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Finished the All Women’s Half… lessons learned…

So this past Sunday was my first half marathon in a state other than NH!  The race?  All Women Half Marathon – St Petersburg, FL

I have to say I was a worry wart about a few things;
1) the heat, of course – would it be too hot?
2) the flatness of the course – sounds crazy but when you’re used to hills, the thought of no DOWNhills isn’t comforting!
3) my sneakers – they weren’t feeling so good after mile 10 a few weeks ago (in another half marathon that I haven’t written about… yet)
4) whether or not to stay with my brother – he was completing his first half marathon! (Ya, it’s called “All Women” but there were about 100 men runners!  Ya, they’re no dumbies!)
5) chafing – it’s been a while since I wore shorts! (it’s chilly in NH!)
6) and the BIG one – my running shape – having come off a Half in which I PRed (and worked hard for it) just two weeks  prior  to this race and not really knowing how to recover one week and then taper the next week, I actually didn’t get a whole lot of running in between the two races (cardio and weights – yes, but running – just a little)

At the start/finish line before the race – Sun still not all the way up yet.

Here’s how my concerns played out…

1) actually had great running temperatures. The sun never came out (started at 7 am) and I was actually cold at the start!  There were some serious headwinds a few places though!
2) I think I was right to worry about this.  I missed the rolling hills for sure.  I think my muscles would’ve benefited from some different grades to run up and down.
3) Ya – my Sauconys are great for shorter distances but just didn’t cut it at this Half either.  I ended up with 3 new blisters and tired feet around mile 7!  Looking forward to my new Mizunos (that I won!!) and trying out my new Newtons as well to start working on slowly changing my running form into a midfoot runner.
4) We worked this out easily the night before.  We would run our own races.  (Turns out I should’ve just run it with him!  Lesson learned!)
5) No chafing!  Yeah!
6) I think I was in fine running shape… just not PR running shape.  My muscles seemed more lethargic yet my heart rate was generally lower this race than my last.  And now that it’s almost 48 hours since the race (as I type this) I can tell you I’m WAY more sore from this race than from my last race.  Strange, right?  I’m thinking I’ll never really know the real answers but have some good guesses as to why that is! (Would love to hear your thoughts too!)

- didn’t eat enough the day before (salad for lunch and salad with side of pasta for dinner – results of eating out while traveling)
- the flat terrain
- My body simply hasn’t fully recovered from 2 weeks ago
- Ran too many fast miles – faster than I’m used to running most of the time! (Total Rookie Mistake!  I should’ve known better!!)
- Thinking I could PR in two races in two weeks just plain wasn’t smart!

So, I don’t have time to walk through the race experience at the moment (I’m tired!!  Must. Get. Sleep!) so I’ll leave you with a picture of us at the finish.

Happy to have completed it and would you look at that back drop?!

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