He made it back home before I left for Pensacola for my race on Sunday. He quickly got ready for the golf tournament planned at lunch. This was a fund-rasier for the youth at First Baptist Church; they were raising money for a mission trip this summer. Golfers received cups and he won a Closest to the Pin trophy. He's a great golfer and a winner in everything he did Saturday!! Congrats, Honey!!
Before he left to play golf, I was on the road for a weekend with the girls. It was a beautiful day and the warmest we've had so far this year.
I was so excited to have my second girls weekend with a race early the next morning. My first one was the Jazz Half in NOLA last fall. This one is the Gulf Coast Half. They do a series of half's only. Their races are fun with sufficient water stops and port-a-lets. Yeah...believe it or not...there are some HALF'S [I emphasize this because of the distance and time it takes to do them] that do not give enough support in these areas! The Jazz was terrible!! One of the fun things about the Gulf Coast Half Marathons are the post race parties. They really do a great job there. Oh, and I love their shirts!! I believe they are my favorites!
I got a call from Deleica saying they were leaving home and got this cute pic. Got so excited about her and Serina coming down. I love the way I could tell where they were.
We got to the hotel about 15 minutes apart. Great timing. After checking in and unloading, we headed off to get our race packets at Running Wild. After some shopping, we headed back to the room. Look how vibrant and colorful the bibs and shirts are. I loved the fact that the bibs were small and they had our names on them.
The girls picked up lunch on the road but I had not gotten anything yet. So I was really getting hungry. We had planned for snacks so we packed up and headed to the beach. It was about 3:30 and it wouldn't be long before we would eat supper.
D brought hummus for us to try. At least, me. I had never had it before and I was anxious to see if I would like it. Well........I LOVE it!! Since it is good for you, it will be a new snack to choose. It wasn't long before a new sign appeared. It read "Girls in Florida...time for toes in the SAND!"
And, the REAL "toes in the sand" shot.
We soon headed to get something to eat. Kent and I had some free appetizer cards from RipTides next door with the purchase of an entree. So off we go to get free food. None of us had eaten there prior to this. But I will tell you now, I will go back for the appetizers for sure!! Deleica and I got fried shrimp [there were 6 LARGE ones] and Serina got a sampler platter [that thing was HUGE]. Then our entree appeared. They got fish tacos [4 large ones] and I got chicken quesadillas [8 of them]. We were NOT hungry at all so all was packaged up with the exception of a bite or two and we took it back to the room.
I don't think neither of us slept worth a flip. We were all tired when we got up. Temps were a little warm and the humidity was HIGH making it a tough race!! I don't think any of us had trained good either, so today's race was going to be a challenge from the git-go. We got someone to take our picture before the race. And, guess what...another sign!! I love this trip!! This is my favorite pic today!
The corrals were stuffed!!! I'm not sure I've ever started a race so packed before. I've been in large races before but there were enough corrals to house runners sufficiently. I think they needed more corrals but we managed. We tried to stay together for a little while but it didn't last long at all. Immediately, we got separated. I went on pursuing my race and was doing well. Running in the 9 min paces was too fast and I knew it but it "felt" good and I kept it up for about 6.5 miles. The wind was gusty and constant the whole first half of the race making it tough resistance; not to mention the heat and humidity again.
My biggest challenge was the fact that I had not run further than a 10k which was a couple of weeks ago. I have never been so unprepared before but so much kept me off my feet...mostly some health issues. But I decided to do what I could. I kept running and then it hit me around the 9th mile. I was petering out and had to start walking some. Not long I felt a slap on my butt and there was Deleica and Serina! D was feeling great and kept going strong. I stayed with S for a couple of miles. We did the walk/run program that her and D do in their training all the time. Not having done this, I found the walking part was too fast for me so I began running more and walking a few steps here and there. It worked for me. I saw my friends Mindy B., Mo H. and Jeff M. in the race though we never contacted again afterwards. Like I said, there were so many people around.
We all got in and got our medals and, honestly, that was the point in this race. Here's a pic right after we finished.
There were bananas, oranges, different kinds of cookies and red beans and rice. Food was pretty good. I was absolutely starving to death!! I was close to being really weak needing something to eat. The post race party was behind Flounders Restaurant on the beach. I love that location because the bay is absolutely gorgeous!!! All the green and blue waters and sugar fine sand. So pretty!! We got one last picture with that amazing scene behind us.
I finished stronger than I thought I would not having many miles on my legs but really loved the great company I had. I wouldn't have enjoyed it without you girls! I had not run anything close to this distance since the marathon in February and it all showed itself now. I can tell you that I have fresher respect for half marathoners and won't take it for granted any more regardless of how many I do...and I WILL continue to do them!! For those that love running distance, let me be the first to congratulate you on all you do but never take them for granted. It is not for sissies and you must be prepared. This will be my last half until the fall. But until then I will not give up NOR quit and when I feel disappointed in myself, I'm going to don my shoes and clothes and go
Run 4 It