What a weekend! My mom and completed our 4th Women’s Running Series Half Marathon. We drove down to St. Pete yesterday and visited the expo to pick up our race packets and enjoyed an amazing dinner at a great restaurant on Beach Drive! Sunday morning we got up before dawn and made our ways to the start.
We stay at a hotel right across the street from the starting line so it is super convenient! 3-2-1 and we were off! The first 7 miles went by pretty fast. I found the 2:00 pace group and was able to keep up with them for a good distance. Since I wanted to finish in under 2:00, I figured I would stick with them until the end. Around mile 8 my legs were yelling at me. I had done a 10 mile training run so this was odd. We came upon a water station with Power Gel so I decided I better grab one. As I was eating that and drinking water, I watched the 2:00 group get further and further away. “That is OK,” I thought, “If I can keep the 2:00 sign in my sights, I can still beat my previous time.”
Off I went and each mile, the more my legs hurt and the sign got further away. I tried every mental trick in the book; I listened to music, prayed, recited mantras, you name it but nothing seemed to work. Finally, I saw the 10 mile sign and I knew I only had a 5K (3.1 miles) left. That was the hardest 3.1 miles of my life! Thank goodness for the cheering spectators along the route; they make the experience so much better. So I started with my mantras and prayers again and continued through the final stretch. As I turned the corner, I saw I was nearing the finish line. According to my watch, I was so close to my 2:00 goal! I heard the cheering and the announcer and there it was! “Pick up your feet!” I told myself, “you have a little push left.” I heard them announce the 2:00 pace group just in front of me, so I knew the possibility was still there to make it in under 2:05. I finally made it across the finish line at 2:00:51 on their clock and 1:59:10 on my watch. I did it! I beat my PR!
My official time was 1:58:57 🙂 We did it! We both finished and both agreed that this was the toughest half-marathon we had completed. I am so proud of my mom! She ran with a cold and still made great time. She is an inspiration!
I saw a funny bumper sticker in the parking lot of the hotel that said,
“Running is a mental sport and we’re all insane!”
After this race, I would have to agree!