December 11, 2012

Holiday Halfathon, Dec. 9, 2012, Madeira Beach, Florida: race recap


When I looked at the weather for Sunday, I wasn’t thrilled. Hot and humid … in December. I guess that’s what I get for living in Florida.

But thankfully, I learned the lesson of not worrying about things I can’t change. So, even though I knew what was on the horizon, I didn’t panic. Even though I was wearing a cotton T-shirt with big felt pieces glued onto it, I didn’t panic. I calmly accepted my sweaty fate.

I did panic on the way to the race when I had to make two emergency restroom stops, making me way later than I intended. Thankfully, showing up 15 minutes before the start was enough time to grab my timing chip and start the Holiday Halfathon.

The Holiday Halfathon is part of a local halfathon challenge (four half marathons from October through March). I participated in the Halloween Halfathon in October as Mr. Potato Head. That gave me the inspiration to participate in this race as Rudolph. 


From this ...
... to this (although it required a new shirt
and new parts)

This race is a point-to-point race beginning in Madeira Beach and ending in Largo. The first few miles were along the beach (but you couldn’t see the beach). You then turn off of the road along the beach, run over a bridge (my first major hill in a race) and into a neighborhood, park, along a trail and into another park for the finish line.

I wasn’t running with anyone this race. It was just me. It went pretty well … for awhile. I stayed entertained along the beach road, over the bridge (I even ran the entire way up), into the neighborhood and the park. When I got to the trail, I was still entertained for a bit. It included another incline (an overpass), and I ran up it as well. I was impressed considering I’ve never really done any hill training (mainly because there aren’t many in the area).

Since it was hot and humid, I made it a point to walk through the water stops to make sure I stayed hydrated. But, that was it. After drinking my Gatorade (blech) and water, I’d start running again. I kept this up until about mile 8 or 9. Then, my walk through the water stop was a bit extended. Then, I walked over another overpass. And, I got bored.

I didn’t have many people around me at this point. I couldn’t talk to anyone else or listen to others’ conversations. It was just me and my dead Garmin watch. I’m not sure why it died … maybe the fog gave it problems with finding a signal. But right at the time I was getting bored and over this race, my watch died. I can’t decide if this was a good or bad thing.

I kept plugging along, mostly running. The trail seemed like it went on forever. If my watch was working, I could tell you how long it was (I’m pretty sure it wasn’t forever).

I finally made it to the park with the finish line. But, the course took you around a lake before coming to the finish line. Thankfully, people warned me about this so I didn’t have a meltdown when I heard the race announcer and had to keep running and running and running to get to the finish line.

I walked more than I wanted during those last 1.1 miles. I was hot, tired and over it. If my watch was working at this point, I wonder if I would have pushed harder.

I finally made it to the last 0.1 mile (my favorite part of the race), and I was able to run hard to the finish.

Making my way to the finish (look for the big red nose and antlers)
Almost there (look for the brown shirt and antlers)

My time: 2:41:10. Blah. Still not my worst, still not my best, but my best this training cycle. It didn’t feel like my best, which gives me hope. I know I have a better time in me waiting to get out. At some point, I’m going to get closer to (and pass) that sweet 2:33:39 that I ran during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in February of this year. This just wasn’t the race. The pesky heat and humidity had a lot to do with that.

Denise found me at the finish, and we took a photo after I tried to cool down a bit (I don’t think I cooled down much … I was a sweaty mess). 



Overall, I really liked this race. I love that it was a point-to-point race. I liked actually making progress and ending up 13.1 miles from where I started. Thankfully, I had transportation to the start and a pickup at the finish. Thanks, boyfriend!

If you didn’t have transportation, they did have a shuttle that ran from the finish to the start. I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with that. I was hot, sweaty and tired and the last thing I’d want to do is wait on a shuttle back to my car (with a bunch of other hot, sweaty and tired people).

I loved the holiday theme and seeing Santa, reindeer and lots of red and green on the course. And I love the holiday-themed medal.


Too bad I’m not fast, I could lead the pack as Rudolph.

17 comments:

  1. you are so freaking cute - i LOVE your costume [and I loved it as Mr. Potato Head too!]. Good job on your race - I think you did a swell job as Rudolph!

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    1. Aww, thanks! At least I have the costume part down ... now I need to work on that pesky running part. :c)

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  2. What a great costume!! Congrats on another great race, girl!!

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! I'm a huge fan of costumes. I'm thinking of a tutu or sparkly skirt for an upcoming race. I need a change from the brown T-shirts.

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  3. Congratulations!! I ran my first 5k last month and I'm doing another in 10 days.

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    1. Congratulations to you! And good luck on your next 5K!

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  4. It was a tough tough day...my recap says the same story...but we finished!!

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    1. Boo to hot and humid weather in December!

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  5. Sorry you had a tough day, but you still did a great job and looked really cute doing it! Congrats!

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    1. Aww, thanks! Even though I ended up as a super sweaty Rudolph, it was fun being a reindeer for the race.

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  6. First super cute outfit. You know how to rock a costume! Love it. Second that medal is awesome. Great job on this half. I often get to the I'm bored and over this stage- usually around mile ten and then I can usually get over it by mile 11.5. And being out front is over rated, then you have to pay attention to the route and not get lost- ugh too much work;).

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    1. Good point. I'll just have to rein it in, so I don't have to worry about getting lost. :c)

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  7. I am still working on my 5K skills, so you doing a half marathon and finishing is just awesome! Love your costume.

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    1. Thanks! I started with 5Ks, too. Then I got encouraged, ahem, forced into doing a half marathon. I didn't think it was possible, but it is!

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  8. Congrats! Loved the outfit, very cute!

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    1. Thanks! I was happy with how it came out (and it was super simple and cheap -- both things I like).

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  9. Great recap! It's always a tough run or race when the humidity is out. I haven't run a point to point yet either. You're outfit is too cute :) I love the medal for this series- I'm a little bummed that I am only *maybe* doing one of them.

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