Yesterday I got up at 3:35 to get all of my things together and head over to a friends house and then to the Iron Girl Races in Clearwater. We left at 4:30 and arrived by 5:20. We got ready at the car and then took the shuttle over to Pier 60 and the starting area. Being the first one to use the porter potty that I went in definitely made up for being there that early (The race didn’t start until 7). The forecast for the day was 89 degrees and humidity was already around 80% at 5:30 am;that paired with 3 causeways= this was not going to be a fun race.
Though the course was going to be hot and hard this race is actually sentimental for me because the Iron Girl 5k 2010 was the first race I ever ran! I (in the pink top) ran the half while my friends ran the 5k.
P.s. Doesn’t it look like I have a fake leg in this picture?!?
The race started at 7am sharp.
Mile one consisted of some weaving. The iron girl had the same issue last year. This is a race for a lot of first timers because everyone gets medals and women can run/walk it comfortably without having a lot of males around. Anyways, there is no corral system which sucks. I tried to get about half way back from the start line but I still found myself running around extremely slow runners and some walkers. Boooo.
Then I saw the mile 1 mile marker and the base of the first causeway to go with it. I did my best to run up this beast of a hill but my pace quickly dropped to 11 minute miles. My legs felt like lead and I was mentally not in this race (=bad sign).
At mile three I grabbed a water from the aid station and choked on it (smooth) so I had to stop and get myself breathing again before I could continue running.
At mile four I ran right past a black snake!! I’m not afraid of snakes but I’m sure there were plenty of women who were there. I also ate my first gu at mile four, cussed myself for signing up for this stupid-hard race, and took my first walk break. Didn’t I JUST run 12 miles at a 9:22 pace? WTF?!?!
Miles 5-8ish were pretty uneventful but had some rolling hills and huge houses to stare at. One looked more like a hotel and had 2 guest houses bigger than the 5 bedroom house I grew up in.
Around mile 8 was the next causeway. Actually it could have been before or after mile 8. I really don’t know and don’t care. At this point I was blasting angry Eminem rap and running 10:30 minute miles. The Belleaire causeway was probably the steepest so I walked it. 🙂 I decided I was already not PRing for this race might as well not kill myself, right? The whole race I was behind these two girls with shirts that said “Suck it up, buttercup”. I’m not sure why but I loved the shirts. They also walked the causeway.
The next causeway came at about mile 11 to 11.5. I walked this one, too. But to kind of make up for walking I sprinted down it. At mile 13.22 I finally crossed the finish line and I cannot wait to share the finish photo when it gets posted. I posed a little.
My craptastic time= 2:25:38. A good 14 minutes slower than my first half and about a minute more per mile.
Typically I would be a little more disappointed in myself but this was a HARD course, very hard.
I’m glad it’s over and I’m feeling a little burnt out on running. For some reason training for this half (if you can even call a couple of long runs thrown into my schedule training) was not fun. Running used to be fun and I want to get back to that feeling.
Did you run any races this weekend? How did they go? What was your worst race experience?