Thursday, December 27, 2018

Race recaps

St Pete Run Fest 5K and Half marathon, November 17-18, 2018

What a fun weekend! Since I was still in recovery mode from the 100K, I went into these events with no time expectations. I just wanted to have fun! Bonnie, Wendy, Gina and I headed up to St Pete early Saturday morning. We got our packets, then had a long wait for the run. It was a cool morning, which was great for once! I hung with Gina for the first half, then she took off. I felt OK and was very happy with my 27:19 finish time.
Before the start of the half on Sunday.

Bonnie and I hung out at the after party event for a while. Mostly because it took so long for my name to move up the list for a massage. Then we met a big group of SRQ peeps for brunch and then a walk around the farmers market. We then got a tour of Jennifer's boat before taking it easy for the rest of the day.

Sunday morning, half marathon. It had warmed up a bit. Once again, Gina and I started out together. We had Jennifer with us, too. We were trying to hold pace to finish around 2:15. I felt good for the first 8 miles, then, my legs started to tighten up. First Gina pulled ahead, and then, Jennifer pulled ahead at around mile 11. I had to stop and stretch. But, I managed to finish in 2:15 on the dot! I was happy with that.
Endurance House Hunnies.

Ragnar Alafia, December 7, 2018
Running the Green Loop
Ragnar was a lot of fun! This was my first time running in this location. The endurance house team was looking for a female runner, so a week out, I volunteered to fill the spot. I could only run 2 of the 3 legs. I was already committed to volunteering the following morning at the Sandy Claws 5K on Siesta.
The drive to Lithia took just over an hour. The location is far east of Tampa. I arrived just after 8 am. All I had to bring with me was my backback, with a change of clothes and running gear, a chair and my cooler. everything was already set up at the camp site. I like this way of participating in Ragnar! :) Our team, one of 4, started at 11 am. I was runner one. I ran the green, 5.4 mile loop, first. It had some small hills, grass running and narrow single track trails. Oh, and a long stretch of deep sugar sand! Yuck. Finished in 58 minutes. I then got to hang out in the camp for the rest of the day. I got a fantastic 10 minute massage, from a group out of Tampa. I wish they were in Sarasota. That guy knew what he was doing! My shoulder felt so much better. My second run, on the red trail, started a little after 7 pm. It was very dark. This is the hardest trail on the course. I had heard it was hard, but I still was surprised at the crazy, steep little hills out there. I had a head light and I was holding a flash light. I'm glad I had all that light. I'm clumsy, so I wanted to make sure I could see as much as possible. Once I got out of the hilly section, I was able to speed it up again. Still, my overall time was slow. Finished in 1:17:41. We were given a food ticket for a free dinner from any of the 6 food trucks. I had a yummy chicken and rice bowl, then changed my clothes and headed on home. I got home and was in bed by 11 pm. What a long day!

Before the start, with Carolyn.
Florida West Coast Half marathon, December 9, 2018
Two days after Ragnar, I headed over to Benderson Park for the start of the West Coast half marathon. It was going to be an interesting morning. I was feeling alright, but wouldn't really know how good I was, until I started running. The weather was horrible. Humid, windy and cloudy. The cloudy part was fine. It would keep the sun off of us. We just had to worry about the incoming storms. The announcer let us know that the race could be cut short at a variety of times, and if it was cut short, to follow directions to the finish line. The course was a strange one. Lots of out and backs. Carolyn and I parted ways pretty quick, after we left the start line. She had a plan to follow, while I was going to go out and try to do better then I did at the st pete half. We headed off the island, turning right, heading south. The wind was coming from the south. This first bit was hard, but not as windy as it was going to get soon. We ran down to the south end of the lake, right turn and then right turn again, along the bottom path, next to the lake. We ran down to the north end of the lake, turning left, then running south again on the main road. This took us out of the park, heading west. We passed by 3 water stops by this point. Each time, I noticed that none of the high school kids were wearing gloves. gross! Only one of the water stops had an actual bathroom, with running water for hand washing. Most of them held the water cups with their fingers inside the cup. yuck. Thankfully, I had two small bottles of tailwind with me. I did want water every once in a while though. For that, I just grabbed one from the table.

Making that right turn at the lake. Into a strong wind.

The last "floating" mile.

Once we left Benderson, we turned right on Honore. I was very familiar with this loop, as I'd run it many times during Ultra training. They had more teenagers at the neighborhood exits, to warn off cars from running us down. I was still feeling pretty good, but I knew once I hit Benderson again, that would be the real test. We took the right turn, then right again, towards the north end of the lake. Once we hit the open of the lake and turned south, we had the full force of that strong wind. I stopped to take a few pictures, then tied to find people to draft off of. It wasn't easy. This was a small event. Everyone was spread out. That mile stretch took forever! My pace really slowed down. I was so happy to reach the southern end. we turned left and then left again, on the east side of the lake. We had just under a mile to run north, before we would head south again for the last time. I tried to pick up the pace while running north. Once made the uturn to head south again, my pace slowed to a crawl. I did get to see Carolyn, Melissa and Jennifer. Finally, we reached the south end for the last time, turned right and then right again onto the down ramp. We would run the final mile on the floating sidewalk, down the middle of the lake. It was on this last mile, that I felt the rain finally start. I tried to pick up the speed a little, but my legs were feeling super tight. Very happy to see the finish line and finish in 2:10. 5 minutes faster then in St. Pete! Within minutes, the rain started to fall hard. I had just made it in time!

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