Race Recap: Jacksonville Bank Half Marathon

It started out with a crappy week, and tanked quickly with the tragic events on last Friday. Working crazy hours and a crazy schedule because of the breaking news on top of my already insane hours made things tough. Add that I haven’t been running as much as I wanted to, and it all equals to craptastic on a crap sandwich.

But there is always a silver lining and a lesson learned that makes it a win.

I left work late on Saturday, because I was helping some of the other guys get stuff on the web about the tragic shooting in Connecticut. I knew that I didn’t want to take a nap because then my sleeping would be thrown off and that would make things worse, so I stayed up from 12:30am – 8:30pm. Yep. It was a long day.

When we woke up, I slept through one of the alarms. I kind of do anyway, but this time I really  didn’t mean to. When I finally got up and got moving, I threw my running gear on, braided my hair, slipped in my fun new hair clippies with ribbons on it (thanks, Tiffany!) and grabbed a half bagel with crunchy peanut butter on it. I had already packed my backpack with my towels, change of shirt, number and gels, race belt and music player the night before.

We got there really early mainly because we wanted to park on the Bolles campus. It has very limited parking, and the idea of parking a few miles away and hiking it to where we were starting a 13 mile race didn’t sound like a fun idea to me. Tiffany rode with us, so the three of us sat in the car and relaxed until it was time to get prepped. Bathroom break, water, energy chews that came in the pack and we were off to the starting line. Kat ran into us just before we started to line up, and she didn’t have her tutu on! She said she tore it up by accident, and didn’t have time to fix it, but that’s okay. She just owes us one! 🙂

When we started the race it was dark, foggy, and really comfortable for me. The cooler temps mean a more regulated body temperature. I started the race with Tiffany like I always do, but we were slower than I wanted to be. So after the third mile (there was a 5k there as well) I looked over my shoulder and realized that I had pulled away from her and she was yelling at me. “Run! Go! Run!”

So I went.

The rest of the run was kind of boring when it’s by yourself and your music isn’t entertaining you as much as you wish it would. It’s a beautiful area of Mandarin, so I thought for sure the route would keep me entertained, but no. I pushed it hard, though, and tried to keep up a steady pace the entire time.

When I crossed at the 10 mile mark and saw 2:07, I thought I was good. Final miles in 30 minutes. I can do that right? Wrong. I couldn’t do that. I finished with a time of 2:41, which was frustrating because I really really wanted to get closer to 2:36. When I looked up my time I saw that it said I was doing a 12:19 mile average. In order to get closer to my goal, I need to drop a minute a mile at least.

Good to know for next year’s training.

Kat, however, rocked my world. the very final say…quarter of a mile is over a grassy back road type thing that dumps out onto the track at Bolles. By the end of the race, I was dying. It was hot and I didn’t feel good, and I was so thirsty. Kat met me back by the grass, held up a water, and let me take a huge swallow of her bottled water. Then, she ran with me to the track, encouraging me to go the entire time. That was what I needed to finish the damn race. She’s a rockstar, that best friend of mine.

Also – I didn’t use any caffeine gels. Here’s what we learned from that: One – using just one caffeine gel at the end of my race (at mile 10) I was able to finish strong. I felt the push in me, and felt myself go harder and faster, but only had one with caffeine in it. What did that mean? That meant NO MIGRAINE! SCORE!! I am guessing that the combination of the caffeine and the pounding of the pavement causes the migraines to trigger, and if I cut at least the caffeine then I should be good. I didn’t feel that much of a loss either. Sure, the caffeine gels are most likely what pushed me to do a harder, faster run portion…but good training, and serious speed work could most likely do the same thing. I consider this part a win.

Oh, and I finished my 3 half marathons in 3 months, which meant I earned my Tri 2b Tuff medal.

I might have missed my time, but I still scored some excellent bling and some true insight. Now, it’s on to revamping the training for January, and getting my fat ass back in action!

Tallyho!

Jamie, Kat, and Tiffany!

Jamie, Kat, and Tiffany!

Finishers!

Finishers!

Jamie and Dreamboat! Finishers!

Jamie and Dreamboat! Finishers!

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