Anyhow, I haven't been running a lot in the past couple of weeks due to school and work... mostly school. I've been really focused on getting through the semester so that I can move forward with life after May. Whew. Anyways.. now back to running. Haven't done it much since Chicago. I've had really good weeks and really awful weeks... but I've been lacking in consistency, unfortunately. Ugh.
Anyways... so THREE race recaps since the end of October. No joke.
Race one: Wine & Dine Half Marathon, November 10
As this race was the first one after my really rough Halloween Halfathon experience, I wasn't too excited about it, frankly. I felt burnt out on Disney races for the year (I did way too many...) and felt like I should just stop running for a while. I was also exhausted from work and school, as I have been all semester, so I just wasn't excited. My friend Megan came to run with a bunch of her friends (yay new runner friends!), so of course I was looking forward to the weekend. Just not the race part.
I worked the morning of the race, then took the bus over to Megan and Heather's hotel so that we could all ride over together. (ugh. most awful bus ride ever. Disney transportation is usually reliable, but it was so frustrating and I was in a time crunch.) When I finally got there, I had time to get changed, go to the bathroom, and leave. It was crazy! We went over to the All Star resorts to meet up with more of the group and then headed to the race!
We hung out at Wide World of Sports for a few hours before it was time to get into the corrals. Before we knew it, it was time to start running! Super crazy. I was a little concerned about how my body would react, because I had been up since early that morning and hadn't had a chance to nap at all. Somehow, I was able to gain a second wind, because I ended up feeling okay the entire race. We all initially split up to run at our own pace, which was fine. The plan was to meet up at mile 5 or 8. So there we went.
I felt pretty strong right off of the bat. I passed a lot of people, which is sort of the norm for RunDisney. Big corrals and crowding at the beginning. No surprise there. I felt really good. We ran to Animal Kingdom and through the park. I stopped at the bathroom in the park just to be safe and then kept going. I found Megan and Heather right after mile 5 and we ran together for the rest of the race. It was fun. Being Heather's first race, we ran at her pace to ensure that she would finish strong.. and she did!
We ran through all of the parks besides the Magic Kingdom, which was fun. I enjoyed the course, like I typically do. I just love running through the parks, because there is always so much to look at. They had the Osborne Spectacle of Lights on which was really awesome.
Megan and I stopped to hang with some friends!
The race was really fun. We stayed for the after party, but we were all pretty tired, so we didn't do a ton. We hit some rides and then ate. I slept like a baby that night, though. Exhausting day.
Race two. Subaru Distance Classic Half Marathon, Jacksonville. November 22, Thanksgiving
This is an Alicia and Katherine tradition since we moved to Florida. I hope that I can always find a Thanksgiving Day race that I want to participate in, regardless of where I live.
This race is really neat because it has a small-town feel, even though it is in a fairly large city. Katherine and I both had PRs from last year and were both hoping to get new ones this year. I didn't sleep well the night before, which made me nervous about the race when I woke up in the morning. I wasn't super excited about it. However, I got up and we went out to run.
Kath started the race with me, but I told her to go run her race pretty quickly and she told me that it would be okay if I took short walk breaks, then ran ahead. I felt fantastic for the entire race and was way under PR pace until mile 8, when I had to use the bathroom so much that I could not physically run anymore. I had skipped every port-a-potty that I had come by, because I didn't want to wait in any lines and screw up my PR hopes. Bad idea. I slowly walked for an entire mile before I could stop. I lost more time in that mile than it could have possibly taken for me to wait in line. At that point, I had slowed my pace down by at least an entire minute. I knew I would not PR unless something crazy happened (not likely).
At that point, I knew that all I could do was push myself to do the best that I could. So I did. I cut my pace down about 30 seconds per minute (which I was pleased with, considering how late it was during the race). I finished in 2:56... about 6 minutes slower than my PR... but definitely one of my faster races. I was a little disappointed, but pleased that I had done well considering my stubbornness.
Kath got her PR though! Yay!
Race three. Santa Hustle Half Marathon, Daytona Beach. December 9.
Let's just say... have you ever run a half marathon in sand? It is no joke. At all. Somehow, I missed the memo that the race was actually ON the beach.. until we went to packet pick up. I had hoped to finally get that PR that I almost got a few weeks ago, but I sort of figured that I wouldn't be able to do it.. I was hopeful, though.
The race didn't start until 9 am. (My thoughts: Yay and nay! It was nice to be able to get ready slowly, BUT it was quite warm outside.) We went to the start for the pre-race party. We had some donuts and walked around and took some pictures. It was really fun. We got to the start... and I felt sort of excited, but nervous about the race.
The race literally started with an uphill run, then went around a corner and... onto the beach. As soon as we hit the sand, I got frustrated. I felt all of my hopes of a PR and a fantastic race just fly out of the window. I was disappointed and frustrated and overheated... already. It took me a little bit of time to get over it and just try to have a good time. When I finally started to feel a little better, the race got to be a lot more fun. It was really rough on my muscles. Parts of my body that have never ached before were extremely sore... but Katherine stayed with me the entire time and we had some fun talking and trying to push it as hard as we (well I) could.
Overall, the race was really fun. I wish that I didn't have the high expectations that I did, because the letdown was pretty tough. Once I got out of my head, I really had a fun and challenging race. Our finishing time was 3:11. It was definitely NOT my worst time. I'm impressed with that. My body was more sore after that race than I have been after a race in quite a while. I'm super glad that Kath stayed with me and we were able to run together for the whole race. I definitely took some of my frustrations out on her when I was feeling frustrated and annoyed. (Sorry Kath!!!!!!!)
Glad I did it.. I don't know if I will do it again next year. We'll see.
Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 770.35 miles/347 days
To go: 229.65 miles/19 days
(yep.. not going to happen.)