Running: It's actually more expensive than therapy
Sunday December 20th 2020 was the Mount Dora Half Marathon. This race has been on my to-do list for a while now. I've never done it because it's a little far away and I've always had another race on the same weekend. This year however, was different since Covid-19 made races pretty scarce. Mount Dora Half is usually a pretty big event and it has a Christmas theme which I absolutely love (themed races are always my favorites).
Race morning I drove to Mount Dora and arrived pretty early since I read parking might be an issue. I think I got there an hour before start time and didn't have a problem finding a spot to park. There was a smaller field this year and they have the 5k race on Saturday instead of Sunday now so all of that helped. I got my packet and started to make my way to the starting line. Everyone was very safe and things were spread out pretty well.
The Race Miles 1-3 7:58, 7:45, 7:51
We went out in waves to help with social distancing. I went off in the first wave but in the back so I didn't start out too fast. I wanted to run a comfortable pace but not push myself too much. I wanted a long run pace not a goal race pace. The first part is uphill and they did warn us about all the hills in the beginning. I felt pretty great and downtown Mt. Dora is one of the cutest towns I have ever seen.
Miles 4-7 7:39, 7:42, 7:46, 7:52
The first part was through downtown and the middle seemed to be the residential areas which were also super cute. There were so many hills during these miles but nothing too crazy I think the worst one was at the mile 5 marker. I was running by feel and everything felt pretty easy at this point.
Miles 8-10 7:40, 7:40, 7:32
I wanted to speed up a little at the second half if I felt up to it which I did. Since the hills were mostly over I knew I could do some negative splits. I really enjoyed the views of Mt. Dora and the houses near the lake were beautiful.
Miles 11-13.10 7:37, 7:31, 7:44, 7:32
I was in the home stretch and still feeling good. I was able to eat my 2 energy gels and also had some water from the water stations. I wanted to get my pace down to the 7:30s since I was feeling so great. Mile 12-13 was the only one that felt kind of tough. The final part took us back into downtown and luckily we had a downhill finish.
I was super happy with my time I didn't push myself too hard but still had a good pace and felt great. I really enjoyed this race so much and cannot wait to run it again in the future. I loved the Christmas theme and also the medals/shirts with the reindeer wearing a mask because it was so perfect for 2020!
Overall 73 out of 670
1st in 30-34 females out of 30
Sunday 11/22/20 was the Central Florida Legends Skunk Ape Marathon in Debary, FL. This was a live in-person race and my first real marathon ever. I needed this. I needed this after the 50k race last month that crushed my soul. I had a goal of anything around a 3:30:00 finish.
I was so grateful to be able to run a live race due to this difficult times. The race directors did a fantastic job making this happen and really making everyone feel safe. Things looked a little different this year. First off registration was capped at a a certain amount then they implemented waves of 25 runners each to go off separately. The marathon had 6 waves going at 10 minute intervals starting at 6:30 am and ending at 7:20 am.
I signed up last year and was able to start in the 6:30 wave for the marathon which was the first wave. I was pretty stoked about that I like starting early. It poured on my drive over and I kept thinking "oh no this isn't ideal." I arrived to the race around 6am and parking was about a quarter mile from the race start. Because of the waves and social distancing, there were basically no lines for restrooms and packet pickup. (fun fact I was bib #1 due to alphabetical order). They lined up our wave right around the starting time and told us to stand next to an orange flag on the ground so we could social distance. I was think I got the very last place in line (note to self to allow more time to get there). That wasn't a bad thing though I knew I wanted to start off slow.
Miles 1-4 8:14, 8:03, 8:00, 7:56
I didn't want to start off too fast but being in the very back was a challenge. Things didn't open up for a little while and I had to weave in and out to catch a comfortable pace. Also, I was a little winded from running around the start at this point so that wasn't ideal lol. So finally I was able to get where I wanted and things really opened up. I knew that everyone would be pretty well apart from each other and without pacers it was all on me to get the timing right. I knew I wanted to pretty much run every mile around an 8:00 pace.
Miles 5-9 7:58, 7:46, 7:49, 7:55, 7:59
We entered the Gemini Springs Park area around here and it sure was gorgeous. I tried to take it all in and be thankful for this experience. I also realized I probably needed to slow down and not let the excitement get to me. I was pretty much running alone which I do like as an introvert. The aid station volunteers were super friendly and encouraging. I made sure to thank them for being there. They had Gatorade and water on the table to avoid contact so all we had to do was grab and go. I made sure to get Gatorade when I could because it had some calories in it which is something we will get to later.
Miles 10-15 8:05, 8:15, 8:24, 8:29, 8:21, 8:26
This is where things started to get interesting. The rain really started around here. It had been drizzling all morning but by now it started to pour. The sunscreen on my face started to drip off into my eyes and became really uncomfortable. I also had my first gel around this time I wasn't hungry but knew I need something. I sucked down half of it at once and let's just say it all came back up (I know tmi). So I was able to get the other half down with no problems but I was feeling so nauseas. At the turaround I tried to think about positive things like how I was in the double digits not how I still had another half marathon ahead of me.
Miles 16-20 8:23, 8:48, 8:15, 8:23
This is really where I felt the struggle. I've heard from other runners that mile 16 on is really the hardest part of the marathon and boy where they right. My pace was certainly slipping and I was really struggling. The humidity from the heavy rain was getting to me. I had this overwhelming thirst and needed a lot of fluids from every aid station. I need to get better at drinking on the run and not completely stopping.
Miles 20-23 8:17, 8:49, 8:29, 8:26
The 20s! I was very happy about this. I really felt tired and mentally exhausted at this point. I just tried to hang out and finish this out. Honestly, this was the toughest part for me. Something somewhat encouraging is the fact that I was convinced I was running a 10 minute mile and it was in the 8:20s mostly.
Miles 24-26.2 8:34, 8:31
The home stretch was here! We left the part and went back towards the finish line/starting line. It was cool to see the roads from the sidewalk where we were running. We also saw more half marathon runners and this was encouraging. My goal changed to under a 3:40:00 time and I knew with only 2.2 miles left this could be done. Finally, I saw the 26 mile marker and knew it was so close. I just had to hang in there a little more. I never knew just how long .2 of a mile could actually be... At last, I crossed the finish line and was officially a member of the 26.2 club and achieved my B goal of under 03:40:00.
I learned a lot from this race by making mistakes.
1 . Arrive earlier than you think you need to
2. No matter how good you feel don't speed up in the beginning it will only hurt you
3. Eat more gels (I still don't know how I was able to run a marathon on half of a gel)
4. Enjoy the experience and be thankful!
5. Something I thought of was maybe I needed to run my long runs at a slightly faster pace. I ran them around an 8:30 pace but I feel like running them faster would only help me (just a thought).
Official Time 03:39:53
Friday night 3/6/20 was the Light the Night 5k in New Smryna Beach, FL. This was before everything changed with the Coronavirus and before races had been cancelled. I had not run a 5k since last June so I was a bit rusty. Now that I think of it that was probably the last time I did any sort of speed workout. I wanted to go by feel and not go too hard and try to negative or even split.
We started right at 6:15 pm. I tried to start off slow and not too fast like I can do then fade at the end. My pace felt steady and not fast but still not as easy as I would have liked. I saw two women in front of me and was able to pass them before the turnaround. The course was really easy just an out and back with a turnaround halfway through. The halfway point was when I felt worse and wanted to slow down. I wasn't out of shape but just exhausted in general if that makes any sense. My second mile was the slowest then the last was a little faster so I did negative split. It started to get dark at the end which was a really neat affect. I just love this race because of how different it is.
I was very excited to have an overall female win and I just loved the race atmosphere and awards. This was a very fun face and I hope I get to run it again and again!
Overall 4 out of 221
1st overall female
Sunday 2/9/20 was the Daytona Beach Half Marathon. Last year I ran the half which was so much fun I decided to run it again. I love how you actually get to run on the Daytona Speedway. Last year I ran the challenge with the 5k the night before, but I also got injured after so I decided against that.
Race morning was pretty busy. I didn't expect all the traffic in the morning but it was so backed up. I also had to get my packet then walk over to the Speedway. I wasn't the only one with that problem because they delayed the race 10 minutes or so. My plan for this race was to run around 8:00-8:15 to try and test my endurance which should be a great test for my marathon next month.
Miles 1-3 8:15, 8:15, 8:05
I started off slow for the first few miles on purpose to make sure I felt decent towards the end of the race. Last year I kind of died at the end lol. The first two and a half miles or so are on the Daytona International Speedway which is probably the coolest venue ever. There were so many people at this race but it really opened up once we crossed the starting line.
Miles 4-8 7:59, 7:51, 756, 8:11, 8:02
After the Speedway, I started to break away from groups and fell into my own little space which I like to do when running. I picked up the pace a little bit and it just felt natural. Around mile 7-8 I think we crossed the bridge which was so challenging but fun at the same time. I made sure not to sprint downhill and risk injury.
Miles 9- 13.1 7:48, 7:46, 7:52, 8:03, 7:44
We were originally scheduled to run on the beach again but the high tide had other plans. That was fine with us for sure lol. The beach can be so challenging and windy especially in times of high tides. I felt better after the bridge was over and ran a little faster towards the end. The last couple miles on International Speedway Boulevard were tough. Looking at my paces I am actually surprised how well I did. I felt great at the end but I still feel I need some more work before my marathon. Thinking that I still would be another 13.1 miles to run after this race to equal a marathon is a daunting thought to say the least.
We finished into One Daytona and had a nice after party with some food and beer for those who wanted. I stayed for the awards because I won my age group which was awesome. This race was so much fun again and I will be back next year. They do have some logistics to work out but I am sure they will.
1st in age group 30/34 females out of 29
Sunday 1/19/20 was the Shark bite Half Marathon in New Smryna Beach FL since it's the shark bite capital of the world (fun fact). I just love this race and this was my first time running the half as I ran the 5k for the previous three years. The weather this year was perfect way warmer than before but not too warm. My plan going into this was to run this as a training long run. I wanted to stay healthy and made sure to not run anything faster than a 2:05. This is such a competitive race anyway I had no problem holding back.
Race morning was super laid back for me. I got there in plenty of time because parking is limited. After that I just waited for the race to start and took some pictures of the amazing sunrise. I knew they had pacers so I lined up around the 2 hour group a little behind.
The start was a bit crowded especially for the first mile. I didn't mind though because it made me not start off too fast. I think the first mile was a 9:52. Mile 3 everything really started to open up, and I was able to speed up just a little bit. The views of the half marathon were stunning. I was so glad I chose to run the half this year and will do it again for sure. The weather was also perfect which can be hit or miss this time of year in Florida. Mile 7 was over the bridge which was challenging and I made sure not to run too fast downhill. My splits were are in between 9:50 and 9:06. My last mile was 9:06 I felt so good at the end and had so much left in the tank. I had so much fun at this race and glad I did this as a training run.
Age Group- 20/65
I can see why this race was a top 10 "Medals and Swag" for the Bibrave 100 list.