Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon – Recap

We’ll start this race recap on Saturday – the day before the race. I met Paula and Melissa at Relax Grill at Lake Eola.

Paula told me to be there at 12, but she really should have told me 11:30 and I would have been there at 12. Honestly, I tried to GET THERE at 12, but E took a long nap, the kids shoe laces needed to be tied, and Braeden INSISTED on making a loom band bracelet for Melissa. How could I say no?

So, yeah. We got there late, after trekking across downtown. I wanted to hurt people. But it was worth it for these pictures alone…



I think @eatwatchrun and @hungryhealthymj are trying to hug me...

After lunch, Paula asked if I wanted to join them to get our bibs, but I passed. I think she was secretly relieved. Or not so secretly. I get that though. I would have been relieved as well. So, the rest of Saturday was pretty boring. OR SO I THOUGHT.

Just like nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects the random puking baby. But that’s what happened. We still don’t really know why, but at around 9:30, as I was getting ready to go to bed, Evan started throwing up. At first I thought it was a fluke, but then he kept doing it. Poor baby :( Thankfully, he stopped after an hour and finally passed out (On me, of course. That kids wasn’t going anywhere). At least for a couple of hours. Around 2am he woke up and was hungry – so I fed him and waited to see if he kept it down. If he didn’t, I was going to cancel on the race. There was no way I was going to go run with a sick baby at home. But thankfully, he was fine and he passed out in his own crib – so the race was still on.

Needless to say though, 4:30 came really freaking early and my alarm was obnoxious.

But, instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, I got up, got dressed, did my hair/makeup, loaded some new music onto my iPod, and then pumped. I usually drink a cup of coffee, but I didn’t want to risk waking everyone up (especially E), so I counted on my Nuun with caffeine to give me the boost I needed (it did a little – but I really missed that cup of coffee). I also ate half of a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar and grabbed a Coconut Chocolate Chip Clif Bar (<– my favorite pre-race food) for the road. I somehow remembered to bring EVERYTHING I needed too. #racedaymiracle

Around 5:50ish Paula arrived and we headed out.

Celebration is about 40 minutes from my house and we were running about 15-20 minutes behind schedule, so Paula hauled ass. Thankfully we didn’t run into any traffic and we parked within minutes of hitting the area. We could have parked closer, but didn’t realize it. Instead we run almost a mile to the start. I didn’t mind at the time, but in retrospect, that’s about a mile’s worth of energy I could have used at the end of the race.

So, we got to the start at 6:50ish. Melissa lined up near the front (she is super speedy), I lined up with the 3:55 marathon group (8:53 pace, I think), and Paula hit the porta-potties. I think it was the first time we didn’t line up together. Sad. We did get this stellar pre-race photo.

I know. I am quite the photographer.

After the National Anthem and a few directions/rules (that nobody could understand because it was all gargled)  the gun went off and within the first minute I was too.

The first mile flew by, as it always does. I quickly passed the 3:55 pace group and just settled into a fast (for me) pace. Here’s the thing I’ve realize about me during half marathons — I tend to burn out in the last few miles REGARDLESS of how fast I am running at the start. So, unlike a marathon (where I really need to start slow and build on my speed), going out fast works for me. So that’s what I did.

Now, of course, I would have Garmin problems. I’ve been using my Garmin without issue for the past month, but for some reason I hit some button on race day and I could ONLY see my lap time. It wasn’t a huge deal, but like OUC I didn’t know my total time and I had to remember which mile I was on. Oh, and did I mention that I hit the lap button at some point too? So it was even more jacked up? What can I say, I’m special.


I don’t really have a play by play of the miles, but I can tell you that things were going really well until about mile 5. The miles were just zipping by and while I was pushing my pace, it was completely doable. Then my left foot started hurting. Because I’m an idiot.

You know that phrase “You should never try anything new on race day?” Well, turns out people say that for a reason. A really good reason. I, stupidly, decided that race day would be a GREAT day to try out wearing double socks. I really like wearing my compression socks when I run long (it helps with my varicose veins SO SO much), but the Pro Compression socks do not offer much padding. And let me tell you – my orthotics are hard on my feet. So, I tried wearing my Thorlos WITH my compression socks. It sounded like a fantastic idea, until it wasn’t.

So yeah, around Mile 5 something (my sock, my shoe – who knows) started rubbing up against my left 2nd toe. And it hurt. Like a bitch. Like a BIG ONE. And it continued to hurt the rest of the time. I wanted to scream.


Still, I pressed on. Pain wasn’t going to stop me! At mile 7 though we hit some boardwalks, which my coworker aptly described as “the Swiss Family Robinson Adventure Trail.” Maybe they would have been AWESOME if I was by myself (they were definitely softer on my knees), but there were always about 3-4 people running beside me at any given time. Plus, the trail had waaaay too many zig zags. Mentally it broke me and it was SLOW mile.

Still, I was able to press on. I told myself I needed to keep running sub-9 minute miles until I hit Mile 11 if I wanted to PR. Obviously, I didn’t do that, but it kept me going. By Mile 11 though. I gave up the fight. The sporadic boardwalks were killing me mentally and my foot just hurt. I watched the 3:55 pace group pass me and I stopped “chasing” people.

I just wanted to be done. I kept thinking “WHY DO I DO THIS????” and “WHY WOULD WANT TO RUN A MARATHON??”


And then I closed in on the finish. I saw Melissa standing at the final turn and was just SO FREAKING HAPPY that the finish was close. She shouted “It’s RIGHT THERE!” and I picked up speed. I didn’t even look for my family because I wanted to be done. So, I have I mentioned that I just wanted to be done?

Jazz hands! (Thanks @hungryhealthymj for this photo!)

(Photo credit: Melissa!)

Apparently, Dan did not expect me to roll in so soon – although he was there at the finish with the kids. I didn’t see them though because I was THAT into getting this damn race over.

And then I saw the clock and I knew — I was going to PR. I didn’t know by how much, but I knew it was enough. And THAT right there? Is why I race.

My Garmin came up a little short. It definitely felt like 13.1. And that's a PR. Yeaaaah bitch.

I crossed the finish line and immediately saw Victoria and Katy and ran over to them. Or hobbled. Katy also PR’d and Victoria did amazing, considering that she woke up sick. I also met Kat for the first time. She PR’d AND got first in her age group! So much celebrating!! Melissa joined us (she won 2nd in HER age group – I am friends with so many fast people!) and we paparrazi’d ourselves.




Then all of a sudden Paula was there too — (btw, she didn’t even look like she fell).



(photo credit for some of these go to Katy!)

After a few pictures, everyone left and I found my family. I was tempted to go, but I wanted to enjoy the post-race party and cheer on a few friends running their first half-marathon so I grabbed a mimosa, some food, and a latte from Starbucks.

After that we went home and I PASSED OUT. So did E. I slept for almost 2 hours. He slept for 3.5 and then we  snuggled. It was just that kind of afternoon (I think he two front teeth he is cutting right now are really bothering him).


Later that night I celebrated.


Of course.

As far as my feelings on the race…

Considering it was an inaugural race, I thought it was REALLY well managed and planned.  The course was SUPER flat. Flatter than any other race I’ve done, but at times it was pretty boring and kinda stinky. I don’t know WHAT I was smelling, but every now and then I’d get a whiff and think about how much it stunk when we were in Savannah.

They were forthcoming about the boardwalks and the squeezed sidewalks before the race, but I obviously didn’t know what it entail. The after party was well done (I mean they had mimosas!), at least for the half marathoners. There was still food and drinks left when I left at least! They also had these great signs posted throughout the course (the best was the one that said “This may not be Disney, but we didn’t wake you up at 2am either.” Bwahaha!) for motivation.

Will I do it again? Probably. Will I ever do the full? Probably not. I cannot imagine running two loops of that course.

Do I have goals to run even FASTER? Yes. I don’t necessarily think that will be at my next race, but I’d really like to go sub 1:55 this year. Crazy? Yes, but also doable.

Why do you race? Is it the medal, the glory, the bragging rights, or because you’re a little crazy? Maybe all of the above?


  1. says

    You were smelling things? LOL What’s that all about? Oh, and totally agree about the full. I would be so pissed seeing the half marathoners walking back to their cars on that second loop. Loved the signs too! “You’re running better than our government.” Hee

    My chin is definitely starting to swell in that picture!
    Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run recently posted..Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon

    • says

      You didn’t smell it?? Ugh, it smelled like poop. Who knows, maybe it was poop.

      I obviously don’t look at your chin enough to notice the swelling. Lol. #2014goals

  2. says

    Um, first, can I just say that your quads look rockin in the picture of you with the gal in the purple long sleeve shirt?

    I definitely raced (I use that term VERY loosely) for the medals…well, and because I would have never run at all if I didn’t have a race on my calendar. Thus the horrible fitness at this point in my life now that I haven’t run in a year and a half…
    Theresa recently posted..AJS: Six Months In

      • says

        Well, those shorts do NOT help. They are my shortie shorts. Lol.

        Thank you!! I can only hope to run a half as you some day :) I actually wish we could run together. Why is Orlando so big??

    • says

      I’d like to thank squats and lunges for my quads. Lol.

      I agree that racing gives me a goal. If I didn’t have these races I wouldn’t have been running. At least I wouldn’t have been doing long runs. It definitely keeps me accountable! We need to find some good 10K to do together :)

    • says

      It is no joke when you baby gets sick! I am so glad it was short lived (although, I’d really like to know what was going on).

      Oh man, I cannot imagine running like that during a MARATHON. How did you do it??? It’s already such a mental game.

    • says

      Thank you! OMG I am so glad that he stopped throwing up. It was so scary. I thought I had dealt with all of the basics when it came to babies – but none of them have thrown up like that before. Oh kids, always keeping you on your toes!

  3. Melissa says

    Dude, I forgot about the smell until you mentioned that. Yeah . . . definitely sulfur/sewage-y smelling. Gross.

    When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that you PR’ed given how little sleep you had and NO caffeine! Maybe this is your new recipe for success? Add a hangover, and you’ll win next time!

    • says

      Yes – that was it exactly. And only when there was a cross wind. I didn’t think Celebration had that issue, but I was wrong.

      I DO think it’s amazing that I PR’d all things considered! Ha hangover = fastest race ever. If only that were true.

      I definitely need to do a race in DC. Pick one out for me.

    • says

      Thank you!! The only time I can successfully start slow and gain momentum is when I’m putting 16+ miles, which I haven’t done in a LOOOOONG time. Maybe some day I’ll be able to push the pace the entire 13.1 miles. That’d be nice!

  4. says

    So fun! My favorite part of my 2nd half was that there were so many spectators with funny signs! I would love to run sub 2:00 at some point but my next goal is sub 2:15. Congrats again on the PR!
    Traci recently posted..Snow Day 2!

    • says

      Thank you!! I finished my first half in 2:26 — so I’m believer that anything is possible! Just keep challenging yourself. There’s no doubt in my mind that you can hit 2:15!

      I definitely thrive off a good crowd, but I also love the solidarity of a run. Sometimes races can be the best of both worlds.

  5. Meg says

    Hooray for your PR!! We need to celebrate with a beer or bubbly. #drinkmorebeertogether2014 :)

    I could have just about written your race report…minus the pukey baby. Micah did not have the pukes (though he slept really crappy), so glad E got better!

    What was up with the smell!? I’d be running and all of a sudden get a whiff of what I thought were port-o-potties…but there were no pots in sight.

    I know we’ve already talked about the boardwalks, but yeah…they were fun for the first 1/4 mile, then they weren’t fun. And they were definitely VERY not fun when they kept re-appearing throughout the course after their initial 1+ mile appearance.

    I tend to slow down at the end too, regardless of my starting pace. Well, maybe if I went out totally balls to the wall I would have to DNF or walk the rest of the course. But if I start a little faster or a little slower, it doesn’t matter…I slow down at the end. So yeah, I also fell apart around mile 11 and was questioning why I run these stupid things, telling myself there was no way I was going to do BDR, etc. The falling apart could also be attributed to the fact that I only ran 10 miles once and it was 5 weeks before the race. The only reason I saw my Mom and Micah at the end is because they were right there on the final corner and my Mom was clapping and yelling like crazy….I was still more excited to get to the finish line and not be running anymore. Saw my Dad at the finish line and he asked me “are you going to make it?”….a great indication of the falling apart and dying that was going on haha.

    • says

      We so need to celebrate!!

      Every time the boardwalks reappeared I’d shout “DAMNIT” — to nobody. Lol. Most people around me didn’t seem to mind, but they really got to me!

      So cute that you saw your parents/Micah at the end – although Lol to your dad. Dan was standing there and I totally didn’t see them.

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