|The beach in front of our hotel|
I started coming down with some bug on Wednesday and instead of getting better, it only got worse. I don't get sick very often and when I do it's usually a cold that I can run out. Not this time. I was lethargic and achy with a serious cough. BUT I had made plans to go with Cate and had paid for this race and hotel so I was going. I kept hoping each morning I would wake up feeling better. That could happen...
|Goody bag contents plus bottle and headband I bought.|
We arrived Saturday afternoon for packet pick up. There were only a handful of vendors but no Bondi Bands. I had my heart set a few new ones. The highlight was finding a bottle I can attach to my ifitness belt!! I love that belt and now I can use it to carry drinks for those long runs too. Usually I wear a hydration belt and the ifitness belt, now I only have to wear one!
Race day started at 6am. Our hotel was just a block from the start of the race so we did not have to get up too early. I don't sleep well in different beds, so that coupled with all the medicine I was taking made for a fitfull night's sleep. Needless to say I did not wake up feeling better, but I figured running wouldn't make it worse, plus I had come this far, I wanted to do the best I could.
It was an all girl field of 1600 runners and there were no corrals. I saw a few pace group signs and tried to squeeze my way near the 2:30 group. The start was right near the beach at dawn, a lovely setting.
I knew the race was a loop course over some causeways, but I did not know it included three LARGE bridges and a hilly course! I started off at a decent pace and after making my way through the initial crowd and past walkers who started near the front (What is that about???) I was able to run up the first hill without any problems. At mile four I started to feel tired. I ate some of my Stingers and hoped for a return of some energy. It was very hot and humid and I was sweating up a storm which made me really thirsty. The water stations seemed very far apart and I began walking through them. By the time I got to the second bridge around mile eight (I think) I had to walk up the hill. I began walking more and running less. By the third hill, on mile eleven I was pooped and it was even more steep, so I walked that one too. I couldn't wait to cross the finish line so I could rest.
|Approaching the finish line, finally.|
I finally crossed the finish line with a time of 2:19:48. I was so relieved! I got my medal, some water and a chocolate muscle milk. I sat down to check out my toe which had been bothering me during the race to find I had a big blister on the bottom of my big toe! What the heck!! I was not in my best shape for this race and it was getting worse.
|Cate and I|
The day ended on a great note and I finally did wake up feeling better on Monday. I guess I eventually did run that bug out of me, it just stayed too long!
I don't think I will run the Iron Girl again, it just wasn't worth all the travel, time and money, plus Clearwater Beach was just too touristy for me. I wanted it to be better: more music, less hills, more water stations, better vendor participation. My expectations were just too high, but now I know.
It wasn't all bad, I enjoyed my family and the quiet of the beach at dusk.
We did experience this a beautiful sunset Saturday.
Have you ever run a race when you weren't quite up for it?
Here's the breakdown of the race: