Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Women's Half Marathon Race Recap

WHM and NYC Marathon Bibs
I am not really sure how to start with this recap expect for saying I still have a grin on my face.  
I PR'd!  And it wasn't a little PR either!

This weekend I had 29 miles on deck, but if you have been following me, you would know my stomach sometimes likes to cooperate.  Saturday morning, I was up bright and early for my 16 miles.  I was actually very excited to be doing back to back long runs because I am doing Goofy with the Leukemia and Lymphoma society (have you donated yet)?  Unfortunately, it did not pan out as well as I had wished.  I made it 4.5 out before my stomach really began to hurt, I walked back because running made it hurt.  Luckily this time, it was just pain and I wasn't running for a bathroom.  On the way back, my IT band was screaming!  I didn't know what to do!  I was limping and couldn't walk.  I ced and foam rolled at least three times on Saturday.  
Because I still had 9 miles on my legs, I wasn't sure how a half marathon would pan out.  Would I run before or after the race to add more miles, would my stomach hold up.  Should I try to PR, should I run with a pace group?  I really had no idea what Sunday would hold for me.  All I knew what this was going to be a fun run!  After going to the expo and talking to my friends, I was just ready for a good time.  

Sunday Morning came and my alarm was set for 4am.  I quickly threw on my clothes, which included my Team shirt.  I grabbed a bottle of water, a bag of ice so I can ice my bum on the way to the race start.  I decided to get there around 5:30 so I would not have to mess and bother with parking or traffic. When I got there, I met Meghan who picked me up some compression socks because I could not find mine, and I found they actually really work, or it is just my mind. After we met, she was off to run 4 miles BEFORE 13 for a total of 17.5 for the day! She is pretty rock star!  She went for a run, and I quickly ran to the bathroom at the Hilton where my TNT peeps would be. I started my pre run warmup, but knew I was going too fast so I stopped, texted Pete and met my peeps.  I made it a half a mile in less than 5 minutes.  Too quick to me. I was talking to Pete, who was the race coach for the day.  He was actually the one who got me to the finish line of my first half, and helped me PR Sunday my running me in faster than I could imagine.  
Story time and being my typical self
After some pictures, we headed to the corrals and was ready to go.  Once I was there, I was peeking around for some friends, but unfortunately, I was unable to find any.  I waited, tried to keep warm, and chatted with some strangers.  At 6:58, the national anthem was sung, and at 7:00 the first wave was out, and we were all on our way.  

This course was beautiful, flat, and fast.

This is actually the only race (besides the Jungle Bell 5k) which I have ran more than once.  That is how much I loved this race the first time.
It runs along the water, beautiful houses, Mirror Lake, through Tropicana Field where the Rays plays, and it is also very spectator friendly which is always helpful.  

Miles 1-3: My body was playing mind games with me.  I started off what I thought would be too fast.  My muscles and body were getting warmed up and I guess I learned that it takes me a few miles to get into the groove.  At mile 1, I looked at my watch and saw a low number. AHH, was going through my head.  I wanted to slow down and not die too quickly.  At around mile 3, the 2:30 pace group caught up to me, and I was thinking about sticking with them.  I had this TOP SECRET goal of 2:30, but didn't plan to hit it until my March half marathon.  I also knew I had my team in training family at mile 3 which kept me going!  I really love having spectators along the course.  

Mile 4-8: Went through snell Isle which was beautiful.  I was able to stay with the pace group, and actually got a little ahead of them.  I didn't want to push to hard and burn out.  That is what I was thinking the whole time.  At about mile 5, I broke off and made my way through the cobbled streets and over to the pier.  It was great seeing Caroline so many times!  At the pier, I ran into my handy dandy Pete!  The wind was bad, but I didn't find it horrendous as most people are talking about.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy, but I also knew it would be at my back soon enough.  Pete and I were talking when the 2:30 pace group came up behind us at mile 8, what this would mean if I stayed with them, etc.  At this point, it was go big or go home.  I chowd down on a powergel and we were off.  At this point I was still feeling pretty good and couldn't believe my pace.

Mile 9-11:  At this point, things were a little rough.  We headed up hill!  I started to fall behind the pace group.  I wanted to walk, I wanted to take a break.  Knowing I could run a marathon, mentally helped me though this.  Knowing I had my AMAZING Run Tampa crew at mile 9.6, allowed me to keep going.  It was so so so nice to see their smiling faces.  Hearing them cheer for "me".  When Tori gave me Yellow gatorade when I needed it instead of the orange (I hate orange flavored stuff).  That it was running is all about.  That is an amazing community.  After that, I was able to catch back up with the pacer, Don, and I felt like a million bucks.  We only had a 5k left.  This mentality doesn't really work for me on a normal basis, but it did today.  I know, just a little further till we hit the trop, were on flat land, and then it is all downhill.  Through the trop, I kept my pace and chatted up with some other ladies. 

Mile 12-13.1:  Yes! Downhill.  I was told we were about a 1 minute to a minute and a half ahead of schedule.  I had this even more secret goal in my head, that by the end of the year, I wanted to run under a 2:28.  (A 2:28 was what my X ran his first race and taunted me with it, yes, that is one of the many reasons we are not together, and couldn't be happier about that!)  I held steady for mile 12, and 13, we were off.  Don gave us permission, if we had it in us, go for it.  Don runs a 1:35 half.  No big deal.   At 12.5, I saw Pete! He was going to run me in, I asked him, he asked me my goal, and we pushed!  At about 12.75, my watched beeped at we were at 13. "F", why aren't we there yet.  He commented how fast I was going, and it helped that he was there to push me!  My body hasn't run that fast in a race.  I followed his lead, I crossed that finish line in under 2:28!

If you look back at my Halloween Halfathon recap, you see my finish time was between 2:35-2:36 and change.  That leaves me with a 9-10 minute PR.  

Here are my splits:

I cannot believe I have not one mile over 12:00, yet along the "slowest" was 11:46.  My fastest was my last mile, which was a first for me.  I hit paces under 11:00 which is a first.

I am extrmemly happy with this run, especially after having 9 miles on my legs the day before.  I really pushed myself.  At points I didn't think I could do it, but knew if I can go a little further, I could.  

Oh, more bling to add!
If you are in Tampa, come join in!
If you cannot, please take a look at my webpage and donate, donate, donate!
Genna's Goofy Fundraising Page

Thank you everyone who had the confidence in me!

How do you get past the mental block of pushing to a goal? 

Also, check out my Stella and Dot trunk show which 20% goes towards my fundraising minimum!


  1. You were rock steady Genna. Congratulations on the PR and on the realization that you control your outcomes.


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Means a lot!

  2. Yeah! Congrats on that shiny new PR! That's amazing!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! And it is always great seeing you out there!

  4. WOOOHOOOO!!! That's a HUGE PR!!! Congrats lady!!!

  5. Congrats Genna!! You did awesome. Your confidence is growing so much, and I'm so impressed with your "can do" point of view! Nice work.


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