Women’s Half Marathon St. Pete

This morning I ran my fourth half marathon!

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I finished the Women’s Half Marathon, but it wasn’t pretty.

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I awoke at 5:50 a.m. and ate a Luna bar (my usual pre-race breakfast) and bowl of oatmeal. (I normally try to keep my pre-race meals on the smaller side because I cramp up so easily and paid for eating that bowl of oatmeal around mile two when I cramped up a bit! Luckily the cramp didn’t last long and I breathed my way through it, feeling better within five minutes.)

My sister, Leslie, was  signed up for the 5K, so my mom and Ryan dropped us off at the start line about 10 minutes before the scheduled start. (My dad couldn’t make it to cheer us on because he had an early morning flight to catch to Arkansas.)

Leslie walked me to my corral as they were singing the Star Spangled Banner and we exchanged hugs and wished each other luck on our respective races. I had about five minutes of time to kill once I entered my corral and felt my nerves start kicking in.

When the race kicked off, it was relatively congested for the first mile, but I saw my mom and Ryan cheering!

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See those two hands waving in the air? That’s me!

Almost immediately I saw the 2:00 pace group and decided to stick with them for as long as I could, thinking I might have another sub-two hour half marathon in me. Their energy was awesome!

The first few miles of the race were absolutely gorgeous. We ran past the historic Vinoy hotel, along the water and through some nice neighborhoods. I passed the 5K mark at 27:00.

I started to feel the humidity and heat getting to me around the fifth mile and was sweating like a beast. It was around then that I saw the best sign of the day that read, “That’s not sweat! That’s your fat cells crying!”

I took some Gu Chomps at mile five and kept on trucking, averaging around a nine-minute mile pace.

When we ran back the way we came and toward the pier around mile eight, I felt very overheated and changed my goal from finishing in under two hours to simply running the whole race.

I saw my mom, Leslie and Ryan at the pier and told them I was so freaking hot! Ryan said he knew that was the moment when I decided to let the two hour pace group out of my sight and he was absolutely right.

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Don’t be fooled by the smile. Focus on my red face and sweaty forehead to know how I was really feeling.

Miles eight to 11 were definitely the hardest for me. We ran along a road with absolutely no shade and I saw so many people stop to walk and even passed a handful of runners from the 1:45 pace group who I heard complaining about the heat and humidity. I’m not gonna lie, it made me feel better to know that I wasn’t the only one so affected by the humidity.

Toward the end of the race, the runners ran inside Tropicana Field (where the Tampa Bay Rays play baseball!) and around the perimeter of the field. That was pretty badass!

I was so happy when I saw the mile marker for the twelfth mile and kept on truckin’, grateful for the spectators who saw my name on my race bib and yelled out encouraging words.

I felt a little discouraged when my Garmin reached 13.1 miles, but I was still a good distance from the finish line. I must’ve run along the outside of the course a lot because when I looked down at my Garmin after I ran through the finish line, I ran a little less than a quarter of a mile more than the half marathon distance.

My official time? 2:05:01.

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Once I crossed the finish line, I chugged a bottle of water, but all of the food and flavored beverages repulsed me at the time.

We took a couple of photos but didn’t hang out for too long because I just wanted to get home to lie down.

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My sister had an amazing 5K race! Her goal was to finish in under 30 minutes and she killed it! Her official time was 27:57. So excited for her!

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Now guess who wants to run her first half marathon? Leslie has her eye on the St. Pete Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon  in February and I said I’d to it with her. I’m sure it will be colder by then, right? Smile

Once we arrived home, I felt pretty nauseous. It took me a while to feel like I could stomach anything (even water) and eventually, after acting like a zombie on the couch and watching five episodes of Friends, I was able to eat and drink again without feeling like I was going to puke.

With my hunger back, I ate a big bowl of potatoes and onions leftover from my family’s breakfast before showering and eating my bodyweight in grapes and pretzels.

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Though I definitely didn’t feel my best during or after today’s race, I am still really proud that I finished my fourth half marathon. I think the post-race high is finally starting to set in!

Hope you’re having a great Sunday!


  1. says

    I ran the race today too and completely agree with your post! Coming off the pier I suddenly felt terrible and I was so confused when my Garmin told me I had run 13.1 waayy before the finish line. I’m still lying down! It was great to hear someone else had a similar experience. And great job btw!


    • says

      oh this makes me feel so much better that i wasn’t the only one! i think it was more the HUMIDITY than the heat that got to me. and i plan to continue to stay on the couch for the rest of the day. 🙂


  2. says

    Congrats! It’s still a good time. I was supposed to run this morning, but I did something to my hip three weeks ago and have had trouble even walking. I ran six last Sunday thinking I’d be able to still run the race, but after not being able run AT ALL on Tuesday I decided it wasn’t in the cards. So hard to watch people headed down there knowing I wouldn’t be going. Oh well. I can’t wait for Disney and the RnR! Are you doing the RnR St Pete?


  3. Yaara says

    You are truly an inspiration!! You pushed through your discomfort and conquered it!!! That looked so painful to run in the heat and humidity–but you did it! Congrats on completing the race! 2:05 is rockin!! You should be proud of yourself for your hard work and perseverance! Congrats again girl!
    PS: I looove the dress that you posted last night from Fransesca’s. It was so cute paired with boots.


  4. says

    I still think that’s an AWESOME time!! You should definitely be proud of your accomplishment. 🙂
    Is is SO HOT in FL – it feels no where near what it should this time of year..and I think this weekend was even hotter than it has been- so props to you for getting out there to run it, despite the heat & humidity.
    & I have to say- you look pretty amazing after just running 13.1 miles!!!!! I wish I only looked HALF as good as you when I finish running. 🙂


  5. dee says

    Congratulations! Wow! Just finished your fourth, and you already have a fifth and sixth scheduled!! That mus be so exciting! And Leslie is so awesome for finishing her 5k in 27 minutes! This post made me smile. Haha 🙂


  6. kyla says

    You can train and prepare for so much but race day is the unknown. Take it for what it is and race accordingly. You did an awesome job at listening to your body and you RAN A HALF MARATHON. That’s 13.1 more miles than I did today! You’re awesome!!


  7. says

    way to go! its super hot and humid here today on the MS gulf coast so I bet it was pretty much the same for you! Humidity and sun are the killers…I tell people I can run in heat if its shady and not too humid. but bleh! you still did so awesome all things considered. Good job!


  8. says

    Despite the humidity and rough feelings afterward, sounds like a great race – well done, Julie! And your sister did awesome too! How fun to look forward to another race later together. 🙂 Rest up and celebrate a solid race!! 😀


  9. says

    i ran my first half marathon yesterday in annapolis, md! My time was 1:50:10! Not my best…as i can usually run 13 in closer to 1:43. I loved it though and already signed up for another one!


  10. Liana says

    I was running by you for a couple miles of the race I think!! I remember by the red tank and black capris! This was my first half, the race was so fun! good job on your finishing time:)


    • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers says

      aaaand i’m sure i looked like i was about to die. 🙂 very cool that we were close to each other! hope the race went well for you!


  11. Erica says

    I’m sorry you felt so crappy after (and during, I’m sure) the race! I’m impressed you still had a great time even though it wasn’t your goal. The same thing happened to me during my 2nd marathon – and it was also due to heat (but not so much humidity). It’s amazing what a difference a few degrees and %’s humidity can make – and not in a good way. I remember it took me at least 4 hours to start feeling human again, and all I did was lay in bed! Good for you! 🙂


  12. says

    Heat and humidity can realllly put a damper on races sometimes 🙁 I hope my turkey trot has amazing weather *eek*! I don’t think it’ll be toooo bad since it’s at 7am though.


  13. says

    I totally know how you feel! I was poised to run a great half marathon in May but it was so humid in Boston that day. It drained me after the half way point and I ended up walking a lot.

    Great job on your time!! 🙂


  14. says

    Julie! I am SO super impressed. No way could I run that far. Especially not in hot, humid weather! You are amazing. & You look super cute and happy in all of your running pictures too (and this might be a little weird, but your arms look soooo good – thin and muscular – jealous).

    I wouldn’t feel bad about vegging and watching friends after running, I did that yesterday and I definitely didn’t run at all. Haha!

    GO GIRL! Great job!


  15. Mandy says

    That is so awesome Julie!! I really have my eye on a half marathon too. I’ve never ran one before but all your race recaps are so inspiring!


  16. says

    Congratulations, Julie– I’m so excited for you! So, I’ve been looking for awhile for some capris like the ones you’re wearing in your pictures. Can you do a fashion post on your running outfit (which is absolutely adorable) or just give some details about the capris? I’d really appreciate it. Congratulations again!


    • Liza says

      Sarah – I have found several different pairs of stretchy running/yoga capris from TJ Maxx/Marshalls. It can be hit or miss but I always seem to have luck there! They have good brands too (I got a Calvin Klein pair for $20, for example!)

      Good luck!!


  17. jaci says

    wish I was home this morning/knew the racers were going through the trop, I could have watched!. I live in that apartment building basically in the parking lot with the weird orange things on the windows.

    The humidity this weekend has been horrrrrible. I went to the morning market and art show yesterday morning and was red and sweaty like I had just run 6 miles. But, in any case you should be so proud of yourself! Running two half marathons basically back-to-back is amazing!


  18. says

    Congratulations to you and to your sister!! Such great accomplishments. I’m with her on running the 5k, but with more practice, I hope to be able to participate in bigger and better races someday. You’re an inspiration!


  19. Julie says

    I give you so much credit for running in that heat, Julie. I definitely wouldn’t have made it! Congratulations to you and your sister for completing your races today!!


  20. Liza says

    2:05 is a GREAT time Julie! Congrats!! That is only what, 7 minutes slower than your last one? And in such gross heat! You should be very proud.

    Congrats to Leslie too! I ran a 5K in 30:05 yesterday (but in 45-degree weather) and it was HARD, so 27 minutes in the heat is awesome!

    Enjoy your lazy Sunday evening! 🙂


  21. Laura M says

    Julie, I just came across your blog recently and love it! Your posts are great! I also ran the WHM in St. Pete today, and I am so relieved after reading what you had to say! The humidity was horrendous! I couldn’t stop thinking after about mile 3 about how awful I felt. I totally had the same thoughts as you. I originally had high hopes before race start, but that soon changed to just simply hoping I could finish. I felt like my legs just wouldn’t go any faster. I ran Savannah also two weeks ago as you did, and I had a far different experience. I had a PR in Savannah – 1:48:22. Today I ran 1:55:40. More than 7 minutes slower AND my Garmin was also off by a good .2 or so miles! I don’t think this course is certified so it is probably indeed off by a bit. Anyway, congrats on finishing! At least the medal was really pretty and the run along the pier and inside Tropicana Field was awesome! 🙂


    • says

      ah! i loved reading your comment. so glad i’m not alone! and it also made me feel better that your time was slower than savannah, too. i didn’t know WHAT was wrong with me, but the humidity really got to me!


  22. Briana says

    Congrats Julie! You ran a fantastic race.. and happy to hear you are resting and hydrating 🙂 running in the heat is no easy feat!

    The weather is funky up here in New England.. I went running today in shorts and a T-shirt because it was 65 degrees out! so unheard of for November in Massachusetts!


  23. says

    Congrats Julie! Even though you didn’t get the time you wanted, you still did a great job. Heat and humidity can be the worst thing ever when it comes to running and the fact that you powered through it is awesome! I’m glad you’re feeling better now 🙂


  24. Nicole says

    Congrats! My sister and I are planning to run the St. Pete half too…I reallllly hope it isn’t too humid in February I am definitely not used to it living in NY!


  25. says

    Congrats Julie! My half was super long today too. 13.33. How torturous is it to hear your garmin go off for mile 13 and not even see the finish line?! I thought the hills were torturous today but I guess I should be glad I didn’t have to deal with heat and humidity!


  26. heatherb says

    way to go, julie. that’s still an awesome time.

    btw, during my first half marathon, someone told me that gps watches can be incorrect. i totally forget why?? something about the satellite readings, arm movement??? i was so puzzled b/c my watch wasn’t matching up with the mile markers!


  27. kelly j says

    Congrats on your time! That’s awesome! I am starting my 12 week training plan this week for the Feb Rock n Roll in St Pete.
    Where did you and/or your sister find your running capris? I’ve been looking for some but haven’t found any plain black.


  28. Dione says

    I couldn’t imagine even running a half marathon….I don’t know how you runners do it! 5k is my max….I’m under five feet and have stubby legs…totally not built for running (body building I think I could do if I put my mind to it though:) Congrats on your awesome time.
    I also have to say I’m always a little jealous when I read you Florida bloggers and you talk about how hot it is this time of year. In Edmonton Alberta where I live, it’s currently an unseasonably cold -17C (it was -27C when I got of work this morning at 715). Want to trade?:)


  29. says

    That is one of my biggest fears about wearing my Garmin or Nike Plus during races is that when my watch tells me I’m finished I still have to keep going. Nice work on the race though, bummer you weren’t feeling your best.


  30. says

    CONGRATS Julie on your 4th half! I don’t know what it is but whenever I read about someone’s race experience I get a big lump in my throat and my eyes well up a little. It’s just such an exciting experience and only people who have been through it can truly understand. I am so proud of you, great job!! 🙂


  31. Kristen @ notsodomesticated says

    Congrats girl!! That a very impressive time, especially considering the ridiculous heat and humidity. I’ve done long runs in Florida before, and they can be miserable!!

    It’s funny because I really want to move back to Florida (living in Ohio now), but I do think about how I would do my long runs in the Florida heat. I’d have to wake up at 4am just to survive! 😉


  32. says

    Aw, you did SO well, even with the humidity!!!!!!! That’s a badass time!! And thtat’s so neat that Leslie wants to run a half now. Racing sure is addicting like that 😛

    PS. (My) Ryan’s dad was in town for the weekend and just flew back to Arkansas (their hometown) this morning. Small world! Enjoy the rest of that post-race high 🙂


  33. says

    Congrats on the half! It’s always fun when the race bug officially bites you :). The women’s races have such a great energy about them too! If you’re ever contemplating triathlons, the iron girl series (irongirl.com) is lots of fun!


  34. says

    Awesome job! I hate running in hot weather! I always feel faint and nauseous! I actually really like to run in 30-40 degree weather and don’t even mind running in the snow…but during the oppressively hot summer? No way!!

    Well done! Hopefully it will be cooler down there soon!


  35. says

    Congrats, girl! I think running in the humidity is the absolute worst, so I’m definitely impressed that you finished this without stopping 🙂 I live in Phoenix where it’s still warm, but can’t imagine fighting humidity this time of year! Yours was definitely a race to be proud of.


  36. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers says

    Great job to both of you! You should be proud. You should also be proud of those race pics. I hope my next ones turn out that well!


  37. Linda Kiser says

    Great job. I know the heat always effects my running. I love your running capris and top. Where did you get them? I can’t wait to make the jump into my first half-marathon. Congrats!!


  38. says

    That’s so crazy how humid it is in Florida at the end of November. Funny how running seasons are so incredibly different here than they are down south. Regardless of the heat, you did an amazing job Julie. Congrats!!!


  39. says

    The race was hot last year too. But Tropicana Field was pretty cool.

    You and your sister should do Gasparilla instead of the Rock n Roll. 10 miles of the course is along the water…it was my most favorite race of the 9 halves I’ve done! 🙂 Pretty sure Michelle and I will be doing it again.


  40. Angela says

    Good job Julie!! I love races but have taken a break for exactly the reason you felt like today after your race. I get severe exercise related migraines which typically ends up with me puking! Way to go on your half today!


  41. says

    Congratulations Julie!! It looks like it was a pretty hard race Just the thought of running a 1/2 marathon in hot humid weather makes me feel like I might pass out, way to go!


  42. eliza (Zestyappetite) says

    Julie I ran my first half marathon today as well!!!!!! in Philadelphia and it was amazing!!!! I can financially relate to your posts about how amazing races feel because I have never felt this happy about running! I can’t wait to do another (think its the runners high) but my knees are SOOOOOOOO sore. Today was a great half marathon day!


  43. says

    Congratulations on finishing!! I know it wasn’t the time you were hoping to get but shyeesh the heat is redic right now! My 5k last Sunday was ok for the first half but the second half I was WAY overheating but I only had about a mile and a half to go! I can’t imagine continuing for another hour and a half. But good for you for finishing, still with an awesome time!

    You are making me want to run a RNR with how awesome you say they are….I was looking into the one in Miami with Pitbull playing afterwards – LOVE him and my bff is down there, talk about fun!


  44. eliza (Zestyappetite) says

    p.s. Philly had the most perfect weather, not to hot, not to cold…but I am sorry bout the humidity. I ran a 2:09 and for a first I feel pretty happy. congrats on your time!!!! and your sub 2 hour race is impressive!!!!!


  45. Salina says

    Congrats! I finished ahead of my time and feel like tomorrow will be HELL! It was inspiring to see all those women in one place. Rest up…WE deserve it.


  46. says

    Congratulations! What an incredible accomplishment. It’s so great to hear all the difficult parts, too. Makes me feel like maybe I could struggle through one of these bad boys! Congrats again!


  47. Nathan Miller says

    Congrats Julie! Way to fight though the struggles…Mile 9 for me, in a half or a full is my toughest mile! Way to be an inspiration to many!


  48. says

    Congrats Julie! I think you are such an inspiration to those who want to try running a marathon! I would love to try to run a 5k at some point in my life. You should be proud! I hope you are feeling better 🙂


  49. says

    Great job on your half marathon, Julie! What an accomplishment!

    I also can’t stand running in the humidity. And I live in the Chicago suburbs, so there is no way that I am running outside in the cold either.
    Thank goodness for treadmills!

    Great job to your sister too!


  50. says

    Congrats girl!!! I did that race last year and it was hot then too. I finished in about the same time – it’s amazing what the heat can do to you.

    Congrats to your sister too – she definitely has a 1/2 marathon in her 🙂


  51. says

    Amazing time for your half marathon- that is awesome. congrats to your sister as well. I ran my first 5K yesterday and my goal was to do it in under 30 mins too! I managed it in 29.37 so lots to improve on but I’m really pleased. The humidity must make it so hard to run and stay hydrated! My race was in the cold and fog!


  52. says

    I totally agree with you on the heat and humidity! I really felt it at the Pier, too. I changed my goal to just finishing as well. I think you’re time was awesome (no matter whether it was hot or not)!


  53. Donna says

    Great Job Julie!!…The humidity was a major factor as we know….I ran it yesterday too and even though I beat my PR, it wasn’t one of my good races…I felt terrible physically afterwards too…..Congrats and Good Luck on the RNR girl!! 😀


  54. Kelly says

    Congrats on another half marathon! You are on a roll!!! Quick question…what kind of head bands do you wear to keep your hair out of your face? I have bought some in the past but I find they just slide and don’t stay put. 😉


  55. Jamie says

    I too ran this race and it was tough, it was my first of 3 half marathon weekends back to back. I got really sick after it because it was soooo hot! I plan on running it again this year though. You should check into running the 26.2 with Donna in Jax for your mom! It is a great race! I plan on doing it again this coming Feb 2013 for my 3rd time. Good luck and love the blog. I live in Orlando so I am right there with you on training in this heat!!!



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