reindeer run

December 11, 2013 at 8:15 am 1 comment

a little while back i made a winter goal to PR every standard race distance; the full marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k. as soon as i declared it the attorney insisted the reindeer run in amelia island be my chosen half. she ran it last year and raved about the organization, small field and the beautiful flat course. and an early december race about guaranteed cool weather. i was in.

florida weather is weird. summers are brutal hot and humid suck but winter typically yields a spring-like relief that lures the snow birds south and makes the bundled up yankees jealous. but last weekend (while i was in georgia), tampa weather was a rare upper 30s. fine by me. i like the cold. especially when it comes to running. but it didn’t take long for the cold front to get pushed out by unseasonable highs. that’s ok i figured. amelia island is in north florida. it won’t be near as hot. but by thursday race temps were being called at mid to upper 70s and i felt all PR hopes melting.

saturday moring the attorney and i hit the road for a four hour drive up. plus a three hour shopping detour to an outlet mall 🙂  i kept hoping the temps would drop as we drove north as they hovered near 87 and humid. no such luck but when i asked the attorney to check start time temps we were shocked to see amelia island was supposedly at a late afternoon respectable 74. less than an hour away, we thought to be on crack but sure enough about 30 miles out the temps started dropping degree by degree and we arrived to a semi-cooler evening than anticipated. race temps were still calling for a mid-60 start with a low 70s finish which certainly wasn’t ideal or ~ i feared ~ pr conditions.

an amazing pizza dinner with an ice cold beer followed by ice cream and we were snug in our hotel beds early. a 7 a.m. start and a mere 5 minute drive to it, let us sleep in a little and we woke refreshed. and the weather we found waiting outside the hotel door ~ 62 and overcast ~ brought an immediate renewed hope.

lining up i felt ok. not 100 percent convinced i could hold a needed 8:55 for 13.1 given my body still hurt from the prior weekend’s trail half. but i was determined to go after it.

one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn as a runner is control. it’s so easy to let faster runners pull you. to want to push past the slow. i used to go out too fast. burn out quick. but it’s no better to go out too slow. knowing you left something on a course is a horrible feeling. being i wasn’t going for a huge PR margin. and knowing i haven’t been able to do speed work in months i wanted to stay right at where i had to be with maybe a little time in reserve. my first couple miles were a little faster than i wanted but after that i fell into a consistent rhythm. solid pace. quick water stops. i was holding strong but could definitely feel it.

then somewhere around mile seven it happened. the race course doubled back and not soon after i turned i saw the attorney and heard her scream my name! wtf??? her half PR going in was a 2:06. yes she wanted a sub-2 and was more than capable of getting it but she wasn’t supposed to be right on my ass 😉  so here kicked in my hate-to-lose competitive spirit. had my pace been slowing at all, it immediately quickened. don’t get me wrong. i was so happy for her! i wanted her close because this race was as much supposed to be her success as mine but there was just no way i was going to let myself get caught.

by mile 12 i felt pretty safe and set my eyes on a woman i pegged as in my age group. figured i might as well pass one last one in hopes of placing. we ran neck and neck. neither saying a word. both pushing our pace. you could feel the unspoken challenge and i was sure we’d go in to the final stretch together. but at mile 12.83 (yes i looked) she started to lose momentum and i found it. i took the last stretch at a full on sprint ~ a 6:56 according to my garmin ~ and beat her by 13 seconds.

final time: 1:55:10. a pr by a minute and 37 seconds!

i barely had time to get water. catch my breath and get back to the finish line when i saw the attorney. with a 1:56:49 she not just got her sub-2 but she killed it with it a ten minute PR.

neither of us had brought jackets and a quick glance at the initial postings showed me 4th in my age group and her 5th in hers. awesome but not good enough for awards so we opted to skip the ceremony for hot showers and breakfast before hitting the road home. but yesterday she thought to check official results and i was actually 3rd! i contacted the sponsor store and they are going to mail me my award. that’s the 3rd race i’ve placed in over the past few months 🙂 maybe i’m not so bad at this running stuff!


Entry filed under: racing, running. Tags: , , , .

31 lost count

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Miss Mile High  |  December 16, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    WOW! Not only an amazing run, but also a PR! Way to go!!


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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39



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