Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sarasota Half Marathon Race Recap

This was the race that I didn't think I'd get to do. Last year I had to defer due to family issues. Then last week, my PF flared badly. I received treatment for that, and following my doctor's advice, took the rest of the week off running. As an alternative, I went for a bike ride and crashed when I hit a muddy puddle. Sore and bruised, I wasn't sure if I would be able to run 13.1. But some relaxation and aqua therapy in Florida allowed me to heal and line up Sunday morning, ready to run.

Sarasota Half Marathon

This race was supposed to be a training run, but you know me. Even with the best intentions, my inner competitor comes out. I headed to Sarasota early Sunday morning to run this half with no goal in mind but to finish and go with what the day decided to bring. With all that had happened prior to the race, I was determined to run this thing. And if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I don't give up easily.

My parents got me to the Van Wezel center about 6:30, and with a start time of 6:45, I jumped out of the car and headed to the portapotties. I received a text from Mary Beth from Tutus and Tennies, who I had planned to meet at the race. I came out of the portapotties, and there she was! We exchanged a quick hug and dashed to the race corrals. I was in corral A--what the heck?--but I was glad to be up front. I put my music on, got the signal on my Garmin, the national anthem was sung, and we were off! No time for nerves.

Sarasota Half Marathon
MaryBeth and me!
We headed immediately south on Tamiami Trail towards the Ringling Bridge to Lido Key. I was excited to run this portion of the race but it was pitch black and you couldn't see anything on the water. What I didn't anticipate was the bridge incline! I've driven over it a few times, but it's a different story on foot. By the time I got to the top, I was winded. I breezed back down, and before I knew it, we were running around St Armands Circle and back up the bridge again. This was already mile 4, but I had to walk. The famed Florida humidity was already taking a toll on me. The sun was starting to rise along with the temperature.

When we got to the top of the bridge, I started running again and flew down, trying to make up for some lost time. For the rest of the race, I used my walk-run strategy that worked well for me at Chicago. Most miles, I walked 1/10th of a mile and ran the rest. I did ok with that. I didn't always have to walk, but I was glad to have that safety net. The other thing I was really glad to have was my handheld bottle with my Tailwind. I ended up drinking about 2 1/2 bottles for this race.

We ran through a really beautiful residential area of Sarasota along the bay. The homes were gorgeous, and there was a lot of natural shade from those mossy oak trees that lined the streets. I felt like it was a little easier to breathe and settled into a 9:30 pace. It was all I could do, considering the conditions. So humbling! I ended up running with the same group of people through the rest of the race. Have you ever had that happen to you? There was a girl wearing black capris and a long sleeved black top. I spent the majority of the race pondering her wardrobe choice. Just looking at it made me hot. She was moving along, though, so I guess it worked for her.

There were a couple of medical aid stations and I saw a guy with the crotch of his shorts completely shredded. He was applying vaseline to his nether regions. I can't even imagine what his shower felt like after the race.

We finally hit mile 12, and the song Fine Again by Seether came on my playlist. Don't ask me what came over me--maybe it was because I could see the finish line ahead, but I started to sing. Out loud. I'm sure everyone around me thought I was a lunatic. I picked up the pace. Singing.
"And I am aware now of how everything's gonna be fine one day, Too late, I am in hell now, I am prepared now, seems everyone's gonna be fine..."
Whatever it takes, right? My music pushes me through those tough runs.

Sarasota Half Marathon
My face says it all. This was a tough one for me.
I approached the finish line. I saw the clock and shook my head. While I was glad to be done, I was disappointed in my ability to overcome the conditions. Damn it!

Sarasota Half Marathon

Someday I'll be a hot weather runner...

Sarasota Half Marathon
Happy to be done!
Official Finish time 2:08:38
I reconnected with my parents, and we waited for Mary Beth to finish.  Meanwhile, I enjoyed the amazing post-finish line spread--this has to be the best post-race party I've seen in a long time. There were two long tables of food and drinks.

Would I do this race again? For sure. The course was beautiful, the race was well organized, and the medal was amazing. Did I mention the free race photos? If I was to make the Sarasota Half Marathon a goal race, I'd incorporate heat training into my training regimen.


But it was, after all, a training run...

How do you do running in extreme heat and humidity? Have you ever trained for a warm weather race? Spill your secrets!

I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. This week's word is shenanigans. I don't know about you but any long distance race has some shenanigans, doesn't it?










I'm also linking up with the Wild Workout Wednesday ladies! Check out all their blogs: Angelena Marie, Annmarie, Nicole and Michelle host this fun linkup!


110 comments :

  1. (((((So impressive))))
    And now I'm thinking definitely a race I could train for here in Austin it was 92° yesterday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could crush any race training in that heat!

      Delete
  2. Nice job Wendy. It sounds like a beautiful race course but Florida would be a tough place to race. No matter how much I train in heat and humidity, it gets me every time during races. I think every runner struggles with that problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, those speedy ladies in my age group? No struggles for them. Amazing, really. I want to be one of those people who is not affected by the heat!

      Delete
  3. I am one of the select few don't mind the heat/humidity. Of course, I'm not as concerned with "crushing it" each time I toe a start line either. I know my abilities (and, once in awhile, I am pleasantly surprised at what I can do in less-than-desirable conditions), but I have also accepted that not every race is gonna be ideal. If I can't dominate the day, I can at least learn something from it. None the less, every finish line is a victory ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew that this wasn't going to be a PR or an AG win. I just can't battle those conditions like that. Nonetheless, I always want to do well--and I did best my last Florida half in similar conditions by 6 minutes. Still, it wasn't the race I wanted to run...

      Delete
  4. Congrats on getting through it! And 2:08 is a fast time for a training run in less than ideal conditions...at least for me!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always love a sub-2 half--but this was my best Florida half (not counting WDW). So there's that.

      Delete
  5. Ohhh!! The humidity! Every time I try to run at my Dad's house in Orlando I have to slow down. It totally gets me too after living in a non-humid mountainous place :-) Don't be too hard on yourself!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Heat & humidity gets me every time. I don't usually do a lot of halfs in summer, because of that, and usually I haven't had time to acclimate. And I always go out as if it isn't that much hotter & humid -- big, BIG mistake!

    Yes, bridges are hills. :)

    Think of it this way: you must've built up some of the capillaries you'll need for Big Sur, right? I'm trying here . . . and better to have a disappointing "training" run than a disappointing goal race.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And oh my aching quads from the downhills of those bridges! I got a taste of what I'm in for at Big Sur!

      And yes, I went out WAY too fast.

      Delete
  7. I am so jealous that you 2 got to meet in person! Going from cold to hot weather running takes a lot of adjustment. Nice job and glad your foot cooperated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My foot behaved itself nicely. Now afterwards, that's a different story...

      Delete
  8. I would never be able to run a hot weather race so props to you for getting it done. I love that you ran into MB and got to snap a photo!!! And I am right there with you singing out loud as I run...sometimes it's the only way to make it through!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Singing at the finish gave me a burst of energy!

      Delete
  9. I love all three of the photos; they tell the story of the tough race, but also that you battled through. And not only the heat and humidity, but also contending with your P.F. and surviving a way-too-recent nasty fall, you did great. Really, truly, great.

    "...gonna be fine one day?" I'd say you are perfect right now. (Insert heart emoticon here).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty good--still sore from the bike crash and those downhills! I'm glad I ran it. No regrets!

      Delete
  10. Congratulations!! Way to go! You had a rough week, and you still went out there and gave it your all! I am proud of you!

    The hottest race I've had was last August, a 10K last year. It was only slightly humid, but it was sunny and hot.I always found that having an ice cold drink, and water before helped a tiny bit. And at water stops, I would take a sip of water and spill the rest on my chest, head and back. Once, while running in Florida in a hot humid day, I used one of the beach showers to cool off, and finish 3 more miles, without that my body would have been too hot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I stopped at the water stops to refill my bottle, and I poured a few cups of cold water over my head. Helped a ton!

      Delete
  11. I always struggle when I transition from training in cold weather to a hot weather race. I also always drink TONS of water and Gatorade in those conditions. I've heard this is a beautiful race course. Don't beat yourself up too much...it was a training run, right? ;) -C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I keep telling myself... LOL!

      Delete
  12. Oh Lord that expression. Precisely how I feel when I run in heat. Kudos to you for pushing through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so wowed by these ladies who cruised to a fast finish!

      Delete
  13. Whatever -- you did AMAZING! First, you're injured. Second, you didn't even know if you were going to be able to race. Third, you're a badass. Nice job on a hard fought race!

    ReplyDelete
  14. You definitely won on the medal front--that sucker is beautiful! I think we all would have been riding the pain train, regardless. Great job on fighting for it!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great job! I haven't run in humidity since I moved from Texas and Japan. I was used to it then, I'd probably pass out now after living in dry Colorado the last 2 years. Great time also...my hero!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww...not my best time but I'm certainly happy with my effort!

      Delete
  16. NICE! I always love to run when it's hotter and especially at sea level. Looks like a very good event.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a great event! I knew the humidity would be an issue for me. But I'd highly recommend this one.

      Delete
  17. Great job in pushing through Wendy. I've never gotten used to humidity. For me, it's not possible. I'm very envious of those it seems not to affect. You just have to go with it and enjoy the race -- which it looks like you did. We also get free race pictures from my w/e race but they haven't posted yet. I will look like I'm in a terrible painful hell, no doubt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a good race, and I'm glad I did it. But man, I don't know how you southerners do it.

      Delete
  18. Congratulations on a successful race!!! Sarasota is gorgeous. I'd love to go back there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get to go every March, and it never gets old.

      Delete
  19. You amaze me, Wendy! And somehow you always take an effortless race photo every single time. lol I live in The South,so yes... humidity and heat training always seems to find me. Congratulations on your race! The medal is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha--I don't know about effortless! It was tough. I don't know how you southern folks run in this stuff!

      Delete
  20. Wendy I have the answer to help you run in hot humid conditions! Come down here and run them more often. How about a Labor Day run in Mississippi? Ha, brutal I tell ya! I think you did awesome and so glad you pushed through knowing what an impact it has on you! I'm so glad you got to meet Mary Beth! I loved the picture of you too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There you go! We'll get some of that heat and humidity soon enough! Whew!

      Delete
  21. Congrats on pushing through! I wonder if the dude with the shredded shorts finished??? I can't even imagine. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all I could think about after I saw him!

      Delete
  22. Warm weather races are TOUGH, but way to overcome the heat and your injuries. I LOVE that you were singing out loud. I've totally done that, too haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was such a release! And I was so close to the finish. Whew!

      Delete
  23. I don't do well with humidity at all. My first marathon was in the 40s and raining and I thought it was miserable. That is, until the next year when the same race (over the same weekend) was in the high 80s and people were dropping like flies. I'll take the wet and cold weather over excess heat any day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know which is worse! A rainy marathon would be tough too! I think I'd be so cold and numb at the finish. I've done some rainy halfs and it wasn't fun.

      Delete
  24. Your body really does adjust when you live in the warmer/humid climate. I still prefer cooler running temps, but views of Diamond Head kind of make up for it :)

    Great job on a tough race after a tough week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd totally take those views. I'm sure you get acclimated to the heat!

      Delete
  25. Oh man, I don't run and I can't even imagine trying to in a long sleeve black top and pants. Glad it worked for her but sheesh, it's making me hot and I'm just sitting here on my laptop. Glad you were able to run the race. Sounds like it was a tough but beautiful course. Love that you started singing at the end. YOU GO GIRL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still thinking about her outfit! It was 80 degrees, for god's sake!

      Delete
  26. Congrats. I would have had problems in the Florida heat as well!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Well done! Heat is a major issue, especially over 13.1 miles but you pushed though it. I also absolutely LOVE that you started singing out loud. woot woot!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just had to--it was almost like a pressure relief valve! The end is near!

      Delete
  28. Way to go, Wendy! Heat and humidity are never easy race conditions to have to deal with, especially when you haven't been used to running in those conditions. Given that, as well as not having run all week, you did an incredible job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! There was no way I was not running this.

      Delete
  29. Oh this reminds me of running in Virginia Beach. It's so stinkin hot and humid that I think I've given that race up..lol. Sarasota sounds lovely though. Glad you got to meet MB! -m

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a really great race! I don't know how you southerners do it all the time.

      Delete
  30. Great job, Wendy! I know it may not have been the finish time you wanted but you certainly had a victory in conquering those bridges and staying strong in that heat and humidity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who knew those bridges would be so tough? The hardest part (and that's what everyone tells me about Big Sur too) was the downhills. My quads were SORE!

      Delete
  31. Running in heat and humidity is soooo hard... that's why I don't like having a fall marathon to train for (although I am doing NYC nov 6, and sept is still warm in LA)... I totally end up slowing down. Glad you enjoyed it anyway and said you would go back and do it again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The thing I've heard about NYC is the wind and the bridges--luckily in November you shouldn't have heat and humidity. I bet training in the heat of LA will be a huge benefit for you.

      Delete
  32. welcome to Florida, one weekend we are running in the 50's and in the 70's the next! It was a tough race and I am glad you talked me into meeting you there :) Can't wait until the next one so we can visit longer and soak in our victories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I really felt bad that we couldn't hang out. I tried to convince my parents to stay home but they wouldn't let me go by myself. Because I'm only 53.

      Delete
  33. living in Texas its really hard to train for Fall races because after may, its HOT like 90F and it sucks. in the past, i did run super early or super late..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the best place to live for running would be in the Northwest! Not too cold, not too hot...

      Delete
  34. Free race photos are the fastest way to convince me to do a run!

    ReplyDelete
  35. You did great! It's hard to train for a hot race in March from Chicago. Fun bib number!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know how I got that number, but a lot of people commented on it!

      Delete
  36. I think you did great, all things considered - your foot, the heat, and the fact that it was a training run for Big Sur. Going from cold weather training to a hot and humid race really takes it out of you. The same think happened to me last year at ZOOMA Annapolis. Between the hills, heat, and humidity, I was cooked!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just so glad I did it, and finished as well as I did in the conditions!

      Delete
  37. Heat and Humidity = NOT MY FRIENDS!! I would be SOOOOOOOO CRABBY! NO ONE would want to talk to me. I would probably put a sign on my back saying DONT TALK TO ME! I WILL BITE YOU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha! That made me laugh out loud! Because it's really how I wanted to be. But you know, people might not have liked it!

      Delete
  38. Humid? You did awesome! I would rather run in any conditions as long as it's not humid. Humidity and asthma are tough. I'm so jealous you got to meet Mary Beth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was hoping my asthma would behave (the pollen count was crazy high) and it did. So hey, there's a positive!

      Delete
  39. It is amazing how much weather can affect things. It sounds like a beautiful course!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You aren't kidding! That's why I was disappointed in my time. I'd love to crush a half in those conditions. That is the best I've done in a hot humid half, tho. Baby steps.

      Delete
  40. Great job! Warm weather races (and training in general) is so difficult. I know the first month or so of hot weather is miserable so it definitely takes getting used to and acclimating to the heat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't doing any kind of heat prep, so I knew this would be tough. I'm glad I finished!

      Delete
  41. Way to go Wendy! I love the dolphin medal. And great to get the free photos too. Not a fan of heat and humidity either. Smart of you to carry a water bottle and hydrate properly. Sounds like your foot held up well during the race since you didn't mention it bothering you. Hope you had a restful week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! My foot didn't bother me until after the race. I can do this!

      Delete
  42. I feel for you in that humidity. I did 20 miles on Saturday and it was like running through cotton. I went out again Wednesday but for a quick 3 K. Much better !
    How is your foot ? Glad to be back in Chicago with cooler temps ?
    I am back in France, ZERO humidity. I don't know how those runners who live in Florida or the southern part of the states do it....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we have low humidity in Chicago but it is cold! Today it was about 40. Brrrr! I'm sidelined this week tho with my foot...

      Delete
  43. My first half was the San Antonio R&R and man was it HOT. I trained in the hot tho, and although my time was slow (2:19) I was quite proud to not have walked once, LOL!
    Way to push through during tough conditions! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i knew what I was in for! But I did walk.

      Delete
  44. I did this race 3 years ago - loved the medal but we didn't get free race pix. The one I did in Sarasota in February was cold and windy but it was before the time change so it wasn't dark going over the bridge and I liked the course better. Hope to run withyou ( while at least on the same course) in Dec. Your slow time is my PR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm putting that Florida half on my calendar for December! I haven't mentioned it to the hubs, tho...

      Delete
  45. My Florida race in December was hot and humid & I thought I would DIE!!

    ReplyDelete
  46. way to tough it out... and awesome!!!! medal ;)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Way to keep pushing! Florida humidity is no joke. I have family there and even walking around can be rough sometimes because the air feels so thick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can get like that here (Chicago) in the summer. But certainly it isn't prolonged like in the south!

      Delete
  48. I'm certainly not a warm weather runner. The sun is so much stronger in Texas than Massachusetts, and I opt out of the hot races. I did run a half in the Florida humidity and I needed salt after that. My fingers were so swollen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My fuel, Tailwind, has really helped me avoid electrolyte issues.

      Delete
  49. Well done Wendy!! Heat and humidity are tough on the confidence, but you found and a strategy and knocked it out :) Fun you got to MB!
    In summer I always carry my timer and go to 4 x 1 if needed. It really can save me in the heat. I used last year in half when I was struggling and kept a smile on my face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no shame in walking in the heat! Everyone around me was walking.

      Delete
  50. Awesome race recap and YES...I sooo do that...analyze people's outfits. lol Hey...I'll take your time anyday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always need something to occupy my mind.

      Delete
  51. Good job, Wendy! Running in those conditions is no joke, even when you're used to it. Love that medal - it's so sparkly and pretty. :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Great job in tough conditions! I always think it's crazy how you often don't notice how hilly something is until you cover it on foot - just like on that bridge. Pretty good timing on your music for the final mile. Love when that happens!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was pretty surprised when that song came on too! It was just what I needed. Love when that happens.

      Delete
  53. Congrats! Super job in the heat and humidity! Lol, love how you started singing after mile 12! Gotta love free race photos!

    ReplyDelete
  54. My sister lived in Miami for a few years and I would go down and race often. I even made my first marathon Miami...I live in NYC. heat and humidity crush my soul I managed to finish that marathon in 4:30 but I have also stopped having any pace expectations if I go south for a race!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think if we lived where it was always warm, the heat would be less soul-crushing! Still 4:30 for a Florida marathon is awesome!

      Delete
  55. Hi there! I am so out of touch these days. I read your comment on my blog and thought ' I don't know a thing about what's going on with you ' and that made me a little sad. Anyway, great race recap and great finish pictures ! You are amazing to me in every way and I hope that your PF calms down and you can get back out there and do what you love. I never take it for granted. I feel grateful for it every day -as you read. My day off is today and we are off to visit hubby's parents. They have been a little concerned about us and telephone calls aren't doing the trick anymore. I hope all is well with you and your family. Hugs to you, my friend. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so miss you and your FB posts. IG is fun but it just doesn't do it for me! Keep in touch!

      Delete