St. Pete Half Marathon Race Report
This is the second to last in a string of comped entries I received that I am wholly not fit for. That being said, what a fun race! The splits suggest otherwise, but I truly had a great time other than being tired around mile 9. Aerobically I felt fit however, so that's a good sign. This course was absolutely stunning. I run this route a lot, but they did an EXCELLENT job making this a quality race. It would rank above Gasparilla as far as quality, and that's pretty much the only race in the area that brings in elite athletes- so hopefully this is the first step towards another promiment race in the area. The course was coned and blocked like a big city race, they had three high school bands lining the streets at various parts with great drum lines, cheering stations, you got to run through Tropicana Field (where the MLB Tampa Bay Rays play) and be on their jumbotron, full police presence, and it was an excellent course for spectating- allowing a minimum of 4 places to easily see any runner. Even the post-race was legitimate, catered by Bonefish/Carrabas/Outback and a local brewing company for beverages. Not to mention some nice finish line perks as well. I highly recommend this race even though we all know the weather in Florida is very tough.
As for the race, honestly, I felt excellent and within myself straight through mile 8, and then it was clear I just don't have the fitness to sustain a half marathon. I was still conversational, but my legs tired, my form sagged, feet were flat, and I lost all elasticity. It did feel good to run in the 5:30s again and have it feel easy, but it's pretty clear I need to push myself in my speedwork (and not just run everyone else's pace), add some hills (I guess on the treadmill?), and work in some progressive long runs that are actually long. This is a positive result in the end since I know how to remedy it and hopefully it lights a bit in me.
The race itself: Stayed with two guys for the first 9 miles and then they both pulled away. We were all on about 1:14 pace or so, but then all three of us burned up- it just so happened I fell apart the most! It was okay though, I'm proud of my effort. I don't like mentally having to will myself to push to each new intersection, but sometimes that's how running is- humbling.
Splits- 5:36, 5:35, 5:48, 5:43, 5:49, 5:42, 5:43, 5:38, 6:02 (uhoh...), 6:14, 6:19, 6:30, 6:26, Finish-0:44ish