Iron Girl Half Marathon Recap!

Awesome bling!
Awesome bling!

Half Marathon #6… a new PR by 11 minutes and an improvement over last year’s Iron Girl by 32 minutes! Knocked my own socks off!

This race is a little sentimental because it was my first half marathon last year.  My mom and I ran it together as our first half!  My goal a year ago was to beat 3 hours.  With the three hour pacers ahead of me the entire race, I was concerned about making this goal. As I rounded the last corner, I caught up to the 3 hour pacers and finished in 2:58!  I was thrilled!  Read more about my last Iron Girl here!

1 egg huntOver the last year I have made lots of progress and was hoping to end the season with a bang!  My PR (personal record) before this race was 2:36:31 at Disney – a relatively flat course, but I did stop and take photos along the way!  My goal this year was to achieve the sub 2:30 half!  I knew that I had to maintain under a 11:30 minute pace and had my goals in sight.  I didn’t look down at my watch that often.  I just ran!

So pre-race evening we went to church for the Easter egg hunt and church (since we wouldn’t be at church the next morning!), which was followed by a carb loaded dinner at Steak n Shake!  I ate a bowl of chili, a Fresco melt, french fries and a Snickers milk shake!  It was delicious and I slept like a baby with a full belly!

4 me and mom race morningThe next morning, my mom and I set out for Clearwater at 5am and arrived to get a perfect parking spot in plenty of time to walk through the vendors, stretch and use the little girls room (aka the porta potty!).  We also took a quick photo with the bridge in the background.  The biggest of the two bridges that were before us!

I got to see Nanci (over at This Crazy Life of Mine) before we took off and before I knew it is was time!  I started about at the three hour pacers with my mom.  I gave myself the goal of walking only at water stops and I kept pretty close to that.  After we got away from the excitement of the start and the first bridge I turned my music on.  I listened to the playlist that was made for my Team Freedom run back in February when we raised money for human trafficking.  It is a great mix of contemporary worship music and motivational snip-its.  I knew it would keep me moving!

About mile 3, I had caught up to the 2:30 pacers and I forged ahead – determined to keep them behind me!  On the way back, I grabbed a chilled towel – they had kiddie pools with ice and water that they were pulling soaked towels out of.  They only had about four handfuls of towels left and I had a feeling that my mom wouldn’t get one by the time she got there. It was a delightful treat that I don’t remember them having last year!  I got almost to mile 9 when I passed my mom and I gave her the towel!  The sun was out in full glory and a cool towel felt wonderful!

10 view from sand key bridgeEvery year the views amaze me – almost to the point that I forget to take pictures!  Here is the only picture of the view that I took this year from the top of the Sand Key bridge. As you can see the sun was out in force!

On the home stretch I was feeling strong not super fatigued, but ready to reach the finish line.  As I made the incline up the last bridge, just after mile marker 12, I walked up the bridge and looked down at my watch- Elasped time: 2:18:27!  OH MY!  I knew that I couldn’t make 2:20, but I was going to well under shoot my goal of a under 2:30.

Final time: 2:25:08  – I still can’t believe it! I can’t imagine that in one year I made that much progress.  There were tears.  Behind my new Boston Bill sunglass, there were tears – of joy, of pride, of sheer excitement.

After collecting my medal and a bottle of water, I returned to the finish line area to cheer my mom on.  I made conversation with a gentleman next to me who I later on learned is a Suncoast Strider who was selected on Monday to run in the Chicago Marathon!  Small world!  Can’t wait to watch his journey to Chicago!

Here’s the rest of the pictures 🙂


6 nanci finish
Nanci finishing!
7 mom finish
My mom finishing!
5 dolphin building
A unique building in Clearwater! You always notice the details when you run a race like this!
3 bridge race morning
The Big Clearwater Bridge in the early morning light!




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