I got up early, 4 a.m., race morning and checked the weather first thing. Temp was 70 degrees and high humidity. Yuck! I had a cup of coffee, got ready and then hit the road.
The drive up was uneventful and very foggy. Got a call from my friend just as I pulled into a parking spot. We met up near packet pick up, got my shirt and bag and then hit the port-a-potty line. :) We had about 45 minutes to hang out and get ourselves ready before the race started.
The walkers got started a little after 7 am, which pushed our start back a bit to. I ended up a bit farther back then I normally start, but this was a smaller race, so it didn’t take too long to get to where I could run comfortably without weaving in and out of other runners. The first few miles were very foggy. I kept a pretty even pace, which was a bit slower than normal for the early miles of a race for me, but I didn’t want to bonk out like I did during the last race that had similar conditions.
Mile 1: 9:33
mile 2: 9:27
mile 3: 10:01
Just before mile 4 we ran over a bridge with a decent incline. We were now street running in a neighborhood, heading east towards the Pinellas Trail. I noticed another runner next to me holding her sunglasses and realized I’d forgotten mine! I hoped that the fog would stick around to keep the sun out of my eyes for the rest of the race. Thankfully, it did.
At mile 4 I had my first 2 luna moons with a little bit of water. My strategy for this race was to not over drink. I didn’t want to have the sloshing in my stomach again.
At around mile 6, we connected with the Pinellas Trail. I had 2 more luna moons here with water. We had a pretty steep bridge to run over, but I ran up it and then really enjoyed running down the other side. I was still feeling pretty good, just very sweaty! People around me were just drenched, so it wasn’t just me. :) I got water at the next water station, close to mile 8, but forgot to eat more moons.
Mile 4: 9:59
Mile 5: 9:51
Mile 6: 10:07
Mile 7: 10:27
Mile 8: 10:13
Just before getting to mile 10 I started feeling like I could really use a walking break. I told myself I would wait until I got to the next water station and then walk a bit then. I figured it would be at mile 10 or soon after. Wrong!! It was nowhere to be found. Also at this point, I looked down at my garmin and discovered it wasn’t on any more! I turned it back on, but it shut down again within minutes. I guess the battery was dead. Bummer. I ran until I got to mile 11, then took a short walking break.
Mile 9: 10:11
No garmin breakdown for the last miles. :(
Finally just before mile 12, we entered the park that the finish line was located in. The last water station was much needed. I got half a cup of water and then managed to spill half of that while trying to get the last 2 moons out of the bag. I drank my little bit of water and just kept going. The last mile was tough. It was a pretty area, around a large lake, but I was just tired. I took 2 walking breaks. I managed to run the last quarter mile of the race with a strong, fast pace. Clock time finish was 2:15:44! Better than the race 3 weeks ago. I think I’ve figured out the way to run these races in the heat/humidity. :)
Over all I am happy with the race. I wonder if I’d had my garmin working, if I would have pushed myself a bit more at the end in order to finish sooner. My course record from 2002 is 2:13. But I did beat results from 2006, which was 2:21. Official results posted give me a time of 2:15:44. What? It took me at least 30 seconds to cross the starting line! It should have been less than the clock time. We had timing chips.
Stats : 2:15:47; Jennifer O'Horan, 39; 52 out of 100 in age group; 10:22 (pace)