February 12, 2013

Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, Florida, Feb. 10, 2013: race recap

It's official: I adore this race.

I loved it last year, and this year solidified my love.

I was worried I loved it so much last year because it was cold (I prefer cold weather running), and I got a 15-minute personal record. I loved the bands and course, but I was afraid it was tainted by the weather and my sweet PR.  

This year, it was not cold (it bordered on hot at the end of the race), and I actually ran it a few seconds slower than last year. But, I still smiled throughout the majority of the race and loved almost every second of it (The few seconds I didn't love were in mile 12 ... blech). 

For a baseball-loving girl like myself, I love that the expo and start line are at Tropicana Field.

I didn't love that my Garmin decided to freeze. Grrr.

It was 6:45 a.m. all day.

I love that the course follows familiar turf: right by Taco Bus. What I didn't like this year is I was starting to get warm at this point (only mile 3).

I love the slight downhill into downtown St. Pete, and this year I loved the shade the tall buildings provided. This is where I took my first GU gel (about mile 4).

I normally wouldn't love the route south into a somewhat boring stretch into a neighborhood, but I do love the bands along the course. They'd make any course fun.

I felt pretty good miles 5-7. It was cooler through this part of course, and I felt a nice breeze as we went from mile 7 into mile 8 along Tampa Bay. I took my second GU gel around mile 8.

Then, this happened.

Yes, the pesky Pier. It's no secret that it's not something I love. It wasn't this day either. Don't get me wrong: the views are beautiful, and I know there are much worse routes than this. But, it's long, there's no shade, and it's windy. 

I started struggling a bit on the Pier. My legs just started feeling tired. Not horrible, but miles 9 and 10 were kind of rough. 

It was also rough not knowing my time. They had clocks at each mile, but I wasn't sure how much later I started than the clock. Being in corral 8, I figured it was about 10 minutes later, but I wasn't entirely sure. I tried doing math while running, which was a bad idea on my part. It made my head hurt.

I felt a little better in mile 11 because I saw some rockin' cheerleaders: Lori and Georgina. They really were at the right place at the right time. I needed a push, and it was great seeing friendly faces who were cheering their faces off for me.  

After the race with one of my rockin' coaches
(Carolyn) and the rockin' cheerleaders,
Lori and Georgina.

Mile 12 is where things got worse for me. I was hot, tired and done. I really didn't know if I was pushing for a PR (I didn't think so, but wasn't certain) or if I was way off (I didn't think so). So, not knowing and being hot and tired, I walked a bit. I doubt it was more than one minute, but having a frozen watch, I don't know.

I tried to push mile 12 into 13, but I really don't think it happened. Again, I don't know because my watch was frozen. 

But, I did take a rockin' race photo (the first and only time this has ever happened) during this time. (Didn't my frozen watch photograph nicely?)

The run to the finish line seemed to take forever. It could have. I don't know. MY WATCH WAS FROZEN.

The LONG run to the finish

It was great seeing more rockin' cheerleaders along the finish line. 

After finishing, getting a sweet medal, a cold towel and grabbing some food and beverages, I met up with the cheerleaders.

With my cheerleaders Caroline, Dan and Theresa. Oh, and a
photo-bombing Chloe. She went for the bagel while we were
busy posing for a photo. (Cheerleader Eric took the photo.)

With my rockin' running buddy and cheerleader, Lori

Then, I went to check out Sean Kingston at the after-race concert. I wasn't crazy-excited about seeing him, but I was pretty impressed with his performance. I heard him sing "Beautiful Girl," which is the only song I thought I knew that he sang. He then proceeded to sing a string of songs I knew. Fun. 

And, that's what this entire race is: fun. I love the organization, the atmosphere, the bands along the course, the course itself, the post-race concert ... yeah, pretty much everything. 

Oh, and my time: 2:33:54. After hearing it, I wondered if I could have cut 4 minutes off (to get a PR) if I had an unfrozen watch. I wondered if I would have ran harder if I had an unfrozen watch. Then, I realized I couldn't change it. And I had fun, which is the most important thing.


  1. Sorry about the FROZEN WATCH! Haha I'm really sorry that I didn't see you! I thought maybe I saw you, but I wasn't sure...the boys and I were at the finish line. I should have yelled at you! Way to go on another great half marathon!

  2. Oh no!!! Your Garmin froze and I just totally left mine at home. Boo! But, you still had a great race :) I LOVED RnR! It was my first time going to one of their races and I can't wait to either a. go to more and b. do this next year! The course was a little boring scenery wise at times, but I had good company and I feel like this is absolutely a PR course!
    We need to meet up since it seems we go to all the same races :) Any in March?

    1. I love this race (frozen Garmin or not)! I want to do more RnR races, too. I'm thinking about Savannah in November.

      Yes, we do need to meet up! I'm doing the Beach Halfathon on March 17 (possibly in a green tutu). What about you?

  3. You get to run the coolest races, I'm so jealous! I think I saw on here that you were running this one and immediately looked it up. I tried to recruit the boy-toy to make an impromptu trip to St. Pete but he wasn't biting. But I decided then, and have since solidified my decision with this post, that I want to run this one next year for sure. Frozen Garmins suck, but you did great regardless! Good job!

  4. Oh that stinks about your garmin. I would die if that happened to me. It's amazing how important these little gadgets become on a run. Mine is a polar, but I would still die! Are you running the iron girl? Great time btw!

    1. Thanks, Mindy! I am running Iron Girl. Hope to meet you there.

  5. I'm glad you had a fun race :) I've never done a race without a watch and I'm pretty sure I would freak out if that happened to me!

  6. I love this race as well. I think it will always be my favorite. It stinks that your Garmin froze, but it was funny reading about it with your subtle reminders, lol. You had a great time and should be proud! :) I hope we finally get to meet one of these days!

  7. Good for you!! Sounds like it was fun :) and beautiful! And I do that too - try to calculate my time not knowing exactly when I started. Nerve-wracking. But congrats!!!

  8. Another great race! Sorry about the Garmin though. Boo!

  9. Frozen Garmins are the bane of every runners existence. I am glad you had fun- that really is the important part.

  10. I absolutely madly head over heels loved this course and very well may do it again next year!!!!!!!! Like you I absolutely hit the wall at mile 12 and was ready to be done! I wrote a blog entry/race report about it too! http://www.fitfoodandfuninthesun.com/2013/02/been-there-ran-that-st-pete-rnr-race.html

    1. OH and ILOVED LOVE LOVE the expo location even though I'm not a baseball fan.


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