Race Recap

2016.107-111: Gulf Coast Half + Misc. Extras

Well y’all … we made it. I *officially* survived another tax season and it wasn’t even all that taxing. Who knew?!

I managed to sneak in a half marathon two weekends ago that I haven’t done a recap of, so today’s post will cover that. I don’t really enjoy reading “late” race recaps myself, so feel free to skip over that portion of this post if you want to. I’m just writing it for myself. I haven’t missed a race recap since I started the blog, so I don’t want to start now!

Gulf Coast Half Marathon at Pensacola Beach

The race itself was somewhat of a last minute addition to my schedule. I needed to get a long run workout in anyway, the Running Wild team had some race entries that needed to be filled and Rebecca was planning to go over for the race as well, so I decided to go too.

This race is part of the Gulf Coast half marathon series, with races in Gulf Shores, AL, Pensacola Beach, FL & Mandeville, LA.


We did the Mandeville race a few years ago and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to try the Pensacola race this year. The course is an out-and-back route that takes runners from the Casino Beach Boardwalk out onto the roads running in between the Gulf to the south as and the Santa Rosa Sound to the north.


The race starts at 7 a.m., which makes for an early morning commute over to FL. One nice thing about the early start was that we got to see the sunrise over the water, and it was a beautiful morning.


We got to the start with plenty of time to spare, got in a quick warm up, hit the porta potties and lined up at the start. Since the race wasn’t technically even on my schedule (coach didn’t know I did it until afterwards … surprise!), I was just hoping to get in a good, solid effort. I wasn’t sure how my legs were going to be feeling and so I didn’t put any pressure on them to “perform.”

Rebecca and I started off together. We came through the first few miles in 6:58, 6:58, 7:03, 7:03. I felt pretty good for the first 4 miles and we had decided to break the race up into three 4 mile segments and then see how we felt and go for in on the last mile.

Once we got to mile 5 and 6, things got a little hairy. And by hairy, I mean windy. Very, very windy. We were running straight into the strongest headwind that I can ever remember running in. It was crazy! Although I think our effort remained the same, the pace fell off to 7:23, 7:17. Just after mile 6, we passed the turnaround for the 10 mile race. Rebecca did the 10 mile race, so she turned off and I was left to battle the wind by myself.

Fortunately, I only had one more mile of headwind. I came through mile 7 in 7:27. I was hoping and praying that the tailwind would carry me home after we turned around! Thankfully, that did prove to be true. It’s amazing how much of a difference the wind made on my pace.  I was able to keep it under 7:00 pace for the rest of the race. My splits for miles 8 through 13 were 6:45, 6:56, 6:55, 6:46, 6:41, and 6:45, with 0:44 for the last 0.1, for a total time of 1:31:45.


Running Wild was very well represented. We went 1, 2 and 3 in the half marathon for females! I was super-duper happy with my time. I think it is nice to go into some races with a mindset of just enjoying it and seeing what you can do that day. No real expectations, other than to be thankful to get to do what you love and love what you do.

The post-race party was at Flounders on the sound. It was a beautiful day to be outside and so we hung out for a little while, soaked up some Vitamin D and waited on the awards. I really enjoyed the race and would definitely do it again.

A few other things that have been going on …

We had our after tax season crawfish boil Sunday afternoon.


I got a new Garmin! It is the Forerunner 235. I am obsessed. It has heart rate technology that measures heart rate at the wrist 24/7 and it identifies your heart rate zone and beats per minute in real time. A built-in accelerometer captures distance and pace data when you’re running on an indoor track or treadmill, with no need for a separate foot pod accessory. Once you’re done running, it doubles as an activity tracker, counting your steps and calories throughout the day (so I have replaced my FitBit with this guy). Plus, it’s so pretty! I mean, what more can you really need in a running accessory?


Summer is around the corner! Actually, let’s just go ahead and start calling it summer. That makes me happier. My summer schedule is shaping up nicely. I’ll be working part-time and I definitely plan to take more time to just slow down and enjoy life. I plan to get back to blogging more regularly. I really enjoy it and I miss it when I am “too busy” to feel like I can write something worthwhile.

I have found writing, when mindfully engaged in quiet and solitude to be a way of listening to myself. I don’t know about you, but I know that I am really good at shutting things down and not listening to myself. I need some sort of “activity,” like reading, blogging, journaling, yoga, etc. to make me slow down and practice mindfulness. Lately, I feel like I have been practicing mindlessness. Hoping to change that, stat!

I was reminded of this quote recently and I like it.


It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind that you forget that it doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t get me wrong, there will definitely be times where you do just have to “endure” to survive, but hopefully this isn’t your normal state.

I also saw this little quote and it made me smile, so maybe it’ll make you do the same.


That’s it for today! Make it a good one y’all!

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