Race Recap: Seaside School Half Marathon

Hey guys! I’m a little late with this race recap, but better late than never. I’ve done a race recap of all of the races I’ve done since I started blogging and I don’t want to end that streak yet.

Last weekend I ran the Seaside School Half Marathon. I’m pretty sure that I’ve wanted to do this race since I ran my first half in college. I love Seaside and the idea of running a half there in the spring sounded quite nice. Unfortunately, I decided to become a CPA and trips to Seaside in March became only a thing of my dreams. Ha. I was determined to do this race eventually and this year was the year!

We were supposed to leave Friday afternoon after work, but I ended up having to work late Friday and also had to work half a day Saturday as well, so we didn’t leave until around lunch time on Saturday. It’s not a bad drive at all though, so we made it to Seaside by around 2 or 2:30 and had plenty of time to get settled in and go by the expo to get our packets.

We stopped by the grocery store and got some things for dinner and then headed over to the beach to catch the sunset. We were a little late getting out there, but it was very pretty regardless!

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Race morning we woke up around 5:30, made coffee and got ready to leave by 6:30 for the 7 a.m. race start. We stayed in Seagrove about a mile and a half from the start of the race, so we decided to run over to the start to get a warm-up in (which was a great idea in theory, but after the race when we had to walk back home, we were definitely second guessing our decision). It was a tad chilly when we left (low to mid 50s), but we warmed up pretty quickly.

I had no idea what course was prior to the actual race (there wasn’t a course map online or at the expo). We had a general idea of where the start was and that was pretty much the extent of our knowledge pre-race. In case you are curious, the course is an out and back, starting in Seaside, running 6.55 miles out towards Grayton Beach and Blue Mountain Beach on 30A and then all the way back.

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If you’ve been following along for a little while, you probably know that I typically study the course beforehand and have a fairly set plan going into races. If you’re new, HI! I am Sam and I’m a running nerd. Anyway, I didn’t know what to expect with this course. I assumed that it would be pancake flat. It wasn’t. I wouldn’t describe it as hilly by any means, but there were several rollers in there.

I started out at 6:30 (ish) pace. I was fighting a cold (or a sinus infection … who knows really) the week before and in general was feeling tired and run down (imagine that … a CPA being tired during tax season … crazy, right). I don’t mean to sound whiny, but it is what it is I reckon. I was pleasantly surprised that 6:30 felt really comfortable! I honestly thought I might be able to hold that pace for the entire way. I passed a few girls in the first 3 or 4 miles and by the time we got to the turn around point, I was the third female.

I was really happy to finally make it to the turnaround, until we actually turned around. Apparently we had a tailwind the entire first half of the race (how is it that you never *feel* a tailwind), which meant … it was directly in our face for the entire second half. Holy moly. That wind was no joke. It slammed into me and crushed my spirit a little bit.

The wind was a steady 10-15 mph with gusts 20-25 mph. At one point (around mile 9 I think), my visor blew completely off of my head and I had to turn around and get it. I think I was kind of just *done* after that. According to this article, a “substantial” wind (i.e. one approximately equal to the pace you are running at) will set you back 12 seconds per mile with a headwind, and aid you by 6 seconds per mile with a tailwind. I’m thinking that 12 seconds actually should be closer to 30 seconds per mile. Their research must be off. Ha.

When you run a race at the beach, you take a chance on the wind. I had flashbacks to the Pensacola Beach half last spring, which is also basically an out and back course as well. At that race we battled a really intense headwind on the way out and had the tailwind to push us home the second half. For the record, I would definitely prefer that to the way we had it in Seaside. Hopefully Mother Nature can get that together for me next time. Actually, if I’m making requests, I’d like to just go ahead and request that it be between 45 and 50 with no wind and no humidity for all of my races.

I finished in 1:29 as 4th female. I was very happy to be finished! Daniel finished not too long after me in 1:32. He has been battling a mysterious injury for what seems like several years now. He had an MRI arthrogram done yesterday and found out that he has a fairly significant tear in his labrum (in case you don’t know (I didn’t) the labrum is a rim of soft tissue or fibrocartilage that surrounds the hip socket). The fact that he ran a 1:32 on that is pretty amazing!

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Please note: I tried to buy the above photo (several times), but it absolutely will not work. I will try again later. I am not trying to steal any race photos here. 

I enjoyed the race, but it really didn’t live up to what I was expecting. I think that because I have wanted to do it for so long, I had an unrealistic expectation going in that it was going to be absolutely amazing and I definitely didn’t think that it was amazing. I’m glad I did it, but it definitely won’t be a yearly thing.

The race swag was pretty great though! I don’t think I’d ever do a race just for the stuff we all get (side note: we’ve been on a kick watching The Office recently, so please feel free to  picture me as Michael telling you about his swag), but if you’re into that sort of thing, this is definitely an awesome race. The shirts are cute (kind of girly, but I’m a girl so I’m cool with that (Daniel wasn’t as thrilled)) and every finisher gets a medal and a Vera Bradley bag (again … girly). We also got a coffee cup that says Top 100 finisher, so that’s pretty cool too.

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It was a quick, but fun trip. I’m definitely glad that I finally got to do this race and I can definitely cross it off my list now. Been there. Run that.

I hope y’all are having a great week! Talk to you soon!

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5 thoughts on “Race Recap: Seaside School Half Marathon

  1. Congratulations on a great race, even if it wasn’t your best because of the wind! I am SOOOO jealous because as soon as I saw the title I knew this was the Vera Bradley race and I’ve always wanted to run it for the bag.

    I am with you on high expectations. I had really high ones for the Myrtle Beach Half this past weekend, which I obviously didn’t get to run. But this year, the swag was nothing like last year’s and not what I expected. Looking at it from a spectator, I’m not sure I’d sign up and pay that hefty price tag next year. If I do, I’d actually pick the full over the half because I think the full is a better deal and course.

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  2. Congratulations, and it’s great you got to do this bucket list race. And I love your tank top! Sorry it didn’t quite live up to your expectations, but at least now you know. 🙂 Hopefully you aren’t too stressed with the move and tax season. The end is in sight!

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  3. Big congrats to you both, Sam; what a day, especially considering your cold, etc. I love seeing these smiles!! Hang in there; hopefully you’ll be in for a much-needed break soon!

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