Race Review: Sarasota Half Marathon 2012

I’d say race morning started with a wake-up call, but it didn’t. Our hotel wake-up call was an hour late because of Daylight Savings. I woke up on my own 3 minutes after the call was supposed to come. I said Michelle’s name when I realized the alarm didn’t go off, and I swear she shot straight up in bed like a vampire rising from a coffin. No back bend or anything. Straight up from the hips using abs only. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.

Michelle’s back-up Jimmy Fallon ring tone went off about a minute later, so at least we wouldn’t have missed the race. (If you don’t have that app, it’s worth the $1. Get it!) Then 15 minutes later, our annoying neighbors were up and arguing again and I yelled at them to shut up. Fun.

After getting ready, we drove about 2 miles to the race start at Van Wezel where parking was almost too easy, just like it was last year. We walked up to the starting line and had to make our way through all the runners to get closer to the 2 hour pacer. (Not that I needed him, of course.)

I had been feeling pretty good about this race all week long, especially after Gasparilla last weekend. That is, until Saturday. I’m not sure what happened, but my will to PR kinda went out the window. Of course, I was still going to try anyway but something changed with my mood and I still felt that way Sunday morning.

(I look so tired there.)

After a pretty terrible sounding National Anthem, we were off. The course was the same as last year, except this time we ran around St. Armand’s Circle instead of turning around just before it and some of the neighborhood miles were shortened a bit. Mile 2 and 4 involved going over this bridge.


I was feeling ok for the first 2 or 3 miles, but coming back over the bridge really took a lot out of me. That’s when my mental state took a nosedive, not that it was great to begin with. It was also really difficult for me to breathe for the first 7 miles because it was so humid. I felt like I couldn’t get enough oxygen, so my speed slowed. Every time I looked at my Garmin, I was at a 11:30 pace. I knew I wasn’t going to make my goal early on because I didn’t feel like I had it in me.

After mile 5, I gave up mentally. Every song on my iPod was pissing me off so I ran without music. Not even the spectators dressed as bacon and eggs cheered me up. I suck at running in hot weather, so that wasn’t doing me any favors. Either was my lack of sleep, my running shoes, or my stomach issues that started at mile 9. But really, I could blame my performance on so many things. The fact is, I couldn’t do it. And I’m not getting faster.

I have a really big problem getting past mental blocks. Unlike Michelle, once my state of mind plummets, I don’t try harder and it doesn’t challenge me to break though that barrier. I just shut down and give up. So after mile 5, I didn’t even see the point of running the race when I didn’t have a shot of improving upon past races.

At mile 12, the 2:15 pacer passed me and I was all:

Around that time, I had a side cramp that forced me to walk for a bit and my stomach was still on the decline.

During the final stretch, some tall, thin, fast lookin’ dude ran past me and said something like, “come on, you can catch that 2:15 pacer” and I wanted to punch him. I ran slowly for a few minutes while my side stitch went away and noticed the pacer wasn’t that far in front of me, so I just decided to take that guy’s advice. There was no way she was crossing that finish line before me. So I booked it.

I probably passed about 7 different people down the finisher’s shoot – including that stupid pacer – to finish in 2:14:45.

Michelle was waiting for me at the end of the finisher’s shoot. She PRed by 37 seconds for a 1:58 (on the dot) finish! I was super proud of her and glad one of us made our goal. Now, she has the world’s ugliest metal to remind her of it.

We’re going to make our dolphin metals kiss later.

The finish party was just like last year with all sorts of food from First Watch like bananas, bagels (with peanut butter!), muffins, and yogurt parfaits.

And this time we found the beer.

And we found Theresa and Ryan. 🙂

Overall, I still really like this race. I like the course and I like being back in Sarasota. It feels like being back home.  The course is also really accurately tracked. My Garmin (and Michelle’s) read 13.11 miles at the end. It’s really nice to pass a mile marker and then look down and see your pace coming up on the screen.

Of course, I was super disappointed in my time and I say this knowing that some of you would kill to run a 2:14 and others would kill to not be injured and just be able to run. Well, I would kill to run anything under 2:02. But I guess there’s always next season. It’s not like I’m going to stop running.

So, the last half marathon of the race season is done and hopefully I’ll see that sub-2:00 later this year.


Filed under Race Reviews

30 responses to “Race Review: Sarasota Half Marathon 2012

  1. Katie g

    Sorry you didn’t meet your goal. Does running a lot of races in a row affect your speed? I imagine you would feel pretty run down (but I know zippo about running).

    On the plus side, you are a skinny beeyotch in that last photo. 🙂

    • Paula

      Yeah, racing a lot can do that. But Michelle has run all the races I have and kicked butt so I guess I’ll have to secretly use that excuse. 🙂

  2. When you run as many races as you do there are bound to be highs and lows. I am sorry that this was a low for you friend:-(

    I KNOW that you have that PR in you and I love that you know that too. In the mean time I think you are a total bad ass for fighting at the end there and passing around 7 people! Dang girl!

    And yes, those are some *interesting* medals. Ahem.

    • Paula

      Very true. Onward and upward, right? And yes! The medals keep getting uglier. They weren’t pretty last year either.

  3. Just so you know, I’m one of those that will kill for a 2:15 🙂 So, now you’re my idol!

    Great job! Even though you didn’t hit a PR, you still manage to beat that damn pacer!!!

  4. That course looks beautiful! I’m sorry that you didn’t race like you wanted to. I’m with you on hating running in the heat–it’s a total pace killer for me. I just can’t hack it!

  5. angie

    You and Michelle have all the fun!! Good for you for running two halfs in two weeks!

  6. I need you to come pace me.. I want a 2:15!! Then I’ll somehow get super fast and pace you back… or ride my bike and pace you. Deal?

  7. Racing machine! I started reading this post and I was all, “Wait, didn’t she just run a race?” You may not have earned a PR, but you did earn an ugly dolphin medal.*

  8. kathleen@runderbykat

    I have mental blockage problems too. If I’m not feeling it, I don’t even try. Once I get that “I can’t do it” feeling… I literally stop caring 110% and it’s a struggle to put one foot in front of the other from that point on. I’m at that point right now… I’m supposed to do a half marathon Sunday, but I got yet another double blister on my arch tonight and it’s march madness and I really just don’t even feel like I am going to run. Mentally, I’ve already quit… soooooo that’s not the best way to begin race week. If you figure out how to beat it, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll be drinking beers watching basketball all day Satruday and skipping my race 🙂

    • Paula

      Yes! I’m so glad you understand. I wish I knew how to beat it. Maybe we need someone with a whip following us during a race? Have you tried moleskin for that blister area? I hear that stuff is awesome.

  9. At least you didn’t get passed by the 2:45 AND 3:00 pacers like I did!
    I was *so* over it at about mile 10…right when I started walking. There must have been something in the water (that we each got from separate sources and carried with us) because my stomach started bothering me around mile 9 too…ok, really at mile 7…but who’s counting?
    So glad I finally got to meet you this weekend – we definitely need to do more events together so we can hang out again! Either that or I’ll just force myself into your lives next time I go to Disney.

  10. Congrats on pushing through at the end and getting your dolphin medal!

  11. That course looks beautiful. If it was the shoes I probably would have taken them off and thrown them off the bridge and ran the rest barefoot. 😉 You still did a great job and it’s another half in the books. Congrats, girl!

    • Paula

      Yes! I love the course. So pretty. And those were my old shoes. But I’d still throw them off a bridge. 🙂 No more races in those.

  12. Oooooh, the water and the bridge look amazing! How lucky you are to live near the ocean. 🙂 Great job on another half mary finish!

  13. Sorry to hear that the race didn’t go as planned for you. I think 2:15 is still an awesome time and that you should be proud of it! Plus you got an AWESOME dolphin medal out of the deal. Totally worth it right? 😉 And this just means you have to come visit me and we’ll run a race together. Our race season hasn’t even begun here!

  14. Sam

    Wow!!! I know you didn’t meet your goal and everything but daaang!!! You go girl!!! you kicked butt!
    You’re totally a motivation!
    But I am sorry it didn’t go as planned!

  15. OK, progress. I just read that whole post and did not feel bitter or think about my inability to run right now AT ALL.

    Anyway, I totally get what you’re saying about not being there mentally. I don’t give up all together, but it’s pretty impossible for me to get out of my head once I’m all up in there. The thing is, you actually are getting faster. You proved that last weekend. So you had an off race and your mind screwed you over. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have it in you, so you need to put that thought right out of your head. Also, please remember that you *just raced* last weekend. I am the queen of being hard on myself, but I’m going to go ahead and tell you to cut yourself some slack. Don’t give up. It IS in you. Sub 2.

  16. Sarah S

    That bridge looks incredible! It also looks like it would feel like forever, though. Enjoy your ugly dolphin medal!

  17. You and Michelle are so cute. I actually laughed out loud at your description of her shooting out of bed, because I can totally picture it. I am going to have to check out her blog, I don’t know why I haven’t before.

    ANYWAY, I still think you are a running rockstar, even if you didn’t make your goal. As someone else said, you run so many races, you are bound to have a bad one. I seriously am in awe of you for even running that distance, at any speed. So good job!

    And I have a crystal figurine of a dolphin that looks similar to that medal that someone gave to me for my birthday a long time ago. Ug. Ly.

  18. Interesting dolphin medal. . . . 😉 I’ve had that feeling before – where I just want to give up, & the only thing motivating is knowing that my car is not going to magically meet me half way on the run, so I better just suck it up & finish. Sorry that you weren’t feeling it on your race – I KNOW you can break through the 2:00 barrier!

  19. Kate

    I know how you feel. It’s frustrating to think you’re not getting any better, but I’m sure you are, and the good news is, wanting something this badly is usually what gets you over that mental block. It’s usually those races where you want it but you’re not really trying that you kick butt. I hope that made sense. Anyway, you looked good doing it!

  20. Amber K

    That’s the great thing about running all of these races, there’s always another chance to do better. And I’m astounded anyone would ever run for that long. I’ll do it to catch a bus (not that I’ve done that since I was in school), but running just bores the hell out of me!

    • Paula

      Very true. There is always another race. Too bad I have to wait out the heat of the summer for it. Guess I’ll have to find something else to do in the meantime. Like eat cookies.

  21. You should probably come run the Seattle Rock n Roll Half to try for your goal?! Yep. I think that is the best plan of action. Those medals are awesome, I dont know what you’re talking about, I have always wanted a gold dolphin!

  22. Pingback: Stuff | | Eat: Watch: RunEat: Watch: Run

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