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My First 13.1 DONE! :)


Monday, February 11, 2013


It doesn't feel like I completed 13.1 miles yesterday.

Well, according to some body soreness here and there, well yes, it definitely does.

But in my mind I still am grasping it. Did I really complete a Half-Marathon?

The St. Pete Rock n Roll Half Marathon - me? I did that? Really?

Thanks goodness there is a medal, pictures, witnesses because it feels so unreal. I did that?

Part of the amazement is that it didn't feel like one, huge, long trek. It felt like 3 or 4 wonderful consecutive races. All unique and with their own joy.

First, let me say the weather, from a Floridian's perspective, was awesome. 63 at start time (and 75 at my finish). There was just enough cloud cover to keep the sun from staying in constant fry mode. Gorgeous day.

Being a slower participant, I was in corral 10 which worked out nicely since we got to enjoy lots of great, high energy music before being "released" onto the course.

A note about Florida running - Florida is flat. So flat, that even the slightest incline feels like a hill. In fact, to add diversity to a course, local race directors usually run a course over a bridge. Well, we didn't have a bridge (yet), but we did have a full mile of steady upward incline.

You could tell the locals from the visitors. The Floridians were whining about the hill, while the out of towners kept asking - what hill? It was hilarious.

Ah but mile 2 to 5 were delicious. Almost all downhill with level parts. My run/walk pace was great and I was so excited to be feeling so strong, so in the groove.

Mile 5 was very emotional. We passed a beautiful wall that houses the sign for the University of South Florida - my alma mater. I swore I could see a reflection of my 18 year old self leaning against the wall, smiling and excited about this thing she would accomplish later in life. Major highlight of the race.

I passed the 10K mark still going steady, but a funny thing happened at mile 7. My past 2 races have been 10Ks, and by mile seven my legs were saying - aren't we done? Fortunately, I was still strong and could just laugh it off.

A note about the course and the race - it was so well organized. There were TONS of volunteers and police officers keeping up safe and cheered. The music along the way was pretty good. Unfortunately, some bands took breaks and weren't singing when I went by - not even when urged by the crowd - that was disappointing. Other bands were amazing, singing and cheering and really adding to the energy of the race.

At mile 9 my left hip started to twinge. Ironically, it felt better when I ran, so that actually kept me going faster. Mile 10 was around the St. Pete Pier with gorgeous views and a bench! A wonderful bench that I used to stretch. That slowed me down a bit, but it was a great relief.

At that point, I could feel the excitement in the crowd - only a 5K left!

Mile 11 - I really started feeling tired and slowing down, then I remembered I still has Power Gel. In the future, I will take these on schedule instead of waiting to feel sluggish. Fortunately, it kicked in pretty quick because at 11.5 we hit our bridge.

Ok, it was a tiny bridge, still, you should have heard the major moaning and groaning. This time, even the visitors were were a bit lippy...a flat course and NOW we have bridge. We all knew it was a tiny bridge, but my goodness that darn thing felt like Everest!

Mile 12 - I take off...well, in own my way. Even my fast run only matches a fast walk for others, but it felt wonderful. I was so happy to finish strong. It was surreal. After three and half hours of repeating my "Just Keep Going" mantra, there was the finish line.

Another great race moment, my friend and constant cheerleader, Vicky H was there as a volunteer. She put my medal on and grabbed me in a big celebratory hug. It was amazing to receive my medal from someone who has been such a great source of inspiration. Super special.

My sweetheart was also right there, just over a small fence and it was an amazing moment to be greeted with so much joy and love. She had mapped out the race and popped up at several mile markers to cheer me and had become something of an icon to the crowd. Ruth, the super spectator!

So there I am, seconds after crossing the finish live, receiving all this wonderful attention and my brain is screaming "keep moving, you have to stay on pace!". Seriously, it took me a few minutes to understand that this wasn't a water stop, this was the FINISH it was okay to slow down and stop. I just couldn't believe I was done. emoticon

I'm thankful for a beautiful day race day. Thank you friends and family for your loving support, and thanks SP friends for your ever constant cheering and enthusiasm.

The St. Pete Rock n Roll Half Marathon? Yeah, I did that!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SYNCHRODAD 3/4/2013 10:37AM

    I've been to St. Pete several times for the Meek and Mighty. My grand kids are tough on me. My son in law does the big tri. I love St. Pete beach. From where we stayed last time we could see a giant ice cream cone on the main drag from our deck. Made it there 2-3 times. Skip the banana flavored cone. Congrats on half marathon.

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CONNIEWILDE 2/25/2013 1:00AM

    This blog was awesome reading! Good for you! This is an amazing accomplishment! I just started training for my first, and I'm still in the "OMG, I'm going to run 13 *miles*?! Can I really do that?" phase. Your account makes me believe that yes, yes I can! How long did it take you to train?

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LIZALOT 2/12/2013 5:41AM

    Well done you!! It sounds great fun. How lovely to have good weather in Feb. I'm just hoping that it doesn't snow or pour with rain for the Paris HM. (Also hoping I can make it to the end... We'll see about that one.)
emoticon


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SLENDERELLA61 2/11/2013 2:52PM

    How great!! Love your race report! Congratulations on your accomplishment. It will stay with you for months, I'll bet!

I've only run one HM myself and it was in St Pete, the Women's Half in November of 2012. I still have my 13.1 charm on my running shoes and my 13.1 magnet sign on my car. At this point I expect to run my second half marathon on Nov 9, 2013. It is the first ever in my hometown, Lakeland.

Enjoy your accomplishment! Reward yourself!! Now, what is your next goal??

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PMRUNNER 2/11/2013 1:22PM

    Awesome! Way to go on the race and thanks for sharing the race report When is the next one?

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RUN-GIRL71 2/11/2013 12:56PM

    emoticon

simply wonderful

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COOP9002 2/11/2013 12:34PM

    Awesome job!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WORTHEYMOM 2/11/2013 12:33PM

    WOOT WOOT! That's so awesome! Love that crossing the finish line feeling - especially after a half! Congrats!!

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KAYOTIC 2/11/2013 11:54AM

    emoticon report! Congrats on your race!

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NATPLUMMER 2/11/2013 11:12AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HOPPERV 2/11/2013 10:06AM

    So glad I could be there at the finish to hand you your medal.
You did great and still looked fresh at the end.
Sweaty hugs are awesome!
So happy that Ruth was there to watch your amazing accomplishment.
emoticon

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FRACKTHATNOISE 2/11/2013 9:29AM

    CONGRATULATIONS! Looking forward to joining you in the 13.1 club this may!

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JECKIE 2/11/2013 9:14AM

    Congrats! There's nothing quite like that first-race feeling. Hold on to that! :)

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CHANGELIFE2016 2/11/2013 9:12AM

    emoticon emoticon Congrats!

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LOSE4LIFE47 2/11/2013 8:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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