Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pensacola Beach Run

January 14, 2012

Pensacola Beach Run Half-Marathon

Training is going well in preparation for the full in NOLA on March 4. This was my first time to run this race. It is neat because there are three distances: Half, 10K, and 5K. This is great because my friends could run the 10K and 5K and I wouldn't be alone after the half...well, we thought it was the perfect plan...more on that later.
Scott and I went over on Friday night to pick up my race packet from The Grand Marlin. We had a nice dinner, which I embarassed him by taking pictures of. Those happen to be on his Iphone, so I can't include those at this time. I really regret that I don't have a picture of the two of us, but he makes fun of me for taking random pictures and was not eager to have the waiter take our picture. Just wait until NOLA. Please note that I obviously was LONG overdue for a haircut. I resolved that the next week. Ahh, much better.
Once home, it was time for gear check. Here we have: compression socks, pants, and shirt, sweaty band AND ear warmer head band (what would be the proper term?), gloves, Ipod, fuel belt, electrolytes, gu, mole skin (to prevent a blister on my foot), the trusty Garmin watch, and race bib. Please note that the race bib has tear away tickets for beer, beer, beer, and food. I thought that was pretty comical.
Jennifer, Cathy and I met at our normal spot and rode down together to the beach. As usual, I guess I was anxious because bossy pants Leah kept directing my wonderful chauffeur, Jennifer, how to drive, which direction to take and to speed up for goodness sakes!
This is the famous sign that directs your path over to Pensacola Beach.
Once on the bridge, we were greeted by a glorious sunrise, a special gift from the Lord.
Excitement was building, but I was also reassured by the gentle reminder
 of who was in control.
 I don't really remember why we took this picture, but it I now know that I really
should wear a little make-up on race day. 
Can you tell how cold it was? The temperature was around 29 degrees. We tried to bundle up, but I think we were all standing a little funny trying to conceal our freezing bodies.

 Above: Dawn runs with the "Phat Girlz" running group that is sponsored by our local running store, Running Wild. Dawn is also training for NOLA. We talked the night before and decided we would run together for part of the race. According to my training schedule, I had to run 16 miles. I knew that the 16 miles HAD to supersede my temptation to "race" the half. I warmed up quickly and enjoyed probably the first 6 miles with Dawn. While I knew the race was going well, I started the mental debate of PR vs. training run.
 As I was struggling with this debate, it should be no surprise that I was distracted with a big nudge that said slow down, enjoy the view, take it all in, finish what you started.
Once at the turnaround point, I really started calculating. Miles 8-10 were a mental game still evaluating PR vs. finishing the 16 miles successfully. Once I finally came to my senses, I started to slow significantly. If I was any good at this blogging thing, I would insert my data here, but I can't figure out how to do that, so look at the post below and you can follow the link to my Garmin details. As you can tell, I started taking lots of walk breaks. It took me a while, but I finally became comfortable with the idea. I had a mission to complete 16 miles and I couldn't do it if I had no
 gas left in the tank. 
Above is my finish line picture and yes, it is obvious that I need to work on how to pose while running! Jennifer and Cathy both had terrific races and were so kind to wait on me to finish. Their race started at 8:00, so they had to wait on me for a little while. At the finish line, there were some typical post-race foods, but the beer, beer, beer, food was across the parking lot. We walked around for a few minutes, drank some water and I ate a banana. Then, it was time for me to go finish by doing 2.9 more miles.
I ran down Fort Pickens Road until I reached one of our favorite restaurants, Peg Leg Pete's. Naturally, I started thinking about eating lunch and was ready for the run to be over. This part of my run was enjoyable because you can see the ocean on one side and the sound on the other. My body knew that this was my longest run ever and it REALLY wanted to stop, hence, more walk breaks. BUT, I did it, 16 miles completed in 2:58:47-11:11 pace. Not bad considering how much I walked. Then, I saw something very pitiful, two frowny faces waiting for me and wondering if I was ever coming back. The expression on my friend's faces let me know something was wrong. Guess what? They had run out of food. Don't they know that I run so that I can eat? Pretty disappointing!
Well, the good news is, there are several yummy restaurants within walking distance, so we headed over to Flounders. I had never eaten there, but it is the host sight of the Gulf Coast Half Marathon that I did last year and will do again this year on April 15.
Jennifer recommended the seafood nachos and I wanted to taste the spicy shrimp. We all three shared and still had plenty leftover. The nachos were ginormous!
I forgot something inside the restaurant and had to go back in. When I came out, Jennifer and Cathy were relaxing in these fabulous chairs. They said I should put on the blog: "I'm the one that should be sitting down." I had run 16 miles and they had run 6.2 and 3.1 respectively. I was struggling to get up and down at this point, so sitting in those chairs may have left me there for hours. I am proud of both of them and just thankful to have friends that share my passion for running.
All in all, it was a terrific morning at the beach!
Note to self: Continue to work on your horrid posture.

1 comment:

  1. You've got the Bossy Pants Leah part right! Apparently you don't appreciate me getting us from point A to point B very safely do you??! :) I am so proud of your marathon finish today. I can't wait to read about it and see the pictures, hint-hint! Your a great runner and even better friend. Love Ya!