Hey guys! I had a wonderful, race-filled weekend! Saturday morning I ran the Shrimp Fest 10K in Orange Beach, AL and Sunday morning I ran the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Mandeville, LA.
Shrimp Fest 10K (38:32)
The Shrimp Fest 10K has been on the calendar for a while. Running Wild Team Cheetah showed up in full force!
After a 2 mile warm up, lots of adjustments to our crazy shorts (yes: they are cute & no: I don’t recommend them for a race) and a quick team picture, we headed over to the start line.
We saw lots of friendly, familiar faces and we chatted waiting for the race to start.
The 10K started just after 8. There was also a 5K that started at 8:30. The timing of the starts worked out really well. Most of the race was run on the Backcountry Trail, which is a 15+ mile paved trail system that runs through Gulf State Park in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores AL.
The trail is great for running, but is definitely more narrow than a regular road. If the 5K and 10K had started at the same time, we would’ve been weaving in and out of each other running the same direction in the last few miles (local runners think ATR). Because the 5K started later, we were actually going the opposite direction on the trail, which made it much easier to stay separated. Everyone stayed to the right and it worked quite nicely.
I enjoyed running on the trails, but it got a tad lonely out there. I only passed one runner during the race. I didn’t get passed by anyone though, so I guess that’s a plus. I was in third place overall for the first two miles and passed the second place guy during mile 3. After that I just tried to chase down the leader, but I never could quite catch him.
Somehow my Garmin wasn’t located correctly at the start line, so my splits are a little wonky. It shows my splits as 6:36, 6:07, 6:07, 6:15, 6:15, 6:19 and 0:53 for the last 0.2 for a total time of 38:32 (6:13 average). I think that my first three miles might have been all closer to 6:10 – 6:15. The trees likely also had something to do with the signal not being great.
Thankfully the course was certified (and marked correctly), so I have qualms about calling this one an official PR. I ran a 38:37 10K as part of the First Light Marathon relay in January, but I didn’t get an official time for that since it was part of the relay. This was only 5 seconds faster than that, but I’ll take it!
The best part of the day hands down though was that we came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th overall females. You can’t beat that! We’ve been doing some workouts together here and there and to see everyone’s training coming together was super exciting!
The race was very well organized and I would definitely recommend it. This was my first time to run it and I loved it!
I tried my best to recover, refuel and rehydrate Saturday afternoon. Compression socks were worn all afternoon. I propped my legs up against the wall for a little bit. I see people doing this all the time, so I figured I would see what all the hype was about. If nothing else, I got a good stretch in. I could also feel the blood draining from my legs, so I’m thinking it probably helped reduce inflammation and promote circulation.
Gulf Coast Half Marathon (1:32:18)
A few weeks ago Rebecca asked if I would want to do this race in Mandeville LA. We did the race several years ago (2011) and it was a great course. Even though it was the day after the 10K, of course I said I was in! #alltheraces
The course is really beautiful. It starts in the Fontainebleau State Park, winds through some residential areas of Mandeville and runs along the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The race starts at 7, which is nice (that extra hour makes a big different in the heat and humidity). This is another very well-organized event. The parking, bathrooms, everything along the course (volunteers, markings, aid stations, etc.) and the post-race awards were seamlessly executed and very efficient!
We decided to get up and drive over the morning of the race (it was about 2.5 hours away). My alarm was set for 2:50 a.m. (I KNOW). I was worried about sleeping through the alarm and I woke up just before 2 and wasn’t able to go back to sleep. We planned to meet at Starbucks at 3:30 to get on the road. At 3:35 or so Rebecca wasn’t there. I jokingly texted her to see if she was awake (assuming that she was probably almost there). Apparently she slept through her alarm and my text woke her up!
We had to do a quick reassessment of our travel plans (different meeting location and different driver (one of us (won’t say who) drives faster :)), but thankfully we made it to the race with plenty of time to get our packets and even get a short warm up in. Whew!
I wasn’t entirely sure how my legs were going to feel or what my “plan” for the race was going to be until we started running. I knew I wasn’t going to *race* (as in it wasn’t going to be an all out effort), but I knew that I wanted to push myself a little bit and see what I could do on tired legs. I started off with a few miles right around 7 minute pace (6:59, 6:54, 6:56).
After 3 miles I was feeling really good! I picked the pace up a little bit (NOT the brightest of ideas in hindsight) and ran the next three in 6:52, 6:44, 6:47.
I crossed the 10K mark in about 42:15 and that’s where it started going south. Yikes. I wasn’t even half way done! I had a weird pain in my stomach. At the time I was thinking that it possibly had something to do with the Cliff bar that I ate before the race. I don’t typically eat anything before races, but since I was awake for over 4 hours by the time the race started, I was hungry. I didn’t want to run on an empty stomach, although I was questioning this decision around mile 7.
Now I am pretty sure that I might have a strained ab muscle from coughing my lungs out over the last few days. I’ve had some crazy allergy or sinus congestion going on for a few days. I feel fine, just a tad coughy, sneezy and drippy (throw in a few more adjectives and I would have enough ailments to make up the entire 7 dwarf posse).
Anywho … miles 7 through 12 were rough. I was fading in general and the stomach pain didn’t help anything. Those miles were 7:00, 7:25, 7:37, 7:49, 7:31 and 7:14. I got passed by quite a few runners during those 6 miles, which is not a fun feeling.
My stomach started feeling better and I managed to rally for the final mile and finished with a 6:10 mile (my fastest mile of the day (by far)). I passed several of the people who had passed me earlier and I felt amazing! I don’t know where that mile came from (other than I was just really over it and ready to be done with the race), but it felt good to finish strong.
My time was 1:32:18, which was good enough for 3rd overall female. Rebecca was 5th overall female!
The race has a really fun post-race party and the weather was perfect. We hung out for a little while after the race to get our awards and enjoyed listening to the band and visiting with friends. The overall and age group winners got an additional (skull) medal. Skulls were definitely the theme today (notice the race shirts below).
Whew. What a weekend! I think I’ll sleep well tonight! I hope everyone had a great weekend.
Tell me: What is the earliest you’ve set an alarm for a race morning? What is the most unusual or unique medal you’ve gotten?