Monday, March 19, 2018

CCAP 5K Race Recap

February 17, 2018

This was my fourth year running the CCAP 5K. This is one of my favorite local 5K's because it benefits the Children's Center Adult Program, a day program for adults with disabilities. Several of the clients and their families participate in this event. I will run it every year that I am able.

The past two times that I have run this course I managed to PR and finish sub 25 minutes. I knew that the possibility of a PR was unlikely. I was just starting to get back in a routine of running after months of inconsistency. Deep down I hoped to better my time from the Cruising the Creekwalk 5K in January. I used 2:00 run/30 sec walk intervals in all of my practice runs. I had to use the run/walk method only 1.5 miles into the Cruising the Creekwalk 5K. The walk breaks have certainly helped break up longer training runs, but I was eager to see if I could go without them in this race.

The weather is usually chilly for this race. This year it was overcast and 60 degrees. The course runs through the historic Capitol Heights district. It is mostly flat with a few gently rolling hills. I clocked my first mile in 8:05. The thirty second walk breaks were still set on my watch for every two minutes, but I kept going without stopping.

I was starting to tire out when I reached the water stop around 1.5 miles. I grabbed a cup of water and thanked the volunteers. I walked while I sipped my water, but I was determined to run as much as I could for the remainder of the race. A woman who looked to be in my age group passed me at the water stop. I looked back and saw two other women around my age gaining on me. I clocked my second mile in 8:36.

My legs were feeling sluggish when I passed the mile 2 marker. I wanted so badly to resort to run/walk intervals for the last mile. The two women behind me were still gaining on me. I knew if I walked they would surely pass me. I also knew that I probably wouldn't improve my time from January if I walked, which I felt capable of doing. I didn't want to feel disappointed when I crossed the finish. I wanted to give it my all and leave nothing behind. I was shocked that I clocked my third mile in 8:34. I felt like it was much slower than the first two miles. I crossed the finish line in 26:17.

They gave finisher medals to everyone which I thought was really nice. They had pizza, bananas, oranges, and crackers after the race. They also gave away some really great door prizes from their sponsors. Someone gave me an Alabama Crimson Tide lawn sign because she wasn't a football fan. 

It didn't take long to figure the results. They only awarded the top male and female in each age group. There were a few women ahead of me including the one who passed me at the water stop. I didn't know if they were in my age group. I was pleasantly surprised to hear my name announced as the winner of the 31-35 age group.

Overall I was pleased with my performance at this race. I improved my time from January by a minute and a half. It was encouraging to see a pre-injury 5K time.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Cruising the Creekwalk 5K Race Recap

January 27, 2018

It's been seven months since my last race. I was somewhat disappointed in my last two 5K's because I wasn't running the times that I did before my knee surgery. I avoided signing up for races for fear of my finish times. I've finally realized that it's just going to take time. One of my goals for 2018 is to get back to running the local races that I love for fun and catching up with old running friends.

I am currently training for the Publix Women's Half Marathon in Savannah, GA. After a month of running consistently, I was ready to race again. This was my fifth year running Cruising the Creekwalk 5K. I missed the online preregistration. Race day was in the 50's with light rain. I debated going, but it was either run this 5K or run 7 miles alone in the rain. I gave myself permission to skip my long run for some speed work.

I am glad that I decided to go. My friend Valerie (icecreamrunner) was there. We lined up together at the start line. She started incorporating hills and speed work into her training, and she hoped to beat her last 5K time of 28 minutes. I didn't know what to expect after seven months of not running consistently and not racing. I hoped I could still run a sub-30 minute 5K. Deep down I hoped to better my time from my last two 5K's.

It was great to see Valerie again. It's been a while!
We caught a break in the rain during the race. I never heard any announcements at the start. We were all standing at the start line talking when all of sudden the buzzer sounded and everyone took off. I looked down at my Garmin and noticed it was on a walk activity. I messed around with it to get it back to run mode. My run/walk intervals are already programmed in, and I knew I might need them later. I've used 90 sec run/30 sec walk intervals in my training runs before this race.

Valerie's husband captured this picture of me fussing with my Garmin at the start.
Valerie is on her phone.

Valerie and I were running side by side during most of the first mile. I clocked the first mile in 8:33. Valerie started pulling ahead. I tried my best to stick with her, but by 1.5 miles I needed a walk break. The gap was widening and I knew there was no way I could catch her.

During my first walk break a nice lady patted me on the back and encouraged me to keep going. I know she had good intentions, but I was slightly annoyed. I thanked her, but I felt the need to assure her that I was using walk/run intervals.

Mile 2 is always my slowest in this race. There are a few small inclines followed by some fast downhill stretches. I clocked mile 2 in 9:46 using the 90 x 30 run/walk intervals.

I ran as much as I could in the last mile. I didn't follow the intervals on my watch and only took two 30 second walk breaks. As I neared the finish line the clock read 27 minutes and some seconds. I sprinted to cross before the clock hit 28 minutes. My last mile was 8:40. My finish time was 27:49.

Finish line photo

While my finish time was nowhere near a personal best on this course, I am still pleased with it. I didn't expect to place because this race usually yields fast times. I was surprised to hear my name announced for second place in my age group. Valerie finished in 26:37 and took second place in her age group as well.

2nd Place AG 30-34
This race was a real confidence boost to kick off 2018. I plan to run another local 5K in February and hopefully a 10K in March (I haven't decided on which one) before my half marathon in April.

Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 Recap

My 2017 yearly totals are nowhere near the 1,243 running miles that I logged in 2016, but I've learned a lot this year. 

I only ran five races in 2017: a marathon, a half marathon, and three 5K's.

I ran my third marathon at Mobile First Light on January 8, 2017. I trained longer and harder for this marathon than I did for my first two. I added an extra day of running each week and a second 20 mile long run. My training went well and I was confident that I would accomplish a PR at this race. I started experiencing pain in my right knee around mile 8 and by the half way point I resorted to walking a lot. My finish time was 4:51:49, faster than my first marathon but six minutes slower than my second marathon. You can read more about this race here.

Marathon #3
January 8, 2017
Mobile First Light Marathon

Despite my better judgement I ran the Big Beach Half Marathon just three weeks after the full marathon. I enjoyed this race so much in 2016 that I wanted to run it again. I hoped to better my time in 2017. Around mile 5 the same knee pain that I experienced in Mobile returned. Again I resorted to walking a lot. I finished in 2:22:41, my second slowest half marathon. You can read about it here.

After this race I feared that something was seriously wrong with my knee. I had three other half marathons in February and March, and I hoped that my knee wouldn't stop me from running them.

Half Marathon #15
Big Beach Half Marathon
January 29, 2017

I attended Jeff Galloway's Running School during the Big Beach Half Marathon weekend.
He was so nice and down to earth. He took the time to answer questions and sign books.
I've used his run/walk method on every run since attending his class in January.

After running the Big Beach Half Marathon, I continued to train for my upcoming half marathons. I only managed four three mile runs before my knee pain was unbearable. I could hardly walk much less run. The pain was excruciating. It was time to get it checked out.

Fortunately, my husband works with the best orthopedic specialists in the area. He was able to get me an appointment right away. The doctor examined my knee and immediately suspected that I had a torn meniscus. He scheduled an MRI that same day. The MRI confirmed that I had a longitudinal tear in my medial meniscus.

I had a knee arthroscopy on February 22, 2017 to repair the torn meniscus. When the doctor went in to operate, he found that the tear was on the underside of my medial meniscus not a surface tear. Since it shouldn't cause any complications he left my meniscus intact. The doctor did discover some softening of my cartilage surrounding my tibial plateau. He performed a chondroplasty, stimulating the area around the soft spot, and injected me with PRP (platelet rich plasma) which will help with recovery. My cartilage damage was due to overuse from logging too much mileage. The doctor said I could attempt shorter races by late spring, but he advised me to take a break from longer distances especially the marathon. He also encouraged me to cross train, which I knew I should have done all along.

February 22, 2017
Knee Arthroscopy

I rode my indoor bike trainer and started swimming with the local masters swim team while I was recovering from my surgery. I attempted some shorter runs using the run/walk method a month after my surgery. I ran a few 5k's in late spring/early summer.

May 13, 2017
AGAPE Run for a Mom
This race has become a tradition for my mom and I.
This was our 6th year participating in this race.
You can read more about it here.

May 28, 2017
Paradise Island 5K
28:35/ 3rd AG 30-34
Read more about this race here.

June 17, 2017
Cornerstone Peach Run 5K
29:17/ 2nd AG 30-39
Read more about this race here.

I mentioned that I joined the local masters swim team in March. I competed in two swim meets this year. Yes, old folks still enjoy swimming competitively. These meets were so much fun!

June 24, 2017
PSL Sprint Meet
This meet was mainly for the kids, but they let the old folks swim for fun.
I swam the 50 Free, 50 Fly, and 100 IM.
My times were only about five seconds off my personal bests from when I was 15 years old. Not too shabby!
50 Free- 34.66
50 Fly-38.96
100 IM-1:26.23

October 14, 2017
Fairhope Oktobersplash Masters Meet
This meet was for master swimmers aka "old folks".
There were 90 year olds still swimming strong at this meet.
It was a blast!
I swam the 50 Free, 50 Back, 50 Breast, 50 Fly, and 100 IM.
50 Free- 33.65
50 Back-42.58
50 Breast-42.31
50 Fly-40.18
100 IM-1:27.09

I also started working towards a professional goal this fall: earning my Master's degree in School Psychometry. The blended program is offered through the University of Alabama. I should graduate in May 2019. It's been almost ten years since I finished my undergraduate degree. This first semester was a challenge with juggling assignments and teaching full time, but I made A's in both of my classes.

You can learn more about Bama by Distance programs here.
I wanted to run the Kaiser Coastal Half Marathon as a comeback race on my birthday in November. I wasn't consistent with my training this fall. A part of me wasn't motivated and a part of me was still adjusting to the demands of teaching at a new school and beginning grad school. Time slipped up on me and I never properly trained, so I let go of that goal. I haven't raced since June. I know I'm not as good as I once was and I fear that I may never be again. These negative thoughts consumed me for much of 2017, and I forgot why I love running. This brings me to my goals for 2018.

Goal #1. Run for fun! I'm not setting any time goals or mileage goals for running this year. A part of me got burnt out training for my third marathon and logging so many miles in 2016. I didn't realize just how tired I was until my knee injury forced me to take a break. I took running too seriously, always chasing the next PR or next mileage goal. I was disappointed when I didn't achieve those goals, and I lost sight of why I loved running in the first place. The time off this year has been good for me. Sometimes you don't realize how much you miss something until you take a much needed break. This year I'm going to fall back in love with running. I am going to run races with no fear of my finish time. I am ready to get back to running the local 5K's that I love, visiting with friends in the running community, and stuffing my dresser drawers with more t-shirts.

Goal #2. Run my comeback half marathon at the Publix Women's Half Marathon in Savannah, GA on April 7th. My dream "racecation" is already booked! I am so excited to be training again. I am following a 16 week beginner half marathon plan since I'm basically starting from scratch after months of inconsistency. I am only running three days a week using the run/walk method and cross training. I am hoping this minimal approach to training will keep me injury free.

Goal #3. Swim 100 miles. I am setting a mileage goal for swimming because I think I can easily achieve this number with some consistency. I started swimming in March 2017 and logged 79 miles over 10 months. I'm confident with a full year I can swim 100.

Goal #4. Continue to stay focused and do well in grad school. It's been an adjustment going back to school while teaching full time, but I know many people who are much busier than me that manage. Obviously teaching and grad school are priority over running and swimming, but I hope to better manage my time so I can still enjoy doing both.

Goal #5. Blog monthly. I haven't spent much time on my blog this year. I plan to post at least once a month with a monthly update or a recent race recap. I would like to participate in link ups with other bloggers, but only if I am able to devote the time to read and respond to other's posts as well. Link-ups go both ways, and interacting is what makes it fun.

Did you accomplish your goals for 2017? What goals are you working towards this year?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

My Knee Injury

After four and half years of running, 3 marathons, 15 half marathons, and countless other races it happened to me. I came face to face with a knee injury. I am not invincible after all. Injuries can happen to anyone. Apparently there is such thing as too much running. Although the threshold is different for everyone. I discovered my limitations by pushing too far.

My knee pain first presented itself during the Mobile First Light Marathon. (Read about that here.) I trained longer and harder for this marathon than I had for my first two, adding an extra day a week of running and a second 20 mile long run. I just knew that my training would result in the marathon PR that I longed for so badly. Surprisingly I experienced no pain during my training. Sure I had an occasional case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), but it was nothing that a day of rest, Epsom salts, and an anti-inflammatory couldn't cure. Needless to say the pain was so excruciating during the second half of the race that I resorted to walking, and I didn't get that PR.

I've always followed Hal Higdon's "no racing for 26 days after the marathon" policy in the past. I used his marathon recovery plans to reverse taper or ease back into the mileage after my first two marathons. I took a week off after Mobile First Light Marathon to rest and recover. Then, I ran some shorter runs of 3-4 miles pain free. Against my better judgment, I attempted a half marathon just three weeks after the full. My knee pain returned at mile 5 of the Big Beach Half Marathon. I walked the majority of that race and clocked my second slowest half ever. (Read about that here.)

When I crossed the finish line of the Big Beach Half marathon, I feared that something was seriously wrong with my knee. I had three other half marathons coming up in February and March, and I hoped that my knee pain wouldn't keep me from running them. I pushed through the pain and continued training for the upcoming half marathons. I only managed four three mile runs before my knee injury stopped me dead in my tracks. I couldn't walk without limping much less run. The pain was unbearable. I knew it was time to get my knee checked out.

Fortunately, Michael works with the best orthopedic specialists in the area. He was able to get me an appointment within a week. The doctor examined my knee and immediately suspected that I had a torn meniscus. He scheduled an MRI that same day. The MRI confirmed that I had a longitudinal tear in my medial meniscus.

I had a knee arthroscopy on February 22,2017 to repair the torn meniscus. When the doctor went in to operate, he found that the tear was on the underside of my medial meniscus not a surface tear. Since it shouldn't cause any complications he left my meniscus intact.

However, the doctor did discover a soft spot on the cartilage surrounding my tibial plateau. He performed a chondroplasty, stimulating the area around the soft spot and injected me with PRP (platelet rich plasma) which will help with recovery. It's a good thing that I had the procedure done when I did because too much more wear on that soft spot could have cause full blown arthritis.

My cartilage damage was caused by overuse from logging so much mileage. The doctor told me that I could attempt some shorter races by late Spring, but he advised me to take a break from the longer distances especially the marathon. Cartilage damage is like wear on a set of tires, once the tread is gone it's time for another set. I don't want a knee replacement before age 40. Although I don't like the thought of never running another marathon. I have unfinished business with that distance.

The doctor also advised me to cross train, which is something that I've never done consistently. I did a few weeks of PT and rode on my bike trainer as part of my recovery. Once my incisions healed, I tried lap swimming. Swimming was my first love. I swam competitively for several summers when I was younger. After a few days of swimming on my own, I attended a Master's Swimming practice. The group was so welcoming and I liked the organized workout. I joined the team after three practices and I've stuck with it. If there is a silver lining in all of this, it's that I rediscovered my love for swimming. I've met so many great people through my master's team, and they make me feel accountable for attending practice. I haven't been consistent with my running since my injury, but  I've found a cross training program that works for me.

Cornerstone Peach Run 5K Race Recap

June 17, 2017

I've always wanted to run the Cornerstone Peach Run in Clanton, AL. Mom and I registered just two days before the race. I'm glad that she wants to start doing races again. I've missed my running partner.

This race had both a 5K and 10K, but most runners did the 5K. Deep down I wanted to improve my time from the Paradise Island 5K that I ran in May. I decided to start my run/walk intervals from the beginning instead of waiting until I felt like I needed a walk break. I increased my run interval to three minutes in the weeks leading up to this race.

To my surprise I clocked the first mile in 8:05 with the 30 second walk breaks. I hoped that I could maintain that pace, but I faded in the last two miles. I clocked the next two miles in 9:32 and 9:23. My overall time was 29:20. I placed 2nd in my age group, but they only awarded the top finisher in each age group. They give out Clanton peaches as prizes.

Paradise Island 5K Race Recap

May 28, 2017

The Paradise Island 5K was held on Memorial Day weekend in Orange Beach, AL. The race started at the Orange Beach Sports Complex and ran along the paved Back Country Trails. It followed the same route as the Shrimp Festival 5K.

My doctor was confident that I would be recovered from my knee surgery in time to run some late Spring races. I had several pain free runs of 3-5 miles. I was eager to race again. Although I worried that I wouldn't do as well as I hoped.

It was hot at the start (79 degrees and 97% humidity). I knew the weather would be a huge factor in my performance. My goal was to give it my all for as long as I could. If I started hurting I would back off, but as long as I was pain free I would push.

I started out too fast as usual and ran the entire first mile in 8:13. It was nice to see that pace again, but the heat was already starting to get to me. I knew I would struggle to maintain it. I decided to take a 30 second walk break after the first mile since I used the walk/run method on all my runs leading up to this race.



I continued with 2:00 run x 30 sec walk intervals for the remainder of the race. I finished in 28:35. Although that time is nowhere near my personal best, I was happy with my performance. My knee cooperated and I was able to give it my best shot.

There were so many fast women ahead of me. I checked the official results even though I was certain that I didn't place. To my surprise I placed 3rd in my age division. I was lucky that most of the women ahead of me weren't in the 30-34 division.

AGAPE Run for a Mom Race Recap

May 13, 2017

The AGAPE Run for a Mom is a tradition that Mom and I started in 2012 and we hope to continue for years to come. This race takes place each year on Mother's Day weekend. Proceeds from this run help assist women facing crisis pregnancies and find forever homes for children. Many of the participants dedicate this run to their mothers or other special women in their lives. This race has grown over the years attracting several hundred participants.

A look back at previous years running this race

Mom and I took it easy on this race. We walked and talked the entire time. It was nice to catch up with her while doing something that we both enjoy.

Approaching the finish line stride for stride

My mom introduced me to running in 2012 when she asked me to do a 5K on her birthday. I've been hooked ever since then. Running has strengthened our already strong bond. We've accomplished running our first half marathon and qualifying for Half Fanatics together. Mom helped me pace the first half of my first full marathon and in turn I helped her achieve a half marathon PR that day. We have a lot of great memories and I hope to create more in the future. We're both struggling with re-establishing a routine of running after injuries. Hopefully we can do more races together soon. 

I saw my former co-worker and friend Pam Bienias at this race. She ran in memory of her mom and placed first in her age division. Way to go Mrs.B!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Big Beach Half Marathon Race Recap

January 29, 2017

Jeff Galloway's Running School
Saturday, January 28th

I began the Big Beach Half Marathon weekend by attending Jeff Galloway's Running School at the Hangout. This was my big Christmas present from Michael. I looked forward to this day for over a month. The class was lecture and Q&A format, and it lasted three hours from 10:00-1:00. Jeff Galloway offered a wealth of knowledge about speed training, mental toughness, nutrition, the walk/run method, and many other running related topics. I look forward to incorporating his walk/run intervals into my longer runs and races to help with my overall performance and recovery time. At the end of the course, Jeff Galloway took time to sign our books and take pictures. He was a very nice, down to earth person. I am so thankful for the opportunity to meet him.

Former Olympian and founder of the Run/Walk Method Jeff Galloway

My friend Dee also attended the class. It was great to see her again.
I love meeting IG friends! It was so nice to meet Katie at Jeff Galloway's Running School. I hope to see her again soon!

After the class I picked up my race packet and checked out the discount merchandise from different vendors.

Michael and I ordered pizza for dinner that evening.  It was so chilly and windy. We didn't feel like going out anywhere. I laid out my things for race morning. I was in bed by 9:30.

Race Day
I debated running the full at Big Beach after not meeting my goal at Mobile First Light Marathon just three weeks prior. I read several blog posts about redemption races and learned that most of them rarely result in a PR. I decided it would be best to stick to the half marathon as originally planned. I experienced some knee pain at First Light, but after taking a whole week off from running and doing a few shorter runs the pain was completely gone (or so I thought). I've always followed the 26 days no racing rule after running a marathon. I've never attempted a half marathon this quickly after running a full, but I hoped that I would have a decent, pain free race.
I ran the Inaugural Big Beach Half Marathon in 2016. My only complaint last year was that the course was long (13.47 miles). I was pleased to see the half marathon course was accurate and certified for this year's race. The 2017 race is also part of the new Run the Beach Series which also includes the Sea Turtle Half and Kaiser Coastal Half. All three races are in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Participants receive a special medal and jacket after completing all three races in November. I signed up for the series on Black Friday weekend and scored this really cool medal holder.
The race started at 8:00. My mother in law's condo is just a short, five minute drive to the Hangout. Michael dropped me off around 7:30. I ran into my friend Dee before the race. She swapped to the full with her friend Penny. Dee has run a number of full marathons. She's a part of the Fifty States Club and Marathon Maniacs. I admire her strength and endurance. We took a pre-race photo. Then I wished her luck as we made our way to the start line.
Pre-race photo with Dee
I didn't have a time goal for this race, but deep down I hoped to beat last year's time (2:12:24). The weather was much cooler this year (40's and breezy) perfect for a course PR. I lined up behind the 2:00 pacer at the start line. They went over the course, played the National Athem, and we were off.
The first three miles ran along Hwy 59 and Fort Morgan Road. I stuck with the 2:00 pacer and the pace felt comfortable. I was confident that I could maintain the pace and run perhaps my second fastest half marathon. That fantasy was short lived when I lost track of the 2:00 pacer at the first water stop. I tried my best to pick up my pace to catch up to her, but no matter how hard I pushed she stayed several strides ahead of me.
Mile 1- 8:51
Mile 2- 8:53
Mile 3- 8:58
Mile 4- 9:17
Mile 5- 9:59

The photographers captured this picture of me in the first miles a few strides ahead of the 2:00 pacer. That lead was short lived.
By Mile 5 I felt a familiar twinge in my right knee. "Not again," I said to myself. I stopped off the trail to stretch. Several runners asked if I was ok. I love the support of others in the running community. My knee felt a little better after stretching, but it ached when I tried to run again. I had to resort to walking A LOT.
My friend Dee asked me if I planned to use Jeff Galloway's walk/run intervals during this race. I've never used timed intervals before and I didn't plan to try them for the first time during a race. However, at this point I was willing to try most anything to get to the finish line, so I decided to experiment with his method. I set the timer on my phone to 1:00 minute. I ran a minute, then walked a minute. The walk breaks definitely helped relieve some of the pain, but I wasn't able to run fast during my run intervals.
Mile 6- 11:31
Mile 7- 12:02
View of the Shelby Lakes from the Backcountry Trails

Most of the course ran along the paved Backcountry Trails
The half marathoners split around 7.5 miles. I couldn't be happier to make that turn. I definitely made the right decision by not attempting the full marathon. I certainly wouldn't have PR'd and I doubt that I would have even finished.

Half Marathoners keep right
The 2:15 pacer caught up to me around Mile 8. "Wouldn't it be nice if I could at least hang with him?" I thought. 2:15 isn't too far off from the 2:12 that I ran at last year's race. I increased my run/walk intervals to 2:00 run/1:00 walk in an effort to keep up with the 2:15 pacer. I was successful in my attempt until we reached the water stop around Mile 10. 
Mile 8- 11:05
Mile 9- 10:51
Mile 10- 11:59
I stopped to take a picture of the Lower Alabama Parrot Heads group who volunteered at this water station. They had a pretty awesome set up and they even handed out leis to the runners. This was the last water stop before turning directly into headwind on Beach Blvd. The wind was so strong that it blew off my headband. The 2:15 pacers were out of sight after stopping to take pictures and retrieve my headband.
Lower Alabama Parrot Heads at the water stop around Mile 10

The headwind was so rough on Beach Blvd. I gave up on trying to reach a certain finish time all together. I was on pace to run my second fastest half in the first three miles of the race and by the last three miles I was on pace for my second slowest. The pain in my knee intensified with the 2:00 run/1:00 walk intervals, so I resorted back to 1:00 run/ 1:00 walk intervals.  I originally told Michael to look for me at the finish line between the 2:00-2:15 hour mark. I texted him at this point on the course and told him I was pacing closer to 2:20.
The final 5K along Beach Blvd was rough! The dude on the bike told us to get behind a big guy to help block the wind. I didn't see a big guy to get behind and even if I did I wouldn't have been able to catch up to him. Haha!

At this point in the race I was all about taking pictures and having fun.

We crossed over to the left hand side of the road around Mile 11, one step closer to the finish line.

A woman wearing a "Cougar Runner" shirt passed me in the last mile. She seemed to be annoyed by me because I passed her several times during my run intervals. Then she would quickly speed up to pass me. I wanted to tell her that I wasn't interested in racing her, but I kept my mouth shut. She was long gone by the final turn anyway.
Mile 11- 12:05
Mile 12- 12:12
Mile 13- 12:33
The final turn was right where it should be this year. Last year, I hit the 13 Mile marker well before the final turn to the Hangout. I was so glad to be heading to the finish line. The clock read 2:22, so I sped up the best I could to cross before it reached 2:23. My official time was 2:22:41, my second slowest half marathon.
Another thing to love about this race: FREE photos!

Despite my disappointing performance and finish time, I still had a lot of fun at the Big Beach Half Marathon. This is a race that I would love to run year after year. They had an awesome post race party with live entertainment, free beer, and sandwich boxes with fruit and cookies. Michael and I didn't stick around long. I wanted to go back to the condo to shower before making the three hour drive home.

I love this year's bling!