On Sunday I ran my first Half Marathon of the season and got a PR! But let me back up a minute here and explain the whole weekend…
I signed up for the Lighthouse Loop 1/2 marathon back in March. I was recovering from my tendinitis and thought that I should be back up and running (ha ha) by October. Holy heck did those months fly by! I didn’t run as much as I should have over the summer, but finally got things going at the beginning of October. My main goal for the race was to finish.
My friend Andrea had a 13 mile run on her training schedule for the same day as the race and I convinced her to sign up as well. We headed to Port Orange mid-day on Saturday. Our plan was to head to packet pickup and then back to my mom’s house. She lives just 15 minutes from the race start which made this an even better race to do. Packet pickup was smooth and easy and in less than 10 minutes we were back in the car and headed to my mom’s.
After being in a seafood restaurant for packet pickup (and next to another one), Andrea decided that she wanted seafood for dinner. Works for me! Later that day we headed over to Our Deck Down under and had dinner on the river. It was a nice relaxing way to end the day. After a quick stop at walmart for some long sleeved shirts for the start (it ended up being a bit colder than we planned) we went back to my mom’s to just relax and get to bed early.
Neither of us slept very well and 5:45 am came way too quickly! Thankfully in less than an hour we were dressed and dropped off at the start line ready to go. There were around 1600 participants so when the race got started we were across the start line in a matter of seconds. Andrea is a bit speedier than I am, so we said our goodbyes and planned to meet up after the race. I told her that I would send a text to her when I had 2 miles left. I was sending the same text to my parents since they wouldn’t be coming back to the race until close to the time I expected to finish.
The course went about 6 miles south on A1A to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and then about 6 miles north up Peninsula, ending with a nice trip over the Dunlawton bridge. I ran the first mile straight through and the did my intervals for the rest of the race. The weather was beautiful and so were the views on the course. Hitting the lighthouse just about mid-way through was just the boost I needed to keep going.
I did pretty well and kept a pretty steady pace until around mile 8. I wouldn’t say I hit a wall, it was more that it finally hit me that I was running that furthest I had since February. I slowed down a bit for mile 8, but then picked things back up again around 9.5. When I finally hit the base of the bridge I realized that I had just over a mile to go and around 20 minutes to do it in order to get a PR. WHAT?! I had no intention of trying to get a PR and really didn’t think it would happen.
When I hit the 2 hour and 30 minute mark I stopped looking at my watch and didn’t worry about my intervals. Since I wasn’t TRYING for a PR I just wanted to keep myself focused and finish. If I got a PR it would be great, but if not it wasn’t that big of a deal. So imagine my surprise when I crossed the finish line and looked down to stop my watch and saw what appeared to be a 2 minute PR. Guess what? It was actually a 2 minute and 8 second PR. How cool is that?
I was so freaking excited! AND, Andrea got a PR as well (her 2nd of the weekend)! My family caught up with us and we took some pictures and enjoyed the post race festivities. I spent most of the time after the race in shock that I had finished with a PR. It was great because it really got me motivated for my very busy upcoming race season. If I could swing a 2 minute PR with barely any training, imagine what I could do if I got my butt in gear and trained!
I really enjoyed this race and I definitely think I’ll be doing it again next year. It was fun racing “at home” and being able to be dropped off at the race start. They did a great job with this race and I love that the money goes to the Volusia County schools athletic programs. And congrats to Mainland High School for winning the spirit competition (and some extra money) for the second year in a row!