Monday, November 25, 2013

WRS Half Marathon ~ St Petersburg, FL

It's cold but my heart is very warm today! Yesterday I completed my 8th Half Marathon of the year at the Women's Running Series in St. Petersburg, FL. I registered for the race back in the spring after I made the commitment to run participate in the 13 in 2013 challenge. It turned out to be a great weekend! 

We left on Friday afternoon late and made a overnight pit stop in Gainesville, FL. We enjoyed a lovely meal and a little sightseeing through the University of Florida campus. I was the lone Seminole traveling with three Gators so they wanted to educate me a little bit! Saturday before we departed Allison and Shannon ran the Raider Run 5K, a fundraiser to support to Santa Fe High School. It was fun to cheer on my speedy friends as they brought home the winning prize - a Starbucks gift basket!

 Way to get it girls! 

The remainder of Saturday included a quick drive to St. Pete where we checked into the beautiful Vinoy Resort and attended packet pickup for the race. The Expotique, as they call it, was as successful as always. WRS always provides the best shopping experience at their expo's. After dropping off the goodies in the room we were off to explore St. Pete. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon and evening in the downtown area. 

All checked in! 

My travel buddies! 

Sunday brought about race day at 4:45am. Rachel joined us at The Vinoy for a "short" walk to the start / finish line where we met up with the other members our local MRTT chapter for a few quick pictures! Once we said our well wishes we were off to our corrals, unlike other races you could pretty much go in whatever corral you chose to. Loved this option, less pressure! 
Tallahassee MRTT

Rachel and I ready to run! 

I set a goal of running this last half marathon of the year in 2:15. I stayed with my friend Rachel the first 4 miles or so then we got separated at a water stop. I was a bit worried because she is pregnant so I just prayed she made it to the finish without any problems. Along the 13.1 miles I was able to high five and cheer on the girls from Tallahassee. It was such a welcome sight to see their smiling faces along the way! All was going well until mile 8 when my leg cramped and I couldn't keep my strong pace any longer. I quickly switched over my radio to blessings radio and continued to pray that I would just make it to finish line. I watched the time tick away. I knew I wouldn't make the 2:15 goal; however, I focused on having a strong finish and staying under 2:30. I was able to run the final 2 miles only to cross the finish line in tears. To be honest, I am not sure if the tears were from the pain of the leg cramps or the sadness of missing my goal. 

At the finish line I was greeted by the girls, including Rachel! She had somehow passed without me seeing her and made her goal of 2:14, a huge finish! This race represented many first's and a few last's for our group. None of those are more important than sharing the accomplishments of friends by showing them the love of friendship and celebrating together! 

The last 2013 road trip for the Badass Babes full trio! 

Most beautiful finish line photo! 

We continued the celebration at brunch after the race. There's nothing better than sharing a time of celebration with friends of like faith. All the discussion centered around our thankfulness of being able to run and our pride in each other. That what makes our group so special! We are happy together and we are mad together! There is never a time where I wonder if they get it - they totally get it - all of it! Sadly Rachel and I had to head back to Tallahassee after brunch for work obligations. 

Many have asked what's next?! Thursday will be the annual Turkey Trot, which I am excited to run with my husband and many local friends. This past weekend was the last road trip for the complete Trio of Badass Babes. It was also to serve as the last half marathon of the year for this BABabe; however, all I can say is 2013 is not over yet! I may have a little plan (mostly, hope) up my sleeve and a 2:15 finish in a half marathon might just happen after all - wink wink! 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome write up Mitzi; glad you had so much fun & powered through those leg cramps. Also glad Rachel got her half in!