Well, it wasn’t the prettiest of races (my race itself, not the course – that was awesome), but three years down, two to go.
By the third year, I’ve pretty much got my Space Coast routine figured out. Where to stay, where to eat, what to do after the race. But it’s still a really enjoyable trip because I have so many friends who are also working their way through the five year series and it’s awesome to see everyone.
Let me back up. Space Coast is currently doing a 5 year series honoring each of the space shuttles. This year was Discovery. While I don’t race for medals, when it comes to this series, I’m racing for the medals. I love the space program and I want all five shuttles (Enterprise doesn’t get a medal, since it never flew a mission). The series also comes with some bonus bling. Race three years, get the Milky Way medal. Race all five, get the Big Bang medal. So this year involved two medals.
And they are fabulous.
My first year running, I woke up with a headache and slogged through the race. My second year was much better. I was really working on my run training and ran a relatively fast (for me) race. This year, I’ve been focused more on the crosstraining. This winter is about building up my biking skills, so I’ve only been running twice a week. But I really hoped that all the cross training would help.
The one thing I always forget about this race – Florida is muggy in the winter. And in the summer too, but a 65 degree race start in Florida is still disgusting. That inevitably works against me. Still, I was hoping to run a sub-3 half.
I set out with Nikki, Katie, and Patrick, and Nikki is a machine. That girl has been training and it shows. Her intervals were ridiculously fast. Still, I was okay pushing in the beginning. I feared the weather would be worse when the sun came up, so why not get some miles covered in the beginning.
This may not have been the best plan. But it was definitely fun.
Right around mile 11, my wheels fell off. I just didn’t have the energy to keep running. Nothing particularly hurt, I was just burnt out. I’m not sure if it was the weather or going out too fast or what happened, but I just felt gross. So I decided to try to walk a bit to keep it going. I knew I was close to the sub-3 anyway and thought if I walked fast enough, I could do it.
I managed to keep a 14:30 walk pace. On these little legs. Which is crazy since my energy was shot. But it felt good and I was moving, so I figured it was better than nothing.
And I did it. 2:59:10. Not my best time, far from my worst.
But I just wasn’t happy with the finish. I would have felt okay if I had powered it in, but because it wasn’t a great finish, I just felt disappointed in myself. And it took about a day, but I realized that I only ran this race 3 minutes slower than last year when I was really pushing my run training. With that and the higher temperature, this wasn’t bad at all.
Of course it didn’t hurt that Shannon and I celebrated by going to Disney World. It’s not a bad way to recover.