Celebration Half Marathon Recap

The Celebration Marathon & Half Marathon, otherwise known as the race I almost didn’t run, was on Sunday. As I discussed here, I was freaking out because of a nagging IT Band issue that forced me to miss running most of January (I could run but the pain had me running with a slight limp which is very strange.) Ultimately, I decided that trying my best and walking if necessary, is a fine way to start a race.

On Sunday, I woke up at 4 AM and did the normal coffee/dicking around on the internet trying to wake up thing. I was not exaggerating about being nervous and did not sleep all well. After being sufficiently caffeinated, I ate a light breakfast and changed my clothes five times. It was a foggy cool 56 degrees and I could not decide whether to wear capris and a t-shirt or shorts and a tank. Preferring to err on the side of being cold, the shorts won.

I thought parking might be an issue for this race because the race start was in the downtown area and there is not a ton of parking. The residents tend to take up a lot of the street parking, so I knew that would be tough. I decided to park at Celebration Health, which is usually where I park for long runs, and walk the mile to the start. The good, I was able to use an actual bathroom before the race. The bad, I walk a mile much slower than I run it and I arrived at the start when they were singing the National Anthem. I attempted to squeeze myself into the starting corral but it was tight (plus moving during the anthem seems to be something people frown upon.) I eventually worked my way to the middle of the start and we were off.

My plan was to run at a comfortable pace and walk if I needed to. Luckily, it was cold enough that my leg started to feel slightly numb, which I think really helped with the pain. Celebration is such a beautiful place to run and I enjoyed looking at the houses and the pretty trees. (If you want to see what I mean, check out the course video found here.)

Around mile 7, I started to hurt and took more regular walk breaks. By around mile 11, I was done and watching my Garmin every 30 seconds hoping the miles were going faster than they seemed.

Celebration Half Split Times

As you can see, I had a tiny little bit of gas left to pull myself over the timing mat. I stuffed my face with some awesome food (garlic knots and a delicious muffin.) Wandered around the finish area for a bit to cool down and look for anyone I knew. (I did see a friend from the Lakeland Runner’s Club which was awesome.) Then I realized that I had to walk the mile back to my car but decided if I made it, would stop at Starbucks on the way home.

Official time 2:21:13. Not my best but not my worst. For the amount of training I missed and my wonky leg, I did much better than I expected.

So in a nut shell…

The Good:

Loved the medal.

Celebration Half Marathon Marathon Medal

Loved the shirt.

Celebration Marathon Half Marathon Race Shirt

Great food.

Race support was excellent. Lots of water stops with great volunteers.

Beautiful course.

Great price.

The Bad:

I had to hunt for my water after finishing the race.

Would prefer timing clocks throughout the course.

There was a delay in getting the times posted.

For an inaugural race, the good far outweighed the bad. The race is showing a lot of savvy by allowing people to give constructive criticism on their Facebook page. I know the race directors care about responses because I ran into one on the hike back to my car. He asked about my experience and took a few notes about the minor criticisms I had.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed running the Celebration Half Marathon and plan on running it again.

Race Day Nerves

So tomorrow this is happening.

Celebration Marathon Half Marathon

I have not been this freaked out and nervous about a race since maybe my first 5K.

So what makes Half Marathon number six so particularly scary?

I have a nagging pain in my right leg that has bothered me since around Christmas. As race day got closer, I decided to take time off from running to see if it would get better on its own. So my peak week of training I did not run at all. The following week I ran a modified training schedule, pretty much eliminating all speed work, and felt uncomfortable but passable. Going into the taper week, I ran 12 miles on Saturday. Felt fine for the 12 miles but my pace is definitely slower. Rested completely until Friday which I used as a test run. My leg still hurts, but I was able run. Today (Saturday) I ran a three-mile shakeout which felt better but not 100%.

I think one of the worst feelings is being unprepared and that is exactly how I feel about this race.

So what to do?

I want to run it because I am cheap and I paid for it.

I want to run it because it is an inaugural race in a town that I love to run in.

It is so disappointing because this training cycle was going so well. The last race I ran in 2013 was a PR that put me on target to PR on this race. That is just not going to happen tomorrow.

So game change, I plan on running for fun tomorrow. If I have to walk because my leg hurts I will. Celebration is a beautiful place to run and I will enjoy my surroundings.

Celebration Running Bridge

Celebration Palm Trees

Celebration Running Path

Have you ever decided not to run a race?

Florida Hospital Celebration Health 10K

I decided to use this race as the last long run of my Half Marathon training. As someone who mostly runs alone, it is so nice to run with other people and to run a route that is planned out by someone else. It took place in Celebration which is one of my favorite places in Central Florida and a place where I run regularly. (Celebration Runs)

One mistake I made was eating out really late on Saturday. J and I went to Dave & Busters in Orlando. It opened recently and I have never been to one. So we played games for an hour and sat down to eat around nine.

Dina Dave & Busters

J Dave & Busters

Then we ate this.

Dave & Busters Spinach Dip

And this.

Dave & Busters

Plus a little bit of this.

Sam Seasonal Dave & Busters

The food was fine for bar type food but it sat in my stomach like a rock. So not the recipe for a successful early morning run. At least I had fun (and won lots of tickets beating J at trivia.)

I woke up early early the next morning (around 4:45 which is only a little bit earlier than I wake up everyday for work.) Celebration is pretty close to my house, so there was not any traffic issues and the parking went very smoothly. After a short walk from my car, where of course I forgot my sunglasses and did not have time to get them, I picked up my race packet and was able to use the bathroom. The porta potty situation was crazy, so I went inside the hospital to go.

The weather was brisk (for Florida) but I was comfortable in my shorts and t-shirt when we started to move. The course was beautiful and there was a decent amount of crowd support. It included many cute kids with cute dogs.

My goal for this race was to not puke up the rock of food and beer that was still in my stomach and to relax into a steady pace. I am not fast and know I need to maintain a comfortable pace for the Half next week. This race, I was really able to do that. I never surged with the crowd and my pace was very consistent. I also did not take any walk breaks until after the 5K mark which was a first.

The Positives:

Great course

Great cause

Easy parking

Very well organized (The Track Shack races always are.)

Bag check (This is the first one I have seen at a 5/10 K. Great idea and I wish I had known, I would have kept my camera in it to take some pictures.)

Did not puke

Perfect weather (in the 60’s)

The Cons:

Not enough porta potties

Two water stops which might have been worse had it been a hot day

After the race I stopped at the sports medicine booth provided by Florida Hospital. I have had a slight pain in my left leg the past few weeks which is making me limp a little. It makes running a bit uncomfortable at first but starts to feel better as I continue to move. Yoga seemed to help it but I was worried that it could be a more serious injury. It turns out to be some tenderness in my IT Band. A stretch was recommended, to do before and after runs. I was also told to hold off on any serious strength training this week to make sure I am strong for my race on Sunday. This news that my injury was just muscle soreness is such a relief. I will continue to stretch, do Yoga, and foam roll to work it out this week.

My race results:

Clock Time: 1:09:47

Chip Time: 1:08:53

Pace: 11:05.1

It was a lot of fun and I would defiantly run this race again. Maybe next year I will do the distance dare and run the 5K too.

Long Run Saturday

Long Run Saturday has been a success so far. I actually woke up early enough to beat the Florida heat and humidity. The torrential rains last night, made the humidity that was around much more bearable.

I have run in Celebration before but usually start off further from town. This time I was able to run through the wooded areas and it was glorious.

Bridge through the woods and swamp.

Celebration Running Bridge

Running path.

Celebration Running Path

One of the many ponds.

Celebration Pond

A bridge over more water.

Celebration Bridge

It wouldn’t be Florida, without palm trees.

Celebration Palm Trees

Artisan Park.

Celebration Artisan Park

The Bohemian Hotel Celebration from a distance.

Celebration Hotel

Obligatory Garmin shot.

Garmin Time

Seven miles! My longest run in a very long time. Long enough to make me feel ready for the 15K in two weeks.

Sadly, this run was amazing minus one thing. I forgot my fuel at home and home is far enough away that turning around was impossible.

I ended the run at Starbucks because I was starving.

Non-fat latte.

Starbucks

Two Moms in the Raw bar. I had never had one before but it was pretty good. Would eat it again.

Two Moms In The Raw

Did you get a good workout on in today?

Any thoughts on raw food bars? Good or gross?