Race Review: Sarasota Half Marathon

Chip time: 2:02:41 (PR!)

We all (Michelle, Tiffany, Matt, and I) woke up at 4am for the race so we had time to get ready, have some breakfast, pick up Tiffany’s mom Connie, and get to the race early.

Even though we were really tired from only 4 hours of sleep, we managed to take some pictures. All for the love of the blog, because no way in hell would I normally take a picture of myself unshowered after only 4 hours of sleep.

I would however, take pictures of Tiffany and Michelle that way.

There is no food Tiffany doesn’t love. At all. She is proving that by showing us the nugget of actual poop she ate for breakfast.

Holy crap we look tired here. BTW, if you view this picture through the Web site and *not* on full-screen, the picture is so compressed that Michelle looks like she's got a squinty pirate eye.

On the way to the race, we made a pit stop at 7-11 so Michelle could get some coffee. I’m not sure what the chances are that out of 5 of us, she is the only one that drinks it because it seems like everyone I know lives at Starbucks.

Tiffany and I got our caffeine in Pepsi Zero form. Much healthier.

Michelle forgot her money at the house, so I went in to pay for her coffee with my credit card. I’m not sure what we did – but the clerk told us the coffee was on the house.  AWESOME! I know it was only $1.50, but still super cool. Maybe he took pity on us because he saw our race bibs.

We arrived at Van Wezel Performing Arts Center for the race start.

I didn't take this picture just in case you think I can jump really high.

Tiffany and Matt rock because they got me a VIP parking ticket, so we were able to park about 15 feet from the starting line. This turned out to be the best thing ever because it was COLD out.

I know. It’s only Florida. It’s not snowing. But you stand still in 45 degree weather for 30 minutes with just shorts and a t-shirt on and then talk to me.

Michelle and I made a trip to the porta-potty and then high-tailed it back to the car and sat in there with the heat on until 10 minutes to the start.  <—— Diary of a Wimpy Blogger

Ok, and thanks to Kirsten for totally calling me out on Facebook. 😉

Just before the race started, I decided not to take any pictures. I wanted to focus on running. But I do have some pics from driving the course the day before.

Heading to the John Ringling Causeway.

View from the top of the bridge.

Coming back from the turn around at St. Armand's Circle.

My 3 best friends. Port, A, and Potty.

Now, I know I said the Gasparilla Half Marathon had the perfect weather. But I take that back now. THIS race had the perfect weather. A cool breeze the entire time and once the sun came out, most of the course was shaded. PERFECT.

Miles 2- 4 were over the John Ringling causeway and back. The view was beautiful and the incline wasn’t so bad on the way out. But on the way back, there was heavy wind, so my pace slowed considerably and there was a woman making panting noises next to me that made me really worry for her.

The first 6 or 7 miles of the course FLEW by.

Just before Mile 8, some dbag decided to cut off all the runners with his car. Most of the cross streets were police patroled but there were so many, I’m sure they just chose the bigger intersections. I could see the guy was about to cut me (and 3 people behind me) off, so I signaled to him to stop, and he kept going anyway. I had to run around his car at the last minute and was so pissed I slammed my hand on his back window twice and called him a word that rhymes with Rick.

Around Mile 9, my stomach started to hurt. So, I looked for a porta-potty but couldn’t find one. By mile 10 when I finally saw a few near a water station, I decided that I felt a little better and since there was only 5k left, I was going to power through it.

It wasn’t easy. Or fun. But I did it. I crossed the line at 2:02:41 – a personal record by 3 minutes – all without pooping my pants, thank you. I wonder how well I would have done those last miles if my stomach DIDN’T hold me back.

I found Michelle immediately after I crossed the finish – she made a sub-2-hour half! She is a machine. Michelle finished in 1:58:something and we were both rockin’ some PR highs while we made a b-line for the bathroom.

After we got our porta-potty on, we headed back to the finish line to wait for Tiffany and Connie to come in. They PRed too – and got their first sub 2:30. Tiffany was so excited, she started crying tears of running joy. It was really cute to see.

Here’s Tiff and her mom – PRing by EIGHT minutes. Awesome ladies!

We hung around the race finish a little longer to wait for Tiffany’s friend Erika to finish with her hubby. This was Erika’s first half and she finished 15 minutes earlier than her practice half. Personal records for everyone!

The post race set up was really cute. And the food was awesome since it was sponsored by First Watch – bananas, bagels, muffins, fruit/yogurt/granola parfaits, and other stuff I couldn’t see through the mass of people.

Michelle and her bling.

I’m smiling here, but inside I’m dying. Literally. My stomach was trashed all day long after the race. 

 Ahh, one more laugh out of Charlie Sheen’s fading-fast joke.

Gotta give Sarasota serious props for it’s views.

After the race, I hung around Tiffany’s house for awhile until my stomach felt ok enough to  make the drive home. The Hubs and I already had plans to go out with the in-laws for my MIL’s birthday. We went to TGI Fridays, where we usually love the food but almost never go because the service sucks more often than it’s good.

I asked the MIL and FIL to hold up their glasses and take a sip for a picture. This is what I got.

Eh, it’s close.

Hubs lookin' cute, me lookin' tired.

I had the Mediterranean Fusion Skewers – and it was seriously good. Juuuuust not good for my stomach. 

They need to change that yellow squash for something different. Me hatey squashy.

Hubs had the cheeseburger which he said was really good.  Before you think, “man. cheeseburger. man like cheeseburger,” he’s actually pretty picky about them.

For dessert, our old favorite, that was unfairly taken away from us years ago, is back on the menu and served on a much longer plate. Oreo Madness.

Why so far away my Oreo friend?

Come closer.

The Oreo Madness wasn’t as good as it used to be. The cookie part was hard and we remember it being much softer before. Plus the chocolate and caramel drizzle used to be on top of the cookie.

Still, that didn’t stop us from doing this.


The MIL may have made a comment that I should just lick the plate already. That’s an invitation if I’ve ever heard one!

The rest of the night was pretty miserable for me. I layed down on the couch fetus-style for most of it, and my stomach still hurt this morning. Now I’m finally starting to feel normal again. Minus the stomach issues, the Sarasota Half is an awesome race. I loved it and it was so fun to run around the town I spent most of my life in. I will definitely be doing it again next year.


Filed under Race Reviews

26 responses to “Race Review: Sarasota Half Marathon

  1. Congrats on your PR! And not crapping yourself!

    What beautiful views.

    I always dream about drumming on someone’s car when they drive like an a-hole, but I’ve never done it. Props to you, because that guy deserved it.

  2. This is one of the most entertaining posts I’ve ever read. Such an awesome race/day in general!

  3. Connie

    I LOVED this race review. I laughed out loud several times reading it ( but not at your tummy issues)! Too soon;) Also, I’ve so been there, and it’s not pretty.
    The part that really cracked me up is “Try standing in 48 degree weather with only a t-shirt and shorts on for 30 mins., and then talk to me”! (I was the one dressed like a refugee btw) :S

  4. congrats on the pr! that’s so exciting! bummer about the stomach hurting. but that oreo looks delicious

  5. tiff

    *SO* proud of you! can’t wait for you to master your picture-jumping skills!

  6. Marilyn Fluegel

    Hey Paula …you are such a skilled and humerous writer ….I just LOVE to read your blogs…..anxiously await them every day!! My Hubs nephew and wife are runners also,he doing the Boston Marathon last year, know I think I can understand and carry on a half decent conversation about running after keeping up with your daily blog……Luv PAM

  7. The only reason I called you out is because I am mad jealous. There. I said it.

    That being said, tomorrow in CLE it’s going to be 52. Everyone will be wearing shorts. And sandals…with socks. Very trendy.

    I might have to look into some run-cations pretty soon. You don’t get scenery like that here. Although we do get to run by the Rock Hall. And Browns stadium…lol.

    Congrats on your PR! I’ve only run one half marathon, but after my run yesterday, they’re starting to look more and more appealing. This full might just be my one and only…

  8. Yay!! Congrats on the PR!

  9. Congrats on the PR! I’m so sorry about the stomach issues. That would so not be fun at all!

  10. Congrats on you PR!!

    Oh and I hope you are feeling better. I hate when my stomach goes wild after a run/race

  11. Congrats on your PR!! The course looks beautiful and perfect for running. If only there were more street barriers and pit stops…

  12. Fantastic job!!!! Congrats on the PR!!!! *high five* 🙂

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  14. Mz. Teri

    I like the part where you slammed your hand twice on the back of the guy’s window and called him a dick… I mean a word that rhymes with Rick. 😉

  15. This is the second time I’ve read this post and I laughed again. I can’t figure out why the dessert plate is so dang long!

  16. Congrats on the PR! Sounds like you had a really great race and you can’t beat those views!!

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  18. Just found your blog via the link on Reese’s post today. I decided to read your race review since I ran this half marathon also. And how funny, I’m in one of your pictures! The last group photo you have after the race…the person in the bright orange shirt on the far right wearing black running capris and a white visor = me! Great job on your finish time!

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  21. Great review. I signed up for 2013.

  22. Pingback: First Watch Sarasota Weekend – Part 2 - Crazy Running Legs

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