My third half marathon of the year also happened to be the last Best Damn Race of the season. Even though I’ve been a Best Damn Race ambassador since the beginning of the race series, this was the first time i’d run the half marathon in Orlando. Due to an injury the first year and last of training the second year it took until year three for me to actually complete the half. How’d it go? Oh, it was awful. The overall race day experience was amazing though, so let me back up a little bit.
I had a lot of friends and fellow BDR ambassadors running the various distances, so I was at Lake Eola dark and early on Saturday morning. My friend Lita and I decided to Uber from her house so that we didn’t have to worry about parking and so we could enjoy the after race drinks and not worry about driving. My first order of business when I arrived at Lake Eola park was to meet up with my fellow BDR ambassadors for a group shot. Not everyone in attendance made it in time for the photo, but it was still fun to meet up for a few minutes.
After that I walked Lita to the start line since she was doing the 10k and it started before the half. Once she was off I spent some time chatting with friends and meeting up with people before finally heading to the start line to meet up with my pace group. I was hoping to finish in less time than Safety Harbor so I decided to join the 2:45 pace group. Even if I couldn’t keep up with them the whole time at least it would get me started in the right direction.
Around mile four the 4:1 intervals they were doing became a bit too much for me and I started to do my own thing. I had them in my sights until around mile 6 when my left hip decided that it had had enough. Seriously? During the mile loop around Lake Underhill (one of my favorite parts of the course) I realized that the pain in my hip was NOT going to let up. What did this mean? It meant that I pretty much walked the last 6 miles of the course. I was NOT happy about this at all. How was I supposed to beat my Safety Harbor time if I had to walk??
I decided at this point that I just wanted to finish in the upright position. Every once in awhile I would try running for a bit but finally realized that walking at a speedy pace was actually going to get me there faster than starting and stopping running. I ran the final stretch into the finish line and realized that I definitely didn’t hit my goal of finishing in less time than SH, but I did finish in less than 3 hours. My time was still 20+ minutes faster than Las Vegas so I’ll still take that as a win.
I met up with Lita, after grabbing a Popsicle, and then we made our way back to the beer tent/garden. She’d gotten a bit of a head start on me so I had some catching up to do. I really enjoyed that hour after the race drinking cider and catching up with friends. Best Damn Race really knows how to throw an awesome after-race party!
When we finally decided that it was time to soak up some of our post-race drinks we Ubered over to Se7en Bites Bakery for an AMAZING brunch. Their Huevos Rancheros is TO DIE FOR and was the perfect post-race meal. Yum yum yum.
Even though things didn’t quite go as well as I had planned I still had a great day. My next half marathon is 6 weeks away and hopefully I can make up for this one!