Sarasota Half Marathon 2013 recap

March 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I did it! I didn’t die and I got the medal!

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It definitely wasn’t my fastest half marathon (St. Pete Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon 2012) but it wasn’t my slowest either (Iron Girl Clearwater Half Marathon 2012).

We were lucky that one of our IRunMommies friends (who happens to be seven months pregnant) now lives in Sarasota and was running the race. She picked us up at the hotel at 6 a.m. and drove us to the start. There was some traffic for parking, but it wasn’t too bad and we arrived before the 7 a.m. start in plenty of time.

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I wished all of my IRunMommies friends good luck then went to the back of the pace groups to find two of my blogger friends. They were nice enough to agree to start out with me at my SLOW pace.

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I’ve heard that there were about 2200 finishers at this race, but it didn’t seem like a crazy large crowd at the start.

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After the singing of the National Anthem, we were off. I’m pretty sure this was the first time that Beth has ever started at the back of a race’s starting line queue.

With the flash on:

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With the flash off:

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The route took us towards the John Ringling Causeway, the one bridge on the course, and we passed the semi-famous 26-foot tall “Unconditional Surrender” statue of the sailor kissing the nurse.

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Before we knew it we were heading up the ascent on the bridge.

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I don’t think that this bridge was as steep or as long as the Clearwater Memorial Causeway, Belleair Causeway, or Misener Bridges, all of which I have run multiple times.

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The sun was just starting to come up as we ascended the bridge.

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I ran most of the first mile, but from then on out it was walk/run/walk/run at no particular intervals. Nanci was hoping to get her first sub-3:00 half finish (which she did…go Nanci!), so we encouraged her to go on ahead and Beth was nice enough to stick with me for a little while despite the fact that she is very speedy. I appreciated this sign:

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After the bridge we headed towards a loop around St. Armand’s Circle and all it’s pricey little boutiques. Beth took the next photo in St. Armand’s Circle, proving that she is NOT normal.

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After the circle we were headed back over the Ringling Causeway once more.

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Beth stuck with me until the Mile 4 marker, then I let her go ahead at her own pace and I was on my own for the rest of the race.

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Back up the bridge.

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The weather was perfect. At the beginning of the race it was in the mid-50’s and once the sun rose it was a beautiful sunny day.

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I love running DOWN bridges, although my hip doesn’t really like it.

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I could already feel my hip beginning to hurt after the first few miles, so I knew that the last few were going to be really challenging.

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After the Mile 5 marker we passed the semi-famous statue once more…

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and headed back past the start for the second leg of the race. Somehow I missed the Mile 6 marker…


but I thought the kayak business sign next to the Mile 7 marker was funny.

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Only non-Floridian tourists would consider mangrove tunnels “exotic”, I think. This leg of the race was a long straightaway heading north.

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Finally we turned a corner at the Ringling Museum of Art.

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They had a water/Gu stop here and I was lucky enough to get my favorite flavor…double caffeine espresso. I needed the sugar and the caffeine by this point.

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Right past there I also saw this police dog named “Mack”…awesome.

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My hip had been hurting for most of the race, but by Mile 9 everything was starting to hurt and feel fatigued. I know that I did not properly train for this race, but I don’t think I could have considering my hip. The more running I do, the more it hurts. I also have not been following the Whole30-type of diet that helped me be able to run at all again. I knew this was going to be hard.

After the turn at the Ringling Museum, the rest of the course weaved in and out through neighborhoods close to the water front. Every now and then there would be a glimpse of the water. These trees had some sort of interesting textile art wrapped around them.

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The First Watch signs along the course were pretty humorous.

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My longest “training” run for this race was 10 miles which I did every other weekend three times leading up to the race. Definitely not any sort of logical or recommended training plan. Once past the ten mile mark I was definitely feeling my fatigued legs and painful hip.

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I loved all of the groups of ladies run/walking near my pace, however. They were very inspiring to me.

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Past eleven miles it was definitely a struggle to keep going. I did still do run/walk intervals but not really in an attempt to go faster. Running was a break for my walking muscles, and vice versa. Switching it up was the least painful thing to do.

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From mile 12 on I kept passing people who were finished, wearing their medals, and walking back to their cars or their houses. Invariably they said, “You’re almost finished! You’re almost there!” NOT helpful. I’m running a dang half marathon. I know exactly how far I am from the finished. A note to anyone reading this…unless you are at the 13 mile marker, do NOT say, “You are almost there!” It’s just really annoying. Finally I really WAS almost there.

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My Garmin finish time and average pace are a little better because it auto-pauses when I completely stop and I did take a port-a-potty pit stop at one point. Obviously I stopped many times for a few seconds to take photos as always.


But whatever…I didn’t get picked up by the SAG wagon and I finished! My IRunMommies were cheering for me at the end.

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They had also grabbed one of the yogurt parfaits and a muffin for me. Thanks ladies!

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The parfait and muffin were awesome, but I was a little disappointed that there was no hot food from First Watch, especially since they had signs on the course that said, “Wakey, wakey, eggs & bakey!” Oh well. I definitely enjoyed my yogurt parfait and muffin.

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I think that by the time I finished some of the post-race festivities had died down.

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I know that some of my friends went to the beer tent at that point and they were out of beer already. They also ran out of medals and my pregnant IRunMommies friend, Meghann, was given one of last year’s medals when she finished the half marathon . So not cool. Meghann was nonchalant about it and didn’t really care, but I probably would have cried.

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I hope they send her one of this year’s medals, because she definitely deserves it! She had a cold AND was 7 months pregnant and still completed a half marathon! Go Meghann, and thanks for driving us!

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Post race euphoria photos:

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Thanks to my awesome IRunMommies for motivating me as always!

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It was a great day and a super fun time with my friends. I truly do intend for this to be my last half marathon. I want to still do shorter distance races and triathlons, but my hip just isn’t up to the long distance training. Next year Mack wants to do the half marathon relay with me!

Thanks First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon for a great event!


What’s up Wednesday?

March 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Happy Birthday Chad! Now we’re in that sweet spot that occurs every year when he is older than me for two months. He’s an old man of 44 now and I’m the hot young trophy wife of 43. Sweet.

I mentioned in my post about our awesome busy weekend that I intended to run 10 miles Saturday morning but ended up being too hung over all day to get it done. Then on Sunday we had morning and afternoon events, so my weekend long run never happened. My “training” for the Sarasota Half Marathon on Sunday has been ludicrous to non-existent. I’ve done a couple double digit runs every other weekend recently.

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(10 miles in Folly Beach on February 16th)

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I’ve also done just a few shorter runs thrown in during the week in between.

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(5 miles over the Misener Bridge on February 20th with some IRunMommies friends)

But some weeks I didn’t do any shorter runs, and doing double digits every other week with nothing in between is not on any recommended half marathon training plan that I’ve ever seen. So I really wanted to get in one last long run before the half marathon next Sunday. Monday morning was gorgeous so after getting the boys off to school I took off intending to do those 10 miles.

One mile in at the St. Raphael’s bridge:

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I actually ran the whole way up to this point (about 1.3 miles actually), which is probably the furthest I’ve run with no walking while “training” for this half marathon. I know I should have done more runs, but I’ve also been worried about stressing out my hip and causing the inflammation to return that caused me so many problems over the past year. I haven’t been following the Whole30 way of eating AT ALL the past few weeks, so I don’t have that going for me either. But luckily with what little running I have been doing, even the weekend warrior double digit runs, my hip hasn’t been in any more pain than the rest of me.

At the Coffee Pot Bayou bridge, about 3 miles in.

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After the first few miles the rest of the run was totally run/walk. I really wanted to try to keep my overall average pace under 15 minutes/mile. The cut-off at Sarasota is four hours, which is an average 18 minute/mile pace.

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As I was running through Vinoy Park I passed the Baby Boot Camp: St. Petersburgers doing their Totally Awesome 80’s workout. Always fun to see friends on a run.

babybootcamp(photo stolen from the Baby Boot Camp: St. Petersburg Facebook page)

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After the loop around Vinoy Park I headed back towards home, stretching it out a bit along Brightwaters through Snell Isle.

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The last few miles were complete torture and my pace got slower and slower with every mile, but I still kept my average under 15 minutes, so I’m hopeful that I won’t get picked up by the SAG wagon in Sarasota.


I was (lovingly) chastised on Twitter by a running coach friend for doing a double digit run so close to race date. I realize this is not ideal. But I’m not really “running” this half marathon. I just want to complete it as my LAST half mary hurrah. I needed to get this distance in one more time just to assuage my anxiety about being able to complete the half within the allowed time. Now I’m fairly confident that I’ll be fine.

Monday night I met up with a few of my Tampa Bay Lady Blogger friends for our quasi-monthly (sort of bi-monthly, or whenever we can get it arranged) book club meeting. This time we read the classic Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. We met up for a quick dinner at Chipotle beforehand and talked about the book a little, then went to the movies to see Oz, the Great and Powerful.

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Rachel of Runners Tales, and me)

I really enjoyed the book. It has many different characters and adventures than appear in the familiar Judy Garland Wizard of Oz movie. Just the novelty of the differences makes it an interesting read. It also has a very “period” feel to me which was cool. Apparently it contains tons of contemporaneous political allegory, but I haven’t done the research. It’s a quick read and Chad is reading it to the boys right now. It’s a free download on Kindle! I’d recommend it if you have never read it. I hadn’t until now.

Overall I thought the movie was pretty good. I can’t resist James Franco’s shit-eating grin. Visually the movie is stunning. It definitely dragged in a few spots and the storyline isn’t the most seamless or compelling ever, but I didn’t hate it. The 3D was awesome, in my opinion. The best part of the evening was hanging out with my friends, though. I never fail to have a good time when I’m with my blogger buddies.

So what else has gone on this week so far?

Here’s a breakfast photo for you…I think this was yesterday.

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I have been trying to limit grains, but I caved in and had whole wheat toast yesterday. Oh well.

Bodypump yesterday:

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Lunch at school with Mack yesterday:

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Actually it was with Mack and some meal worms.

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I didn’t have to volunteer yesterday because Mack had a substitute teacher. But here’s my OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day) anyway:

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Zero effort. Gray jeans, black t-shirt, no make up, hair in pony tail. Mack didn’t care.

One of the reasons that I ended up eating toast for breakfast yesterday was because I didn’t have any carby root vegetables prepared. So I roasted some beets yesterday afternoon.

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I also made potato/leek soup in the crockpot yesterday using this recipe.

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It turned out pretty tasty and we have leftovers for this week plus some to freeze. The boys really liked it.

Last night I went to Restore the Core with Christie of Karna Fitness. This session is in a new location indoors downtown.

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Christie is amazing.

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We planked and bridged and squeezed those balls between all of our limbs for fifty minutes. It’s an amazing class.

Beets for breakfast this morning!

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I was going to go to a new-to-me yoga studio this morning for a 90-minute “yoga sculpt” class, but it was canceled.

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I bought a package of classes during a Cyber Monday deal there that I need to use!

Okay, caught up. Sort of.

Tampa Bay friends…don’t forget to enter into my giveaway for a FREE 7-day fun pass to Airheads Trampoline Arena!


Click here to enter!