Mar 7, 2014

Best Damn Race Orlando (Recap)

The short story:

1:47:26 finish time
5/90 in my age group
34/303 out of all women

Picture cribbed from Meghann
The longer story:

After running a PR two weeks ago, I went into Best Damn Race with absolutely no goals in mind except to not get injured. My spring half marathon goal had been to break 1:50, and that had been accomplished in Daytona.  It seemed unlikely I'd see another PR so quickly.

The morning of the race, I spent a whole 10 minutes driving to the start of the race downtown.  I even parked in my work building's garage.  Very easy, very familiar.  Shortly after I arrived, I met up with Katy and we caught up on life before she lined up for the 10k.  Then I wandered around until I saw Meghann at the Iron Girl tent.  She and I chatted for a couple of minutes, and next thing you knew, every blogger in Tampa and Orlando was at the tent.  Beka mentioned she wanted to run a PR, or somewhere between 1:50 - 1:53.  The 1:53 part sounded good to me, so I offered to run with her.

The race went off with an a cappella version of the National Anthem by a group of students from UCF.  Meghann, Beka, CarissaMichelle  and I started off running in a pack.  I thought we were running pretty slowly, but the first mile registered under 8:30.  Guess it was the weather and good company?  In any event, my plans for "running it slow" immediately went out the window.

Meghann, Beka and I continued to run together for at least the first six miles or so.  Around mile six, Beka and I got slightly in front of Meghann.  The course was a bit wonky, in my opinion.  Apparently there were over 40 turns?! It kind of felt like they were jamming in a half marathon on a very small area of downtown Orlando.  I would have preferred it showed off different parts of my fair city, but overall it wasn't a bad course.  Just twisty.

The fun part of all the twists and turns was seeing friends on all the out and backs.  Like Beka said, it felt like celebrity spotting and kept us entertained.  "Oh, there's so-and-so.  She's looking so strong!"

I nearly lost Beka around mile 8 thanks to my dilly-dalllying at a water spot.  I caught her and told her that if we could get to the 15k mark in 1:18, she'd easily PR.  Well, we came up on the 15 mark in 1:17, so I knew we'd probably be under 1:50 provided we didn't drop our pace.

Beka had a couple nasty leg cramps towards the end, but she fought them off and didn't stop running.  We made the end turn onto Central and the finish line was in site with 1:46:xx visible.  We finished with a time of 1:47:26, an entire 9 seconds faster than my Daytona time two weeks before.  Whoop!

After the race, we found Amanda,Paula, Michelle, Katy and Meghann (who came in less than a minute after we did) and I celebrated with a nice, cold beer.

It was eight ounces and I felt hammered.

The only bummer about the race was that it came up short on my watch by about .20 mile.  My watch does constantly measure short, and we may have lost signals going under several bridges, but I think the course was a scotch short.  Oh well.  Still one of my Best Damn Races!