Sunday, April 22, 2012

Iron Girl Half Marathon

Through wind and rain, bridges and hills...I PR'd!!!  Today was half marathon number 5 of the year..keeping on track to 12 in 2012.  The weekend started by heading towards Tampa to pick up my oldest friend from the airport.  We were earlier and she was delayed so we went to packet pick up first.  Packet pick up was at Pier 60 in Clearwater, FL.  WOW!!  A small expo was set up and packet pick up was a breeze.  Addie and Ty made a cheer sign (one day I'm going to have enough to cover a motivation wall)...I was able to get a new thing of body glide since I couldn't find it while we were packing.  Also got an Iron Girl bright pink bondi band to wear for the race.  Packet pick up and the expo were set up near where the finish line was going to be tomorrow.  I was worried since it was a point-to-point race how much I would be able to see my cheerers along the course but was glad there was a huge park at the finish line in case they had to kill time waiting for me.  We didn't stay too long because it was time to head to the airport to get Aindrea!  Picked her up and talked all through lunch...fabulous crab cake sandwiches were had by all at Crabby Bills :)  The rain had started so we dropped her at her hotel after many laughs and headed to find our hotel and start settling into pre-race mode.

Found our Hampton Inn exceeded expectations!  Addie was still coughing and had now started wheezing so we gave her a nebulizer treatment in the hotel room.  She responded to the albuterol as expected...could breath but was crazy and hyper as all get out!!  I fell asleep for about an hour while Ty handled her.  To burn off some of her energy we took her down to the pool...luckily it was heated.  It was pretty chilly thanks to the rain.  We changed clothes and decided to venture out to find some food.  We headed down to the beach and walked around on the sand.  Took some pictures :)  Grabbed some quick food because Addie was still being crazy and headed back to the hotel to settle down for the night.  Alarms are set for 5...time for sleep!
Didn't sleep well...kept thinking that I was going to oversleep and miss the race.  Wake up call rang at 5:00 am on the dot and my cell phone alarm went off at 5:10..snoozed to 5:20.  Quick shower and got ready.  Packed the bags.  Free breakfast at the hotel but as usual I couldn't eat anything...managed to get down half a banana and a muffin top and headed to the race!
Ty and Addie dropped me off and wiggled my way into the corral.  I found the 2:45 pacers and joined the group.  Not sure if I could keep up with them but I was going to try!  And we are off!!!  No one told me the course starts with a small uphill...but I was holding on to around an 11:00min/mile pace...awesome!  Turned the corner and ran to give Addie a kiss and fell into a nice groove with the pacer, Judy.  She asked if I was feeling alright because were actually ahead of pace and I was feeling great.  One mile...two mile...three mile...took 2 minutes off my 5K time!  And then the hills started...I had already told myself I was going to walk up the bridges and down the bridges...but what about the hills I didn't know about...guess I should follow the same strategy.  It seemed to be working.  I was ahead of the pacers for now...and started doing a 2min/1 min run/walk ratio to get a little break until about mile 5.  The pacers passed me at mile 5 and I knew I wouldn't catch shin was starting to hurt as was my quad but I was still going.  I saw Ty around mile 6.5 and he gave me gatorade and my visor because the rain was coming.  He is by far the best race hubby ever!!!  Turned the corner...and bam!  The first bridge.
7 mile marker was at the bottom of the bridge...7.5 was about the top of the bridge...8 miles was the end of the bridge...I got my second wind as I remembered girl scout cookies were at the next water stop.  Mile 8 came and went...cookies were enjoyed...mile 9 came and went...and now I hit the wall.  4 miles to go...I can do it...I have an hour to do the next 4 miles to make a PR :)  And it would take me almost the whole hour.  The pouring rain started around mile 10.5 and continued to mile 11.5 (which was the top of another bridge...slightly steeper than the first).  Coming down the bridge the wind really picked up...I really thought I was running sideways for the last mile.  But did you hear that...40 sec to make it under 3 hours gun time and I am about 3 minutes after gun time for chip time...last sprint to the finish and I did it!  I broke three hours!!  Official time 2:57:47!!!!
I think I will take tomorrow off and get back to it on Tuesday for some more speedwork before Historic Half :)  I will break 2:45 before Marathon weekend...who knows maybe even 2:30.....

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