What a fun experience!
This year’s Rock n Roll St. Pete Half Marathon was our second half marathon to date. It was also our second Rock n Roll event and it did not disappoint.
We began the race at Tropicana Field in Corral 5. Each wave of the start line was sent off without a hitch and the first few miles felt comfortable. Pacing myself is always more difficult in a crowd of thousands, but I felt like I could maintain it for quite a while.
I wasn’t sure how many minutes beyond the official race start we crossed the start line in corral 5 (I guessed it was 4 or 5 minutes). When I hit 5K (3.1 miles for the non-runners out there), I was worried that I was going too slow, so I kicked it up a notch. At the 10K mark (6.2 miles), I still felt slower than necessary, so I sped up at Mile 7 (I’m taking credit for that, but it was probably the GU). Miles 8, 10 and 12 recorded my slowest speeds, which were, coincidentally, the same miles that I took advantage of the water stops.
In 2012, leading up to my first half marathon, I assumed that, when I hit mile marker 10, I would be golden. After all, there were only 3.1 miles remaining before the end of the race and a 5K was nothing compared to a half marathon. However, that’s not how it worked out. Instead, my body completely shut down. I was exhausted, I walked through all of the water stations, and I felt like my body was falling apart. I also struggled with IT band problems.
This year, at mile 10, I had the same conversation with myself, “…all I have left is a 5K…that’s nothing…it’s less than 30 minutes…I’ve got this…”. Then I started getting tired and thirsty. So, leading up to mile marker 11, I ate another GU and stopped inside mile 11 for a cup of gatorade, threw a cup of water over my head, and began running again. Oops, my stomach suddenly felt really full!
The final few miles were much more comfortable than last year. Although I was REALLY tired, my body didn’t feel like it was going to fall apart. Last year, my official time was 2:12:54. This year, based on my training, my goal was to finish with an average pace under 10 minutes and a final time under 2:10. My official time is 2:09:52 with an average pace of 9:54, so that worked out (although I am confused as to how I gained at least 22 seconds, since I began my sensor before the start line and ended it after the finish line and it was still 22 seconds faster than the ‘official’ time). Nonetheless, I PR’d by 3 minutes, so that’s nice.
Overall: 1855 out of 4379 (faster than 58%)
Division: 168 out of 444 (faster than 62%)
Gender: 871 out of 2718 (faster than 68%).
Overall: 2243 out of 4379 (faster than 49%)
Division: 150 out of 208 (faster than 28%)
Gender: 1123 out of 1661 (faster than 32%)
This wasn’t the best race for Eric, but he still had a blast.
Most of the bands on the course were excellent and the pre- and post-race band “All The Answers” was no exception. However, I do have 2 questions for the organizers. First, why was such a quiet, low-key band on Coffee Pot near the end of the race? That’s where we needed the highest-energy band – and we passed them twice! Second, why, for the second year in a row, was an R&B artist chosen as the headliner band at a ROCK n ROLL race? I mean, I have nothing personally against Sean Kingston, but this is the Rock n Roll half marathon.
Our choice for the “most spirit on the course” was the group at 12th Ave. and Beach Dr.
Overall, this was a great race – again!
2012 Stats – Inaugural Rock n Roll St Pete Half Marathon:
See you next year!