I am still tired as I am writing this, but yesterday I completed my 7th half marathon in less than 5 months. For some of you that might be a cake walk, but for me it is a huge accomplishment that I am very proud of. Just a little over a year ago, I ran my second 5K in 4 years at the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic and something happened after that race. Maybe it was the excitement of the runners, the energy of the crowd or just the beautiful medal that I earned, but I walked away from that race as a changed woman. I made a vow to myself that I would return to that same event the following year and would run the half. Not only did I keep my promise to myself, I exceeded my own expectations. Running is now a passion of mine and 2017 was filled with over 20 5ks, a 15k, an 8k, several 10ks and two half marathons. 2018 is off to a great start with 5 half marathons and a few 5 and 10ks. Here are my medal racks. The one on the right is from 2017 and the one of the left is for 2018. Yes, I guess you can say I have been bitten by the running bug.
Yesterday I woke up at 3 am to get ready to head to Sarasota to run the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon with one of my favorite people in Tampa, Denise of Run DMT. Denise is one of the first bloggers I met when I began writing a few years ago and is someone I have always admired. She graciously offered to drive us both to Sarasota and thank God she did. I was coming off a 55 hour work week and only slept an hour and a half before yesterday’s race. I am not proud of that nor do I endorse it. I am very strict about getting rest and plenty of hydration before running but when you work in hospitality on St. Patricks’s Day, it is not easy to do so. No matter how tired I was, I was going to run my 7th half marathon and was excited to be a part of such a beautiful race.
Here is the only photo I did not take which is of the start line. The race began at 6:30 am and the weather was perfect.
As we took off, my lack of sleep was replaced with an adrenaline rush and was just captivated by the beauty of this run. Sarasota is such a gorgeous place and I was blessed to be able to see the sun rise during our run. Below is one of my favorite photos I took during the run of the sun rising as we made our second lap over the bridge after running through St. Armand’s Circle.
There is just something about running and seeing the sun rise in front of your eyes. For me, it represents another day of being blessed to be alive and another chance to be a better version of the person you were the day prior. I may not be the fastest runner but I try my best each time and continuously work to improve my speed and endurance.
Nothing motivates me more than being surrounded by those that inspire and uplift me. As I turned to take a photo of the runners who were joining me in this challenge, I could not help but feel their energy and be inspired to keep pushing no matter how tired I was. As I always say, motivation is contagious.
I have run in all areas of Tampa Bay and all types of different courses. This was by far one of my favorites and the scenery was just breathtaking.
Running definitely makes me hungry and I just had to laugh at all of the cute signs along our run. First Watch sure knew how to make me smile and keep my going during the run. All I could think about was crossing that finish line and eating pancakes.
Finishing a half marathon never tasted so good as we were treated to an array of delicious selections from First Watch Sarasota and Denise and I were both loving every single bite. All I could think about was my next breakfast trip to First Watch which will be very soon!
As I walked over to the water to take a picture of my medal, I could not help but feel incredibly grateful. I won my race entry from another blogger and runner idol of mine, Megan from I Run For Wine. Sadly she could not be at the event due to illness but I encourage you to visit her site and follow her on Instagram @irun4wine as she is nothing short of a rock star. Megan has always amazed me with her talent and incredible energy. I am so lucky to know her!
Yesterday was such an incredible adventure and I am so glad I was given this opportunity. I am going to be part of some super fun races in the next few months and look forward to sharing my journey with you along with some upcoming posts on some of the mistakes I have made with running and how I corrected them, running gear, proper hydration and training tips.
Have you ever wanted to try running but have been afraid? If so, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to email me (link on main page) or comment below.
Have a great week!