- One Race per Month
- Try a Challenge (More than one race in a single weekend)
- Try to do more long races (i.e. not all 5ks)
- 350+ Miles for the Year
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
So, it's New Year's Eve... I don't know how the year went by so fast, but it did, and it's time for me to reflect on the past year.
How many miles did I run, per Nike?
Seriously???? See, folks, this is why you should do some math before you run your final miles of the year. I'm so bummed that I was .1 miles away from 400... Oh, well, something to aim for in 2015.
But anyway, how was my 2014? Did I complete my Year of Races? My goal was to run at least one race per month. Did I do it?
Check out all my race reviews for the year.
So, what now? What are my goals for 2015?
Happy New Year, everyone!!!
Saturday, December 6, 2014
This was a last minute choice for a race. It was the inaugural race, so I didn't know anything about it, but it was quasi-local (45 minutes away), had bling and was cheap, and was in December, to round out my Year of Races.
The description of the race mentioned "wear your silly socks" and since it was only a few weeks until Christmas, I decided to do a bit more than just socks. I pinned some red Christmas tree garland to my silver Sparkle Athletic skirt and wore a green shirt, as well as some cute hair accessories (more on that in a moment).
|Clover wanted to help me with my skirt|
Race morning, I overslept. I know that I set my iPod alarm for 5:20, but either it didn't go off (I forget to turn up the volume sometimes), or I slept through it (I think it was this). I rolled out of bed at 5:45 and began to get ready. Then I realized that I'd forgotten to pin my skirt to my skirt! So before getting some food in me, I fixed that problem. Then I shoved down some breakfast, did my hair and got dressed, and was finally out the door by 6:15. Ocala is 45 minutes away... I must have averaged 85 the entire time I was on the Interstate!
My Garmin told me that I should get off at exit 352, but I took exit 358 because it looked faster.
It wasn't. Sigh. My lead foot kept pressing down, and every few minutes I had to vocally tell myself to slow down. Then the needle would creep back up to 60, and I'd slow down again.
During one of these periods, what should I see, but red and blue lights... Yup, I got busted by Florida Highway Patrol on Baseline Road. One mile from the park I was looking for.
Now, I'm not a girly girl in any sense, but I was so frustrated that by the time the police officer got to my window I was practically in tears. He asked if I was okay, and I said that I was very frustrated and thought that I was lost, because I couldn't find the Baseline Trail head park. He kind of smiled and pointed in it's general direction and said "it's about a mile that way." Jerk.
He told me that he "had" to give me a ticket (no, actually you don't - you could've given me a warning), but that he would report a slower speed so that I don't get a huge fine.
|Yep, a selfie with cop lights. I'm so ghetto|
$131 speeding ticket later, I was on my way again to the Trailhead, just a short mile away, and it was 7:43. I missed my turn and had to pull a U'ie, which sucked 5 more minutes from me. Luckily, even though the parking lot was jam-packed, someone left a GREAT spot and I snuck into it with minutes to spare.
I picked up my packet, which turned out to be the wrong packet, so I had to return it and get mine. Finally I could pin my bib and get ready to go. I raced back to my car to throw the bag in the trunk, then hauled ass back to the park. I didn't know that the start line was about 500 yards away, so I had to really go fast to catch up with the rest of the crowd!
|What a bunch of boring runners! Not even a lot of green or red!|
Luckily, I made it, and I could chill for a moment to start my Garmin and take a breath. I looked around and saw that there certainly weren't a lot of silly socks to be seen! I only saw a handful of tutus!
|Besides me, she was the most festive|
I was certainly feeling foolish in my garland skirt and curly bow hair.
|Curly bows that are normally used for wrapping presents! They looked AWESOME!|
Oh well - If I can't win, I might as well look cute!
We took off, and I separated from the pack pretty quickly. I was doing 2/1 intervals, which worked for me in St. Augustine last month.
After about 8 minutes, the winner passed us, headed towards the finish line.
By Mile 1, there were only a few people in front of me that I could actually see.
|Would be a better photo if I wasn't running and had a real camera with me|
|Wow, you really outdid yourselves there|
|Here you can see a crappy pose, but more importantly the skirt - it's pinned on top of a SparkleSkirt|
After getting my finish line photo, I checked out the area. There were urns filled with hot chocolate and coffee, as well as candy canes and bottled water. I grabbed some (no coffee for me) and walked a bit.
|Hot Chocolate and Candy Canes - very good things!|
|I even beat two women in my age group!|
|Awww, it's cute!|
|A LOT of kids.|
|Nice sling bag|
|Again, I hope that the kids designed this!|
|My favorite way to refuel|
Host: Dr. N H Jones Elementary School
Race Fee: $20 + $2.25 Sign-Up fee
Packet Pickup: Hectic – was given wrong packet at first
Parking: Lot was full when I got there, was able to score a good spot when someone left
Support: I believe there was only one water stop
After Party: Hot chocolate, candy canes, coffee, lots of raffles
Would I do it again? If I was in need of a December race, yes. But probably not. It was boring.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Today was the day!! I was going to run a half marathon that I didn't pay for, and didn't train for until the end of September! That's right, it's time for the St Augustine Half Marathon!!!
We booked a room at Regency Inns and Suites for the night before - using BookIt.com, it cost about $65. It was a nice hotel (for the price) and I would certainly stay again. The fact that it had queen beds was a HUGE plus!
We did packet pickup the night before, and as I walking back through the Expo (yeah, it's tiny and sad), I saw that they had pint glasses. Something told me that I had to buy one. It was $5 plus tax.
|Our packet was in a reusable grocery bag|
|My first race pint glass! I'm going to put it on my desk at work to hold mints|
We got to the Visitor's Center parking garage around 5am and got a pretty good spot, then made our way over to the Castillo, where the race was to start. The only problem? When we got there, I didn't see any sort of start or finish line!! Oh, no, what if I was wrong?
Luckily, no hyperventilating was required - the starting line was just further down, towards the bridge. Whew!
Halfway through the parking lot of the Castillo, well, my body said POTTY!!!! YOU MUST POTTY NOW!!! I looked around but didn't see any anywhere, so I told the family that I was going to trek back to the Visitor's Center to potty there. After about 30 seconds, though, the Kiddo came running to me and told me that there were potties closer to the start line. Oh, thank goodness! I wasn't even sure if the Visitor's Center would be open this early!
So, I headed over to the potties - there were only 4! - and waited. Being the person I am, I took adavantage of the beautiful morning light to take photos.
|Blurry, artsy photo of the Porta-Pottie line|
|Sunrise on the bay, with runners|
|I love this one - Lamppost with Moon during Sunrise|
|I'm probably 30th in line at the potties|
|We're so early the Start Line hasn't been assembled!|
|My head looks like a thumb|
|My head was cold, so I pulled my Bondi down.|
Wow, I'm glad I pottied when I did! At 15 minutes to race time, this line is insane!
The family of course was there to see me go (the Kiddo wearing my jacket - it was chilly that morning!).
|I'm ready for my close-up!|
|Beautiful start to the race|
|Can I just sit here and watch the sunrise?|
|You Are Beating All the People Behind You|
|Go fast! Your Legs Will Forgive You!|
|Yay! First mile down!|
|St. Augustine Alligator Farm Sign|
|Mile 3! Only 10 miles to go!|
|This would be a confusing intersection with no signs|
|Still a fair amount of runners ahead of me|
|Her name is Cheryl, and she finished about 5 minutes after I did|
It's not the best photo, but I tried to get a shot of the thermometer - it was 56º at 9am. I love Florida winters!
|56º in Florida? Yes, please!|
|Hello, sweaty, half-naked men!|
|Crap, there's a bridge on this route?!?|
|What a nice, straight photo|
|The other side of the road had a shopping center... Can I just go to the mall?|
|Honey Stingers - made with actual HONEY!|
|Mile 6 - Almost halfway there!|
|Officially more than halfway there....|
|Thanks for the sign!|
|Hey, take me to St. George Street!|
|Mile 9 and Van of Oblivion|
|Raise your hands if you're tired of handing out water!|
I was looking forward to this part of the course the most - Anastasia Road is a small road that runs parallel to the ocean. There's no developments or houses or anything.
|That tiny sign said "Wildlife Crossing" and had a photo of a turtle - seemed fitting|
While I could be running on the road, if I wanted to, the sidewalk was wide and fairly even (as even as asphalt was), so I stayed on the sidewalk. Still pacing my gal, too.
|Go Cheryl Go!|
|I wish there had been more of this view, instead of just scrubland|
|Mile 10!!! Only a 5k to go!|
|It was good this sign was here - I really thought we were going to finish the road|
|You're right, Random Stranger! I CAN do it!|
|One day, I'll climb that lighthouse|
|He was kind of creepy. If he was in front of me, he'd walk backwards and look at me.|
|Turn around, weirdo! But thanks for wearing shorts over those tights...|
Out of the neighborhoods, we are back on A1A, heading towards the Bridge of Lions. I'm so done. And I know I said that already. I'm really just so done.
|"Smile! Remember.... you PAID $$ to do this" - Um, actually?...|
|"You're Beating All the People Behind You" - What like all 5 of them?|
|Who puts a bridge at Mile 12 of a freakin' Half Marathon?|
|Hmm, is that the horses or the potties?|
And because my camera is a joke, I got THIS close to the finish line before the battery died, so I didn't get to take a photo of my approach to the finish line.
I love the approach to the finish line, because you kind of sneak up on it, then there is a long straightaway before turning in to the chute. And the chute itself is awesome - it's long and lined with lots of flags with a fun "castle" type covering on the actual finish line.
I entered the chute and found my family on the side. But then I saw the clock. I mouthed the words HOLY SHIT to them. I couldn't believe what I saw. I was totally crying - like fat-girl, ugly-crying - before I even crossed the finish line!
My official time was 3:36:55 - that is a PR of almost EIGHTEEN MINUTES!!!!
So much ass was kicked on this race, I can't even...
Anyway, once I stopped freaking out about my PR, I took my finish line photos and we headed out. I stopped at the Columbia booth for some paella and soda, though. Yum.
|Okay, so I changed into flops before my photo.|
We went to Harry's Seafood Bar and Grill (I had a coupon, of course). Our server was great, and when I told him that I'd just run the half-marathon, he made sure to keep me hydrated!
|So wet and icy and quenching!|
|Beautiful Bridge of Lions|
|Waffle Menu - I wish I got a waffle|
|Harry's bread and butter is the stuff dreams are made of!|
|I'm hungry right now and that burger looks awesome|
|Oh NOES! I need more WATER!|
|They serve their fudge in small plastic cups, like buckets|
|Who goes in for a minute?|
|Screw you - vanilla comes from orchids, which are anything BUT boring!|
|All that empty space, that could be filled with fluffy whipped cream.... sigh.|
|I have no idea where we are at this point, but we could buy swords and cigars, apparently|
Brace yourself - lots of photos of lots of sweets!
|Chocolate Covered Marshmallows ($3.50) or Specialty Marshmallows ($4.50)|
|Jumbo Marshmallow Pops ($1.95)|
|Chocolate Covered Oreos, Chocolate Covered Ritz, Chocolate Covered Cherries, Chocolate Candy Cups|
|Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods ($3.25) or Specialty Covered Pretzel Rods ($3.95)|
|Chocolate Lollipops or Chocolate Gator Lollipops|
|Fudge as far as the eye can see!|
|Chocolate Covered Pretzels or Specialty Covered Pretzels; Chocolate squares|
|Truffles (75¢ each)|
|Chocolate Nut Caramel Clusters|
|Wow! They still sell candy cigarettes... I thought those were basically illegal|
|Are you guys hearing angels sing too? Or is that just me? Just me? Okay.|
|Butter knife for scale - this is 1/2 pound.|
|Mini M&M Chocolate-Covered Oreo|
I've never had a Dole Whip.
I want to. But I don't want to wait in those atrocious lines at Aloha Isle at the Magic Kingdom.
But, just my luck, there was a small stand on St. George Street giving out samples!! I finally got to try a Dole Whip!
It was pretty good, I'll admit. If lines are short next time I go to Disney, I'd get one.
|I'm no longer a Dole Whip virgin!|
|Don't lean on this thing - it'll tip over.|
|Get out of my shot, random tourists|
Thank you so much to Miami Tri Events for putting on a GREAT race, and for picking me as your Slowest Runner Winner!!!
I would love to do this race again, but only if I can register early - they have pretty hefty (to me) race fees, but it's only around $60 if you get in early (or $40 if you are lucky enough to register at another race's expo!)
Host: Miami Tri Event
Race Fee: FREE (Regularly costs up to $100)
Packet Pickup: Easy. Expo leaves a LOT to be desired.
Parking: Easy. Free if you arrive before a certain time at the Visitor's Center
Support:Wonderful. They have a contest every year for the best water stop.
After Party: If there was one, it was mostly gone by the time I got in. Columbia Restaurant was there with paella and canned sodas. There were some Expo folks still selling things. But not an actual "party"