Monday, November 17, 2008

Long Overdue :: Orange Blossom 1/2 Race Report

Last Sunday, I woke up and I was pretty excited. For the first time since I moved from Winter Park, nearly four and half years ago, there was a race I was running that was 10 minutes from my house. The closest I have ever been was the 5K in Leesburg back in March.

I drove to Wooton Park along Lake Dora, picked up my goodie bag and wnet back to my car. The temperatures were cool and I was dressed for running. The croud was sparse. I would guess there were a little more than 100 runners and while there were porta-potties there were realy bathrooms in the park without a line. I made my obligatory bathroom stop and then headed up to Main Street. I met three women, a mother and her two daughters who were running together. I thought that was really sweet. They were really nice ladies. They are planning on running Disney's Princess Half Marathon and the mother wanted to see how much work she would need to do between now and March.

Very close to 7:00 AM The Orange Blossom Half Marathon was underway. The course headed West and made a loop then headed down Lake Dora Drive. We then cut into a neighborhood and headed back towards the West and made the same loop and headed AGAIN down Lake Dora Drive. I really prefer a point to point course, but I don't mind an out and back course either. I realized on Sunday that I don't like an "Out and Back and Out and Back Again" course.

Even with a small race like this there were a cast of characters. One person I really wanted to beat was an older man (later looking at race results, I figured out he was 71 years old). Now, I don't take any pleasure in beating old men, but there was just something about this old guy running in jean shorts that I really wanted beat. I finally passed him somewhere during the fifth mile.

I have added to and listened to the same playlist since July. I can judge where I am mile-wise by the song that is playing. Around the six mile mark, I felt like something was off. My Nike+ which isn't always very accurate was saying more than six miles. I was approaching a woman with a Garmin on. I asked her what it said. It was close to 6 1/2 miles. I told her I bet that at the end of the race it would read 13.6 miles.

We ran down the same road until we reached Mt. Dora. Apparently, Mt.Dora wanted nothing to do with this race. And we turned around over the chip mats and we headed back to downtown Tavares. I called this "Welcome To Mt.Dora, Now Get The Hell Out Point".

The legenth of the course played a mental number on my head. I don't know why, but I was struggling with knowing I was going to have to go further than I had planned. And I kept telling myself I was being silly, but it really affected my mental game.

Soon enough, somewhere in the ninth or tenth mile, The Old Man was coming up behind me. He was talking trash to me. It's so funny. I couldn't see him, but I could hear him coming. He was saying "Here I am!", "I'm coming up on you!" "I'm not dead!" and then he passed me. And I just couldn't keep up with him. It was hillarious. And good for him! He ended up finishing about four minutes ahead of me.

I think the out is always a lot better than the back. On Saturday my SPI Belt went MIA. I had it on the table (I know, not a good place for it...) and it was moved. although nobody remembers moving it or where it might have ended up. This played a negative part in my fueling plan. My tank was running low on fuel later in the race. I only brought with me what I could carry. One pack of Sport Beans that I took in about five miles in. Poor planning on my part.

My official finish time (13.6 miles) was: 2:30:43 My adjusted half marathon time is: 2:24:58.

I reminded myself that this wasn't a race I planned on trying for a PR and I really ran it to support a local race and to have fun.

Yes, I was annoyed that the course was longer than it should have been, but overall, it was fun. The weather was nice and there were plenty of water stops. I met some cool people, and hey, I was showed up by a 71 year old man.

It's all good.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

When Did I...

...Become the world's worst blogger.

My post have become really inconsistent and I think that sucks.

So, I'm back and blogging. I'm sure you've be dying to know what's been going on with me (not!)

I've suffered from a small lack of mojo. October was my second lowest mileage month for the year and half of the miles I ran for the entire month were run on one day.

All of a sudden I feel invigorated!

Sunday I planned on meeting my friend Cheryl in Winter Garden and run 12 miles with her. She was running 20 miles and I was going to run a portion with her. On Saturday I lent my car to my sister and I had planned on driving my husband's car. I was ready to go and the car wouldn't start.

I called Cheryl to tell her that I wouldn't be joining her. I went back to sleep. But don't think that I didn't get my run in. Sunday afternoon, while my husband was on his way to get a new battery for his car, I ran my scheduled 12 and I felt pretty good.

Tuesday, my sister still had my car and my husband went with our son on a field trip to Forever Florida. My plan was to run to the poll to vote. I left my house around 7:50 AM and headed out. I faced some challenging terrain including some wild uncut grass next to an orange grove. I felt really good about multi-tasking. I wanted to run and I wanted to vote. Check and check!

Today I had 6 x 800s on my schedule. I ran them on the treadmill and I really enjoyed it. It was the best run I've had in a long, long time.

This Sunday a lot of the local runners I know will be in Celebration at the 10K and 5K or both - You know who you are... I will not be there. I have always wanted to run that 10K. The very first 5K I ran was this race. At the time a 10K seemed like an impossible distance. Can you imagine running 6 miles?

I won't be there on Sunday because I will be running the Orange Blossom Half Marathon in my town of Tavares, FL. I felt like it was really important to support a truly local race. I'm not really going into this with any particular goal. I just want to go out and have a good time and get my long run with water stops.

I'm looking forward to it!