I was a terrible blogger this weekend. I took all of two pictures. And neither of them are "OMG food" or "I love running look at me!" I know. Can you believe it? I just plain forgot to take photos. I wasn't really in the mood to run a half marathon to be honest even though I was pumped for my mini vacation.
If you've never been to Mt Dora, I highly recommend visiting this quaint little town in Central Florida that features a lovely downtown of shops and restaurants. If you can go during the holidays, even better. The town is lit up like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting and it's got lots of activities for little ones.
The expo for this race was teeny tiny but Bill Rogers was there signing and selling books so we got to chat him up for a minute. He's a very nice man.
Prior to the race, my old pal Strawberry E and I discussed running this together and just taking it easy at the start and trying to come in under 2:00. (This is sort of my new 1/2 marathon go to time. I just like it.) I didn't want to race this course because I had heard it was hilly and with my iffy heels I figured it was better to be safe. My other old pal Tanya was running too and the three of us lined up to start together while the S.O. headed up toward the front of the race.
As we got going, I mentioned to Strawberry E how I wasn't really feeling it. I just didn't feel quite right and thought maybe I would start feeling better as we ran along. Unfortunately, even with our chatting, miles one through six seemed like forever. They were also very hilly. And these weren't regular Florida hills where you climb one and then get a long flat stretch. These were lots of rollers. It was tough for me but I did notice we passed more people than passed us. Strawberry E is a strong runner and I enjoyed running with her familiar gait and ability to hold a very steady pace.
We took a porta potty stop around mile seven (or eight?) and then I felt much better. I guess I needed the break and the hills got a bit less roll-y at that point. We started to pick it up around mile ten and I felt better but still not as spry as I would have hoped. We got to see Tanya on the final out and back and my friend Rich.
As we neared mile 13, a man yelled, "It's all down hill from here!" He said this just as we started climbing another hill. I yelled out to him, "This looks like an uphill to me!" He said back something about how it's downhill after we turn. And lo and behold, we hit a turn and went straight down to the finish line. I think we hit an 8:30 that last mile and I was really happy to be done.
My finish time was a 1:58:47. It was good enough for 10th in my age group (out of 41). I am thinking if I run this race again, I may actually have to "race" it. The S.O. hit a new PR with a 1:30:55. He continues to kick ass at every race. He got 3rd in his AG, the stud.
After the race we said our goodbyes and headed to Orlando. I told the S.O. I was concerned about how "blah" I felt and how I kept thinking I should have felt better for this race. He told me not to sweat it and that I shouldn't let it get in my head. I shook it off and enjoyed the rest of the day and night in Orlando.
On the plus side, I finally realized why I felt so yucky at this race. Stupid "lady time" came to call Sunday night and we can blame my monthly visitor (Sorry for the TMI!) for the general fatigue and funk I felt. Whew! I can put my mind to ease and focus on Jacksonville being less, um, hormonal.
I would recommend this race to anyone as it's got that great small town vibe, the course, although hilly, is truly beautiful, and the medal is awesome.