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So, it’s been awhile… I’m hoping that ya’ll will forgive me since I’m posting a race recap. 😀 I have an excuse for my absence and I promise to fill you in in a separate post. (don’t worry, it’s nothing too dramatic, just possible injury frustration)

This morning I ran the Women’s Half Marathon (put on by Women’s Running Magazine) with Jena and Sherry.

Us at the expo

My main goal was to PR and have an overall pace of sub 9min/mile but I had the super goal in mind of sub 1:55. My plan was to start off at a 9min/mile pace and then slowly bring it down throughout the race. I wanted to finish off with 8:30 miles for the last 2 or so. Unfortunately mother nature (I’m talking about the weather) had other plans. It.Was.Hot.

The first 2.5 miles take you along Tampa Bay before you cross over into Snell Isle  for another 2.5 miles. These first 5 miles I was feeling great and was holding close to an 8:45 pace. I even saw a dolphin in Coffee Pot Bayou around mile 5, it’s not everyday that you see a dolphin while running a half marathon! Miles 6-9 brought you back down past Tampa Bay and into downtown. I was still feeling ok and pacing under 9. Mile 10 circles Mirror Lake, which has a nice view, however I was starting to feel the intensity around this time and a 9min pace was becoming a struggle.

We continued downtown and ran through Tropicana Field. For the out-of-towners: Tropicana Field is an enclosed turf baseball field where the Tampa Bay Rays play. We came in, ran around the field and went back out again, which is a good idea in theory. But not at mile 11.5. I was a very unhappy camper by this point but somehow managed to hold onto a 9min pace. I had just about given up when at mile 12 an angel in a sparkle skirt jogged up next to me, turned to me and said, “Come on, we can do this!” She stuck by my side and encouraged me through every grunt and groan as we made our way out of downtown for the last mile. When we got to the last straightaway she told me to take off. I did. I credit that strong last mile, and my PR, to her. After we were medaled (by wonderful military ladies) I turned and gave her a hug and thanked her for saving my race.

The splits (chip time was 1:57:40. 8:59 pace. 49/439 in age group.):

The heart rate:

This race had very different conditions than the Halloween Halfathon. It was hotter and the course was more difficult with all the turns and Tropicana Field. Yet I still PR’ed. My takeaway? It’s time to get serious again with my training. I’ve been riding on the coat-tails of my marathon training endurance but that will quickly go away without the proper maintenance. I’ve got a training plan made that includes speed work and a decent mileage volume and have 4 more attempts this season at a sub 1:55 half. Up next on the agenda though is the St. Petersburg Times Drumstick Dash (5K) on Thanksgiving and Tough Mudder.