So, I had signed up for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon way back in December. Well, the time was here and I had to participate. I told myself I could atleast walk the 13.1 miles. The most walking I had done was on March 26. That was the day of the Azalea Trail Run, which is a very popular run in Mobile. I was having a pity party for myself since all of my friends were running and I couldn't. I set out to walk 6.2 in my neighborhood. I made it about 5 miles and had a TERRIBLE blister building on my right foot. Ding, ding, ding, I should have known the same thing would happen when I tried to do 13.1 just a few short weeks later. Note to self: Running shoes are NOT meant to be walked in!
That brings us to the Gulf Coast Half-Marathon weekend. I was determined to walk it and not miss the fun. I told my family they didn't have to come cheer for me since it would be a little less than exciting. I went to pick up my race packet and was a little disappointed by the lack of excitement being generated by the event. We picked up our packets at a local running store and literally all it had in it was the race bib, safety pins, and a bracelet for the after party. The t-shirt is super cute, but it's not a wicking shirt, which a lot of people had a problem with.
The race was 1,500 people, which is about the same as the First Light Half that I did in Mobile in January. I would have expected a little more energy and a "swag bag". Then I got to thinking about it, really, what is usually in those bags is kinda like getting a goody bag for your child at a birthday party. You might get one little treasure, but for the most part, it's just junk. The other good part about no expo is that I didn't spend any extra money on unneccesary "running stuff". Now, my expectation is for big expos at big races.
I have also been seing a chiropractor, which I can't really tell has made a difference. I do like that he has a massage therapist there and that I can get a mini-massage of about 10 minutes. I have also continued in boot camp during this time I am suppose to be healing. Well, I think I have done JUST ENOUGH to keep my hip irritated. For lower body, we do things like jog, goat trails (running up and down the football stadium bleachers), squats, and all different kinds of lunges. Possibly, I'm my own worst enemy.
On to the Gulf Coast Half-Marathon, which was held on Sunday, April 10. Here's a picture of my race day gear:
I started off walking at a 13:30 mile pace. That's booking it pretty good for short little ol' Leah. I kept my friend Leslie in sight. She was jogging and walking. Neither of us had properly trained for different reasons, but we knew we were going to finish and have fun doing so. We walked together from about mile 1.5 to about 6.5. We were Creative Memories buddies when I lived in Mobile and I have been gone now for 8 years. It was great to catch up and hear about all of the exciting things happening in her life. Below is a picture of us after the race. Believe it or not, they gave us a water bottle in the finishing chute, but after that, the only drink option that I could find was BEER. I see people drinking beer after races all the time, but that always sounded horrible to me, even though I love beer. Well, when there was no water to be found, that ICE COLD beer went down pretty easy.
The blister on my right heal was gradually building and becoming unbearable. Guess what, the only thing that made it feel better was to jog. Remember, running shoes are meant for running! Ligthbulb moment again! Somewhere after mile 6, I started passing my buddies who had made it through the turnaround at mile 7 and were heading down the home stretch. It is so exciting to see those super speedy runners booking it. Leslie and I started to notice that even the most seasoned, lean, mean running machines were struggling in the heat and humidity. Pretty soon, my friend Ali Penton passed me. He is my son's Cub Scout leader and always has that sincere smile on his face:
Next, I saw a familiar face coming, it was one of the Sole2Soul Sisters, Laura Morris and another friend of hers, Angela. I am so impressed with their times considering the conditions.
Here are a few pictures from the afer party. It was so gloomy and overcast that I put my sunglasses in my car, not thinking about the reflection from the white sand. I love this picture of me, Paige, and Mindy!