Category: events


with the pack

So, I have been told – over and over and over – the best way to prep yourself for raceday is to run several smaller races during your training. Since I’ve only been in one race [aside from high school track, which totally doesn’t count anymore] this seems like a logical step. But, my money and time are limited. So, I knew I would have to limit myself to the events around here. Lucky for me, Gainesville is a hubub of fitness freaks gurus, so there is no shortage of 5Ks, 10Ks, and other Ks to fulfill my running pleasure.

After comparing my availability and researching a little more on the events themselves, here looks to be the line up:

October 24, 2009: Trinity Trot 5K [possible]

October 31, 2009: Gainesville Pumpkin Run 5K [possible]
This race involves running holding a pumpkin. I’m a little skeptical.

December 13, 2009: Hogtown 10K

January 23, 2010: Newnan’s Lake 15K

What do you think? Is it too much? Too little? I’ll be honest here: I had to even look up the kilometer to miles conversion to figure out how these might fit into my race plan.

2010 five points of life

So, the goal is the 2010 Five Points of Life. It is to take place February 14, 2010. Valentine’s Day. “Hunny, will you come cheer me on from the sideline on Valentine’s while I sweat like a wildebeest?” How romantic, right?

fpol blue star web

Nevertheless, my fabulous husband said “of course” and so that’s where we’ll be. Right now, I’m just on the fence as to whether I want to do the half or the full. My heart, mind, and spirit were set on the full. But, well, my personal obligations as of late lead me to believe that perhaps the full might not be the best idea.

Or, maybe I should shoot for the moon and if I’m lucky I’ll land among the stars? Perhaps.

But the real question: why? Why this race? Why now? Why here? Why why why? Well, the truth is that I’m leaving Gainesville – and Florida altogether [cue hallelujah chorus here] – in early May next year. The full marathon Gainesville version of the Five Points of Life involves essentially a run all the way around the city. And, since I have been here for 6+ years I thought it might be a nice little tribute before I left.

Plus, I have loftier goals in mind for the future* and I think starting with a full marathon of a place and roads I am intimately familiar with would be a nice change of pace – no pun intended.

Have you done a marathon around your home digs? If so, was it better or worse than your other races?

*Again, more on that later.

the disney half marathon

So, though I’m quite awful at running, I’m not entirely new to the sport itself. I have, in fact, run a half marathon before. Not just any half marathon either, but the Disney Half Marathon. [Pathetic results can be found here.]

Since it’s the only race I’ve run, I feel compelled to share a recap of the day. So here goes nothing.

The day began in the wee hours of the morning. You know, those hours where you can name a handful of people that you could probably call because they are still awake from the night before? Yea. Those kind of hours. We arrived to the “retention area” which I like to think of being like a ridiculous-sized waiting room. Except outside. Without chairs. And lots of things for sale. Oh yeah, and at a ridiculous hour in the middle of the night. Did I mention that?

This is me and Mr. Shinsplint hanging out before the race. You can tell it was early. We were not so awake. And, to say I had a simple case of the jitters would be a major understatement.

Pre-Race Jitters

So, after an hour or so I headed off to my race corral. Having never done this sort of thing before and wandering off in the dark, on my own, made me a bit nervous. So, by the time I made it to my starting point I was all in disarray. Here is where I think having a running buddy would have helped immensely. Or having my husband on the phone. That would have worked too. Something to calm me down.

And off I go. I think this is right after I actually passed the race “start” line. You know, since you actually start running/jogging long before you cross the start. Ugh. I think I titled this photo something like “chasing light” – because, well, at that awful hour of the morning you kind of feel like you just might be.

Chasing the Light

Hey look – it’s me. I’m somewhere mid-way through the race at this point. I wish I knew what the mile markers were on these because I am fairly certain it would say a lot. My guess here? Less than 7 miles – I don’t look happy yet and once I get past half way of my run [regardless of the distance] I’m usually pretty happy.

Emerging

And here it is: complete happiness. Actually, if I’m going to be fair here I should admit that I’mactually laughing. You see, Disney had photographers hidden all over the course [I think that’s normal for races, but I don’t think this many is typical]. So, by this point – the last quarter of the race – I’ve adjusted to having them appear in weird angles or having to run around them. But this particular photographer? He was wedged between a concrete siding and a trash can. And by wedged I mean wedged. And, when runners came around the corner he popped his head around and snapped and then disappeared again. It sounds ridiculous, I know. But that’s because, well, it kind of was. But hilarious too. So, I am, quite literally, cracking up.

Epcot Ball

The grand finale. Woohoo. Actually, I don’t think I’m even in this photo. But, you can see what it looks like. It was, to say the least, quite marvelous.

Grand Finale

So, what’d I think about my first half marathon? It was frustrating. It was inspiring. It was entertaining. It was both mentally and physically exhausting. But mostly? Mostly it was addicting.

And so it began.