My sole sister Jenn and I have been planning this racecation since the spring. There is a lot going on in both our lives these days, so we really didn’t PLAN much. We both signed up for the Zooma Amelia Island 12k race and there is about where the planning stopped. The only things we really planned were race related. We just both crossed our fingers that once October rolled around that we would both be able to go. Thankfully, we both were and MAN OH MAN did I need this break!
After a late lunch in St. Augustine, we made our way up to Amelia Island. We got checked into our motel and decided to take a walk down to the beach, which happened to be a few short blocks from the motel. It is amazing what some salt air and sand between your toes can do for your whole mood.
We decided to check out a local wine shop that was having a Friday night wine tasting – it was awesome! We got to try out five delicious wines while hanging out on their front porch as the sun went down. It was definitely a great way to get our racecation weekend started. I MAY have gone home with a bottle of one of the wines we tried. 🙂
Next up was the Zooma VIP party! We were able to pick up our race packets, check out some great race gear, and enjoy some light bites and wine. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed getting to know some of our fellow racers while sitting outside. It has been a while since it’s been “outside-sitting weather” here in Florida. We rounded out the night with some late-night pizza and wine before calling it a night.
We were up at the actual crack of dawn on Saturday for a beach walk and yoga that was hosted by Zooma. It was just what I needed! It had been a while since I’d done yoga. I was a bit sore by the end, but it was that good kind of sore. I definitely need to do yoga more often.
After yoga, we went to downtown Fernandina Beach to grab some coffee and a quick bite. There was actually an antique car show going on, so it was quite the busy spot for a Saturday morning. We grabbed coffee and some breakfast sandwiches, which we ate outside (of course), before heading out for a little walk around the downtown area. Before heading back to the hotel, we stopped by the Amelia Island Lighthouse. Did you know it is the state’s oldest lighthouse? The rest of our day included seafood, wine, more seafood, and some college football (no, I don’t wanna talk about it). I am not even remotely embarrassed to say that we were snuggled into bed by 9:30 – it was fabulous!
Sunday got off to an earlier start than I would have liked, but we were told that parking was limited at the race start and we didn’t want to have any issues. We got to the start about an hour before the race and had no problems with parking. We had some carbs, made a pit stop at the bathrooms (which were ACTUAL bathrooms since the race started at a park), and took some sunrise photos on the beach.
In the weeks leading up to the race, I was getting pretty nervous. It was bad enough wondering if I’d ACTUALLY get to go, but then I started to freak out about the fact that I hadn’t run in… well, a long time. Thankfully I was running with the most supportive person I know and that makes all the difference. By the time we made it to the start line, I was actually excited about the race.
The 12k course followed some surface streets through some super cute neighborhoods, then went through Fort Clinch State Park for a few miles. It was so wonderful to run through the park because it was completely in the shade. That coupled with the great weather made for the perfect combo! I must admit that the bridge we had to run over to get to the park wasn’t my favorite, but it did have some pretty great views. We walked more than we ran, but I can honestly say that I felt pretty darn good for the whole race. A couple of miles from the end, Jenn even mentioned how she hadn’t even had to “push” me yet. Go us!
We finished the race in a very respectable time and collected our absolutely beautiful medals. I even got to ring the PR bell because I’d never done a 12k before, so it was an automatic PR. Woot woot! After the race, we enjoyed some snacks and mimosas before heading down to the beach for some post-race photos. You can’t do a race in Amelia Island and NOT take photos on the beach afterward – especially when your medal has a beautiful jellyfish on it.
We wrapped up our weekend away with a fabulous brunch, complete with mimosas and a post-race toast. I really didn’t want our weekend to end, but it was time to head back to reality. On the ride home I thought about how lucky I was to have enjoyed this weekend away with such an amazing friend. Not to get too sappy, but this girl has really been there for me lately. I was glad we were able to spend this time together and both just relax for a bit. Who knows, maybe I will even get back to running…