Mar 28, 2017

Race for Women's Wellness Half Marathon Recap

I have been looking for half marathons since I signed up for the Walt Disney World Full Marathon. I'm gonna need a half for proof of time for that race. Now, races between now and POT deadline, are few and far between, cause Florida and summer. But I stumbled across this race in Coral Springs. I had nothing going on that weekend, but I didn't sign up until after I did an 8 miler a couple of weeks ago. Once I did that run, and felt OK, I signed up.

This race is in Coral Springs, which is about 45 minutes to an hour away. Not too bad of a drive. And the race began at 6am. This made for an almost-Disney style wakeup, but it meant running before the sun was up, so I'll take it. I left my house at about 4:20am and turned on my Waze to get me to the Coral Springs Sports Complex.

I got there in about 45 minutes. Since packet pickup was also in Coral Springs, I just grabbed my bib on race day morning. I went to the registration table and got my bib, shirt, bag, and water bottle. Then I headed back to the car to drop this all off and chill a bit before hitting up the port-o-potties and heading to the start.

When I walking towards the port-o-potties, I noticed some blue ones and pink ones, and went to get in line for the blue ones. Turned out the blue ones were for the men, and the pink for the women.... and the women's line was shorter! There were tons more available for the ladies. Plus they were huge and even flushed. There were even some nice ladies making sure the port-o-potties stayed clean too. Um, more races need to get on this. It made the early morning port-o-potty stop a little better.

Soon enough they said the half people should start lining up. I went into the chute and hung out next to the 2:40 pacer. They played the National Anthem, and at about 6:02, we were off. It was dark out there and coolish with a little breeze. I was wearing my arm sleeves, so I didn't have to wear a jacket. This way I would be able to slip them off, since I knew I'd be warm a few miles in.

I started off with my 5 minute warmup, and that made me the 3rd from last person. I was kinda freaking out. Would I be able to pass people, or was I the slowest one here? I made it out the front of the Sportsplex and as soon as I turned right, I was at mile 1. It seemed like that first mile was super fast. And then mile 2 came before I knew it.

And this is when the rain started. The rain wasn't terrible, but it was there. I was getting wet, and just hoping it wouldn't be like this for the whole race. Luckily, it was just a South Florida storm, and was gone in a few minutes. It did come back every now and then throughout the rest of the race though.

I was getting a little warm, so a little before mile 3 I took off my arm sleeves. Thankfully the pockets in my sparkle skirt were plenty big enough to hold them. I was consciously taking it easy. I know I could have gone faster at this point, but I wanted to save some juice for the end.

The course was weaving through the neighborhoods of Coral Springs. Nothing too interesting. And since the start was at 6am, those first few miles were dark. I remember turning a corner into one neighborhood and the red and blue lights from the cop car on the corner was the only light there was. I kept going, I was feeling pretty good, and listening to the new Mindy Kaling book to keep me entertained and laughing.

The sun started to come up, which made everything a little more visible. At mile 8, we ran through a high school parking lot. The volunteers had tons of energy and were so fun. When I headed out, I hit mile 9 a little after. I took my chews now, and somehow managed to bite the inside of my cheek while chewing them. Damn, that hurt. Guess I was concentrating on the running...

At about mile 9.5, I saw that 2:40 pacer in the distance. I hadn't seen her since the start line, so it was a welcome surprise to see that little sign. I figured I didn't need to pass her, but as long as she was a little in front of me I had a chance for a PR. I kept chugging along with the pacer as my bullseye. I soon passed mile 10, and a little after, I passed the pacer! She passed me during a walk interval, but a few intervals passed, she was behind me for good.

Once I passed her, I wanted to make sure she stayed behind me, so I picked up the pace. I started going a little faster, and even ran through a water stop while still drinking my water. Somehow the miles that seemed to come so fast in the beginning seemed to take so long now. I know it's cause I wanted that finish line so bad. Mile 12 was eternal, but soon enough we were turning into the Sportsplex.

The 5k runners started mixing in at this point too. It was getting a little crowded, I just wanted to not run into a stroller, or have a 5k walker slow me down. I was able to weave around a few of them and saw the finish. I gave it all I have left and sprinted to the finish. With the pacer no where in sight, I knew I had my PR!

Cold towels and cold water and my medal were waiting for me at the finish. I also grabbed some food, cause I was hungry! I waited to get a post race pic, hit the bathroom, and then headed to the car. This is when I checked the results, and saw my final time 2:35:01! I killed my last PR. So freaking crazy! About 8 minutes better than last month.

I took a look at my splits too. They were pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. Easy and steady at the start, then I picked up the speed at the end.

This was a great race to PR in. It was small, only about 400 people in the half, very flat, and though it was a little boring, since it was through the neighborhoods, it was kinda like my weekend long run, which made it comfortable for me. And I liked the early dark start. It sucked getting up so early, but it definitely made the run in March in Florida way easier than 13 miles in full sun.

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