Women’s Half – Part 2: THEE race!

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.

 
Coursemap FTW. P.S. I grew up here and the start at the Mahaffey is where I graduated high school!
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.
 

 
Great photos Caroline!
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!
 
Mirror Lake

Mile 11: Take me out to the ball game! We got to run through Tropicana field! Home of the Tampa Bay Rays!
 
 
From the outside on our drive to the expo

I thought that I might enjoy this part. Not to much. The field felt kind of like running on pressed sand. I understand racing and all, but on a smaller ball field I didn’t quite enjoy people passing me and then being right in front of me. No bueno. Once out of that place, we were on the home stretch. At this point I know I was apologizing a lot to K. After she told me she’d slap me if I said sorry again, I stopped, but I felt bad when I had weaker moments. She assured me we were right on target and to stop worrying. More cursing ensued and I just wanted to be at the finish. Admittedly, I started saying “I can’t” which is usually a huge no-no for me! K ignored my pointless attempts at being a wuss and pushed me to keep going. She knew my asthma was a mental bug-a-boo, so suggested I take a puff of my inhaler since I was starting to wheeze just a tad. I did and instantly felt better. Yet, If one more person fibbed yelled “you’re almost there” I was going to feel like I was stuck in limbo.. Where was the end?!

Miles 12-13.35: More on that .35 later. After the ball field I was ready to be done. People were shouting we were still behind the 2:00 mark…say whaaat?? I thought I’d had slower moments for sure. And then, the inevidable happened: the 2:00 pacer passed us. I sped up. He looked back and told me to just push though the next hill and stay steady and we were still on target. Insert secret goal: 2:00. I planned to stay within 2:10 for my first official half. After I started training harder, and especially when K said she’d pace me,I upped the ante. She was my running partner every weekend, so I knew I could stick with her as my bud and act as if it were just another [faster] long run. Anyway, we pushed forward and I already felt the ibuprofen wearing off…the pain relief gel was gone….and my right leg was being dragged by my left. A sign saying “pain is temporary, pride is forever” stuck in my head. I can lay around & relax after this, but this was my A race! I was in it to win it! More cursing ensued and I could see the finish. I heard hubby but I couldn’t see him. Tears welled up as I crossed the finish line. I immediately hugged K and thanked her for all of her support…she got sappy with me 😉 she kept us at a perfect pace the entire time! We got our finisher photos…and awesome medals…and found hubby who was there with my Dad. More tears. I’d done it!

Time?
The clock said 1:59:05 when I crossed….I’d hit my secret goal!!

My official time? 1:58:56. Speechless.


My Dad and hubby were waiting at the finish. Emotion overload. My Dad caught this gem too

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Of course I hurt. I walked away with 2 blisters and my right leg is still mad as heck at me. But it was all worth it! I’d done by first half marathon in under 2 hours! It was PR day for just about everyone I knew, which made me extra happy! AND we found out that the course was longer than 13.1 miles..about a good quarter of a mile longer!

All kinds of things went through my head. Training for 7 months, solid. Meeting all of the great people along the way. Waking up at ridiculously early hours. Being able to breathe despite being asthmatic all of my life and almost not being able to run 1 mile before, much less 13! Saying I can’t when I knew I can. And I did. I ran for those who couldn’t run. I ran to make those I love proud of me.

In 2 weeks I’ll do another. And another every month for 6 months. Crazy.

God is great, and blessed me with more than I can list.

If I can do this, anyone seriously can!
 

Thank you for all of the support and listening to my running rants…and being awesome all around. I’ll always repay the favor!

What’s next? My next half is in 2 weeks with my local running group! It’s not an A race, but I’ll still do my very best! Here’s the plan 😉

Have you run a half? Any recovery advise? 😉
 

HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

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81 Comments
  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 2:42 pm

    YOU GO GIRL! I am SO proud of you!! My advice is ice bath + active rest. The less I moved the more I hurt!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 3:09 pm

      Thanks Courtney!! Ice bath happened yesterday and I’m glad you said to move around … Yesterday I laid around but today using heat and plan to do some yoga! 😉

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 2:52 pm

    Congrats, Kat! You did great! 🙂

    Just to give you a heads up – all courses are going to run long. The only way you’ll hit it spot on is if you run all the tangents (which is almost impossible to do 🙂 ). It’s just something you have to learn to go with the flow with as a runner. 🙂

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 3:10 pm

      Thanks Meghann! Yea that’s what a lot of friends have told me. I know we went around a lot of the cobblestone, but added distance in the end, ces la vie 😉

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 2:57 pm

    AMAZING, Kat!! Super speedy lady! You’re such an inspiration! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Congrats Kat! What a great day for a race! You did so well, and now you can really enjoy your other races! Yayy!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 3:08 pm

    Great time!! When is the next race? 🙂

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Wow, wow, wow- fantastic job! I’m so thrilled for you! I would take 2 days off running, but easy walks or spinning is fine if you feel up for it. Two days of complete rest is completely fine, too. 🙂 Make sure your first runs back are easy, it takes about 13 days to “fully” recover from 13 miles, so if your pace feels harder than usual when you get back to running, don’t worry about it. You’ll be recovered just in time for the next one!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 3:30 pm

      Thank you Laura! I am going to do easy rowing and some upper body today and then an easy 2 miles tomorrow to regain for half #2, which is NOT an A race 😉 great advise!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 3:37 pm

    So proud of you!!!! Congratulations woman!!!! It took me a while to get under 2 hours. You should be very very proud of that time. You’re awesome!!!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 3:46 pm

    Congrats again, Kat! You are an inspiration. I am sorry I missed you after the race.
    As soon as possible after the race I put on Bengay and my compression sleeves. I make sure I walk afterwards, even if it is just for a few minutes. At home I take an epsom salt bath (sorry, not ice bath for me – it’s just not possible for me to stay in there) and then I put on Arctic Ease wraps. I try to wear the compression sleeves as long as possible (sometimes I take them off and put them on again 1 hr later) and I put on more Bengay throughout the day. Another thing that works for me is to put my legs up after the race (maybe lay on the floor and put your legs against the car or on a chair). This helps getting rid of lactic acid. Take it easy for a day or two and when you start running again start with an easy run or two to ease back into it.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 4:13 pm

    YAYA, KAT!! Congrats on your first half–you rocked it! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 4:27 pm

    Woop Woop!!!! You are awesome! I am definitely resting today with some serious stretching and periodic heat on the hips haha.

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 4:53 pm

      Thanks Beka! My heating pad is my best friend right now!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 4:30 pm

    YAHOOOOOOOOO!!! Awesome job!!! Great time! Love all the pics
    xo

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 4:41 pm

    Woohoo girl!!! Congrats on an amazing first half mary time!!! I knew you would ROCK!! Take it easy and don’t run for a few days! Give those legs some recovery time…they deserve it! 🙂

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 4:54 pm

      Thanks Mindy!! Sitting still is killing me so I’m planning on lots if stretching and upper body today 😉

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 4:41 pm

    So so so so proud of you! What an awesome first race! Congrats a million times.

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 4:54 pm

      Thank you Tori! It was a day made for PRs!!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 5:20 pm

    I am so glad you mentioned that it was longer… I kept looking at my watching thinking, “What the ???” I am glad I wasn’t crazy!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 5:47 pm

    Congrats Kat! I am so proud of you. You did an amazing job and got a stellar time! Happy, happy, happy for you I is!!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 5:49 pm

    Well freaking done girl!!! Congrats!!!! Gotta love hitting the super-secret-goals, and on your first crack at the distance too! Badassery indeed!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 6:20 pm

    Excellent job Kat! You are a Rockstar! Let’s talk when you get a chance.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 6:58 pm

    Congrats…under 2:00 on your first half…I ran it as well and my goal was just to do the darn thing without walking (I didn’t really have a time goal b/c it was also my first half…I anticipated I would come in at about 3:00)…well mission accomplished. I ran the entire thing without walking and finished at 2:42:02. I also did not enjoy running on the turf. Maybe if the course were backwards and that was mile 2…but after 11 miles on asphalt the change of surface really got me. I felt awesome until about mile 9.2 when I got a cramp…but powered through!

    I’m already thinking about doing a second one…I just don’t know which one it will be!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 7:33 pm

    CONGRATS!!! Your first half AND you came in under 2 hours? That’s amazing. Those medals are awesome! You did a great job and I’m very proud of you… can’t wait to hear about more of these races!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 8:42 pm

      You’ve been a great virtual cheerleader, thanks Ang!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 8:02 pm

    Nice going! Great pics! I ran my first half in May and suffered cramps something awful – hope you have an easy recovery.

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 8:42 pm

      Thank you Elle! Walking and heat are both helping a lot!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 8:02 pm

    Fantastic race and beautiful medal! You will definitely enjoy the January race at WDW. Congratulations!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 8:43 pm

      Thanks ladies! I can’t wait to enjoy that race and princess as well!!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 8:17 pm

    congratulations!!! you look adorable and have great race pics as well. love the one of you hugging your husband.

    as far as recovery, id say really listen to your body – maybe it needs extra days off and yoga and stretching. or maybe extra water bc its dehydrated. make decisions based on how your body feels, not what you “should” or shouldn’t do.
    congrats again!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 8:44 pm

      Thanks SR! I know that stretching after rowing today helped and walking the pup a lot too. I’ve been drinking a ton of water, so hoping that feeds as well. Taking today off of work, too, was super smart…in my opinion! 😉

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 9:09 pm

    That’s the most killer first half marathon time EVER. My 2013 goal is a sub-2 half, and that’ll be working on halfs #8+… so… you ROCK. Way to go girl!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 10:20 pm

      Aw wow thanks Megan! You can totally do it! Speedwork helped me immensely!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 9:28 pm

    That’s amazing girl!! THe picture of you hugging hubby made me cry – I’m super emotional at things like that too… you are SO FAST!!! <3

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 10:21 pm

      I was surprised my dad caught that 😉 at least I’m not the only sappy one!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 9:33 pm

    Hot damn you’re fast… seriously, I better get to work before the Princess- there’s no way I can break 2 hrs!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 10:22 pm

      Thanks Shannyn! No rush homie! I trained differently and for a long time. I’d already run past the distance and did speedwork weekly. I also have a running coach, so just finishing is reward enough 😉

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 9:57 pm

    Congrats! That’s amazing for your first race. you are lucky to have such a great pacer. You must have been just by me bc the 2 pace guy passed me outside of the stadium. Good luck…see you in February!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2012, 10:23 pm

      That’s what I thought, we were probably both too focused to look around, even looking backwards made me kinda dizzy. Yes! And maybe January when you announce disneys half?

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 10:08 pm

    You did such an awesome job!! congrats girl! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012, 10:27 pm

    Recovery advice = compressions socks the rest of the day. Basically, follow the RICE plan.
    Sorry I missed you at mile 10. Glad you hit your goal!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012, 2:27 am

      Yes great recovery tips! Aw I was so oblivious with so many people around!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012, 12:56 am

    I’m pretty sure I was standing next to your cheering squad right by the finish line! I couldn’t have been more impressed – you looked so strong coming into the chute! Great job!!!!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012, 2:28 am

      I was bummed I missed you and the baby and mini athletes! Thanks Callie that means a bunch to me!!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012, 1:28 am

    OK – I’m just going to forewarn you that this comment is going to be filled with randomness…
    1) Why does it not surprise me that Elf is your fav X-mas movie?
    2) I can’t believe you don’t eat before a run! I. would. die!
    3) I would freak without a watch.
    4) You have some awesome running friends!
    5) The picture of you and your hubs is a-freaking-dorable!
    6) YOU’RE A ROCKSTAR 1/2 MARATHONER!!!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012, 3:01 am

      Haha way to break it down G! Thank you for your virtual hugs and cheers!! And yes I love Elf and wanted to say ” I’m in a race and I’m RUNNING!!”

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012, 1:36 am

    Congrats on an awesome 1st half! Hopefully one day I will break 2 hours but we will see! Now you’re addicted to the half 😉

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012, 3:02 am

      Yes I’m stuck on this distance until I finish my six in six goal! Thank you!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012, 1:50 am

    Your bling is gorgeous and you are amazing!
    So proud of you and inspired by you.
    Listen to your body, take it easy, you will know when you feel able to start running again. Don’t push it too soon too fats, take a few days to bask in your dominate run!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012, 3:03 am

      Thank you for all of your love and motivation Abs! I’m praying for you to stop hurting and to be back running again!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012, 2:05 am

    yayyy!!! you are so awesome! you rock, girlie!!! you made it!! i knew that you’d seriously kill this sucker! congratulations!!!! <3333 xoxo

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012, 3:03 am

      Thanks Jenna! I just wanted to see the outcome for myself! Xo 😉

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012, 3:00 am

    LOVE THE RECAP!! U did awesome girl.. super duper proud of u!! I knew i had it in u !! This def made me sappyallover again!!! XoXo!!!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012, 3:04 am

      That was the goal Patna! 😉 thank you for all you did 100 times over!! Xoxo

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012, 4:14 am

    You rock, Kat! I was looking for you out there, but knew you’d be way ahead of me because of your speediness. :c) Congratulations on a great race!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012, 4:43 am

    OMG! Congrats on your first 1/2! and SUB 2?! Freakin’ amazing. It took me a few years before I could sub 2. So cool!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012, 11:25 am

    AARRRRGGGHHHH congratulations!!! I am so excited for you. Like sitting on the couch with a stupid big grin smile!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012, 2:51 pm

      Haha I just LOLed! Thanks Kate for all of your support my Aussie blogger BFF!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012, 1:53 pm

    Awesome Kat!! What a huge accomplishment! And a sub 2 finish! You rock! You are such an inspiration!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012, 2:52 pm

      Thanks Jen! Training is definitely the culprit!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2012, 12:45 am

    So freaking happy for you! That is awesome! and I love that you were able to capture your feelings at each point. Hitting goals is amazing. DESTROYING goals is better.

    • Reply
      November 21, 2012, 3:23 am

      Thanks B! I had to,write it the next day so I’d have it written up….was fun to think back and walk through it, ready for the next one! 😉

  • Reply
    November 21, 2012, 4:57 am

    Fantastic – great job on hitting your goal! Looks like a fun race. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 22, 2012, 2:38 am

    Congrats!!! You did amazing and I’m so happy for you that you had a good race and met your secret goal! 😉

  • Reply
    November 22, 2012, 6:22 pm

    Congrats – I told you could do this. You (mostly! LOL) followed the plan! and now look – a shiny new PR under 2 to go with that shiny new medal. Kat – you are now an endurance runner!

    • Reply
      November 22, 2012, 6:29 pm

      Haha yea coach, and now I rest up for the next one…had no idea Brandon was so close!

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