I slept pretty well the night before this race! I was glad because sleep can be hit or miss with me the night before a race. We all got ready pretty quickly. And since we were staying at a condo that had a kitchen I was able to cook oatmeal and have that before the race. Normally I eat a protein bar and then a banana a few minutes before the race starts. I was happy to have a hot breakfast.
It was COLD outside! I didn't have a throw away jacket. I just had Susanne's jacket that I was borrowing for the weekend because I forgot mine at home. Luckily, we did have emergency blankets that Paige brought for us all (thank you so much Paige!). We drove to the Publix parking lot in Watercolor where we boarded a shuttle that would take us to Seaside.
We headed straight for the porta potties...and there was no line!!! Score! Then we hunted a warm place to wait until the race started. We couldn't find one so we huddled on the side of a building. We were so cold lol!
We took a few pictures...and yes my friend Paige is a nut lol! She didn't give us one serious pose lol!
I'm not sure how she found me but my bestie from high school and college roommate Brigette saw me sitting there. It was so good to see her!
While we were waiting, Paige's finance Billy asked me what time he should expect me to cross the finish line. He said, "Sub 2?" I told him that I didn't think that was going to happen since I had just run back to back races in Disney the weekend before. I really thought my legs were Disney tired!
Before long it was time to head to the start line and find all our other Sole2Soul Sisters! Somehow we missed several of them. We were supposed to meet at 6:45 AM but some of them didn't make it. Oh well!
And I tried to get my traditional before the race picture...but my lovely and special friend Susanne photo-bombed me lol! Love it!
The start line!!!
There were no corrals for this race. They had signs that gave predicted race finish times and you lined up according to those. I should have gotten in line closer to the start line but I opted to line up with my friends since I knew I wouldn't be running with them.
Start line selfie!
Before long it was time to start! I said goodbye to my friends and was off. I had to weave in and out of a few people at the beginning. But soon I found my pace.
This course was an out and back course. I knew I just needed to get to mile 6.5 and then I'd turn around and be heading back. There were also some rolling hills along the course. They weren't too bad though...nothing I couldn't handle thanks to me and Andria's favorite hilly route that we had been running during training.
The first few miles my feet were a little numb from being so cold. But soon they warmed up and I even started sweating. I was thankful for my tank top at that moment!
There isn't a whole lot to see on this course. The first few miles take you through Seaside, Watercolor, and then you hit a bridge where you have a nice view of the beach. But other than that there isn't a lot of scenery. You go by some houses but all in all it's kind of boring.
The worst part of the race was when we got to a bridge a mile or two before the turn around. It was under construction and so we had to run on this metal grate. It was super scary because it was uneven and slippery. Luckily I didn't fall but I did slow down a little to be safe. I was dreading going back over it once I turned around.
(Thanks to Susanne for the picture of this yucky bridge!)
Even though there wasn't a whole lot to see on the course the miles were ticking by. And before long we saw the first person headed back to the start line. I gave him a cheer as he ran by. It was fun watching all the super fast runners going by!
Before I knew it I had reached the turn around! I was halfway there!!!
I was feeling amazing! My pace was in the 8's which was a little shocking to me since I had run Disney the weekend before.
I started thinking that I may possibly run a sub 2! I didn't think I would PR...but it would be close. We got to the bridge with the beach view around mile 10 or 11. I was feeling good but was starting to get tired. I just kept telling myself to push through and before I knew it I'd be done. I had less than 30 minutes if I kept up my pace.
I started to realize that I had a chance to PR! I reached mile 12.5 and turned on my phone to call Billy and tell him I was going to be finishing sooner than I had expected. But then I couldn't get my phone to work so I said forget about it. He would just miss me crossing and that's ok.
And then I started running through Watercolor. I was getting close! Then I started seeing all the pretty houses in Seaside!
I knew that a PR was gonna happen. I just wasn't sure by how much!
And then there she was...that wonderful finish line! I sprinted towards it. I had PRed for sure!!!!
I stopped my Garmin and looked at my time! I had PRed by about 3 minutes!!! My official time was 1:54:43!!!!
I had several new records too!
I walked through the finishers chute and received my medal. Then I went through the tent and got my Vera Bradley bag. They had two patterns to choose from and I liked them both! It was a tough decision!
I came out of the tent and there was Billy and Brian! They had looked up and saw me running towards the finish line but didn't make it in time to see me cross. They congratulated me and then we headed back to the finish line to cheer on our other sisters.
I was ecstatic over my new PR! I couldn't believe I had done it!
Before long Paige and Susanne came through. Everyone had run a good race! Yay!
We then headed over to grab our free BBQ from Jim 'n' Nix! Yum! We went back to the wall we sat at pre-race and ate. We all started getting super cold from being sweaty! We headed back to catch the shuttle and the heat on that thing was divine!
Since we couldn't make it back to the condo before check out time we made the plan the day before to change clothes in the visitor center. So that's what we did. Even though I longed for a shower, getting out of the sweaty clothes made me feel so much better!
On the way home we stopped for some lunch. I wasn't super hungry since I'd eaten the BBQ after the race. But I did splurge and ordered one of my favorite seafood dishes...crab claws! They were so yummy!
This race was so much fun! Even though the course wasn't very entertaining it was worth running it for that Vera Bradley bag! ;-) This was my second time running this race...and I have PRed both times! So I think I like this race lol!
And just check out the cute race shirt, medal, and Vera Bradley bag! LOVE!
QOTD: Have you ever ran this race? What is the best finisher swag you have gotten?