Wow. What a weekend, I am not really sure I’ve recovered from it yet.
So this weekend was the “big weekend” My Friend Wendy ran her first half Marathon with me. I had encouraged her to try running as a form of exercise, and she has done really well with it! Another friend from Vox (oh how I miss Vox blogging, much less complex than word press…) A. was also supposed to run with us, but she had sufferred an injury. She still came down to cheer us on, so that was really generous and nice of her.
My issue with this race started in the timing of the thing. I was so sure I needed it to combat this mythical Post Marathon Depression….well.. What I needed after the Marathon was Rest! But the race was scheduled, so…I went along.
Secondly, being very tired from arranging everything for the Marathon, I asked Wendy to arrange things for this one. I really wish I had been more involved in this, like in looking at where the place was! I realized the night before that it was going to be a 6 hour drive. Florida is not very wide, but it is long. So I was looking at a 6 hr drive on Friday…doing what not on Saturday and Racing on Sunday and then driving 6 hours home. Whew. I need to pay attention to these things.
So I drove up there on Friday. The drive was really really long! I got very bored and such but I did make it there in one piece. A. was already there with her BF and seemed to be enjoying herself. Wendy was arriving later…as she had further to drive and had also worked a pretty difficult shift.
We had dinner with A and her BF. It was a nice dinner, though maybe a bit strange…I am sure her BF felt out of place as the only guy at a table of women…We had a nice dinner, stayed up waaay too late talking, and collapsed into bed.
Saturday….well…I learned that I must must consume coffee before noon. Wendy, and I finally got it together and found an AWESOME diner…The Donut Hole. The Donut Hole is an old timy diner that makes great cake donuts and things that are a little off like “Key Lime Donuts” and the “Diet plate” which is gaurenteed to kill any
diet. We stuffed ourselves silly and enjoyed the energetic service. After this, the weather was really not good, so we drove about and looked about at things in the area. The wind was blowing pretty strongly…
We also picked up out Race packets. The T shirts were awesome…and we were provided, with believe it or not, VERA BRADLEY WATER. ie: water in plastic bottles with the signature paisley pattern on it. I am so surprised, I just do not want to drink it yet. In addition, they were handing out the small ID holders in this years styles. I was surprised..Vera Bradley sponsors this race, but I thought she would use it as an opportunity to give away styles that did not sell well. Apparently not.
The rest of the Expo was a little disappointing…very few give-aways. Mostly there were a lot of items for sale. I was also hoping that there would be an Orthopod booth so I could have someone look at this wierd thing my leg does…but no ortho booth.
We had a really wonderful dinner at a new local place…SHorty’s Surfside.. I highly recommend it, though I do not really recommend the Crab Cakes. The Sushi was just well….really really great. Like, we had it as an appetizer and it was so good we ordered a second order of it!
The only problem I had was that I ordered a cup of Decaf at the end of dinner…and I am 100% sure the person forgot and brought me Caffed coffee….
It rained and rained….the wind blew like crazy and I could not sleep. My joints were aching and I started to get a little worried about the whole “race” aspect about the weekend. I can not exactly explain that awful feeling of sharing a hotel room with someone and not being able to sleep. One can not just get up and pace, or turn on the TV or anything, for fear of disturbing the other. Little did I know that Wendy was tossing and turning for most of the night too.
At 4:29 am I finally decided just to get up…so I made coffee (caffed this time) and Wendy was up getting ready as well. I couldn’t find anything…Saftey pins, my “race underwear”, nothing…We both were in extremely foul moods, as the wind was blowing up to 17-20 MPH in gusts, and it was COLD. probably about 50 degrees F. But of course, race day is race day. So while complaining we did make it down to the shuttle site. Since it was a shuttle we couldn’t take anything with us, so we were shuttled over in our shorts and T shirts. We FROZE for about an hour waiting for the race to start. The wind was merciless and the temp was a balmy 54. 54 seems ok, until you think about standing out in it with that stiff breeze.
Of course, runners are AWESOME people, so everyone was really quite friendly as we crouched behind buildings to get out of the wind. one thing that struck me about this race was that people were really super friendly. Perhaps because I live in a community of tri-athletes, I may have forgotten what it’s like to do a “fun run” People were great.
Finally the Gun went off, and we were off. Within the first half mile, I lost Wendy. She took off like a blaze of glory. I was also hit smack in the face by the Wind. One lady beside me said it was like a “Burst of super freshness” It was intense and, if truth be told, really unpleasant. There is no way I would have done a 13 mile training run in this kind of weather. I kept running, but I felt TERRIBLE. There were Hills when I thought the course was flat, and I just felt overall..not too into it. I got to a point of the course marked 5K turnaround, so we were about 1.5 miles in, and I just wanted to quit. I have to admit, the whole cold, lack of training, lack of sleep and my general bad mood…was taking over. BUt suddenly I thought “Darn it all, I want my Vera Bradley Bag.” So I started running again. Wendy and I passed each other a few times during these miles about 4-6. We had made an agreement not to run “together” which suited me well, as I am not a good running partner…as my Marathon with Jim would attest..
I took a gel at mile 4.5 and at mile 5.5 I started to feel better. A lot better. I cruised on up a hill to the turn around at mile 6.5. The entire town was out for the race, with some adorable signs, and I started to really enjoy myself. They close the one main drag in town and the residents got into it by putting individual mile signs and such at the end of their driveways. Most came out and sat in chairs draped in blankets with coffe in hands…and cheered and cheered for us. This is pretty rare and was totally enjoyable for me. It was the first race where I felt super appreciated and welcomed by spectators. The Aid stations were similar. Most were manned by students at the school that the race supports. Sometimes teens are not so enthusiastic…given the horrific cold (and they were standing still in it.) and such, I was really impressed by their enthusiasm. When I said “thank you” to them instead of saying “You’re Welcome” many of them replied, “No thank you for coming and running!”
I ran pretty well from Mile 6 through mile 11. At Mile 11, I saw my personal Best time come and go. Sooo, I got a wee bit lazy. I walked a little. I talked a bit with a few other runners. I ran a little. At Mile thirteen I decided to get this thing over with and ran it in. My time was 2:48. A personal worst for me. BUT I had a ton of fun.
I got my Medal, pictured above, and I got my Vera Bradley Bag which is not pictured above. This is the Bag I got.
I’m not a Huge Vera fan, as I think the style can be a bit, errr Grandmotherly. But. I did like this bag. I have to say I have been carrying it for 2-3 days now for work, and it is constructed well…and holds everything I need, so…I am happy to have it. I do think the goodies we got at the race pretty much cover the price.
I give the race itself 2 thumbs up. ALL my local running girl friends who ran the Disney Princess the week before at almost double the price now really want to run this one next year. I really really hope to get a cottage on the race course with everyone so we can really enjoy the beach and cook something ourselves. And hopefully enjoy the beach!
SO theres that little race report…..