Celebration Inaugural Marathon

Last Sunday, I ran my first marathon. It took me 5 hours and 40 some minutes.

Mile 21 and on was probably the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I spent that last 5+ miles barely lucid. I was crying on and off. I was trying to figure out if it was possible to stop running and just give up. Even if I did give up, I wouldn’t have been able to figure out how to get back to the start.

During the race, I ate two pancakes, 3 or 4 Clif Shots, and various items the Celebration townspeople gave us, and I drank loads of water. But still, that last 5 miles was some kind of torture.

Adding insult to injury was when I hit 26.2 miles according to the GPS and still had to run almost another half mile to the finish line.

Two of my friends who came to cheer my on ran about .05 miles with me as I neared the finish line which made the crying come to a full blown bawl fest. I cried all the way through and after the finish line. I am getting teary eyed even thinking about it.

When I started running 3 years, the first mile I ran was at a 16 mile pace. My first 5k took me almost 40 minutes. The first time I ran 5 miles without walking it took me over an hour, but I was damn proud of myself. My first half marathon was the most painful thing I had ever done, and I was convinced I would never do another.

And then I ran a marathon last week. I ran a flipping marathon. I can’t wrap my head around it, but I did it.

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St Pete Beach Classic Half Marathon

Last Saturday, I paced for the St Pete Beach Classic half marathon. It was sort of last minute, but I signed on to pace the 2:45 group. I was a little bit nervous, but used Cool Running’s pace calculator to figure out what time I should be hitting each mile. It was very difficult to go that slow for a half, especially since adrenaline hit me even though I wasn’t really racing.

The things that I liked about this race were…
1. I forgot my race belt thus had no fuel. I ran 2 hours and 43 minutes with nothing but water.
2. I did not listen to any music or anything past the first mile and then again at the last mile.
3. I was not completely dead AGAIN after a half marathon for the second time.

This marathon training has done some crazy things for my distance running. While I’m appreciative of my improvement as a runner, I can say that I have no damn interest in running a marathon again!

Wish me luck Sunday. My goal? Survival.

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The Florida Holiday Halfathon

On December 15, 2013, I ran the Florida Holiday Halfathon, and I made that race my bitch. Truthfully, I just killed my PR. After having sky dived the day before, I felt invincible. 

Pre-race

There were multiple packet pick ups throughout the area. A friend picked mine up from Fit 2 Run in Tampa, so no worries there. This packet is super boring. It’s the shirt and paper.

The Race

Last year when I ran this race, I was super bored with distance running and didn’t train very seriously. This year, the race was basically a training run for my marathon training, and I was not even sort of worried about the race. I am amazed at the fact that I don’t even blink at the thought of running for over two hours anymore.

My only goal was to at least beat my 2:27 time from the previous year. I straight murdered that PR. The coolest part of the race was I wasn’t completely wasted and dead afterwards. Normally, I’m dead to the world and can’t think. 

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Post Race

The medal was essentially the same as last year’s. I gorged on pasta and beer and actually took a photo on the official background (I never remember to do that at races).

An exciting difference between last year and this year was the insane amount of people I knew at the race. I am in too many damn run clubs.

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Women’s Running 5K

Last year, I told myself I wasn’t going to do this race again. It’s so expensive.

Pre-race:

I picked up my packet at the expo which is at the ridiculously beautiful Vinoy. For the second year in a row, this expo was disappointing, especially after the Gasparilla expo which rivals Comic Con. But I did pick up a new headband to add to my collection. My new one says “I’m kind of a big deal.”

Race Day (27:40):
I street parked again like last year. Despite the number of people that run this, there’s a helluva lot of parking to be had downtown the morning of the race.

This year, all the runners started at the same time, but after about .75 miles, the two races veered in different directions. The 5K route was very different than last year, and I shaved 50 seconds off my time compared to last year’s race which was PR up until this month. 

Post Race:

After I finished, I fell in love with this damn race again. There are so many things after the race including a tent full of nothing but Publix cookies and one for champagne. And there was a freshen up tent complete with wipes, smell good spray, deodorant, and scrunchies. 

So while I say I’m never doing it again, I am already convinced that is lie. Maybe next year I will do the half. We’ll see…

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The Mustache Dache 5K

Before the Race
Packet pick up was the day before at a local running store. This was an eco friendly pick up, and runners were encouraged to bring their own swag bag. I am not sure what the bag was for as the packet consisted of the race bib and the t shirt. There was no swag! Runners who didn’t pre pick up the packet were in a line that barley cleared up before the race started. 

They also had a mustache creation station (they drew a mustache with a marker), but I was prepared with my own homemade ‘stache.
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This was a PR for me. It is pretty easy to run downtown St. Pete because it’s so flat. My last 5K PR was down there as well.

This race started at Spa Beach Park near the Pier and went to the Dali and back twice. It wasn’t a particularly exciting route, and I hate when a race has runners repeat the route. 

After the Race
The medal is a mustache which was cute.
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Runners could type their bib into a computer station and get their time, but my time didn’t register. As such, I’m not in the race results, so it’s like I didn’t run.

There was water, trail mix granola bars, and chocolate mustaches. Shipyard Brewing Company had a beer garden, and I got two free beers which was awesome. After the medal ceremony, there was a costume contest and music. 

I used a Groupon and got this race for $20, but if I’d paid full price I would not have been satisfied. 

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Miles for a Cure Dual Challenge

Before the Race
There were 3 different packet pick ups in Clearwater throughout the week. Since that’s a half hour drive for me, I opted to pick it up the morning of the race. Big mistake. I stood in line forever, and finally when there were only 15 minutes till my race started, I stepped over to the “no timing chip” side because there was no one in that line. (They had one chic working the time chip and two working the line no one was in.) They helped me out since I still had to set up my bike before the run.

The “transition” station for the dual challenge runners had street barricades acting as bike racks. There was no attendant, so when I left for my bike ride, I just left my bag on the sidewalk and hoped for best.

The opening ceremonies were led by a brain cancer survivor. After she spoke, there wasn’t going to be a National Anthem because the singer cancelled, but a runner volunteered to do it and was absolutely amazing. I had chills from it.

After that, the 25k, 50k, and 100k riders left, and the runners (5k and 10k) and dual challenge (5k and 25k bike) people headed to the start line.

The 5K Run- 29:55
This race started at Coachman Park just like the Iron Girl race did. It also was the same route. As such, the majority of the first mile is going up the Clearwater Memorial Causeway then turning around and doing it again.

Despite the inclines and my stuffed nose, I still managed a pretty decent pace.

The 25K Bike Ride- 1:18:13
During the bike ride, I went back up the Causeway, down around Clearwater Beach, up the Sand Key Bridge then back up all the bridges.

My legs were dead to the world. It was hot as hell. I was on a fat tire bike, but I did the damn thing. The water station 7 miles in was my savior with Gatorade, grapes, and bananas.

I followed the map exactly, but many other riders just cut back to the park instead of picking up the three miles up and around downtown. It still wasn’t a 15 mile ride, but as tired as I was, I wasn’t complaining.

The views over the bridges,unlike my heavy breathing and out-of-control sweating, were absolutely beautiful.

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The ride wasn’t marked well enough, so people mostly did what they wanted. And it wasn’t timed, so I wouldn’t call that half of the challenge a race. It was more of an endurance test.

After the Race
After the run and before the ride, we got dog tag medals which can be seen here:

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The free post race food was hamburgers and hot dogs. There was soda, Starbucks coffee, and beer. I only had a hot dog and a Coke.

I am interested in doing it next year, but I will definitely have to train for running/riding up bridges because that absolutely slayed me!

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Run for the Fallen… Again

Last year, I swore I wouldn’t do it again, but what had happened was I became an ambassador for a local running store. As such, I need 8 races a year, and Run for the Fallen is free and AGAIN was a damn mess.

There were some improvements. My registration was there this time, but a friend’s wasn’t. We both registered when it opened, but they didn’t have her registration and gave her a numberless bib.

There were 16 port-o-Johns to last year’s 4. And the hand washing station had plenty of soap, but not enough water.

At the opening ceremonies, we could actually hear what was happening this year. And it sort of started on time, though I wish it was an earlier race. It’s too hot in September for a 9:30 start, and I felt like Mufasa braving the African heat trying not to die in the sweltering mess.

There were cops this year, and the road was blocked off so no fire ants, but the throng of thousands was relegated to one lane.

They had small cups at the drink stations instead of throwing water bottles at us. Whilst that was an improvement, the stations weren’t spread out enough. The first one was at 1.25 miles, then 1.75, 3.75, and 4.25.

Parking this year was a disaster; we parked in the lot of a closed business because the traffic was backed up for miles while people waited to get into the parking lot.

The actual distance of the 5K was 2.5 miles, and the 10K was only 5 miles. Races are normally a little off with the miles, but these fools weren’t even close.

While it may seem like a post about improvements should mean the race went well, that is not the case here. It is still a disorganized cluster eff run by someone who clearly has never run a race.

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