Posts tagged rock 'n roll half marathon

2013: The year of running and races

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As I sit here and look back over the year and all that I accomplished, I am trying to think of one word to describe how I feel. I think “proud” is perfect. proud - feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself Yes, that pretty much sums it up….   My last race for the year was before Christmas and as I finish up the year with the hopes of reaching 625 miles logged for the year (I’m at 616 as I post this), I thought it would be a great time to look back at my races for the year. 2013 was definitely the year of running, and my how I changed even from the beginning of the year.   01/12/13 – Glow Run 5K, St. Petersburg, FL  -   44:16 This was a fun run, hubby ran it with me. It was at night in downtown St. Petersburg. I was just at the start of my weight loss journey for the year and I knew I needed to lose weight as I ran this one. But it was fun. Also, I look like Scuba Steve in our picture!   glow run 5k     02/02/13 – Best Damn Race 5K, Safety Harbor, FL  -  39:21 I thoroughly enjoyed running a 5K on my birthday, and what would also be the first of three races in the month of February. It was really cold, but high on my list of favorites for the year. I was thrilled to finish under 40 minutes. Hubby also ran this one with me!   bdr 2013     02/10/13 – Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL -  3:02:53 I had high hopes for this one, after running this event as my first half marathon in 2012. I wanted so much to finish under 3:00 but I had foot pain that slowed down my last 3 miles. I did enjoy it, though, it was neat to come full circle from my first one and to see an improvement on my time. This was also the first race that my friend Corinna and I ran together, and hubby ran the 5K.

rnr 2013 me mike    rnr2013 me corinna

    02/24/13 – Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K, Tampa, FL  -  1:05:58 Another one that I hoped to beat my previous year’s time on, but I did not. I remember the first half was windy but when we turned around, it was HOT. Hubby also ran this one with me, as well as my friend Corinna and her son John Evan. I love Gasparilla!

gasparilla 2013 me mike    gasparilla 2013 me corinna

    03/17/13 – Sarasota Half Marathon, Sarasota, FL  -  2:48:12    PR!!!!! I registered for this one on a whim simply because of the dolphin medal. I actually registered for it at the Gasparilla Expo, so less than a month before the race. I was already training on the bridges for Iron Girl so I just wanted to give it my best shot and have fun with it. I never ever expected to PR at this race, coming in 12 minutes under the 3:00 mark.   sarasota me medal 2013l     04/14/13 – Iron Girl Half Marathon, Clearwater, FL  -  2:48:32 I was very excited to run this one, practically in my backyard, and on the bridges I trained hard on. I did not let the bridges get the best of me and I gave it my best, finishing just 20 seconds slower than my PR in Sarasota. My friend Corinna also ran this one with me.   iron girl 2013 me corinna     11/24/13 – Women’s Running Series Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL  -  2:23:28    PR!!!!! After not racing over the hot summer, I trained for 15 weeks for this race. I needed serious redemption over it after finishing it in 3:37:11 in 2012 thanks to my sciatica. I knew I could finish it under 3:00 thanks to Sarasota and Iron Girl, but as I trained for it and worked hard on my long runs, I set an optimistic goal of finishing in 02:30. I was thrilled and ecstatic to finish in 2:23:28, a new PR. This was my best run yet. I ran most of it, a nice even pace, and felt great. I didn’t listen to any music, I just focused on running. This half marathon is the one that really made me start thinking seriously about a full marathon.   IMG_3003     11/30/13 – Pretty Muddy Mud Run 5K, Tampa, FL  -  approx. 45:00 (untimed) Another fun run with my friend Corinna. It was a smaller event than last year, but we still had fun running the course together. It was untimed, but we did every obstacle. I was able to climb over the big cargo net much easier than last year. It’s amazing what weight loss can do!   IMG_3306     12/14/13 – Santa’s Twilight 5K, Honeymoon Island, Dunedin, FL   -   30:56      PR!!!!! This was another night time run on a beautiful evening. Hubby and my friend Corinna also ran this one and it was so much fun. I ran my best time on this one, setting a 5K PR. I definitely see a sub-30:00 5K in my future.

IMG_3693    IMG_3694

  What a year! I had hoped to do 10 or 11 races, but it just didn’t work out. So, what’s up for 2014? Stay tuned to find out!   How many races did you do in 2013? Which was your favorite?

#11in2013 update and I’m a Half Fanatic!

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Here we are, mid-April and my spring race season is officially over. It’s now 90 degrees outside and summer is here. Perfect time to give an update on my #11in2013 update.

 

blog update 11in2013

 

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about the races / runs  I planned to do this year. Nine of them, to be exact, with the a tenth to be determined. #10in2013 because my goal for the year.

It seemed like a challenge, since three of them were in the same month but I was up for it. The day before Gasparilla, I decided to add in one more, the Sarasota Half Marathon, because I couldn’t resist the fabulous medal. When I registered for that one, I changed my goal for the year to #11in2013. And as of this past Sunday, I have 6 of the 11 completed. These four and a half months have been a whirlwind and also brought me a new half marathon PR!

  • 01/12/13 – Glow Run 5K, St. Petersburg, FL – 44:16
  • 02/02/13 – Best Damn Race 5K, Safety Harbor, FL -  39:21
  • 02/10/13 – Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL -  3:02:53
  • 02/24/13 – Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K, Tampa, FL  -  1:05:58
  • 03/17/13 – Sarasota Half Marathon, Sarasota, FL  – 2:48:12     (PR!!!!!)
  • 04/14/13 – Iron Girl Half Marathon, Clearwater, FL  -  2:48:32

Another thing it brought me… Half Fanatic status! When I registered for Sarasota, I realized that three half marathons in 90 days was in my reach and as long as I completed it and Iron Girl, I would qualify. Three half marathons in 64 days, to be exact. I love the challenge of the half marathon distance and I think it may be my favorite race distance. Yes, I am half crazy.

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I was so excited to receive the email with my Half Fanatic number…. You have to love an email that starts like this…

Nanci, at last you have found refuge, a place where you can call home, where the Fanatical can feel Normal again, and once again be treated like a normal human being.

Love it! I am Half Fanatic #3972 (Neptune), which is the lowest level, but still a Half Fanatic nonetheless. I earned that status. And, if I keep it up, maybe one day I’ll work my way up to the next level! Interested in learning more about Half Fanatics? Visit their website!

I am actually sad that all these races are done with and I am anxious for the fall to get here so they will start up again. Here’s what I have planned!

  • 10/05/13 – 15th Annual Komen Florida Suncoast Race for the Cure 5K
  • 11/24/13 – Women’s Running Series Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL
  • 11/28/13 – Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot, Clearwater, FL
  • 11/30/13 – Pretty Muddy Mud Run 5K, Tampa, FL
  • 12/??/13 – Color Run, St. Petersburg, FL

 

Do you like to plan your races ahead of time or do you just wing it? How many do you plan to do this year?

I run because…

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i run because

 

With the Iron Girl this weekend here in Clearwater, I find myself in the midst of yet another race week and as with every other one I’ve done, I’m so excited. In all honestly, I didn’t think this type of excitement would go on forever. I figured the first few races would and then the excitement would die down a little. That is so not the case for me.

The Iron Girl Half Marathon will be my 6th event for the year and my third half marathon. Who am I? When did I become this person who loves to get out there and run and sign up for races? Years ago, if you had asked me to run, I would have laughed. I swore the only way I would have run was if I was being chased. I used to be a walker, I would walk my heart out 5 days a week. I enjoyed it and it was what I needed at that time. In 2006 I temporarily became a runner. I was losing weight and it was easier to run. I eased my way into it and realized I could do it. But it wasn’t the same then as it is now. I didn’t crave it, I never signed up for races, and I didn’t feel the need to talk about it all the time.

In 2011 I jumped back into it, completely out of shape. It became my therapy and for the little bit of time I was able to do it, I enjoyed it. I slowly worked my way back into it. At the end of 2011, I decided it would run a race. I had no idea that it would lead to this.

I signed up for a small local 5K with my friend Terrie and we did it together. I huffed and puffed my way through it. This was weeks leading up to the Rock N Roll Half Marathon, which Terrie was also doing and we were spending most Saturday mornings walking together to get ready. Neither one of us was prepared to really run it, we just wanted to finish it.

I will never forget my first half marathon. I was all kinds of nervous the morning of, wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into. But I got totally wrapped up in the excitement of it and gave it my all. Somewhere along the way, I knew I wanted to run more of it than I thought. I finished 19 minutes faster than I guesstimated I would, cried I don’t know how many times during the race and as I crossed the finish line, and I don’t think I have ever been so proud of myself as I was at that moment. I was in pain, I hurt so bad, and I was already wondering when I could do it again.

My next race was just three weeks later, the Gasparilla 5+3K, also with Terrie. I loved that we were doing these together and cheering each other on. I was just as proud of her as I was myself. It was another great event and I knew that I wanted to do another and do better.

In the fall, I did my first mud run ever and my second half marathon, after dealing with sciatica. It had been my goal since the minute I crossed the finish line of my first half, to beat that time at my second. That didn’t happen but I was just so proud that I finished after being injured. I was also happy to know that the thrill of doing a half was still there.

2013 started with the Glow Run 5K and the Best Damn Race 5K (on my birthday!). Then I came full circle, running the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon again. This year, I was determined to set a PR, and I did. More excitement, more living in the moment and being so proud of myself. I did the Gasparilla 8K again this year, and then I was randomly signing up for the Sarasota Half Marathon because of the amazing dolphin medal. Oh yeah, and this one had a bridge. Days before, I told hubby that it was just my goal to finish, that the bridge was really going to mess with my time and I’d be lucky to get in under the 4 hour time limit. I never in a million years expected to PR at that race. Never. Another proud moment, more crying, this time with less pain afterwards.

And now here I am, just days away from my 5th half marathon in just over a year. Still just as excited as every other one. And this one I’ve actually put some training in for, running the bridges a couple times a week, determined not to let those bridges get the best of me on race day. Hubby has been a trooper, keeping me company and pushing me a little more and more each time.

I run for stress relief. I run to get in shape. I run to feel better.  I run because I love food. I run because it’s cheaper than therapy. I run because I can. I run because it makes me feel strong. I run because i t makes me proud.

 

post-run-021813_thumb

 

Slowly but surely I have convinced myself that I am a runner. I. Am. A. Runner. No, I don’t run a 10 minute mile and no, I don’t run the whole time. But I’m getting more consistent with my pace and I’m running more than I walk. I am tackling the bridges to prove that I can. I’m getting stronger and better. And I couldn’t be more proud of myself.

 

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After Sunday, I’ll officially be an Iron Girl. I’ll also be a Half Fanatic for having completed 3 half marathons within 90 days. It’s a wonderful thing to be proud of yourself, and most of all, it’s a huge motivator to keep going…

 

Why do you run? What motivates you? Tag #irunbecause and share!

Ready for Sunday, I think!

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This weekend is the Women’s Half-Marathon in St. Petersburg. It seems like it’s been forever since I signed up for it, so excited at the prospect of doing my second half this year. Not terribly long after, my sciatica decided it didn’t like me and wanted to torture me for several long weeks and my training plan sat there, untouched because I could hardly move.

I am going into this half without any training. To be honest, I didn’t train much for my first half-marathon, but I felt fine going into it. Now that I know what it’s all about, I *KNOW* I’m not prepared. So why am I doing it? Because I am too damn stubborn not to. Hubby thinks I’m crazy, but regardless, supports me in my decision to get out there and do it anyway, because he’s awesome like that. I will run and walk my little heart out on Sunday to knock out those 13.1 miles.

So today, amidst all my other craziness, I went to  pick up my packet for Sunday at the Expo held at the beautiful Renaissance Vinoy in downtown St. Petersburg. This was my first time in there and I wish I had time to do some more exploring and that I had taken more photos. Unfortunately, my time was limited and I was on a mission to check-in, get my race bib, my cool goodie bag, my shirt, and hit the Expo for a few minutes. There was a snafu with the goodie bags and they weren’t there for the start of the Expo. I had to stick around an extra 40 minutes or so, along with A LOT of other people, to get my bag. But, the bags finally made it there and all was good!

 

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I splurged at the Expo and bought a few things… A really cute Women’s Half Marathon hoodie (it’s so comfy!), a couple stickers, and a license plate frame for my car. I couldn’t resist. Isn’t this hoodie awesome? I can’t wait to wear it.

 

IMG_3314

 

Here’s a picture of the goodie bag, my bib, WHM tech shirt, stickers, and the license plate frame for my car. I already have a 13.1 sticker on my car, which went on within 2 hours of finishing the last one. I love the bib because it has my name on it. It’s a nice personalized touch.

 

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I love that they included a current copy of Women’s Running magazine and a brochure for the Rock N’ Roll Half 2013 which will be in February. And yes, I am going to do that one again.

 

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There is also a Luna Protein bar, which I really like, deodorant (get it? Lady’s Speed Stick Women’s Half-Marathon? Clever.) And the most awesome item of all, a Perform Pain Relieving Gel sample. I used this last after my last half and it helped greatly. I remember wanting to bathe in it!

 

IMG_3313

 

There was also a sample of GU Brew Electrolyte Drink Tablet, and Oxylent which is a multivitamin supplement drink. Speaking of GU, I’ll be running out tomorrow to buy a couple GU Energy Gel packs. These are great, taste yummy (I love the blackberry), and are a nice boost in the midst of all those miles.

Because I know all too well that you should never wear something new for a race, I will be wearing my favorite Nike capri running pants and one of my tech shirts. I am undecided on which one yet. I am excited to run in my Brooks Glycerin.

The forecast for Sunday is a high of 72 with 11 mph winds. Since the race starts at 7am, it should still be in the 60’s for most of it. This is a good 25 degrees warmer (even more if you figure the windchill) than the Rock N’ Roll Half. It was so cold and windy that day, I wore gloves and lots of layers. I would actually be fine with it being cooler than 72. I love the cold weather.

So, I am ready to go. I think. Tomorrow I am looking forward to as much of a relaxing day as possible and then my head will hit the pillow very early since I’ll be up at 4am Sunday morning. Wish me luck!

 

Are you participating in the Women’s Half Marathon this weekend? I’d love to know if you are!

Holy Half-Marathon!

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Two weeks from tomorrow, on Sunday November 18, I will be doing my second half-marathon – the Women’s Half Marathon in St. Petersburg. Yesterday morning, as I was running 3.11 miles at the park, I realized that I am so not prepared. Dealing with my sciatica right when I was supposed to start training for the half was not the plan. However, I did run most of the 5K yesterday and that was a first since my injury.

On one hand, I am so happy to be where I am now, considering 11 weeks ago I could hardly even walk, let alone think about running. And while I have not been consistent with any sort of training, I am able to move without pain.

On the other hand, I think I am INSANE for even attempting a half-marathon right now. How am I going to complete it? Am I going to hurt myself? Will I get so caught up in the moment and the adrenaline that I push myself harder than I should? What if I can’t finish in the 4-hour time limit? These are all the things running through my mind right now.

If I use the nifty calculator on McMillan Running, it tells me based on my 5K time from yesterday morning of 45:25, that I should be able to complete a half-marathon in 3:30:17. When I ran the Rock N’ Roll Half, I did it in 3:11:33. My goal in signing up for a second half-marathon was to beat my first time. Now my goal is to just finish.

Thursday night I got my confirmation email. That’s exciting. The minute I crossed the finish line at the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon in February, I wanted to do another. Was it easy? NO. Did I enjoy every single hard minute of it? YES. I want to enjoy this again:

 

RnR Half 1     RnR Half 2

 

I can’t wait to go to the expo. I can’t wait to pick up my bib, my timing tag, and my t-shirt. There is such a rush in that.

Did I mention the medal? I want that medal. I want to add it to the other two I have, and add my bib to the box of race memorabilia I have for the year.

 

STP_2012medal_rotator1

(Source: http://womenshalf.competitor.com/stpetersburg)

 

And then there’s the course…. It’s in downtown St. Pete just like the Rock N’ Roll Half (except the start and finish are together and the course is the opposite). That course was beautiful. I love downtown St. Petersburg. The views along the water are amazing.

 

WSTP_12_coursemap_Full1

(Source: http://womenshalf.competitor.com/stpetersburg)

 

So, yes. I might be insane. I know I’m nervous and scared and excited all at the same time. But damn, I want to do it. I hope, hope, hope I can get to the finish line before the 4-hour mark. Finishing is my goal. Anything better than that will be icing on the cake.

 

Have you ever run a race totally unprepared?

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