This time last year my friends talked me into signing up for the Mount Dora Half Marathon. If you sign up right after the event for the following year it is super cheap. I figured I would go ahead and sign up while it was cheap, then if I decided later not to do it I wouldn’t be out much money. Fast forward 11 months and I was trying to talk myself out of the race. A combination of running and I not getting along and some crazy hip pain was keeping me from wanting to run at all. I finally decided to just switch to the 5k. It was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.
Is it wrong to admit that most of my reason for wanting to run this race was that it was holiday themed and I wanted to dress up? Well, it totally was. I picked up a new shirt from 73Threads and paired it with a red sparkle skit and candy cane striped socks. It even gave me another reason to wear my mistletoe headband.
Unfortunately my wake up call for this race was super early. It was a 40 minute drive from my house, I had to pick up my race packet, and I had no idea where I’d park. Thankfully the drive didn’t take as long as I’d planned, parking was a breeze, and packet pickup was SUPER organized. I was able to grab my packet and my friend’s before meeting up with her at the start.
Lita was running the half marathon which started 15 minutes before the half. This meant I had time to watch everyone else start the race and then get settled into the corral. By the time the race was about to start I was REALLY happy that I’d decided to do the 5k. My hips were already bothering me and all I could think about was the hilly course ahead of me.
The 5k course is an out and back which normally, in my opinion, would be super boring. But this course was full of hills which meant you’d be doing everything in reverse on the way back. It meant the big uphills would be downhills and the big downhills would be uphill. Thankfully a spectator mentioned around mile 2 that after I got to the top of the hill I was on, it was all downhill from there. And he was totally right!
I coasted into the finish line going at a faster pace than I think I’ve EVER done. Granted it was only for about 0.2 of a mile, but still. It was a great way to finish the race. I didn’t get a PR but I definitely did better than I thought I would and enjoyed myself. After collecting my medal I stuck around to watch the top finishers of the half marathon. I usually don’t get to do that because I’m running, but it was pretty damn inspiring to see those speedy folks finishing the race. The top couple of folks actually finished BEFORE some of the 5k participants. Amazing.
I was really glad that I ended up doing the 5k for my last race of 2017. I know for certain that doing the half would have been the wrong move for me. Even just those 3.1 miles of hills had me in a good amount of pain the following day. All in all it went really well and I’m excited to start preparing for my 2018 races!