St. Pete Women’s Half Marathon Recap

Another half-marathon with my BFF- check! 🙂


This morning, Debbie and I completed the Women’s Half Marathon in St. Pete, FL. It was my 5th half, and Debbie’s 4th. The race was tough, but surprisingly one of my favorites!


It all started on Saturday, when Debbie and I met at the race expo. We checked the board for our race numbers…


…and collected our schwag! IMG_0857 

The expo was very… pink! Seriously, though, it was a great expo with tons of merchandise and women’s specific everything. One of the best


After the expo, we headed to Debbie’s parents house for Thanksgiving Dinner! I had a plate full, with a little of everything.


No girls’ weekend would be complete without the traditional girls’ night pants. Thanks, Deb!


After setting our alarms for a painful early 4:30am (we had a 1.5 hour drive), we hit the hay early. The race started at 7:00am, and we lined up according to our bib numbers (in corrals) just before the race began.


The course was one of the best I’ve run. We ran all around the town, near the water…



…to the pier and back…


…and even inside of Tropicana Field, where the Devil Rays (baseball team) play!


The race did a great job of displaying every mile marker clearly, with timers at every one.


Water stations were a plenty! I barely had time to get thirsty before hitting the next station. It was great.


I was shocked to find a handful of men even competing in this otherwise-all-women race.


Debbie and I had discussed aiming for around a 9:00 min/mile pace prior to the race. We started out together and maintained a solid 8:45 min/mile average pace for the first 5.0 miles.


I started to wonder if I had started out to ambitiously, but my legs were feeling fine. But then…


…the stomach pains began. 😦


Debbie continued on without me, while I walked through the water stations. I figured I would catch up soon, but my pace started to rapidly drop as the pains got sharper.


What started off as a great race was quickly turning sour. I kept feeling the urge to walk as my stomach pain intensified. It hurt less when I slowed my pace, but I knew my legs could move faster.


I knew that if I slowed my pace, my stomach would feel better, but I wanted to RACE! I don’t sign up for races “just to finish” anymore… I come to RACE! I race to push my body to new limits and see what I’m capable of.


Then, something hit me. By slowing down my pace, I wasn’t giving up. I wasn’t quitting. I was simply adjusting my pace so that I wouldn’t throw my breakfast onto an innocent bystander.


Once I decided to maintain about a 9:45-10:00 min/mile pace, my stomach pains calmed…but were still lingering. I tried to focus on one thing, and one thing only. Having FUN!


Sometimes, I take myself way to seriously. Every race cannot be a personal best. But you can personally make the best of it. 🙂


Debbie and I passed each other during an out-and-back near miles 11-12. We waved, and I gave her two thumbs up! She was almost a full mile ahead of me when she finished in 1:57:00 (and change).


By the time I came around the final turn of the race, my watch was already well past the two hour mark.


I crossed the finish line in 2:07:30 (unofficial), setting a new PW, or Personal Worst. I finished approximately 16 minutes slower than my PR of 1:51:07, from last December.


I thought I would be way more disappointed than I actually am! I really don’t feel bummed at all. I love racing! This summer, I struggled through 3.0 mile runs. I’ve come SO far in such a short time, that it’s hard to justify self-pity.


Even though today I set a new PW, it was one of my favorite races. Despite my intense stomach pains, I know I can run faster. The course was beautiful, the buddies were great, and the feeling of finishing was amazing.


I can’t wait to race again! In the meantime, I need to figure out these crazy stomach pain issues…they’ve been ruining a lot of potentially great races this year.


❤ MegaNerd


34 Responses

  1. Good job persevering Megan! Its tough to adjust your race plan but sometimes it’s necessary. Overcoming obstacles will make you stronger and you have many, many races ahead of you. Congrats on the positive attitude. Hope you and Debbie have fun!

  2. Congrats on FINISHING! That is still huge and a bigger accomplishment than many will ever have. I’m proud of you for continuing on, in spite of the stomach pains.

  3. Great job pushing through the pain and I hope you can figure out what is causing it, it must be so frustrating for you!

  4. You’ve gotten so fast, so quickly! Kudos to you! I hope you get those tum tum pains figured out though

  5. For setting a personal worst you look awesome!

  6. Congrats on a great race! You have a fantastic attitude!

  7. Sorry to hear about the uncooperative tummy, but I’m so jealous you got to do the race in my old hometown! I hope to do this race next year. The Princess Half in Fab is going to be my first 1/2 mary.

  8. I like your attitude. I’m glad that you concentrated on having fun despite the tummy troubles.

  9. Go Megan! Good on you for fighting through and not giving up.Hey, 2:07 sounds like a pretty good time to me!

    I used to have tummy issues – too much fruit seemed to be the culprit. Also, bagels before running for me = racing for the toilet. Not fun!

  10. congrats! maybe it was just a combination of nerves + pressure on yourself + starting out too early (15 seconds per mile faster than your goal pace is a huge difference in a half marathon…that’s like saying your goal time is 1:57, and then attempting to shave off over 3 minutes)

    it’s so weird to see parts of my daily running route on your recap!!

  11. Congrats on another half marathon! I also ran a half yesterday – the one at the Philly Marathon. Seems like it was a day for challenging but good races!

    I had stomach pains at my last half, and figured out that the problem was that I drank milk in my coffee that morning. Although dairy doesn’t usually bother me at all, the tiniest hint of it before a run causes major problems around mile 9 or so. Hopefully you figure out what’s causing the problems – could be as simple as too much/not enough salt or water!

  12. CONGRATS GIRL!!! You did awesome. Don’t let the time get you, this is a FANTASTIC time! 🙂

  13. Congrats Megan! You have such a great attitude.

    I’m so sorry about your stomach. I know exactly how you feel. I struggled with GI issues a lot this summer and fall and they were always magnified when I raced. So much so that I DNF’d a marathon. The Dr thinks my culprit is lactose intolerance but it can be a number of things. Definitely get it checked out. Good luck 🙂

  14. CONGRATS on finishing the race!! My time yesterday wasn’t quite what I expected, but I think that we’re both being too hard on ourselves. Running 13 miles is an accomplishment no matter how long it takes. Hopefully you figure out the source of the stomach pains and can run your next race feeling great!!

  15. I was having major stomach pains during races when I would mix gatorage and gu/fuel too close together. not having any gatorade 10 minutes before or after having a gu made all the difference in eliminating my race day stomach issues. Not sure if that is something you currently do, but if it is, it might be worth a try to change it up.

  16. I LOVE that you said not every race can be a PR – I’ve definitely learned that this year. I’ve had some great races and some really not great ones. But I’ve had fun in ALL of them.

  17. Congrats on running this half marathon!!Every race is unique and just a treasure in memories 😉

  18. Great race report! Congrats!

    You finished about 28 seconds before me, my time was 2:07:58. (Also a PW, my first half was 1:57:59)

    We also wanted to stay between 9-:915, and around mile 6 we figured out that wasn’t going to happen.

    Between miles 10-13 we had the “just finish” attitude. It was a tough race, the weather was a little hotter then I would have liked.

    We are already planning a redemption race =)

    The medals are great though, right? I love them!

    Congrats again!

  19. Way to stick it out and finish even if you didn’t feel 100%! That’s still a pretty great time and it’s awesome that you were still happy at the end of the race!

  20. good job on finishing. a lot of people mentally or physically quit when it gets tough.
    ive been having a lot of PWs lately, killing it in fact in the pw department!

  21. Great job toughing it out! 🙂 xoxo

  22. You did awesome- you should be very proud of yourself!

  23. Work it! Glad it was awesome despite the pain. You finished and finished strong!

  24. You have such an awesome attitude. Congrats!

  25. Congratulations! A great recap, and GREAT pictures! And I liked what you wrote about personally making the best out of every race–to me, that applies to everything 🙂

  26. This is going to sound really random, but I may have an idea about your stomach pain! I am an avid runner and triathlete and I started having excruciating stomach pain a few years ago. It would start out kind of generalized, and then I would get sharp pangs every now and then. I went to my doctor and had all sorts of tests only to find out it was gas! Who knew gas could hurt so much!! So I started taking GasX before my runs and even Charcoal tablets for a few weeks just to get the initial stuff to go away. It also helped me to drink a little bit of carbonated water or soda before a run to promote burpage. As I’m reading all this back it sounds completely ridiculous, but I thought I’d at least throw my two cents in! Good luck!

  27. Congratulations on your half-marathon! All races are different but it’s so good to see you so positive at the end and working towards finding what has been bothering your stomach! Good luck!

  28. Congrats on the race! This was my first half marathon and I thought that it was great setup but really had nothing to base my judgements on, so I’m glad you agree! I had so much fun, I think I may be hooked on races now–I loved the feeling of accomplishing something

  29. Great job! You have a great positive attitude 🙂 Sorry to hear about the stomach pain, I hope you get that figured out soon!

  30. Congrats on another half! Was the course shaded? I am looking for next year’s races and St Pete is on the list!

  31. I’ve read your recap like three times but I haven’t commented yet!! You are amazing for running through tummy troubles. No dairy for at least 3 days before your next race!! You did amazing!

  32. Despite your issues, you still did amazing! I hate having tummy troubles during races or long runs. 😦

  33. Congratulations on finishing another half! I also ran a half that day and posted a new PW as well because of stomach pains. It’s tough to get through that and want to keep moving.
    You’re amazing!

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