Sunday, January 06, 2008

Oh Yeah... I Went There...

Thanks to all who left comments regarding my quandary about running the De Leon Springs Half Marathon. I appreciate all the support and concern.

In the end, I decided to go for it. I registered early Friday morning and there was no turning back.

My plan was to run a few miles on Friday afternoon, but I ended up getting really busy and it just didn't happen. We were headed to stay at Walt Disney World Friday night and I really needed to get my worked day wrapped up.

On the way to Disney I took a look at my BlackBerry and saw I had a stray email from Shirley. In my reply to her, I mentioned that I was planning on running in De Leon Springs. She replied and said she was also planning on running in De Leon Springs today. It was nice to know that I would see a familiar face in the crowd.

This morning I woke up at 5:00 AM and quickly got ready to head out the door. Thirty minutes later I was in the car and headed to Volusia County.

I was concerned about finding my way. I had a general idea about where I was going, but once I got to Highway 17, I wasn't sure where I needed to go. I have never been to De Leon Springs before. I had good directions, but it was dark. I was able to find my way to packet pick up and the start area with little incident. * I only had to turn around once *. This is one reason I prefer to pick up my race packet early when possible. That way, on race morning I will know exactly where I am going and what I'm looking for. It takes away a lot of the stress.

I had plenty of time to spare. I picked up my race packet and then returned to the warmth of my car. The temperature was hovering at 50 degrees. I had a clear view of the sole ladies' room in my rear view mirror and as a line began to form I waited my turn (I was third). Later the line was much, much longer.

After I twittered, I made my way to start line at 7:45 AM for the 8:00 AM start. I met Lorraine from the Track Shack and chatted with her and her neighbors for a few minutes. Then I heard "Maddy!" from behind me. Shirley was there with her husband Dave. It was nice to finally meet the man behind the camera and Shirley's support crew!

The race started and we headed out on a hard-packed limestone road. We ran past De Leon Springs State Park and continued on. This was an out and back course and quite honestly, there really wasn't a lot to look at. There were fields and trees. It was pleasant enough, but it could have been maddening.

Right around mile three two women behind me were talking as they caught up to me. They didn't pass, but continued to chat and I joined in the conversation as well. The three of us ran together until mile six. At that point, Susan jumped ahead and took an impressive lead. Angie and I continued to run together. This was Angie's second half marathon. Her first half marathon was OUC in December. It was really nice to have someone to talk to. The course only had a few turns and a few of the roads went on and on and on. It really wasn't a big deal. Somewhere around mile eight a freight train rolled past. It was quite a long train and it was a memorable part of the race. I wish I had counted the cars. Like I said, it was a really long train.

The second half seemed to go really quickly and before I knew it, we were at the 12 mile marker. We had just over a mile to go. I was encouraging Angie to keep at it. She was on track for a fantastic PR.

We were back on the limestone road and we had on turn to get to the finish line. I had it in sight. I crossed in 2:15:01.

I feel like I took it pretty easy. I didn't push myself too hard and I will be ready to conquer Disney next Saturday.

I'm so glad I decided to run this race. After OUC I wasn't feeling like a particularly strong runner. The race today really helped boost my confidence. It made me feel more like my old self. And while this wasn't a PR, it was still a great race!

After the race there was a raffle sponsored by Fleet Feet. There were lots of goodies to be won. Fuel Belts, Runner's World Calendars, T-Shirts and Gift Cards. I was excited when my number was called and I won a $20 gift card. I can't wait to go shopping. I'm thinking socks... Yay!


At 9:40 PM, Blogger MarathonChris said...

Congrats! Sounds like you had a great race :-)

Bring on Disney!!

At 9:41 PM, Blogger Bev said...

Congrats on the finish. I hope I can run a half that fast some day.

At 3:03 AM, Blogger Susan said...

Yay Maddy! I am glad that you followed your heart and did the race. Gaining confidence is a great thing!

And a $20 gift card -- coolness!

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Marathon Maritza said...

Glad you signed up for the race because it went so well!! Congrats!!!

At 5:59 PM, Blogger P.O.M. said...

Awesome job! I hope I can have a report like that in Feb.

At 9:56 PM, Blogger David said...

No PR but we have a winner folks! Good for you and good for feeling confident.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger akshaye said...

Great work! Good luck with Disney!

At 8:16 AM, Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

Great seeing you at the race and well done running it. I'm sure you'll do fine at Disney this weekend. Congrats on the gift card!

At 5:38 AM, Blogger peter said...

Nice race report. Good luck at Disney! It was where in 2006 I finally broke through my long-desired 1:50 barrier. Flat, you know. Our start was 34 degrees, much better for doing 13 miles than your projected 60 to 80.

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Darrin said...

I ran across your blog today and I had to say hi. I am a runner in Volusia County and I too was at the Deleon Springs Half. Though my race was not as successful for me as yours was for you. I did everything wrong in preparation and paid for it between mile 7 and 8. Glad to see another person get out there and having fun. Good luck in the future.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home