Subtitle: A Shitton of Photos of Me Not Actually Running.
But I have to say that when I take all the “mile marker” photos, they really only take a few seconds each. I remove the camera from my belt while still running, pause a few seconds to snap the photo, then start running again and put the camera away while running. Photos of bands and sights along the route were taken on the run. I do, however, walk through all the water stops for however long it takes me to drink about two ounces of water. Otherwise, I ran the whole thing until mile 12. Okay, getting ahead of myself…here goes.
We ended up in the last corral because we hit the port-a-potties a little late. We were exiting the potty area just as the start gun went off and the first corral was released. So by the time we got to the corrals, there was just no way to squeeze into corral 11. But really, what’s the difference between corral 11 and corral 12? Only about 200 walkers. Whatever.
And we were off…I think there were about 16 minutes on the clock already when we crossed the start (so subtract 16 from any mile marker clocks you see). We headed down 1st Avenue South, then curved around to 4th Avenue South, aka Stadium Drive, and ran past the south side of Tropicana Field.
At the first mile marker you will notice that I am still wearing my hat and scarf, and also still had on my gloves which contained chemical hand warmers. Those hand warmers were awesome. Check out all the discarded clothing on the sidewalk already!
The first band, right by the Trop.
I thought it was cool to run under the interstate overpasses.
Mile 2…no hat or scarf. I still had on my gloves with hand warmers at this point, though.
Another band as we turned off of 1st Avenue South to head back east on Central Avenue.
I tossed the hand warmers into a trash can at mile 3.
First 5K done!
Back under the interstate overpasses through the Grand Central District.
Mile 4 done. I tossed the gloves completely somewhere around here.
As we ran down Central I noticed we were passing a building with big mirrored windows, and you know I can’t resist a mirror when I have a camera at hand. See me in the pink and green?
Heading into downtown…
then we turned right onto 3rd Street South.
Another band and we dodged over to 4th Street South.
Just past the 10K mark we made a U-turn and headed back northbound on 3rd Street South.
I missed a couple of bands through here. I was dragging ass and just didn’t put forth the effort to get my camera out. Also, I ate a Gu (espresso double caffeine) at the mile 7 marker/water stop. Just past mile 7 we turned onto Dali Boulevard and pretty soon I was at the Dali Museum.
A band right across from the Dali.
Mile 8 done and heading up Bayshore Drive.
We turned onto The Pier and were greeted by…you guessed it…a band.
I love running The Pier. Some people hate it, but I love it.
Mile 9 was right at the end of The Pier. So windy! Wishing I had remembered chap stick.
When I stopped at the 10 mile marker this guy was standing there and I asked him if wanted to pose with me. He said, “Sure!”
When I saw the mile 10 marker I thought, this is Maggie’s mile! My friend Maggie claimed this mile (as she did when I ran the Women’s Half in November) and said that I had to run this one for her. So I determined to give it my best shot…no walking during this mile! I now realize that the mile 10 marker actually marks the END of the 10th mile. So really, Maggie, I ran the 11th mile for you. But it’s the thought that counts, right? I did truly try my very hardest during this mile, though.
It was just past here, as we were nearing North Shore Pool that I heard, then saw, Chad and the boys.
It was actually pretty lucky that they saw me at all. Our GPS tracking app (Life360) wasn’t working so great, and he thought I was still out on The Pier somewhere. They had only just arrived at their spot a couple of minutes before I ran by!
I was so glad I saw them! It definitely gave me a boost to keep going as we turned onto Beach Drive and until I finally saw that 11 mile marker.
Just past this marker there was a water stop, and as I walked through it I suddenly felt a sharp cramp in my left calf. This calf has given me issues in the past and I was really mad at it. Stupid calf! I decided that I would show that calf who was boss and I ran anyway. There was a band at the end of Beach Drive as we turned onto Coffee Pot Boulevard, but I didn’t take a picture. I was in pain and struggling, but I kept running up and over the Coffee Pot Bayou bridge.
As I ran down the bridge I passed my friend Callie who was on her way back up (she had already run the out and back that I was now starting) and she pointed out our friend Katie who was walking just ahead of me. She told me to get her! So I did. Katie ran with me to the turn-around at the Vinoy Country Club and then we hit the twelfth mile marker.
We were both in full-body pain by this point, but we ran to the water stop which was just before we had to go back up over the Coffee Pot Bayou bridge. I told her I did NOT want to run back up the bridge, so we agreed to walk to the top of the bridge and then run it in to the finish. I don’t think we quite made it. I think we both may have walked a couple of times in that last half mile, but we could smell the finish line at that point. I was so happy to see that 13th mile marker and hear Flo-Rida in the background. I took this last 13th mile marker photo while on the run. That is a seriously happy face right there.
I didn’t see Chad and the boys at the finish, but I think I heard them. I just had my eyes on the prize. Chad snapped this photo of me coming into the finish…
and this photo of me crossing the finish line. That green shirt in the foreground is Katie right behind me.
I took this photo while I was running, just before I crossed:
Two very happy girls.
Whew. Seriously, did you actually read all of that?
Here is my official time:
Here are my official splits:
Here are my splits per my Garmin:
Maggie, do you see Lap 11 (which I mistook to the be mile 10 because it was AFTER the 10-mile marker)? That was your mile, and I did it in 12:03! And then it was downhill (not literally, unfortunately) from there.
I am so happy with this race. It was a blast. All my IRunMommies made it awesome as always. So happy for my friends who completed their first half and for so many friends who got personal bests!
I improved my time from the Women’s Half Marathon by about six and a half minutes.
Running is a crazy thing. I <3 to Run posted this quote on his Facebook page today, and I love it:
Why I run? I can’t speak for anyone else, but at a certain point the experience of running surpassed in value, and by a pretty wide margin, my desire to make sense out of it.
I don’t know why I run. I don’t know why I race. I don’t know why I compete. I don’t need to know. Because running means more to me than curiosity. It goes deeper than knowledge. I run. I compete. I move on down the line. I’m a runner.
For us runners, the question of “why” is pretty moot. Not because it may not be interesting, or important, from a certain point of view, but because we’ve left the question of the meaning of running behind. After all the questions have been asked, and all the answers given, in spite of the disagreement on essences, physiology, rationales, training strategies, trail running, road racing, i-pod wearing, mid-foot striking, turnover cadences, arm carriages, Jack Daniels, Arthur Lydiard, 20 miles a week or 100, 5k or the 50k, whether it’s really the Miles of Trials or the Trial of Miles, after all the words have been spoken and keyboards have been pounded, meanings given and ideologies subverted… After all this, we runners bend down and tighten the laces, open the door, brace for the cold and are renewed: another godawful, glorious, and meaningless 8 miler.
– Jeff Edmonds (www.thelogicoflongdistance.blogspot.com)
Today it is back to training for the next race!
Edited: Hey! Check out the other posts I wrote about this race: