A 4:23 am wake up call came mighty early after being at a wedding the night before, but it was well worth it. It was race day!!!!
Meghann and I met up in between our houses, and carpooled over to Callie’s. She lives super close to the race start, so her husband Nate was nice enough to drop us off nice and close to the start! Thanks Nate!!! We were quite bundled and ready for the “feels like” temps in the low 30’s. For a Florida crew, that is straight up cold!
We got down to the start line and we were some of the first people there. It was drearily bare, as everyone was probably smart enough to get out of the cold and wait until the last second to get out there. We posted up beside a dumpster at the Trop. Yep, we kept it classy! We were protected from the wind, and that was all that mattered! Any way to keep warm, and we were fine with it.
Meghann had a goal of 1:45, which rounded out to be 8 minutes per mile and I offered to pace her to help her reach her goal. If you have a goal and find it difficult to stay on pace, I highly recommend asking someone to pace you! It helps to have someone to keep you going! Anyhow, we agreed to keep chatting to an absolute minimum, as Meghann wanted to save her energy for her legs (and ya, she knows I’m a chatter box when I run
We got into our corral and had tons of room to stretch and warmup. I was quite surprised that the start line was so spacious and not congested in the least bit. Corral 1 was released and we waited about 30 seconds,and then it was our turn! It was the only race start that I did not even once have to tip toe around and get my space. Big win for RNR St. Pete!
The few first half of the race absolutely flew by! The course was nothing crazy great at the beginning (I guess they were saving that for end) but it was definitely not bad. The water stops were evenly spread out, and there were plenty of volunteers!!! We even were able to see Marcus and Emily a few times!
Before I knew it, we were passing the 10 mile mark and only had a 5k to go. I could tell Meghann was starting to feel the faster pace, so I was sure to give her enough space, but also stay close enough so she knew I wasn’t leaving her behind. Needless to say, she kept moving and really kicked some major butt! We crossed the finish line at 1:45:39, right at Meghann’s goal!
She shaved 6 minutes off her previous time, and came out of RNR St. Pete with a huge PR!!! Congrats Meghann, you did soooo well! I’m proud of you for pushing yourself so hard!
I had a nice 2 mile cool down, and made it back just in time to catch Flo Rida headline the post race concert. We were having so much fun screaming and jumping around, much to our surprise. Meghann even hopped up on stage to sing and dance to “Low”. Such a great way to wrap up a half marathon!!
Brunch followed our amazing race, and we met up with a few other RNR finishers. Congrats to Callie, Katie, and Casey on your first half marathons! You all did sooo well!!!
I am excited to run the race again next year! The staff did a great job with all the logistics, and everything ran soo smoothly, especially for the inaugural year!
The 8 minute pace felt so comfortable for me, and it was such a great confirmation of the work that I have been putting in to my training. I can not wait for Ethel RNR Country Music Marathon!!! Only 9 weeks to go!!