinx it, so I didn't say anything. 

We finally made it out of the tree cover at mile 11 and it was hot. Finally we reached mile 12, and then the longest mile ever, but I knew we had this and we were almost there. 

Now, I had started my Fitbit late, so the time on that was off, and the mileage is always off on my Nike app, so I wasn't really sure how we were doing time wise. I was hopeful that we'd be under 3 hours. And that's all I was aiming for. I saw the time on mile marker 13, and knew we had it. I knew we passed the start with the clock at about 3ish minutes... and we crossed with the clock at 2:52! OMG OMG OMG. Our official time was 2:48:35, we PRed by 34:31!

Holy crap, I couldn't believe it. We grabbed the bling, water, and some much needed cold towels (I'm totally addicted to post race ice cold towels, they're the best!), and walked around in shock for a bit.

And this is totally how I felt. My legs were toast. Thankfully, my knees felt great, my legs and feet were just so tired. We grabbed some food, which was awesome. They had fresh pancakes, yogurt parfaits, fruit, and muffins. It was all so good, or I was just starving after running 13 miles...

We took about 3 sips of our free beers and were ready to get going. I was so gross and needed a shower! We went to Annie's and cleaned up before heading to Kris's place.

I'm still in shock that I did a half marathon in under 3 hours. Me the girl that hated running, the girl that was a couch potato and nothing else. In 3 short years, I've become a running fool. And I'm not gonna lie and tell you I love it. I dread it most of the time. But you know what the real "runner's high" is? This. Knowing that you did something amazing and you are a badass. Knowing that you pushed yourself and reached your goal.

Might have to come back to Sarasota and see what I can do again... But for now, it's onto the next race in a few short weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment