• About Allison

    I am a 26-year-old married Michigan gal living in Sarasota, Florida. This blog is a chronicle of my journey toward a healthier lifestyle! I started running in January 2009 and began to change my eating habits in May 2009. Now, I am dedicated to training smart and eating right. Join me as I seek to balance running and eating healthy, local foods with my crazy work life and hilarious home life.

    Contact me: allisonisactive@gmail.com

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Race Recap: Sarasota Half Marathon

To be honest, I thought I’d be dreading the Sarasota Half Marathon, since it happened just one week after the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  However, I’d had so much fun at the Princess with my friends, and I was so determined to beat my time, that I ended up being really excited for this race!

Saturday night, I set my clock forward (spring forward!) at about 8:00 and was in bed by 10:00 P.M. or so.  My alarm went off at 5:15, enough time for teeth brushing, face washing, getting dressed, and wolfing down an English muffin with peanut butter.

I met my running group from Fleet Feet Sarasota near the start at 6:30 A.M.  Whitney had texted me on Saturday afternoon about feeling really under the weather and running a fever, so I was stoked that she showed up to the race feeling okay!  We hung around chatting until 7:15 when we headed to the start.  After Princess, this seemed like a pretty low-key local race – only about 2,000 participants (still awesome!) and no formal corrals.  We just lined up near the middle/back, and were off the line right away.

The first 3 miles of this course wound through lovely beach neighborhoods; Sue and I had fun pointing out all the houses we’d like to own.  We were really focused on time, too, and were running 12:30 miles, which was exactly our goal pace.

Miles 4 and 5 were on U.S. 41 heading into downtown Sarasota.  At mile 5, right when we turned off the highway to go over the Ringling Bridge out to Bird Key, we saw the Husband waiting for us!  I was geeked because I’d run out of Burt’s Bees lip balm at mile 3 and needed some new stuff.  I ran toward him yelling, “I need to switch Chapsticks with you!!”  He obliged happily.  No time to stop for a picture – it was time to tackle the hills of miles 6, 7, and 8 – THE BRIDGE!


Our route took us below the bridge (hill), over the bridge to the key (hill), below the bridge on the key side (hill), and back over the bridge to the mainland (hill).  Yikes!  I did find on the uphills and we mostly kept to our run 2/walk 1 intervals, but my knees started to hurt on the mile 8 downhill.

Saw the Husband again back on 41, and he grabbed a picture of us heading his way:


We were pretty happy with our time and stopped for a picture this time!


The rest of the way was repetitive since it was an out and back course, and we actually didn’t do our usual chatting, either!  I think Whitney was feeling kind of sick, and I was frankly pretty focused on time.  Still having fun, though!

After mile 9, my left knee was really bothering me; I knew it was from the downhills and the graded roads.  I tried to stay to the middle of the road where it was a bit flatter, which got easier once we were back in the Indian Beach neighborhoods.  Mile 10 seemed really long, and I was prepared for another long mile 11 like last week, but guess what?  Before I knew it, we were passing the Fleet Feet water stop at mile 12 and then headed back onto the Ringling Museum grounds toward the finish line!


The announcer at the finish said all three of our names, which was awesome, and we crossed the finish line with a chip time of 2:50:44. This was a PR for us by almost 23 minutes!!

I’d seen the Husband sometime during mile 11 (he was biking up to the finish so we wouldn’t have to deal with the car – the whole race was very close to our house) and yelled at him to get some ice for my knee for the finish line.  (Don’t worry, I yelled politely.)  The first thing I did after getting my medal was walk, stretch, and ICE!  Then I managed to grab a yogurt granola parfait and a bran muffin – First Watch, a Florida breakfast/brunch/lunch chain, was the presenting race sponsor and was handing out great food!

I also managed to pose with both my medals:


We went to breakfast at Word of Mouth after the race, and even with all my walking and stretching, I could barely walk on my knee after sitting at breakfast!  I walked home from breakfast (3 blocks) and spent the first block limping and nearly crying.  Then, my knee loosened up and I was almost walking normally by the time I walked onto our porch.

The knee pain is on the outside of my left knee, and after some research, I’m pretty convinced it is IT band pain from overuse.  My normal weekly mileage doesn’t top 15-18 miles, so 26.2 plus walking around Disney was a change for my poor knees!  I’m going to take it easy, walk, ice, and stretch this week and hope that as long as I don’t push it, it won’t be an issue.  I’m pretty confident!

Even with the knee pain, this half marathon was a lot of fun.  I love running with Whitney and Sue, and the race was fairly well-organized.  In the future, I’d like to see a bigger expo, more entertainment on the course, and more crowd support.  (It’s not always Disney, though, right?)  I’m extremely happy about my finish time – under 3 hours was my goal, and we really smoked it!

I’ll be back soon with a major race announcement!  (Hint: it’s not a full marathon.  YET!)


3 Responses

  1. Wow! Congratulations on a PR on a half just a week after the Princess Half!

  2. Another great race for you! Lots of congrats, now just take care of the knee. Hugs!!

  3. Thanks. 🙂 In truth, we didn’t run that much faster… We just didn’t take so many pictures!

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