It’s Monday night and I barely have the energy to write this race recap. I am plum exhausted from this weekend. Waking up before 5am both Saturday & Sunday is just wrong.
Sunday morning I had a 3:30 wake up call. I think I hit the snooze button a few times and got up around 4. I think. At this point yesterday morning is pretty hazy. For breakfast I ate two pieces of toast w/ butter and drank a cup of coffee on my car ride down to new port richey.
At 5:20am I rolled into the Target parking lot for a pre-race photo with the running group.
What a cheery bunch of individuals we are:
We arrived in Madeira beach around 6:20 in plenty of time to gather our timing chips & use the porto-potties a few times. The weather was windy and a little bit chilly. There was a 40% chance of rain in the forecast with cloud coverage for the majority of the day. (two cheers for cloud coverage…I just spelled cloud, like clowd..wow)
The race was set to start at 7:35, but due to some difficulties with a bridge that we were supposed to run across so the race was delayed for about 20 minutes. I didn’t mind the delay – the worst part was the wind. I felt like I was using a lot of energy shivering and jumping up & down trying to stay warm.
The gun went off around 7:55, and there I was, running my 4th half-marathon since October 30th. It was raining a little and the ground was kind of slick – we saw/heard a lady behind us eat it not long after we stared. Eek! Thankfully the drizzle stopped, and it looked like it had only rained in a concentrated area. The ground was dry after the first mile.
I ran with Tracey & our plan was to run around an 8:35-8:40/avg. I felt I could maintain this even after running a hard half last weekend. The first 4 miles are along Gulf Blvd in Madeira beach. It was pretty humid, and somewhat breezy with lots of cloud cover. (again, spelled cloud like clowd.. need sleep).
I was a little apprehensive about this course because there was one causeway, and two overpass type bridges. As I’ve said, about 6,000x before, I hate any kind of incline.
We hit the first bridge around mile 4 something (I think). It wasn’t to bad. There was a question as to whether or not the bridge would be up or down when we got there. It’s the type of bridge that opens when sailboats, or other big boats need to pass through. There was some mishap with paperwork and the coastguard couldn’t guarantee that the bridge would be closed during the entire race. Thankfully the weather was pretty gross for boating so the bridge remained closed for the duration of the race.
Maybe I don’t know how to run down hill correctly, but running down is worse than running up or at least equally as bad. It seems like it’s a lot of wear & tear on my quads when I run down hill. Anyone else?
Miles 5, 6 & 7 were pretty uneventful and went by rather quickly. Oh, I put my hair into a bun from a pony tail. I can not stand my hair to be bouncing around and hitting the back of my neck. It drives me crazy.
Somewhere around miles 8ish we saw the Pinellas county legend Larry . You really should click the link and watch the video about Larry. What a cool guy. At first glance he would appear to be a homeless guy running the streets in flip flops. According to the video, Larry is not homeless, and he runs in flip flops because he wants to. Larry has been spotted all over the bay area running in shorts & flip flops. — This was my 2nd time seeing Larry running along side a race. We also spotted him at the Race for a Cure 10k in St. Pete back in October. Several members of the running group have spotted him through out the years in various places around the Bay just running in his flip flops.
Oh, also around mile 8, while running with Larry the flip flop man, we saw our cheering section screaming very loudly! It was really fun to see them along the trail! I’m not sure if there are any pictures of us as we came through the section, but I think I might have cracked a smile or two. Maybe even a thumbs up. Not sure.
Miles 7 –12.something were spent on the Pinellas Trail. Lots of shade from big trees that lined the trail. There was a good breeze coming through the trail so it was somewhat cool. Along the trail we hit two overpasses. Thankfully they are short climbs so they don’t wreak to much havoc on tired legs. I can’t be sure where the overpasses were. 7.something, and 10.something, maybe.. My brain is seriously mush, and looking at the elevation map doesn’t reveal anything. It’s quite wonky looking.
The 2nd elevation chart is Tracey’s
I don’t know what the heck is wrong with my chart. Neither one looks right to me. The course felt completely flat besides the 1 bridge, and 2 over passes…
Around mile 12.something we entered into the park and we went from running on paved trail to a rockish path. I didn’t mind the change, although I heard a few people say that they did not care for it.
I had a little bit of juice left in the tank during that last mile so I put down the hammer and sped toward the finish line.
I enjoyed this race, but I oh-so-ready to see that glorious finish line. Our group was just before the finish line screaming and cheering for us! It’s really fun to have some crowd support there! Once again, I made sure to have a smile on my face, and maybe even some silly faces as I ran past our cheering fans!
Garmin time was 1:52:50
I’ll take it!
The most important part of this race for me was to have a good time. I’m learning that I’m not the type of person that feels all rainbows & butterflies when I’m running 13 miles, but I did enjoy the race (as much as one can enjoy 13 miles).
I actually liked the courses – oddly enough I didn’t mind the bridge & overpasses. I think they were a nice challenge and broke up the monotony of flatness. Now, if I was going for a PR, I prefer a flat race, but a race just to have a good time, a few inclines never killed anyone (that I know of).
After all of the Striders crossed the finish line we headed over to the awards ceremony, where a few of our super-duper speedy Striders won some OA awards, and a few AG awards!
After the awards ceremony some of the Striders headed over to the Seminole Family Restaurant for Breakfast/Lunch. I was starving by time we headed to breakfast and I had eggs & grits on the brain.
For breakfast I had X cups of coffee. The number is disclosed.. it was a lot. The waitress brought us our own carafe thing of coffee for our table… To eat I had a giant cheese omelet with 2 bowls of grits & about 6 or 7 pieces of bacon. Please believe that there was almost nothing left. I left a little bit of grits in one of the bowls. I could have eaten more, but for the sake of my poor gut I quit eating before I popped.
I finally made it home around 4pm.. 11 hours later and I finally made it home from half-marathon #4. ….. shortly after I made it home, like around 5, Chris fired up the grill and cooked some steak with a regular potato for him, and a sweet potato for me. I can’t believe that I ate the whole steak and the whole potato, but I did. I weighed myself this morning and I weighed less than I have in a month….. that doesn’t even make sense. I weighed myself just for a laugh – I figured I probably gained a few lbs from all the sodium..
Fueling: As if this post isn’t long enough, I’ll throw in a few deets about my fueling situation. The last three half-marathons I’ve suffered from abdominal cramping. I haven’t been able to really pinpoint what is causing the cramping, so Sunday morning I opted for toast instead of a bagel.
my thinking was that maybe the bagel is to much, or to heavy for my stomach. maybe I don’t have time to digest it enough before the start of the race. I had a bagel for breakfast before all three previous half-marathons.
I also thought maybe it was a combo of the coffee & bagel, but we all know I’m not going to ditch the pre-race coffee, so the bagel had to go.
I’ve also been wondering if the hammer gels are also part of my cramping problem. Prior to this racing season I used sport beans for my fuel during races. However, I’ve been unable to find them at our local sports authority so I was using shot bloks during training runs. … I discovered that I don’t really care for the texture of shot bloks so I switched to the hammer gels.
The apple-cinnamon gels taste good, but they are thick and kind of hard to get down. Plus, they need to be taken with water, and I have a hard time drinking a lot of water (at one time) during a race. I find that drinking to much at one stop will also give me some cramping.
Since I didn’t have anything besides hammer gels I used them for this half as well. They didn’t give me any problems, but I’m still ordering some sharkie things from running warehouse to try out.
Maybe the bagel was giving me the cramping? I didn’t have any issues during this half-marathon. I drank a little bit of water at all of the stations but two, where I drank gatorade, because it was the only thing I could get my hands on.
Okay, for real, I’m done with this post. It took me 2 hours to write this. I should block the internet while I blog. I can’t stop FB stalking, or twitter stalking, or reading blogs while I blog and it makes writing a race recap really difficult.
This picture screams: Hey, I’m done..I’m dying, but I’m done. yippee!