January 30, 2013

Carnival Classic Half Marathon, Long Beach, Mississippi, Jan. 26, 2013: race recap

This race was completely last minute. On a running high from the race with the big bridges, I happily agreed to travel to Mississippi (Long Beach in da house) for a half marathon the next weekend.

It wasn't all about the race. My boyfriend and I usually take a trip at the end of the year. Instead, our house was packed with guests from Dec. 20 until the first week of January. We really needed a trip after that (just kidding, family ... kind of). 

So, after too long of a drive, we arrived in Mississippi on Thursday. I know so many people love road trips. I do not. I love flying. If the drive is anything more than two hours, I want a plane. But, the drive allowed us to take this crazy girl.

She's worth it ... I guess.

The race started at 8 a.m. on Saturday. That seemed late to me. I'm used to 7 a.m. starts. But, I actually got a great night's sleep, and I thought I was ready to run. I thought wrong.

The first 3 miles were completely painful. Not just as in an "I'm totally not into this," which I wasn't, but an "Ow! My calves are cramping," kind of painful. This is new. This hasn't happened before.

I think part of it was because I felt like everyone took off at the beginning of the race, and I was left by myself (this isn't completely true). I ran faster to try and keep up with the pack. And, part of it was probably due to not drinking my usual Nuun the day before. I like to drink a few tablets worth of it to up my electrolytes. Whatever the cause, my calves hurt!

Mile 1: 11:11 (Eek! Started too "fast")
Mile 2: 12:02
Mile 3: 12:09

After slowing down and grabbing some Gatorade at a water stop, the calf pain eased, and I felt better. Still not great, but at least I wasn't in pain.

Mile 4: 11:58
Mile 5: 11:47 (I took a GU gel around mile 4.5)
Mile 6: 11:47

It wasn't until mile 6 that I felt totally in the race. Prior, I had dreams of stopping, calling my boyfriend to come and pick me up and booking it to New Orleans. Not that I was going to do it, but it was fun to dream. 

I came into this race wanting a personal record (PR). I thought it was finally my time to get that PR I've been chasing for almost a year, knowing it was a super-flat course. Before mile 6, I really didn't think it was going to happen.  

Super-duper flat

Mile 7: 11:36
Mile 8: 11:46
Mile 9: 11:31 (I took another GU gel around mile 8.5)
I started to get more optimistic after mile 9. I finally felt great, and I wanted to get to New Orleans.

Mile 10: 11:12
Mile 11: 11:14
Mile 12: 11:07

Coming into the last 1.1 miles, I knew I had a fabulous shot at that record. I wanted it, and I hoped I could at least keep up the pace of mile 12.

Mile 13: 10:45 (Holy crap! My fastest mile of the entire race was the last full mile!)
Mile 0.1: 0:43

My official time: 2:30:54. FINALLY! I took off almost 3 minutes from my personal best. 

Super-duper happy with my PR!
Pretty sweet medal

This course was gorgeous. It was an out-and-back of this view.

Maybe the repetitive scenery made me run faster?

But, it was the same thing for 13.1 miles. I know there are worse things in life to look at for 13.1 miles, but it got boring. I need variety ... waaah, right? I'm such a baby. 

But, the after-party made up for it. 

Homemade gumbo? Yes, please.

Beer? Yes, please.


On the beach? Yes, please. 

Oh, they also had hot dogs and pizza ... but, why? 

This race is ideal for a "fast" time. It's super, super, super flat (yes, it deserves three "supers"). And, at the end of January, it shouldn't be too hot (for a race in the South) it was actually warmer than I hoped, but it wasn't unbearable (70s by race-end). As an added bonus, it's only about an hour's drive to New Orleans. YES! 

Have you ever had calf pain during a run? Do you know why? What did you do to resolve it? Has it even taken you 6 miles to warm up? Ever run a race right along the coast? Ever get bored with the same scenery (no matter how beautiful) during a run?


  1. Hooray!!! Great job on that last mile! You really pushed it and got exactly what you wanted. You did awesome on this race the whole way around. I probably would have gone for the pizza, not that gumbo isn't great, but for some reason I always crave the worst things for me after a run. Awesome job!

  2. YES YES YES!!! Many congrats, girl! So excited for you!!!!!
    That beer sounds amazing!!! I always love running by the beach. One of my favorite races was in Atlantic City.
    It took me 8 miles to warm up in Nashville last year so I get it! :)
    So glad you had a great race!


  4. Congrats on the PR! I always seek out water views when I run. It just creates a peace within me. I live in Seminole Heights now and always run along the river. Post-race gumbo and beer sounds amazing!

  5. Congrats on you PR! That's fantastic!

  6. Way to go on the PR! No change in scenery would have bored me to death. Your dog is super super super adorable :)

  7. So AWESOME!!!!!!! Way to go! I love that medal. I think a flat out and back would be mentally tough but you rocked it!


Comments rock!