Race Recap: Cocoa Women's Half Marathon

January 19, 2014

Packet pickup was Saturday afternoon. My dad and I headed downtown to pick up my bib. It was a small expo with free hand massages and running clothes. I have no idea why anyone would want a hand massage? Maybe calf massages but we don't use our hands. Anyways, we stopped there, had extra time before church so we also picked up my bike (!!!) but that's a post for another day. I got my race clothes out and took my usual pre race Instagram picture.

Oh and I can't forget about my manicure that matched my race day outfit. Last Thursday my mom and I had a free afternoon so we went to the salon together. I went with black to be fierce for race day, she went with maroon.

Lululemon tank (old)
Speed shorts
Nike arm warmers
Mizuno Wave Rider 17s
Gel, headband, and watch. 

The race started at 8am. My dad went with me. We left the house early and headed downtown to the race start. There were between 400-500 runners. I tried to get as close to the start line as possible so I wouldn't have to waste energy running around people. Warm up, national anthem, prayer, then the start horn went off.

Once the race started, everyone found their paces. I had an idea that if I felt good I was going to try and keep it up but once I began to feel bad I would just settle into a comfortable pace. I was in the top ten girls and I found a group of three women running together. They looked strong and were running fast so I decided to stick with them. We held pretty fast paces but my legs were feeling good so I moved out of the group, picked up my pace, and ran on my own for a few miles.

The directions were pretty confusing from the beginning since I was running on my own. I was always asking the cops leading the way which way I was supposed to go. At mile three I ate a little bit of gel. Kept my legs moving through the miles then ate more gel at mile five. Right after I ate the gel I felt a turn. My stomach and shoulders started cramping up and my legs just wouldn't find a rhythm. I got really frustrated because I didn't want my stomach to be the thing that messed up my race. I threw out the gel and took nothing the rest of the race. For some reason ever since my marathon my body won't take in any gels/gu?!

After ditching the fuel I felt better. Mile after mile I maintained my low seven minute pace. I watched my pace and calculated my finish time that put me at my goal time. I was so excited! I zoned out and kept pushing through. At the ten mile mark there was one fast lady in front of me who I was following. All of a sudden she turned around and goes "Where do we go??" I was like shoot shoot shoot!

I was so disappointed. My vision of an awesome finish, PR, maybe an award, all went away as I wondered where the heck we were. We tracked our way back along the path almost three miles to the turn around point. My watch said I was on mile 12. I asked someone which mile they were on and she said ten. Crap. I could either keep running, have a slower finish time, and run a total of 16 miles OR I could run a half marathon then call my dad to see what I should do. I panicked, I cried, then made a choice. I would run until my watch showed that I ran 13.1 miles and that would be my race. After I reached that milage, I borrowed someone's phone and asked my dad if he could come pick me up.

My dad drove me back to the start/finish line so I could get my finisher medal and all the promised chocolate sweets (hot chocolate, chocolate covered fruit, chocolate chip pancakes).

Mile 1- 7:18
Mile 2 - 7:19
Mile 3 - 7:30
Mile 4 - 7:02
Mile 5 - 7:15
Mile 6 - 7:25
Mile 7 - 7:21
Mile 8 - 7:19
Mile 9 - 7:14
Mile 10 - 7:19
Mile 11 - 7:52
Mile 12 - 9:19
Mile 13 - 7:50
Mile .10 - 7:07

Average pace: 7:32 // Watch time: 1:38:45

I finished the half marathon in 1:38! That is faster than the fastest goal time I posted (1:39). I didn't run the whole race course but I ran the whole race distance. As disappointing as the finish was, all that matters to me is my time. It helped break a mental barrier of running below a 1:40 half. And it was another race to add on to my 26 before 26 goal. 


  1. I get so mad when a race isn't marked well. Oh well, you still did AWESOME! Great job!! I knew you were gonna kill it :)

    1. Haha, it was frustrating. Especially since I have never had a race not be marked clearly. Thank you so much Leigha! You are sweet!

  2. Aw that sucks about the finish, but at least you PR'ed! Sounds like you made the right choice. Congrats!!

    1. That is what I am most excited about- a new PR!! Thanks Ashleigh!

  3. I would call your situation a case of #fastpeopleproblems. The only way you could get lost is if you we're close to leading the pack! Bummer on the poorly marked course but I love your attitude about the whole thing. Congrats on your shiny new PR :D

    1. I love that hashtag!! It was a huge bummer. If it wasn't for my dad being there I probably would have tracked down those race directors haha. Thank you Madelynne!

  4. Congrats on the awesome PR, Sara! Bummer on the poorly marked course, though… so frustrating! But, you persevered and totally rocked it :)

  5. Great job Sara! You did awesome despite the issues with the course. Way to rock it!

  6. Congrats on your PR! That is so awesome! I got lost on the course of my first half a couple weeks ago and somehow found my way back on track. So frustrating, but glad I finished! Way to go!!

    1. Thank you, Allie! That is crazy, I am glad someone can relate haha :) Congrats on your first half!! So glad you commented, now I have another blog to read!

  7. Congrats on your PR! That is amazing that you were able to regroup and not let getting lost have an effect on what you set out to accomplish that day. That should give you extra confidence for your next one! :)

    1. Thank you so much, Hailey! You're totally right- it gives me confidence about my next one- thank you for changing my perspective!


I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
site design by designer blogs