Sunday, November 13

Race Report: Pensacola Half

The start: Gorgeous sunrise. Insane port-o-potty lines. 5 minutes late on the start...

The course - bad: The course was not "closed" which I disliked heartily. At every intersection there were police officers and Marines directing traffic (good!) and often letting cars go between clusters of runners (bad!). I saw one car nearly hit a runner as the driver pulled into a parking lot. In addition to being unsafe, it was totally gross (think lots and lots of truck exhaust).

Also, I don't think I've ever seen a race with less crowd support. (Note to spectators - You're already there. It doesn't cost you anything to cheer for everyone. Seriously.)

The course - good: The course was flat. Not pancake flat (there were a few steep little hills here and there) but the lowest elevation was about 10' and the highest was about 85'. Flat. There were also aid stations every 2 miles or so. I always run with my own hydration, but it's nice to know course support is there if I need it.

Also, for those who did cheer, I saw some absolutely fantastic signs, including:
"Stop reading this sign and keep running!"
The finish: Plenty of goodies and space for finishers to stretch out and recover. The race organizers provided water, fruit, and sandwiches. Local businesses handed out free pastries, pulled pork, red beans and rice, beer, and a bunch of other stuff that I'm forgetting. I mostly remember the beer.
Does anyone make race photos look good?
There were a couple of massage therapists giving post-race massages, but addict though I am, I cannot bring myself to subject a massage therapist to my post-race sweat. It just seems unkind.

The DJ at the start/finish area was also pretty awesome, playing a good mix of pop and oldies. Hubby and I even danced to a couple of songs (that was while the adrenaline was still working, I fell sound asleep once it wore off).

My race: I did exactly what I set out to do -- 10 minute miles through the entire race. It was not my best half ever. I finished squarely in the middle of the pack. However, after struggling with weeks of hip pain and deciding at the last minute to wear brand new shoes on race-day, I was pretty sure I'd have a bad race. So finishing strong felt great.

I filled my iPod with a couple of hours worth of songs, and focused on each little stretch of road in front of me. The Dog Days Are Over got me through more than a couple of miles... Run fast for your mother fast for your father...

I only really struggled though the last couple of miles (but if it's not hard at some point, you aren't trying hard enough).

I do wonder, though, if there was something in my coffee this morning, because I felt absolutely no pain. Tight lungs, fatigued muscles, but no pain.

And then... I took my new shoes off...

Hello bloody blisters!

My feet look like they went through a meat grinder! (I will spare you the pictures.)

What I wonder is: How the F*** did I not feel those during the race?!? I knew wearing new shoes was a risk. But I didn't feel the blisters at all during the run.

My feet hurt like hell now and I'll be walking around in flip-flops for at least a couple of days. But during the race - not so much as a tickle.

Maybe the new shoes weren't such a bad idea after all?

How many of you think that as long as your race went well, the pain afterward is just a temporary annoyance?
C'mon. Be honest.


  1. I am totally with you. I expect to hurt after a race and am kinda disappointed if I don't. What I want is a better time, not to be able to walk the next day

  2. I'm always bummed if I'm not sore after a is supposed to hurt right???

    and I can't believe you didn't feel those blisters during your run! LUCKY! I got a HUGE blister between and under my toes on my first half and I felt ever single step once it formed.

    Congrats on a great great race!!!!!

  3. Glad you were happy with your result - go you!! That's amazing that you didn't feel the blisters- hope they're not too painful... :)

  4. What a great report. Sorry about your feet. Maybe the adrenaline prevented you from feeling the pain? Blisters can be the worst...


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