Birthday Race Recap: Holiday Halfathon

My December Race (#2) happened to also fall on the day before my birthday! What better way to celebrate than with a sweaty 13.1??
Deciding to do this race instead of the Brandon Half was the smartest idea for me since it gave me another week of recovery after the Women’s Half and helped me to get my groove back .. sort of at least!
Hubs and I ended up camping out at my parents house to shave off a good 40-45 minutes of travel time in order to be at the start at Madiera Beach City Hall bright and early at 530am race morning. It was super nice to chill with the ‘rents and order in my favorite pre-race food: pizza!
Getting up around 5am, we were ready in no time and headed down to Madiera Beach where the race started. It ended at Taylor Park, a separate location, which is a new deal to me when it comes to race routes. Anyhoo, I had time to warm up and hit up the port-o-lets a couple of times before the start. As the morning went on, the early fog I’d seen began to turn into humid, thick air…I tried to put this out of my mind. B.o.B. and I found each other and she reminded me of this weather worry when she brought up how it felt similar to the ING Miami Marathon she’d run back in January – I’d heard icky stories of this race from all of those in our run group. Bad omen #2. We decided to start together and if either of us needed to go or slow down we were game to at least have each other to keep company for part of the race. We kissed out respective men good bye and headed to the start.
We bumped into Denise and her partners in crime
Miles 1-3: Easy peasy. We ran along Gulf Boulevard right by the beach. It was nice and breezy for a bit. B.o.B. and I had a lot to catch up on since we usually don’t have a ton of time to hang out one on one, so it didn’t feel like 3 miles when I saw the mile marker sign.
Miles 4-7: My usual wall proved itself to be a mother above all mothers. Now, I did my best to put out the foggy, humid weather from my mind but it began to be felt by my lil lungs. B.o.B. asked me if I was okay around a 9:30 pace and I said yes feeling physically okay. Nothing hurt besides my lungs. We encountered our first bride heading into the area close to the Pinellas Trail and I felt worse and worse. By mile 5 or so we ran into Meghan who was truckin’ along nicely – I knew she’d already run before the race working on a 20 miler for the day so it was great to see her and chat, the 3 of us. I kept saying to myself that I didn’t want to walk. That’s when I heard The Wheeze. I initially thought it was a fluke and nothing to think about it so I trudged on. I began noticing the girls chatting along nicely and I wasn’t able to chime in – at all really. I had to walk. Drat. I’d only walked for about 100 feet when I decided to try and run again. My breathing still wasn’t where it should be and I couldn’t afford an asthma attack – not worth it. As I took a puff of my inhaler, I bumped into a friend of a friend who I’d met at the start and decided to strike up a conversation with her – whether she wanted to or not 😉 She was a lovely lady who was on her 5th half marathon and wanted to work on getting faster. We talked about speed training for a bit and then headed into the start of the Pinellas Trail. She’d made it back to a jog again, as did I, but told me to go ahead. I yelled “you’ve got this, you’re already a fanatic!” as I headed into the park at a slow rog.
Miles 8-10: I started to get my stride back, somewhat. I stayed around a 10:05-10:30 because not only was my breathing worrying me, but I felt blisters a-formin’ on my right foot. Pain is temporary, pride is forever – that’s what I kept telling myself. I also told myself that it was by birthday tomorrow and this wasn’t my A race, I’d won half marathon gold at the Women’s Half and I was in this Holiday race to get in #2 and have fun – I wasn’t hurting myself on my birthday eve! Oh, the humidity .. my cute outfit now turned into a blob of green. Still, the cheers from spectators and people yelling “Go Elf!” kept me pushing. I took water at each water stop but didn’t walk but one other time around mile 9. This section of the race was nice, as I hadn’t gotten to run through the Pinellas Trail before. Cyclists passing through were super polite as was all of the folks I chatted with along the way.
Miles 11-12: I was in a comfortable slower run pace and my breathing was holding steady. The Wheeze went away, so I knew I was in the clear, but I still took one more inhaler puff just in case. It was hot. In the 80s – the air felt thick. Just the day before I’d gone to the doctor because my allergies weren’t getting better from my medicine and my doc told me I needed to see an allergy/asthma specialist – she also knew I was racing and nothing would hold me back. Anyway, where was I..oh the Pinellas trail was most of the race’s course. I took an orange slice from another stop and then looked up ahead. A massive bridge. Lovely. Oh well – I had to do it, I was approaching the end! I didn’t walk, but steadily ran up the incline and then relaxed on the decline. We were headed into Taylor Park soon!
Miles 12-13.15: I ran into another runner who appeared super fit and runner-like. He said “Cute outfit…I’m hurting…these always seem like a great idea until you’re in them huh.” I said, “You’re telling me! But we’re almost there, stay strong!” Yea, I was all Ghandi-like until I entered the park – on a gravel trail. Across the lake I could see the Finish. My Garmin said it was only at around 12 miles so more to go still. My poor feet, I didn’t want to even look at them. I pushed and pushed around the bend and then sidewalk reappeared – thank goodness! I kicked into high gear and came into the finish, so happy to be done! The announcers yelled out our names and one said “Here comes Katrina, our lone Elf!” I asked her if I was the only one and she told me I was – most peeps were dressed as Santas this year. Not only was I done, but I was the lone elf – alriiiiight.

Official Finish time: 2:13:37

This was a great race, I have to say. Despite the weather, which is something no one can predict, the course was lovely. The bridges and hills were a challenge, but a welcome one that reminded me that I need to hill train more. Yes, we have a few in Florida. I enjoyed running along the beach and then into the trail. The costumes and people were so friendly and a great distraction from the run. It was a smaller race too, under 800 people, so not a lot of zig zagging or traffic. The medal: pretty sweet. The post race party: full of beer (which I didn’t have – tummy problems), food, water, and red/green smiles.
I went into this race knowing I wouldn’t ‘kick butt’ per say. I was just back to normal after the first half and even hubs commented that I had a very le se faire attitude going in, which I did. I didn’t want to race it, especially with the weather forecast and the race itself! New course and so much fun to be had..I wanted to enjoy it and sure did!
What is that? The Day 9 #HOLIDAYADAY challenge word was “Ladies Dancing?” … Oh we got that down…
Me with Meghan and B.o.B. gettin down
This was a great kick off to my birthday, now I’m off to play in the ICE! 😉 Don’t forget this Giveaway goes through 12/13!
and p.s. today’s #HOLIDAYADAY word for Day 10 is SPARKLE! Check me out at instagram!
How are you celebrating this glorious Monday? 😉

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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  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 12:55 pm

    Awesome and congrats! Love the pics and the dancing robots!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 1:03 pm

    You did awesome!Congrats on #2- You’re already 1/3 the way to a fanatic! The heat/humidity is such a killer. You have to let me know how ICE is- I am dying to go this year 🙂

    • Reply
      December 10, 2012, 2:01 pm

      Thanks girl! I love ICE! Went last year…this year they have a Madagascar theme!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 1:06 pm

    Great job, lovely!!!! And happy happy happy birthday! I hope it’s absolutely wonderful! Xo

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 1:40 pm

    Happy, happy birthday!! I completely understand how hard it is running in humidity. I was struggling yesterday, too. Love all the festive gear! You’re so cute!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 1:50 pm

    congrats again girl!! finishin strong in tough weather conditions! super proud of u!! Happy Birthday girl!! ♥

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 2:09 pm

    LOVE that medal – how fun! I need to be sure to do a Christmas half next year! And love your dancing photo. 🙂 Great run, looks like you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 2:22 pm

    loving your pictures, so cute!! I agree they always sound like a good idea until say mile 11, then about 12.5 they sound great again 🙂

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 2:38 pm

    Awesome job Kat! You pushed through and did great! I love your Elf cute! And that medal looks so pretty!!! Have a happy birthday today!!!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 2:45 pm

    Nice race Kat! Way to stick with it in the heat.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 2:55 pm

    You were the only Elf! That’s awesome! Had a blast witchu. See you Friday lil mama and happy birfday!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Congrats on a great race and for pushing through the challenging parts. Maybe you can train on that course to get you ready for Marine Corps Marathon next year (wink wink!). I LOVED looking at your pictures of you and B.o.B. Adorbs! So great to run your pre-race shake out with you. Can’t wait to see/hear/read what 2013 has in store for you! xo

    • Reply
      December 10, 2012, 10:49 pm

      Thanks so much Jes! It was a great weekend despite the icky weather!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 4:27 pm

    Congrats and happy birthday! Love the picture of you dancing robots and LOVED your outfit! I have a bit of asthma too and it’s so hard when it’s hot and humid and thick out. Great job sticking with it.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 4:40 pm

    Happy, happy birthday, love!!! I’m so proud of you and even though you felt it wasn’t the best race, 2:13 is still an AMAZING time! I know runners who have run lots of 1/2s (think 10+) that have never achieved 2:13. Embrace your awesomeness!! The weather was crap for my 1/2 yesterday, too… 96% humidity. Bleh.

    • Reply
      December 10, 2012, 10:50 pm

      Yes ma’am thank you so much, hugs times a million!!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 4:43 pm

    You did great! Love the elf outfit too. Happy birthday!!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 5:02 pm

    Love the outfit! Congrats on your race. You toughed it out when the going got tough! Way to go!!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 5:03 pm

    You looked so cute and that’s an amazing time anyway!! Love these race recaps that break down mile by mile. Also, I have never been able to run a a comfortable “talking” pace, so kudos to you for being able to do that despite needing the inhaler! Eeek! Glad you finished strong! 🙂

    • Reply
      December 10, 2012, 10:51 pm

      Thanks Jen! You’re right on my heels! 😉

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012, 11:50 pm

    OMG, that pizza looks delicious!! Now you’ve made me hungry.
    Super cute race outfits… congrats on what looks like a really fun event.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2012, 12:30 am

    Nice job on #2! And Happy Birthday! It was fun to have company for a bit of a long run. I’m thinking of heading down there to Brandon in two weeks for my next twenty to meetup with y’all.

    • Reply
      December 11, 2012, 2:40 am

      Thanks Meghan! Let me know! I’m won’t do twenty but part of it! 😉

  • Reply
    December 11, 2012, 1:24 am

    YAYA, KAT! AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Hope you had a great day! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 11, 2012, 3:17 am

    So sorry your race wasn’t as fabulous as the last, but proud of you for pushing through it. Plus you look fabulous!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2012, 10:46 am

    Hi I’ve been sent here by Kate:) I’m another crazy Australian runner blogger and enjoyed reading your post! Happy birthday – my birthday is Friday so go Sagittarians! Well done on your run – fab pics!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2012, 10:55 am

    Best instagram photo of the lot! Happy, happy birthday and happy half marathon! Love the outfit, and love the recap. Even if it wasn’t an A race, it looks like you’re prett proud and happy, as you should be.

    • Reply
      December 11, 2012, 12:46 pm

      Haha it was a total freeze frame, we were so tired! Thanks for the love Kate!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2012, 11:24 am

    Great Race! Awesome job listening to your body and reacting. You looked so adorable! I love that race and wish I could have ran it with you. At least you had fun. Happy Holidays!

    • Reply
      December 11, 2012, 12:46 pm

      I’m glad I did because I’m not in bad shape at al right now. It was a tough one!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012, 2:25 am

    You looked adorable! I love your outfit! Awesome job on a tough race!

    I totally agree: aside from the weather, this race was so much fun! I loved all the costumes, friendly people, the medal, and the point-to-point course.

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