Where has the time gone?!

It’s been a busy couple of months. So busy I have completely neglected you, again, and I’m sorry. You are on my list of New Year’s Resolutions, I promise to be more attentive. But let’s not dwell on the past, let’s catch up.

We’ll start with the St. Augustine Half.

Disaster. 😦

The Friday before the race I started to get sniffly. And runny. Then stuffy. It was a mess. I desperately wanted to take a decongestant but every thing I read said that would just dehydrate me and make the race horrible. I spent the entire week hydrating, there was no way I was risking that. I sucked it up.

We drove the 3 hours to St. Augustine Saturday morning, checked into our adorable bed and breakfast (www.atjourneysend.com), and wondered around downtown. It was a cold, damp, grey day. The cool air and the walking really cleared my sinuses. We picked up my packet and then had lunch at The Columbia.

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This was our second visit to The Columbia, last time in Clearwater. My husband hated it both times, so we probably won’t be back. We (I) do love their sangria though and they sell boxes of the mix in the gift shop for a few bucks. I bought a case of it to give out at Christmas. It’s delicious.

There was an attempt at a nap after lunch and some lounging before dinner. I was so incredibly stuffy and drippy, it was rather ridiculous. We ate dinner outside at a modern Irish pub called Barley Republic. The fresh air did me good. And the hard cider. We tried to make it an early night but just as I was starting to fall asleep, the other people staying at the B&B came in for the night, drunk, and continued to drink, and laugh and yell, and stomp up and down the stairs until 3:30/4:00 a.m. I had to get up at 5. I was not a happy camper. I considered making a crazy amount of noise while getting ready but as I made coffee in the common area and could hear them snoring, I realized it wouldn’t matter. They were passed out drunk and I don’t think a marching band was going to wake them.

On to the race.

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Downtown St. Augustine at sunrise was breathtaking. The sun coming up over the river was so calming, and heading over the first bridge was a view I couldn’t pass up. I was on a mission to take pictures and enjoy the race more. Unfortunately, every time I took a picture my music stopped. Not the best plan.

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Heading over the Bridge of Lions.

 

I started off really strong. My first 5-6 miles were some of my fastest. But hitting the second bridge killed me. I took too much time getting over it and then you just turned around and went back up again. It was unreal. By the time I hit the bottom I was way too hot and I lost a lot of time and motivation. This helped, a little…

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At the bottom of the bridge they handed out motivational messages. 🙂 And so I trudged on, slowly. The 10 mile mark was a beautiful thing. I knew I could finish. At mile 11 there was a little girl out side of her house waving to us. She even gave the runner in front of me a flower. At mile 12 I cheered out loud trying to motivate my fellow runners at the end of the pack. No one seemed to care. We were a sad bunch.

At the very end the photographer was waiting. I read in blog after blog to smile for the camera. I did my best to put on my game face, smile and cheer. The result was not pretty.

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I got a good laugh out of that. In the end, my time sucked, but I finished. And I recovered a lot faster than the first half. 9 weeks till the 3rd, but that’s another blog entry.

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Mimosas and Medals

 

I ran a half marathon!

I’ve been walk/running on and off for a couple years, nothing serious, nothing fun, just a means to burn calories. I don’t remember why but about a year ago I decided to push myself a little more. It was a struggle. I’m not designed to run. I had muscle cramps and shin splints, a bout with tendonitis. I had all kinds of equipment that made getting ready to run quite the ordeal; compression sleeves, heart rate monitor, belts, bike lights for night runs. It took forever to get out there.

In November I made a commitment to do something more. I could run 5 miles, there was no reason I couldn’t run a half in the spring. I found The Best Damn Race Orlando on google and it was cheap, probably the only reason I signed up. Four months should have been plenty of time to train. It wasn’t, not for me at least. I’m lazy and by the time Christmas hit my training ceased to exist. Christmas cookies and glasses of wine become much more enjoyable then running. My longest run was 8 miles, and that was in January, almost a full two months before the race.

A week and a half before the race I set out to do 10 miles, the last long one. I hit 7 and crashed. I was tired, bored, my feet went numb. I sat in my driveway and cried. I wasn’t ready and it was my own fault. I told Brian (my husband) I was going to cancel, I didn’t want to get hurt. But he talked me down from my emotional ledge and convinced me to go, do my best and walk as much as I had to. The only person I was competing with was myself and I could finish. And so I did.

I spent that last week hydrating, trying to eat right and mentally preparing. We headed to Orlando Friday night for packet pick up, a quick dinner and an early night.

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Meet my bib number, complete coincidence, but that’s my birthday, 05/12. Made me smile. 🙂

The morning of was a whirlwind of nerves. I nearly missed that start because I somehow missed all the signs and went the wrong way to line up. I got in the back and was just going to do my own thing. The whistle blew and I went, and went and went. It was a beautiful, cool morning in the 50s and I remember every mile. I hit mile 8 and couldn’t believe how good I felt, how happy, how proud. I had never gone that far in my life. I didn’t hurt until mile 10….11….12…it got tough, I slowed but I didn’t care, I was going to finish. And I did! And I did it that time I was hoping for! 2:45:07.

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That’s me in the pink!

I was so excited I nearly missed getting my medal because I wanted to tell Brian all about. It was the most amazing feeling. I thought I would cry, I even brought tissues but I was just too happy! I stretched, drank more water, and then we went out for tacos and tequila. (For those of you who don’t know me yet, I LOVE TACOS!) It was the perfect day, until about 4:00 when all of the muscles in my legs started cramping and I had a headache for two days after. But I would do it all over again, and plan too, but with more preparation, more training. Now I have a time to beat. 😉