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.


At 10:07 AM, Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

Very cool you got to run a race right in your hood!

Some good lessons learned and another run towards Goofy. Funny about that old guy wearing jean shorts.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger akshaye said...

Haha.. what a character! As soon as you mentioned him, I thought about a similar guy I saw at a race once. It was 26 degrees and he was running bear footed while wearing jeans and sweatshirt.

Good local race!

At 8:12 PM, Blogger David said...

Always nice to support the local events. More of you means more of them.

Your mental game took some hits, alright. I am surprised you finished your post with "it's all good" but if that's how you feel, it's all good.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Susan said...

I agree; it's all good! And you nearly cleaned that old geezer's clock. HA HA HA!

I hope you find your belt soon.

Welcome back!

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Petraruns said...

I'm amazed at you! You are doing well running this "little half" in the middle of training for the Goofy - cut yourself some slack because you're going to dip somewhere between Chicago and Goofy I guess and you'll feel great again as well! Good on you for not letting the old geezer get you down too much....

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Yaktrax said...


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At 7:42 PM, Anonymous steve said...

nice report; enjoyed reading it...

funny how a slightly off race distance can upset the game plan.

the guy in the shorts sounds like a right character; there's always one isn't there?

hope you recovered well,


At 5:19 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Maddy you are really funny. You know I did a quick 5K race and got beat by a 81 year old man LOL. Makes ya think doesn't it but I enjoyed the post, thanks for putting a smile on my face maddy :D.

At 5:29 PM, Anonymous V said...

Came across your profile on twellow. Can you connect with me
thr' my contact us form on my site

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Irish Blue said...

LOL...I always pick an old dude to try to beat too...too funny. Notice I said *try* cause usually they beat me. Hey, your running - it's all good.

p.s. I've done nothing but sit on my fat arse since Chicago.

At 1:28 AM, Blogger Cory said...

Thanks for the race report.

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would love to see your playlist. I'm doing the Princess Half and would like a playlist that sort of "goes with" that course. GOOD LUCK with the Goofy--that's awesome! I'm sticking with my "cheater halfs!"


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