Sunday, January 2, 2011

DeLeon Springs Half Marathon

January 2, 2011

I woke up race morning at about 5:45, 15 minutes before my wake up call. I played online for a bit and checked the weather. It was wet outside. Thin lines of showers were moving through. I was glad that I brought my older shoes just in case. I didn’t want my new adrenalines to get wet the first time out. I realized after a bathroom stop that I wasn’t as hydrated as I should be. I kind of had a feeling this would be the case last night when I was feeling dehydrated. I got dressed, made sure I had all my gear in the bag and headed out. There was a Duncan Donuts right next door to my hotel, so I walked over and got a coffee before hitting the road.

I managed to find the race start with some luck. I saw a car with a 13.1 sticker in front of me so I decided to follow behind him in hopes he was going the same way. He was! It was a good thing I turned off the main road when he did, because I did not see the sign for the park until I had already turned onto the correct road. I got a good parking spot and then headed over to pick up my bib and shirt. The shirt was kind of boring, but the type down the arm was cool. I was back in my car within minutes and had about an hour to kill before race start. I enjoyed my coffee and a cliff bar while reading the newest Runners World. With about 20 minutes to spare, I figured I’d hit the porta potty. I also found someone who could tell me how many water stops there would be. The guy said there was one at 1.5, 4 and 6. It was an out and back course, so I figured I would be good without my own water. (mistake #1) I got in a very long line for the women’s bathroom and waited and waited. Finally got a stall with two minutes to race start!! That was the fastest I’ve ever gone! I entered the crowd of waiting runners and found myself next to a group of fellow Half Fanatics! We said "hi’s" and "good luck’s" and then we were off!

I started off at a good clip. My pirformis was feeling a little tight, but I took two Advil earlier, so hoped that would carry me through. I also had two Endurolyte tabs in hopes that would help with hydration. The water at mile 1.5 was needed and hit the spot. It was feeling very humid already. Around mile two, one of the Half Fanatics, Kevin, caught up to me. We ended up running the next 2 miles together. It was nice having someone to chat with for a while. I had two Clif blocks while walking through the water stop.

Mile 1 – 9:04
Mile 2 – 9:34
Mile 3 – 9:50
Mile 4 – 10:07

My skirt bounces a lot in the back!
(thanks for the photo)

From mile 4 through 6 I felt pretty good. I actually felt like my pace was better than it had been. It must have been the caffeine in the blocks. There was one woman running who would pass me and then would slow down to a walk, and then I would pass her. This happened a lot until mile 6 when I pulled ahead for good. One of my goals was to stay ahead of her to the finish and I did.:) At the mile 6 water stop, I had my endurolytes out and ready to swallow once I got my water. When I pulled them out of the baggie, one fell on the ground! I needed that sucker, so I picked it up, dusted it off and swallowed it! It was a good thing I was paying attention to the runners ahead of me because just past the water stop we turned left down a side street. No course markers and the 2 teenagers at the water stop said nothing!

Mile 5 – 10:08
Mile 6 – 9:58

Lots of great shade for the next half mile or so before we turned back out to the main road and started the run back to the finish. I was really regretting not bringing my sunglasses (mistake #2). The cloud cover was gone. The sun shining on the puddles and wet road was very bright and uncomfortable. As I got closer to the water station that was at mile 6 again I could see that some runners had missed the turn and were heading my way. A woman ahead of me waved her arms at them, pointed to the street and yelled that they needed to turn. They all gave the girls at the water stop a dirty look as the passed by the table on their way back to that side street. The next few miles were hard. It was getting pretty hot and there was NO shade at all.

Mile 7 – 10:31
Mile 8 – 10:23

We finally got shade around mile 9 and the water stop was a welcome site. I had two clif blocks in my mouth when I grabbed a cup water from one of the teenagers working this stop. I walked a bit then lifted the cup up to take a sip when I noticed dirt (or something) floating in my cup. Not just a few particles but a lot! I dumped it and walked back for more water. I looked in the cup this time before walking away. That was just so gross! Why would she give runners a cup of dirty water?! I really should have brought my own water. I was pretty thirsty at this point. There hadn't been any water for 3 miles which is just to long of a gap for such a hot morning. The next few miles were mostly shady with a bit of a breeze, so that helped a lot. The turn into the park was a welcome sight. At mile 12.3 we turned a corner which had us running in to a strong wind. I was hoping to pick up the speed a little for the last half mile, but I just couldn’t get going any faster with the wind. The final last little bit was just after a turn to the left. I say the clock getting very close to turning to 2:16, so ran it as hard as I could. I ended up finishing right at 2:16!

Mile 9 – 11:06
Mile10 – 10:28
Mile 11 – 10:45
Mile 12 – 11:27
Mile 13 – 11:09
Mile .13 – 1:19

They had our medals waiting at the finish line and a table set up with small cups of water. I understand why races don’t like to use plastic bottles, but come on! I wanted some good tasting water after drinking yucky tap water for the last 2 hours! Thankfully my car was right next to the finish line. I had a good bottle of water waiting for me in there. I dried off a bit with the beach towel I brought and then grabbed my yoga strap to find a place to stretch. I could feel my leg muscles were pretty tight. I actually felt pretty tight for the last 2 miles which shows in my much slower times. The only thing I could eat on the food table was a banana, so I grabbed that and then found a place to stretch. Before leaving I chatted with Kevin. He had a bad race as well and a few other guys in our area mentioned that they did as well. I didn’t stick around for the awards ceremony. I was no where close to the top 3 in my age group. Plus It was 11 am already and I had a noon check out time. On my way out of the hotel I ran into the Southernmost Walker, a Half Fanatic, and his wife. The race was a rough one for them too.

I wouldn’t run this race again, however I am happy that I did run it. I would recommend it to people who live close and want to run a small, community type race. They don’t have the volunteers or set up for a large group of runners. I plan on emailing them and letting them know that they should bring in porta potties next time. 4 stalls for all those women was not enough!


  1. Sorry you had a rough race . . I can't believe they only had 4 porta potties! I'm sure you're next half with go better!

  2. It was nice racing with you this weekend. I hope I did not chat your ear off. That was a really poorly ran race. I also will not be doing that one soon. I will post a review on it later today. Hope to see you again at a future race. Maybe Gasparilla.