While this race wasn’t my best, it also wasn’t my worst.
The short version (for the story-averse) 1:56.31, 8:54 per mile, 12th in my age group, 108th overall. The main protagonist was the weather…75 degrees at the start with 100% humidity.
Ok, now…from the start.
My friend Crystal and I headed out on Friday to pick up our packets. It was ridiculously easy. No lines just a quick in and out.
You may hear me say this more than once. I love these race shirts. Mainly because of the color, but they are also a nice tech fabric and they fit nicely. They did women specific shirts and I love them.
Saturday I got birthday spoiled: breakfast-in-bed, dinner and cupcakes at my parent’s house and then early to bed. The 4:30 wake up call was going to come wayyyyy too early for my liking. So I got all my stuff ready to go…
Sunday morning, I started my oh-my-goodness-what-time-is-it panic around 2:30 and got restless sleep until my alarm sounded. I suited up and fueled up. I knew it was going to be a warm one so I made an almost chewable batch of Gatorade hoping to soak up the extra electrolytes. I made a bagel with some jam and hit the road.
We got to the start with about 45 minutes to kill. It was really strange…we headed strait to the port-a-johns and there were no lines. No lines? Huh? I mean people were standing around chatting and whatnot, but we literally walked right up to an open door and went in. That’s never happened to me before.
Before the start, I started to notice something different about this race. It just felt like it was a “runners” race. There were so many running clubs there and there was such a unique spirit surrounding the whole event. I really enjoyed everything! I can’t believe it was the first year for this race. From my perspective everything went off without a hitch. Well…except for the fact that it was June in Central Florida…
Miles 1-3 (avg pace 8:33)
Going into this race I had zero idea what my plan was. It’s been so long since my last race I had no real gauge about my fitness level. And then after my recent illness and the fact that I haven’t run for two weeks…well, I just figured that I’d figure it out eventually. I felt really good for the first few miles. It mysteriously felt cooler than I thought it would and I foolishly thought that the day was going to go much better than it did. I was consistently running 8:30′s and thought that I might be able to keep that up.
Miles 3-9 (avg pace 8:47)
Right around mile 3 something started feeling off in my left hip. It was tight and I couldn’t get it to loosen up. I did my best to keep my gait from changing. The pain would come and go, so I figured it couldn’t be that serious and kept pushing on. I found a few people around me that were running really consistent paces and just tried to hang on. My pace goal shifted to “anything under 9.” And “Oh, stay ahead of the girl in the pink shirt.”
Miles 9-11.5 (avg pace 9:08)
Right at mile 9 we turned a corner and ran directly into the sun. Up to that point we were mostly shaded and there had been a nice layer of haze that kept the sun from being too intense. From 9 on there was definitely more sun than shade. And my pace paid dearly. I could not hold on to a sub-9 pace anymore. I got passed a lot during these miles. My hip started to throb.
Miles 11.5-13.1 (avg pace 9:11)
At this point I was fairly confident that I’d be able to finish without having to walk. Although I desperately wanted to walk… The race turned back onto a bike path and we got some welcome shade for the last mile or so. I crossed the finished line and almost immediately was joined by Mr. Dawn and Little G! It is so fun to have my two favorite dudes to welcome me to the finish.
My first priority was to find some shade, I was SO OVER being in the sun and completely tired of sweating. As soon as we found some shade I crouched down. I’m not sure why I do this, but it always feels so good to stretch out my legs like this.
I tried to stand up several times, but each time I did I would feel light headed and got a little scared that I might pass out. Three or four times I stood up so that we could go get some food or something, but I couldn’t get my head to stop spinning. I tried drinking a little bit of water but I couldn’t get much down. I kept telling Mr. Dawn that this has never happened….
After a few minutes I was able to pull it together and we headed over to enjoy the after party food. I got him a BBQ chicken sandwich and Little G and I munched on strawberries. Little G was getting close to nap time, so we loaded up into our car to head home.
My hip hurt for the rest of the day. My mom and I went shopping with Little G and the whole time I felt like I was limping. This is not good. I really wanted to take an ice bath, but the water out of the tap was room temperature (if not higher) and we didn’t have any ice in the house. I’m a little worried about how its going to feel this week. Hopefully getting in a yoga class or two and foam rolling will do the trick.
So, I’d say I’m satisfied with this race, not happy necessarily, but satisfied for sure. Mainly because I now have a “starting point.” After having a baby and having back surgery last year, I feel like I’m a runner starting over and before today I wasn’t sure exactly where I would be starting from. Now I’m excited to have my first measuring stick laid out in front of me. I’m even more excited to start formulating my training strategy for this fall’s half marathon. I’m really hoping that I can PR in the 13.1 distance!