Lighthouse Loop Race Report, in which I run, and more….
So on Sunday October 26th, I ran the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon.
This was one of those odd little B races. I wanted to do it because I had missed it last year due to injury. It is a pretty fast course with a smaller field. I love lighthouses. If you look back though, my history with races with Lighthouse in the name well…I probably shouldn’t love them so much.
Anyway, work has been a bear as of late and I was only kind of looking forward to the girl’s weekend and the race. I’d not been liking my times, even during taper, and mostly I kind of just wanted to sleep. I did not during the very last week that my energy level was picking up…I was wanting to walk the dog more, do more cleaning etc.
So on Saturday we drove over to Ponce Inlet. The drive was really fun. We all chatted and enjoyed each other. I felt a little nervous because the two other ladies know each other better than I do.
All of a sudden we were driving over a bridge. In Florida, most of the elevation in races comes from bridges. One of the ladies said, OH this is the bridge on the course.
As we drove over it the three of us got really silly and you could hear noises like “Grooooaaaaan, O.M.G., ugggh” then we all started giggling. We are from the Hilliest part of Florida. One bridge…nothing to it.
We picked up our packets. Little light on the goodies, but such is the way of race packets and for a race that I paid 35 bucks for…it was pretty nice. The only sadness is that I picked the wrong T shirt size. They went with a new vendor this year and again the ladies had the options of shirts that would fit 4 yr olds. I grabbed a medium since I am usually a small. I should have grabbed a large. I gave the medium to my friend who grabbed a small..she has young girls so one will wear the small. I do have loads of shirts.
We had dinner at a great little local Italian place – Genovese’s
Not the most impressive of buildings. The menu at first seemed slightly limited, but I find that limited menus often mean really GOOD food.
And it was. All of us ordered something different and we really enjoyed.
After we went and hung out at the hotel. We chatted and got ready and discussed things, nothing major. It was a very relaxed time.
The next morning we all of us fooled around and MISSED the ONLY SHUTTLE to the race!!!!!
I was annoyed, because I’m usually more organized. I had not slept well, and I felt like this race was going to be just one long trial.
The weather was awesome. My friend drove us down there and we had no problem with parking, though we did have to walk about a mile to the race start. 😦
I shedded my jacket (Giving it to my cold pal) and went and stood behind the 2:20 pacer. I was not going for any records. I started to get a little freaked out. Have not run a race in a long time. The National Anthem was sung, and then…after some announcements we were off. The Pacer – like everyone else, took the first two miles really fast. I clocked about a 10:30-10:20 pace (too face for 2:20). I wanted to walk so badly. I decided to just try to hold on. I found the pacer useful, as I could look at her and know that I just needed to hang near her.
At mile 4 she and I spoke briefly, she was nice. I told her I wasn’t sure I could hang with her the whole time. She gave some great advice on breathing better and then I shut up.
The miles started ticking by and I was starting to feel OK. At mile 6.5 the Lighthouse came into view.
Oddly we did not really loop it like I thought we would. She slowed the group so they could get gels and water. I had all my nutrition in my hand so I kept running. I made this grand assumption that the group would easily catch me. I forgot that I do also get a “second wind” at mile 8-9. So I kept running. I glanced at my watch which was ticking off miles at paces that were very 2:20 like. 10:36, 10:39, 10:45. I started to kind of look for the pacer. I mean it seemed she should have caught me by then.
All of a sudden at mile 11, the pacer and one girl BLEW by me. I mean at a pace much faster than a 10:38. I tried to then keep up with them because I foolishly assumed…that they were running that pace. I just could not keep up. After about 6 minutes, I never saw the pacer again.
I just continued to use my watch at that point, though I had to admit, i was starting to doubt the watch because the pacer was so far in front…So I started to worry that I was actually running a 2:30-2:40 race without knowing it. My Garmin’s been a bit wonky lately. This really did nothing to help my race performance as you might imagine.
Finally I hit the bridge. I was like…oh no. It was actually fine. It looked steep but it was no steeper than many of the hills we run all the time in town. I did not enjoy it much, but…there it was, I plowed up it and because I was still not sure about the time, I did allow a small walk break in it which I regret now. I then plowed down the hill…but not very quickly.
Then I finally finished. Lighthouse loop has something I really dislike, a hidden finish. When I finished the hill I was at about 12.8 miles, couldn’t visualize the finish. at mile 13, I actually still could not see the finish. It dog legs. I really like to be able to put my head down and see the finish, but no, I was running along with that wonderment of “Where is the finish”
2:20:40 on the dot. Did I see the Pacer? NOOOO. She apparently stank at pacing and ran a 2:18. Which I wonder about because my friend who ran a 2:16 said she never saw any pace sign come in. Weird.
My friend who beat me by about 20 seconds came and was QUITE happy (about beating me). I saw herin front of me and knew she would beat me but I was running my own race. She was a little gloating and knew it so she left quickly.
My friends that I had travelled with headed back to the hotel, we showered, and got cleaned up and had a fantastic lunch!
Softshell crab BLT. Yeah, thats what I’m talking about.
Our race bib got us in free to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and the Marine Science Center, so we took advantage of both. I climbed the 206 steps and discovered I really do not like heights. Ah well! I LOVED the marine science center, I got to pet stingrays, and see a Moray Eel up close and personal.
So, all in all, a pretty good weekend.
The aftermath of the weekend has been HORRIBLE. But I’ll write about that next.