Oh what a pretty course to run. First off, I love Panama City Beach. I have partied there ever since I was 18 years old. But this weekend wasn't dedicated to partying, it was dedicated to running and my children who were not able to come with me to the race.
The Good: I beat my previous PR by 6 minutes. I ran the race in 2:08:35 which is a 9:44/min pace. Not what I was looking for but with what happened, I'll take it.
The Bad: I completely lost it around mile 9 and ended up having to do a walk/run method to get me through the end of the race. I was really hard on myself but knew that I had ran hard in the first 7 miles to be able to do this and not hurt my time to terribly bad.
The Ugly: I ended up with 4 blisters (maybe more) on my feet. My pinkie toe ended up busting after 6 miles end and when I pulled my shoes off after the race my sock was covered in blood. My calf muscles also tightened up on me something fierce and I had a very hard time walking afterwards. Once I got to my mom's car, I put on my compression socks and felt instant relief. I also took 800mg of Motrin and my legs are feeling great, even now.
Here's my splits and what my thoughts were during each mile:
Mile 1 - 8:51 - I started off at this pace for a reason. First I was in the back of the crowd to make myself start slower so I wouldn't crash and burn early in the race. Second, I was with my boss's wife talking to her when they said "Go."
Mile 2 - 8:44 - Starting to get into the groove.
Mile 3 - 9:01
Mile 4 - 8:55
Mile 5 - 8:59
Mile 6 - 9:11 - Blister on my pinkie toe was making it's self known and I was really starting to get very uncomfortable.
Mile 7 - 9:25 - During this mile we started to run through a neighborhood that was very confusing and since the runner's were starting to get very spaced out, it was difficult for me to know where to go exactly.
Mile 8 - 9:44
Mile 9 - 9:57 - Here's where I start to fall apart. I was having tons of trouble with my belly feeling weird and the gel I took 3 miles back was making me feel sick.
Mile 10 - 10:41 - I let myself take walk breaks through the water stops. I also had gatorade at this stop and I don't usually drink that during runs. That also made my belly feel strange.
Mile 11 - 11:34 - More walk breaks.
Mile 12 - 10:33 - Trying to pick up the pace but with the blisters forming and rubbing against my socks, it was tough to run and I really, really just wanted to stop.
Mile 13 - 11:00 - I kept hearing that the finish was just around the corner but every time I would come to a place where I could turn, they kept telling me to go straight and it was just around that corner, I was almost in tears by this time because my calf muscles and feet were in complete pain.
:21 - 9:44 - I tried, I mean really tried to sprint it in but with everything that was going on, I was amazed I crossed the line standing up.
Total miles: 13.21
Total time: 2:08:35
Average pace: 9:44
Total calories burned: 1,337
I realized after passing the first mile, that my watch was going to show that the course was long. I wasn't happy with that because when your running with blisters on your feet, you need for the course to be short, just my opinion.
My biggest complaint was that the neighborhood we ran through was not very well marked and there were times I feared I was going to turn in the wrong place. Luckily I was able to keep someone in my sights the whole time and just followed them.
After the race, I decided not to stick around and see how my boss's wife did and her friend. I was in that much pain and just wanted to get on back home. We stopped at a Schlotzsky's for one of the best sandwiches and pickle I have ever eaten. I so wish we would get one of these delis in my town. Then I changed and we headed back home. I figured that three hours in the car after the half was going to be bad on my legs but in all honesty, they felt great.
I'm glad I did this race and I'm already talking about going back next year and doing it again but this time the girls are going to come with me. There was so much for them to do while I ran that they would have had a blast.
I'm taking time off from running to let my blisters heal and to let my thigh muscles rest. They are the only things that are aching today and that's a huge surprise. I've learned a lot from my first half to this half. I'm so excited for my third one in March and I've already started thinking of how my training schedule is going to look for that one and let's just say weights and a lot of cross training is going to come into play this go around, plus I'm not going to start training so soon. I'm going to maintain my running where it's at and then probably start training hard about four months out from the half. That means starting in November for a March run.
I hope everyone who raced or is racing this weekend had a wonderful race and I so can't wait to read all the race reports.