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Orange Blossom Half Marathon 2013

Sunday morning my alarm went off bright and early at 4:30 am but thanks to the snooze button I got out of bed about 4:45. I drank my coffee and took care of my mom duties before TJ decided 5:15 was a good time to get up. I luckily still had time so I took care of him, handed him off to my dear husband and headed out to Tavares. The park was easy to find and I parked along the street and headed off in search of a bathroom. I met up with my alter ego for the day and we chatted and exchanged the bib. Although I would have loved to talk to her more I was cold and headed back to my car. Sitting into the warmth of my car I started getting dressed and then saw Lizbeth, Kristen and Rossana walking by. Perfect timing, I was able to flag them down and they told me they would be back. After a bit they came back and we posed for a few pictures.

(My cousins daughter sent me her Flat Stanley so he had to run too)

We headed to the start line and huddled for warmth. Before we knew it it was time to start. Both the 5k and half marathon were starting at the same time. This was not a fancy race and we only knew we were off because the 200 people started moving. The course almost immediately split the 5k and half marathoners, a nice volunteer stood holding a sign directing us. I decided to skip my intervals and realized I was going out strong and fast a 10:30 pace for me. I tried to slow down but I couldn’t. At one point I looked down and cursed realizing I had only gone a 1/2 mile. The course joined up with the 5k and we headed out along the lake for about 1.5 miles, turned around and headed back. We looped past the finish and the porta potties (I should have stopped) and headed back out the same way we had just come from. The turn around was gone and we kept going straight out along the lake. I loved the one group of spectators sitting outside drinking and cheering, they really cheered me up. By this point I was holding a 10:40 pace and feeling pretty good. I fueled at 4.75 with a Cappuccino GU I saved from the Disney Marathon. For some reason I thought the turn around would be at mile 8 but it finally popped up around 9.

I swung through the turn, took a Apple/Cinnamon Hammer Gel and plugged along on my merry way. By this time my right hip was screaming, I had some spasms and thought I was going to have to walk. I had only been walking a short time during every other water stops and kept telling myself if you can run Disney you can do this. I have never been so thankful for my Yurbuds and playlist. The last 2 miles were tough, the winds from the lake picked up and I was wiped. Holding a 10:50 average pace for 11 miles had taken its toll on me considering training I had been holding a 11/11:30 with intervals. I hit the 12 mile sign and was hoping their sign was a little off since my garmin had beeped about .2 before. From mile 12 I tried to keep my pace up without killing myself. I swang past my favorite cheering section (Ok the only cheering section) and headed for the finish. I happened to look down at my Garmin at 13.18 and noticed my time was 2:22 a PR for me. I turned the corner and booked it to the finish. My official time was 2:24:48 a 1 minute official PR from Princess 2011.

There was a nice spread of food including bananas, grapes, donut holes, cookies and hot dogs. It was so cold and the wind was coming off the lake and I really wanted a hot coffee. I found Kristen and we hung out by the finish waiting on the other girls. And then we waited, and waited and waited for awards since 2 of the girls had placed. I gave in and went to the car to grab my jacket.

When I left I was freezing, so of course a pit stop at Wawa (Side note I am beyond excited for Wawa in Florida) for lunch and hot coffee.

Overall the race was pretty good, but there were some major issues. The course did not stay completely closed and cars were driving between runners and behind them. Some were being cautious others were not. Also there were no porta potties besides at the beginning of the course. I was tempted to stop and ask someone to use their bathroom, which apparently another runner did. My Garmin told me I ran 13.43 which is common after Disney race because I weave a lot, but I ran pretty straight at this race. I found out later they mismarked one of the turn arounds. Lastly, the medals were a disappointment. Lizbeth posted a picture of last years compared to this years and wow this years looked like it came from the Dollar Store. I am glad I only paid $35 to run.

I signed up for Sommer Sports next half on April 20 at Lake Minneola, I am hoping it goes a little more smoothly. But for $50 I can’t complain too much.