Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Florida Beaches Halfathon

March 21, 2010

I was excited to run and finish this race. It would be my fourth in 22 days! As part of the Half Fanatics group, this would put me up to the fourth level, Jupiter.
Sunday morning started out early, 4 am. I got up had a cup of coffee and watched a little TV while I tired to wake up. I was out the door by 5 am. I made good time driving up to Ft Desoto Park, getting there just after 6 am. I stepped out of my car to go get my chip and then had to turn around and grab a sweatshirt. It was cold with the wind! I was a little worried about this. I hadn’t checked the weather before leaving the house, but a few days ago it had said it would be sunny this morning.

I hung out in my car for a while reading the latest issue of Runners World. At about 6:30 I gave Brenda a call to see where she was at. She was just finishing up a 3 mile pre race run. I left my sweatshirt in the car and thenI hit the porta potties, then went to find Brenda at our meeting spot. I ended up finding my friend Melissa and one of her friends. Brenda came up and we chatted for a couple of minutes before going to find a spot behind the starting line. Brenda said there was a chance of rain later and I just hoped it would hold off until after the race.
We got started right on time. We started our run in the parking lot, then headed out to the main street and then ran a loop through a pretty tree lined area. After exiting this area, we ran north, then came back around toward the finish. I felt pretty good, but now we were going to have a long stretch of running into the heavy wind. From about mile 3 to 5.5 the wind was strong, but then we turned to the east and now had good protection from the trees to the side. Just as I passed mile 5.5, the lead man passed me heading home.

Mile 1 – 9:12
Mile 2- 9:22
Mile 3 – 9:30
Mile 4 – 9:57
Mile 5 – 10:10

I am still feeling pretty good at this point. Just a regular long run day with a bunch of other runners around. Just after mile 7 we were running out in the open with no trees on our right to protect us from the strong wind. It was a beautiful view of the Gulf, with the Skyway bridge in the distance, but so windy! The rain had started about half a mile before this and stayed with us for a couple of miles.

Mile 6 - 9:46
Mile 7 – 10:12
Mile8- 10:19
Mile9 – 9:48

The rain was gone by mile 10. I kept trying to get a good look ahead so I could see the next water station. We got to the spot where it should have been (it was there the first time we ran by) but they must have packed up and left when it started raining! I needed that water! Thankfully there was another one at around mile 11. My stomach was getting a little upset here, so I didn’t eat anymore of my fuel.

Mile 10 – 10:03
Mile 11 – 10:30

As I passed mile 12, I had a time of 2 hours. I thought I could finish this race at about the same time as last week if I could pick up the pace. So I started to run faster. Big mistake. My stomach didn’t like that one bit. I ended up having to walk a half mile later. I kept it short though and just took it easy until I saw the mile 13 sign. We turned a corner and headed back into the wind. The finish banner was just ahead, so I put the speed on. I passed a guy at about 13.05 and kept my lead on him into the finish. I held up 4 fingers to proudly proclaim my Jupiter status!

mile 12 - 10:43
Mile 13 – 10:30

I got my starfish medal and a bottle of water and then walked around a little bit. I stopped off at my car to grab a sweatshirt because it was cooling off fast. Then I went to the food table and got a banana and a cookie, then headed over to the finish line to keep an eye out for Brenda. I got a photo of her just before she crossed the finish line and then we hung out for a bit before leaving. As I was heading to my car I saw my friend Melissa heading in to the finish. Stopped to cheer and clap her on before heading out.
I am so happy that I did all these races back to back. It was a lot of fun, but now I need a rest! Surprisingly I feel pretty good post race. I’m not sore at all. Makes me wonder if I could have pushed myself more. Off to the next challenge. My first triathlon? New York Marathon? Disney’s Goofy? We will see.

chip 2:11:28; time: 2:11:38; age group 35/64; women 171/357; overall 392/644;Pace 10:03

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