I'm not sure how I want to recap this race...there are just so many emotions going through me about. First off, I went into this racing thinking about 2 things, 1) the charity that I raised money for, Operation Jack. I was a little disappointed that I didn't reach my goal before my race, but I was happy that I was able to at least give them some money to help autism. It is such an untouched issue that needs so much more research. 2) I went in with a heavy heart knowing that a classmate had lost his daughter during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Nothing that I felt that day would ever compare to his pain. With these 2 things in the back of my mind, I decided that I was going to finish this race even if I had to crawl to the finish line.
It started with a 5:00 am wake-up call so that we could be there for the 7:00 am start. I decided on 2 pieces of peanut butter toast and water for my breakfast, which did really well for my stomach. I had set out everything I needed for the race the night before, so I didn't have to worry about it and had a semi-relaxing early morning until I had to leave.
|Just a little tired :D|
They had a 7:00 am starting time for the 1/2 and full marathon, and a 7:20 starting time for the 5 and 10K races. I was really surprised at the amount of people that were signed up for the 1/2 and full marathon, since it was their inaugural one.
|In front of me|
It was a slow start because of the amount of people, as we went up hill to our first turn. I have to tell you this was one of the hilliest races I have ever run. It was a 13.1 mile round course, and the hills were awesome the first round, but pretty dang hard the second round. The course was really nice and definitely not boring. We went through downtown Mt. Dora, through really nice neighborhoods and by two lakes. I meant to take pictures of the scenery, but with all of Kerri and my talking, I totally forgot.
I was surprised at how well the race was organized since it was their first marathon, but there were very few glitches. The course was well marked, and there were tons of volunteers and water stations. Only one station ran out of water during the first lap, but had was restocked by the second time around. The only issue I had, was that they opened up the roads a bit before 12:30, and we had to run our last mile up hill on the side of a very busy road.
|Kerri and I at mile 13|
I was very surprised that I never hit the "wall" that everyone talks about. I don't know if it was my mindset of not having a time I wanted to beat and knowing I was going to finish, or the fact that we talked the entire time so we kept ourselves busy, but it never showed up during the run. Don't get me wrong, this was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and my legs were super tired and sore, but mentally, I was never tired. If it wasn't for my legs, I could've kept going. That said, it was really awesome going across the finish line. My hubby was awesome and brought my kids out to the 20 mile mark, and brought me water at the 21 mile mark, and then they were all there to watch me finish. I'm surprised I didn't ball my eyes out. It was an awesome feeling to accomplish something so big with my family there to support me.
We finished strong, and I rewarded myself with an awesome ice bath. I never thought I would endure an ice bath, but after these long runs, they hurt so good.
|Nice refreshing ice bath :D|