I wanted to badly to write this Sunday to post yesterday, but I am serious when I say I slept most of the day after I got home from the race and lunch. I. Was. Exhausted.
Sunday morning, I was up very early, 4am to be exact, to get ready for half marathon #6. I had a hard time falling asleep Saturday night, so I’m not sure I got more than 5 hours of sleep. I was tired, but excited and ready to go. After training for 14 weeks and realizing the last few weeks if training that a new PR was possible, I just wanted to get out there and run!
I ran this same race in 2012, it was my second half marathon and just weeks after sciatica and physical therapy, I walked / ran my worst race to date. I was just happy to up and moving and even completing it was a huge accomplishment. I was very close to my highest weight and felt every one of those extra pounds. My average pace last year was 16:34 with a finish time of 03:37:11. (Looking at these pictures, I wonder who this person even was!!)
Back in March, I PR’d at the Sarasota Half with a time of 02:48:12, my first time finishing under 3 hours. Once I had that new PR, I started to dream of finishing in 02:30, but it really was just a dream. But running consistently this year, and following a 14-week training plan seemed like the best shot I had at getting there.
At 7:00am the race started, and I was in Corral 5. It was 7:08 when I crossed over the start line and started my Garmin (a miracle I remembered but thankful I did!). I started running right from the start and did my best to hold back. Something about running a race with so many other people, even when you aren’t competing, that makes you run a little faster. It must be the adrenaline!
I was excited to get to Mile 1 because I knew that the Best Damn Race Cheer Squad would be there. They were awesome. I passed them and kept on running. This is a beautiful course that goes along the water and through Coffee Pot Bayou and a beautiful neighborhood, brick roads and all. Just after Mile 3, I heard someone yell my name and it was my friend Val, and she even made me a sign. It was so nice and it really pushed me. I had been behind the 02:30 pace group for about a mile and decided I needed to be ahead of them. I felt that if I was going to reach that goal of 02:30, I needed to be ahead of the game while I felt good because I was sure that by Mile 9 or 10, I would slow down. I needed that buffer. I kept an eye over my shoulder to see if they were catching up to me and they did not. I didn’t see them again!
Mille 7 took me back past the Best Damn Race Cheer Squad. They were still screaming and cheering and being super awesome. Green guys, a wiener, great signs, and the UT guy’s swim team. Too much fun!
(Photo credit: Best Damn Race)
When I passed by them at Mile 7, my friend Caroline who was part of the cheer squad, captured this photo of me. I’m glad to see I was so happy to be running still. I actually felt very good. And once again, having people scream your name and cheer you on really pushes you to keep going. Thanks guys!
(photo credit: Caroline)
From this point, the course took us through down town, around Mirror Lake, and then a long stretch west. I was trying my hardest to hit Mile 10 well before the 2 hour mark – and I did – because I knew even at my slowest, I could do the last 3 miles and still finish in 02:30. It seemed like we ran forever before before the turn around just before mile 11. From here, it was almost all down hill. This was a great way to finish because it was 26 blocks of running towards the second to last turn before the finish line.
Once I hit Mile 12 and saw my time was 02:12ish, I knew I had it, and then some. And that’s when the tears started flowing. I was so excited and once again the adrenaline kicked in. This is obvious in my split times for the last mile which I picked up the pace on.
When I turned the last corner and headed the last little bit to the finish line, I was so happy. I knew I had it. I was still crying and I was trying to watch for my mom, who I knew was at the finish line. I screamed when I crossed the finish line. I did it. I met my goal!
My watch time was 02:23:43, but I was curious to know what my chip time was. Thanks to live runner tracking, I found out that it was 02:31:28. I was disappointed when I saw this, because I thought for sure I beat my goal and I thought my watch was wrong. After looking over the split times, I realized they had my start time wrong, showing at 7:00 right when it started, but I crossed the start line at 7:08. So, I have requested a correction. This time was too important to me to let is slide… I calculate that my finish time should be 02:23:38.
My split times were AMAZING. Better than I really ever could have imagined. I knew during the whole race that I had to stay below an 11:27 / mile pace to finish in 02:30. I kept it under that the entire time and my average pace was an incredible 10:49.
Such a great race and an awesome day. I had so much fun, ran with all my heart, and enjoyed every minute of it. Reaching a goal after 14 weeks of training is a huge accomplishment. Once again, I am reminded how strong running has made me and how much I want to continue to do it.
And here is it… the corrected times. I am so thankful that Women’s Running Series corrected these!
Remember that time I ran this race last year? 03:37:11? It’s crazy to think I did the same race 01:14 minutes faster. Crazy! And still 25 minutes faster than my previous PR.
After the race, hubby and my mom and I headed to Hooters for my favorite post-race meal – wings and beer! Boy, did I earn that! It was delicious and amazing. Our waitress was super impressed by the fact that I finished my 6th half marathon and made sure to let me know….
What a day! It’s definitely one I won’t soon forget. So what’s next? I have 4 half marathons planned for the spring to get me up to #10. I will keep running regularly between now and the next one, which is the Best Damn Race Safety Harbor on Feb. 1, 2014…. Is a new PR possible? We’ll have to wait and see!
I have really come to love these Currently posts… It’s fun to see where I’m at each month. I hope you’ll join in the fun and do one too!
This is actually a comical question at the moment. I am still reading The Shining, which was last month’s answer. And by still reading, I mean I haven’t had time to pick it up and read much of it. That being said, I am just dying to get the sequel to it, Doctor Sleep. So much so, that I even read the first 25 pages of it while standing in Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago. I just can’t bring myself to spend money on a hardcover book right now.
I really really want to answer this with Christmas music, which I am already listening to, but I’ll spare you that this month. So, my answer is the new Daughtry song, Waiting for Superman. The new CD comes out tomorrow and you can bet I’ll be buying it right away. I am a huge Daughtry fan – we’ve been to 5 concerts over the last several years. Always a great show and great music. I am excited about the new CD.
Current guilty pleasure:
Two words… See’s Candy. It’s a holiday thing, thank goodness. They have a kiosk at the mall and it’s there now. Hubby and I went yesterday and I am not ashamed to admit that we bought a few of our favorites. I am not afraid to splurge on little guilty pleasure’s that are only available to me a couple months out of the year. My favorites are the Bordeaux Bar (OMG!!!), the toffee, and the lollipops. So good!
I expect my answer will always be a variation of water, coffee, and beer. This month it’s coffee, specifically made in my handy dandy Keurig most weekday mornings. I am really enjoying Macadamia Nut Cookie flavor coffee with CoffeeMate Pumpkin Spice creamer. It’s perfect. Yum.
This month I’ve been eating a lot of fruits and veggies. Avocado is always a favorite of mine and this month I’ve had quite a few. So so good!
Christmas movies. All of them! I am currently hooked on the cheesy Hallmark channel ones. Soon I will have to start our yearly ritual of watching Elf over and over again.
Current wish list:
I am sure no one is surprised when I say race entries. This answer has been the same since I started doing my Currently posts. I want to run races. All of them.
I am in the midst of the last week of half marathon training for the Women’s Half in St Pete THIS Sunday!!! I have done amazing with my training, only missing one run over the entire 14 weeks. When I started the training, I was nervous about the long runs. The 12-miler was the hardest (also the longest) but it’s all preparation for the real deal. Yesterday I did my last long run of 8 miles and it was great, with a fantastic time. I am anxious to see how my training does for me when it comes to the actual race.
Discom-bob-ulated Running – my friend Beth writes this blog about her marathon and triathlon training. She’s funny and super awesome, and answers my running questions when I have them. She recently made my day by confirming that I am a real runner when we were discussing being stubborn and running when maybe I should have stopped.
Pinterest – I love pinning motivational, funny, cute, and totally useless stuff that I may never need. But it is just another form of social media that I love.
Runners World - specifically, their motivational quotes. Nothing makes me want to run out the door quicker than reading a great motivational quote, like this one….
Free time. I am hopeful that the last weeks of 2013 will allow me to take some much needed free time. Hubby always takes time off during the holiday and I am going to do my darndest to do the same.
We tried a new flavor of Publix ice cream recently and oh my goodness, is it yummy. It’s Lemon Sugar Cookie, with pieces of lemon sugar cookies and vanilla icing. Mmmmm……
I still want to live in running clothes or yoga pants. They’re just so comfortable. This month, though, I am on the lookout for a new dress to wear to the Christmas party on Dec. 10 for hubby’s work. I missed last year’s because I had the stupid flu, so I am excited to go this year. And with all my hard work this year, it’s time to splurge on a new dress. I know hubby will be happy about that. Here are a couple I had my eye on and tried on over the weekend.
The one on the left I did not like on me at all. Not flattering. The one on the right was very nice and I love the neck line on it, but it was very heavy. I did end up buying one and I cannot wait to try it. It’s a little black dress and when I put in on – in a size 10!! – it felt perfect. now I just need shoes to go with it. Here’s a picture of it….
I was recently chosen as an ambassador for the Best Damn Race. So excited about that! After I complete the Women’s Half this weekend, I’ll keep training for the Best Damn Race which is Feb. 1st in Safety Harbor and March 1st in Orlando. I’m going to run the half marathon in BOTH cities because I’m crazy like that AND I’ll get 3 medals for those 2 races. I love half marathons, I love medals, and I love the Best Damn Race! Everyone should come out and run it with me! Save $5 on registration for any race in Safety Harbor or on the half marathon in Orlando. Use discount code NANCIC.
Trying not to be stressed out all the time… I am in the process of making some changes that I trust will help with that, although the process of change also stresses me out. But, I have to believe it will all work out in the end!
So tell me…. What is something you are currently loving!
Last full week of training is done. One week from today, I will be running the Women’s Half Marathon in St. Pete, my sixth half marathon. I might be more excited about this one than any of the others and I can only assume it’s because I’ve been training my butt off for this one.
After last week’s 12 mile run that was so hard and ended with foot paint, I didn’t run for 3 days (2 of those days would have been rest days so I missed one day of running). I enjoyed the time off, but it also drive me crazy not to run. I iced my foot and took Motrin. On Thursday, I headed out on a 5 mile run and it was perfect. I didn’t take a single walk break and I didn’t have any foot pain. On Friday, I ran 3 miles. I was very happy to be back to it. This morning, I ran my last long run of 8 miles. It was a great run! Looking back at the last 13 weeks, it’s amazing that I only missed one run. I’ve done my best to play it safe and push myself along the way. Training has done wonders for my running and I am now a believer in structured training plans.
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Rest (skipped 3 mile run)
Thursday – 5 miles
Friday – 3 miles
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 8 miles
Several times during this morning’s run, I checked my watch and knew that I was running faster that I maybe should have been, but it was comfortable. I didn’t realize until I finished, just how fast I was actually running, especially on my last mile. A 09:56 minute mile at the end? Holy cow. This is my first long run that has been an average pace in the 10:00’s, even if just by one second. I will gladly take it. And… Being the numbers girl that I am, I checked to see what my time was on my last 8 mile run, which was at the beginning of October and it was 01:34:17 with an average pace of 11:46. Today’s run shows a very nice improvement!
I was very happy to be back at my favorite running spot this morning. The Memorial Causeway and Clearwater Beach is the best of everything – water, sunrise, breeze, beach, and plenty of scenery.
We also saw Beth and Nick running this morning. When we spotted Nick’s car, I had to take a picture for a shameless plug for the Best Damn Race. It’s always nice to see running friends out and about.
Total miles for Week 13 is 16.03. I have 3 short runs this coming week (3 miles, 2 miles, and 2 miles) and then Sunday is my half marathon! I can’t wait!
Do you get excited before a race? What do you look forward to the most?
Two weeks from today is the Women’s Half Marathon in St. Pete! I’m very excited. There have been so many races the last few weeks and my Facebook and Twitter feed are full of people getting medals. I am so ready to earn my next medal!
Week 12 went well. I was right on track and did my weekday runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I had great times for each. I did not do cross training yesterday, hubby and I had errands to run and my niece’s birthday party. Yesterday, I realized that I would not be able to do my 12 miles on my regular route over to Clearwater Beach because of the TriRock Triathlon. So, I had to do some thinking and planning online to figure out the best route that would not have me doing a bunch of loops. I wanted as much of an out and back route as possible. I decided on Bayshore Blvd. in South Tampa. It’s a 4.5 mile mile stretch of sidewalk, so we ran beyond it past the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and through Channelside. It’s quite a long run, but it made me excited for Gasparilla coming up in February. But, I did miss my bridges this morning….
Since we were going to Tampa for my 12 miles, we got up 15 minutes earlier. Hubby is such a champ to get up early and ride his bike along with me. He didn’t even mind this crazy time I set my alarm for….
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 3 miles
Wednesday – 5 miles
Thursday – 3 miles
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest (skipped cross training – bad!)
Sunday – 12 miles
That was a hard 12 miles. I was feeling so confident after last week’s great 11 miles and the easy miles I had during the week. This morning, I had some foot pain around mile 8 and it lasted through the end. I’m just going to chalk this one off as a character-building run. A reminder that not every run will be a good one. Now that I’ve looked at my split times and compared to last week, I realize even with my foot pain and numerous walk breaks, I was only about 6 minutes slower than last week. Really not bad at all. Finishing today’s run at 02:21:11 and being just one mile shy of the half marathon distance is a very good indicator that I probably can meet my goal of an 02:30 finish time. I hope, I hope, I hope!
One thing about running a different route is new scenery. I snapped a few great pics on my phone this morning…
Total miles for Week 12 is 23.04! Week 13 will be less since next Sunday will only be 8-9 miles. I’m giving my foot some TLC today and even now since I’ve been home, soaked in an Epsom salt bath, and napped, it’s feeling better. Tomorrow is a rest day before I hit the pavement again. With just two weeks to go, I have to continue to be smart and do my best to avoid injury.
How do you quiet that inner voice after a long run that didn’t go as you had hoped?
Good morning! I am not sure about where you’re at, but here in Florida, it is the perfect morning. A beautiful 60 degrees and low humidity made for a perfect run this morning to finish off week 11 of my half marathon training.
This week was another screwy one for my schedule and I ran a day behind on my training. One thing I like about this training plan is the 2 rest days during the week so I can adjust it if needed. Wednesday and Thursday I ran in the afternoon, it was too warm, but it was my only option. Friday morning I ran my last dark morning run before the time change. I am pretty happy about that, I am not a huge fan of running alone in the dark. Saturday should have been cross training, but I didn’t do anything. Bad. But boy, did I make up for it this morning with a great 11 mile run. After an extra hour of sleep thanks to the time change and glorious cool weather, I had a great run with a great pace. There was also a crazy head wind but it didn’t seem to affect my time too much.
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 5 miles
*also did a .50 cool down walk at park
Thursday – 3 miles
84*also did a 0.84 cool down walk at park
Friday – 3 miles
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 11 miles
I am so freaking proud of myself after this morning’s run. In my mind, it was going to take my about 2:10 to do it and clearly I came in under that. My pace is pretty amazing for 11 miles. Only one mile did I go up in the 12’s for my pace and that was because I had a potty stop. My last mile was crazy fast. I was coming down off the Memorial Bridge and I knew I was almost done. This morning’s run was just 2 miles short of a half marathon distance and my goal of finishing in 02:30 is so close I can taste it. So close. And so possible. I’m going to give it everything I have!
Total miles for Week 11 is 23.38. Next Sunday will be my last longest run of 12 miles and then I cut back to 8 or 9 the following Sunday, the last one before the half. I am hoping that Week 12 is a little less crazy on my training schedule and hoping for cooler weather.
Are you running the Women’s Half in St. Pete on Nov. 24? Be sure to let me know if you are!