This was the race I'd worked over 7 months training for.
It was my first Half Marathon .. race that is.
THEE Race Part 2: Race day yo!
I really don't know where to begin with this recap...it was a huge day for me..hence, my taking Monday off of work to relax ;)
I could barely sleep Saturday night. Duh. After eating a
hefty healthy pizza dinner, I was a nervous Nelly. I'd packed my carry-with bag and checked and rechecked it a ton of times. My clothes were laid out for the morning. I was technically ready. I needed a lift. Hubs popped in my favorite Christmas movie, Elf, in so that I could giggle myself to sleep.
In the a.m. I was up and doing my usual run routine....no NEW is good new on race day! I haven't gotten to the point where I eat food-food before a run so I popped a Shot Blok and made sure we were ready to head to St. Pete! It was chilly! My prayers had been answered! All other years I'd heard this race was hot...lovely...but not today, not on my watch! We arrived at the Mahaffey Theatre around 530am with plenty of time to do bathroom breaks (2) and chit chat nervous energy away.
Before we knew it, it was time to head to our Corral, 2, and prepare to do the thing! Oh and you must trust my detailed account as this girl didn't carry her camera but found reference photos! ;)
Mile 1-3: After a quick team photo (I was part of a team too: We thought you said RUM) we were off! These miles were good. A steady start, no leg pain, and a flat run through Beach Drive, to Vinoy Park (where we dodged cobblestone by heading to the sidewalk), and up through Snell Isle. I felt good. We saw a few ladies we knew and the smiles and chit chat helped me worry about the barefooted lady and not the running. Even saw my running buds Ben (on foot) and Jason (on bike) cheering us on and taking pictures.
Mile 4: The "bridge" ended up being a short byway into a neighborhood by the water, no biggie. Beautiful houses lined the roads - but this is where I hit my first wall. I always do. Miles 4-5 and then 8-9. I took a Shot blok and trudged through - K and Beks knew I'd snap out of it eventually. Pace stayed steady, from what K told me. Did I mention I had on no watch? NONE. It was up to my lovely pacer to tell pace and time ;)
Mile 5-7: Through Snell Isle and more houses and neighborhood streets. Even a surprise from our buddy Sean who wore a skirt over his manly bike shorts lol. He could tell I was being quiet and focused, but I giggled a lot. A visit from Caroline and her boys cheering us on with a "you kick asphalt" sign really brightened our run! K did have to remind me to breathe. I was caught up in the moment but she was right. A swig from my Nuun and my chest was out and ready to breathe.
Mile 8: After a turn including lovely spectators and roaring cheers, was the ever elusive Pier. We lost Beks here. Cheers to her for sticking with us as she's coming off of a hip injury, but this pier was no joke. Twas a beast even. High gusts of wind pounded us back as we tried to make it to the turnaround. I almost walked....but I didn't. Once we were turned around I picked up my slowest mile K told me later. Wall #2 + the windy pier, my least favorite part. No wonder! Might as well take another Shot Blok too.
Mile 9-10: This part brought us back into downtown, and I felt like I was pushing. Hard. We were on an incline. I cursed a lot by this point. Whoops. Sh*t happens. Sorry to those poor runners around me who were caught off guard by the little girl dropping bombs left and right. We made it to Mirror Lake and did a lap there; sidenote the Lyceum at Mirror Lake is where I'll be a bridesmaid next year! No water stops for me, as I had my handy hand bottle which I'm glad I brought!
Mile 11: Take me out to the ball game! We got to run through Tropicana field! Home of the Tampa Bay Rays!