Saturday I ran my first “real” race since I had Maddux.
I ran a Color Me Rad 5k and a Jingle Jam 10k toward the end of last year, but they were definitely just for fun. This was the first race that I tried to push myself. I wanted to run somewhere between 2:00 and 2:15. I truly had no idea what I was capable of, because to be honest, I had to skip the majority of my runs. I barely squeezed in my long runs, and I maxed out at 10 miles before the race. I was going into this race pretty blind.
Logan, Cayce, and I woke up around 5AM to the sweet, gentle voice of Lil’ Wayne. Seriously. We woke up way before we really needed to, but it was good to have some extra time since we had three people who needed to get dressed, make coffee, and eat. It also gave us time to talk, which calmed our nerves. I had a cup of coffee, a bottle of Honest Tea, and an Iced Gingerbread Clif Bar. I packed up a few GU Chomps to take with me, but ended up leaving them behind.
Once we were done
chatting getting ready, we headed down to the lobby to catch a shuttle to the starting point. ZOOMA Florida race is a point-to-point race, and I loved that it ended back at our hotel. I was nervous about catching the shuttle, but there were plenty of them. Catching one was a breeze, and we didn’t have to worry about transportation at the end.
When we got to the start, WE WERE FREEZING. It might just be that 60 feels frigid to us after an unusually warm winter, but we were freaking out. We are quite dramatic. We ended up huddling by the bag check SUV, and somehow Cayce became part of the crew. I swear my friends are hilarious.
A little while later, it was time to RUN! We headed toward the middle of the pack and got ready to get moving. The first few miles flew by.
I didn’t think much about my pace until I caught up with the 2:00 pace group around mile 2 or 3. At that point, I got way too excited. I tried a little too hard to keep up with the pacer. I just kept thinking if I could keep her in my sight that I could actually run a 2 hour half. I stripped off my outer shirt, which was not even mine, and tossed it on the ground. Sorry, Cayce! I was blinded by ambition. 😉
Around mile 6, I started to really question my pacing. I knew I had started out too strong, but I was still a little too amped up to admit it to myself. Might I add that my music cut out at this point, too. I had no service for my Pandora. I’ve been running without music lately, but I really let this bug me. I kept fussing with my phone instead of worrying about running. I’m so ridiculous. The 2:00 pacer was still about 40 yards ahead of me, though, so I kept on trucking. I should have grabbed some Cytomax, but I didn’t think I’d catch up again. Biggest mistake ever.
Lack of proper fueling and pacing caught up with me quickly. I started aching for food around mile 8, and I somehow missed the station with GU. It sucked. Luckily, around mile 10 I believe, the ZOOMA ladies had set up a surprise station with candy oranges. I dug into that thing like a rabid animal. I also chugged some Cytomax right before that. Too little, too late. I was wiped. I completely lost sight of the 2:00 pacer at this point. I was bummed, and I really let it affect me.
From that point on, I just kept praying to see sand. Weird, right? One of the girls had mentioned that the end of the race was in sand. I wanted to see that damn sand more than anything. Then I saw it and immediately regretted ever hoping for it. That stuff wrecked my legs! I probably looked like a baby horse stumbling around on its legs for the first time. Eventually, though, I crossed the finish line at 2:01:53. Not too bad, but I could have done SO much better. I made a few huge mistakes that cost me in the end.
Crap I Did or Didn’t Do That Screwed Me
I left my fuel behind.
I ran past the fuel on the course.
I pushed it too hard in the beginning.
I let the word defeat enter my head.
I majorly sucked it up.
My official times show my crash and burn perfectly. 😉
Of course, I’m being totally dramatic as usual. Even though I think I should have done better, I am still super stoked about my time. I think Maddux would be proud. After all, he ran a half with me before. He knows what’s up. I just wish he was in this picture with me! I kept thinking how awesome it would be to have him at the finish line. Next time!
After the race, it was time to CELEBRATE! I grabbed my necklace, which we received instead of medals. It’s such a cute idea!
Then I headed to the awesome after-party with champagne, yoga, massages, live music, and food.
It was also nice to finally meet some bloggers that I may or may not have huge girl crushes on. They were all so sweet, and I am still shocked and honored to be included as a ZOOMA ambassador.
Overall, I loved how organized and well-planned this race was. My only gripe was with the sand, and that’s just because I’m a big wuss. I’m sure others were able to tough it out better than I did. This was a perfect first half after baby! 🙂