Friday, May 1, 2015

Pasco Challenge Half Marathon Recap 2015


The Pasco Challenge was hosted by the Alzheimer's Family Organization.  The half marathon was on Saturday, March 14 at Starkey Park.  I run Starkey Park every Saturday so I knew the course well.

I wanted to run a half marathon under 2 hours so originally I thought this race would be perfect for meeting that goal.  The course was very flat and I knew it well.  A couple of details I missed when planning my goal for this race were; this was Florida and it can be quite hot in March AND the Starkey Trail was mostly in full sun.  Both of those equal HEAT.  Heat and running fast don't really work for me.

Not thinking of the heat or sun, I set my Garmin's pace keeper to alarm if my pace was too slow to meet my goal of under 2 hours.  I needed my average pace to be 9:09.  I'd just run an average pace of 9:09 at the Gasparilla 15k so I thought it was doable.

On race morning, I talked with a couple of friends from my running group.  It was a smaller race with less than 100 people running the half.  The race started at 8:00am with temperatures in the mid/upper 70s.

During the first mile, my Garmin alarmed that I was running too slow for the pace I set.  I shook it off because the first warm up mile is usually slower.  When my Garmin continued to alarm through mile 3, I was ready to take it off and stomp it to death.  Instead, I turned off the pace keeper.

I felt decent for the first 6 miles.  Shortly after that, the course turned around and I was done.  I felt light-headed, overheated and exhausted.  I wasn't even half way finished.  At that point, I didn't care if I walked the rest of the race.  There was no way I'd finish under 2 hours.

At the 6 mile turn around, 3 members of my running group passed me.  One of them, Trish, fell back from her group.  She was ahead of me so my goal was to close the gap.  I had to have a goal to prevent me from walking too much.  After some running and walk breaks, I caught up to Trish who was practicing a run/walk method to keep her heart rate in the correct zone.  I decided to stay with her and finish the race using the run/walk method.  I was really struggling and Trish helped me through the run portions.  I got to a point were I could only run one minute with a minute walk.  That was the worst I've felt during a race in years.*


I finished in 2:15.  No PRs but thrilled to be finished.  I left the awards ceremony early because I had to shower, pack and head to Sarasota for another race the next day.  I won second place in my age group!  Looks like the heat sucked the life out of everyone else too.

Age Place: 2/9
Female Place: 17/43
Overall Place: 39/83
Ave Pace: 10:21 min/mi
Chip time: 2:15:37

*Come to find out...my thyroid was overactive again so that's why this race sucked so much.

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