Best Damn Race- Orlando {Recap}

Also known as… the race where I PR’d and also flashed some dude my crotch. <–you read that right.

Saturday was the Best Damn Race – Orlando. There was a half, a 10K, a 5K, and a 10k/5K challenge. I ran the half.

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The name had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it delivered. But, I’m ruining the story and getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the very beginning…

I feel like I signed up for this race forever ago. I wanted to be one the people who only had to pay like $5 to race. I don’t know who these lucky bitches are…but I logged on RIGHT AWAY (I was on maternity leave — it was THAT long ago) and was still more than 100 people out. Woomp woomp.

But that’s okay because I DID convince a few people to run this race with me. Most notably, my good friend Tracy, who had previously stuck with 5Ks and  triathlons — and my my friend Keith who just got back into this running game after running sprints in college. And of course, Paula was in from the start.

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I also know that my local bitches (love you guys), and a few Tampa ladies were all in — so even if it wasn’t the BEST damn race, it was going to be a pretty GOOD damn race.

I’ve learned over the years that in order for it to be a good race, I needed to ensure that I am stressing Paula out as little as possible. This involved leaving the house at 5:45….for a 7:15 race. At the time, I was like “DUDE”, but now that the race is over and there was a {spoiler alert} happy ending for all involved, I fully endorse a ridiculously early wake up.

I pulled myself out of bed at 4:45. It was not easy because for some reason I couldn’t go to sleep until midnight (and there was a 3am wakeup). Once I was up, I was fine. I got dressed, threw on a little makeup (mostly because it includes SPF and I don’t look dead to the world), brewed a cup of coffee, and then snuck in a quick nursing session with E. It was either that or pump – and I’d much rather nurse — and he barely woke up. After BFing, I drank my coffee, collected my thoughts, put all of my crap on me, and hit the road.

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Crap. FYI – look for a review on the handheld soon. Short recap is that I LOVED IT.

I amazed myself (and probably Paula), but actually leaving the house ON TIME. I got my friend Tracy at 6, and was at Paula’s by 6:20. We then headed downtown, parked without issue, and headed over to Lake Eola for the race start. We also hit up Panera on the way for a quick pre-race pee (it’s SO MUCH BETTER using a real bathroom) – and then headed to the start.

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Can you see my pores?

At the race start we met up with a million blogger friends and a few work friends as well. We nervously chatted for about 20 minutes and then lined up with a few minutes to spare.

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Picture stolen from Meghann

Paula and I commented that we had never been that close to the start of a race before (even at the Baldwin Half we were further away!)– and we were in line with the 2:00 hr pace group! It was really the perfect number of people to race with. Not too crowded, but still enough people to feel a little competitive.

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No idea that I’m about to flash a stranger in an hour or so.

So, the race…

I went into this running it for fun. At least 10 people asked me what my goal was, and I seriously didn’t have one. So my standard response was “To have fun.” I wasn’t feeling a PR. Really, I wasn’t. I got a pretty sweet PR in January and didn’t really expect anything better. I hadn’t done more than 6 miles outside since then (and the max I did was 8 on the treadmill), although I have been feeling really strong during my weekly early morning runs. And just… happy. Therefore the goal was to just have a happy run.

As I took off, I spotted Victoria, Meghann, Beka, and Carissa ahead of me. I knew that Victoria and Beka were gunning for a sub 1:55 and that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up, but I figured it would be fun to stick with them for a few miles. It was fun chatting with them – although I was actually pretty amazed that was possible because we were averaging an 8:30 pace. After about 3 miles, I Victoria, Beka, and Meghann pulled ahead – while Carissa and I ran at the same pace for a few more miles. We were both thinking “Why the hell are we running so fast??” There was no answer to that though – it just felt GOOD.

The Best Damn Race course was similar to OUC in some parts (same area, similar cobblestones that I wanted to punch), but not others. Probably the BEST part of the course was running around Lake Underhill at mile 5ish. It was just such a pretty day and the weather could NOT have been better. I swear there were birds sitting on my shoulders chirping — that’s how surreal this run was.

Around Mile 6.5 we started on the out-and-back part of the course. It was through an older, but pretty, residential area. It probably would have been boring and a little tedious (there were a lot of turn arounds – in fact there were something like 40 turns/corners in this race!!) if I didn’t know so many people running – but instead I got to see at least 5 people I knew and mentally high-five them. Mental high-fiving was fun. It was a pretty awesome pick me up – especially because everyone looked so damn happy.

There was one little blip in my run. At Mile 8 I had the urge to pee SO BADLY I couldn’t stand it. The only time I’ve ever had to pee during a race before was when I was pregnant, so this was SO bizarre. I decided that it was either pee myself or go to the porta potty – and when I saw the porta potta at Mile 8.25 I jumped in it (I was thankful there was no line!). Unfortunately, I did not do a great job of locking the door (I SWEAR I LOCKED IT) and while I was mid squat peeing, I dude opened it. Yes, I just wrote that. A DUDE OPEN THE DOOR and got an amazing crotch shot of me, MID PEE. (Are you visualizing this yet?)  I screamed.

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He yelped. I pulled the door shut. I didn’t look him in the face and I’m hoping he was ONLY looking at my face. Then I pulled myself together and got back on course. He wasn’t there when I jumped out (thankfully) and I just kept on running. What else can you do?

I lost about 2 minutes (and ALL of my dignity) in the porta potty, so I had a little catching up to do. I have to say I don’t normally run a sub 9:00 pace at mile 9 and 10 — but for some reason not only did I have no issue hitting that pace, but it felt good.

Around Mile 11, I got a text from Dan that B had gotten a double during his baseball game. I was so proud!! And forever reason it made me simulanteously tear up and speed up. Lol. Around this time I also noticed this dude running close to me. He kept creeping up (but not in an evading way) and then backing off, before he finally sprinted past me at Mile 12. He seemed super fit, so I was kind of impressed with myself for keeping up with him!

I have to say, I really enjoyed the last mile of the race. We ran straight down South Street (which is a slightly downhill stretch that I welcomed with open arms after running up hills on the cobblestone for the last mile) and then turned onto Rosalind and then turned onto Central for the finish. Right before the turn onto Central, I saw a co-worker (who is typically faster than me) and set my sights on catching him. About 400 meters from the finish I caught him and then managed to pass him (turns out he was hurting, so I tried not to rub it in).

And then I crossed the line and saw my time on my Garmin — 1:54:14. NO FREAKING WAY. My official time ended up being 1:54:12. The race was SLIGHTLY short, but eh, who cares. If this had been any other race where I jacked up my Garmin, I would have never known. Also, I would have PR’d even if it was long — so I’m rolling with it!

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I was kind of in a daze when I get my medal! I saw Beth (who was volunteering) and introduced myself (and also smacked her with my medal – sorry!). I was on a such a high, I probably looked and sounded like a delirious fangirl. (She was VERY sweet)

I then found Victoria, Beka, Meghann, and Amanda and heard all about their AMAZING races too! It was like PR after PR rolling in…. Paula, Katy, Tracy — who ran her first in 2:05 (amazing!!), and Keith who ran his at least 10 minutes faster than he anticipated. ALL PRs BABY!! We celebrated with beer — of chips and beer and lots of photos.  

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Then the guy from Mile 11 (turns out his name is Tyler) came up to me and introduced himself. He thanked me for pushing him to keep going. I thanked him as well – you’ve got to love a little friendly competition. This is reason 309438 that I love the running community!

After the drinks and food it was time to ring the PR Bell.

1:54:14 (unofficial) #bestdamnpr @bestdamnrace

It was a sweet, sweet moment!

It was especially sweet because this was  my last half marathon until October (I have a 10K and a 10-miler coming up this month and I’m hoping for MOAR PRs!!). What a DAMN GOOD WAY to end the 2013-2014 half marathon season!

So the verdict? This was THE BEST DAMN RACE.

Comments

    • says

      Oh yes, season is so different here! I am always so envious of you Midwesterner/northerners come summer though. I’m especially jealous of those who have amazing running weather YEAR ROUND.

    • says

      Thank you!!

      And yes, I have very long, crazy, legs! Hee. I’m 35-36 inch inseam. I love them now, but not so much when I was younger. It was much harder to find pants that fit!

    • says

      Thank you! I don’t know that I’ve ever had such an effortless race before. It was still challenging in some parts, but it was amazing how everything just came together.

  1. says

    Congrats Michelle! You were so cute and excited, which was a common occurrence on Saturday. I’m so glad all of you had such amazing days! (My boyfriend is the RD, Nick, so I’ll send him your review.) Thanks for saying hello and congrats again!

  2. says

    You are a speed demon! Congrats on the PR! You and Paula are my fave. I love your friendship.

    Also, just because your pee story reminded me of it, when I was in Florida (on the le Barge booze cruise that Paula recommended actually) I walked into an unlocked single stall washroom and there was a dude peeing. Saw everything. He yelped, I screamed, and then he ended up being like two tables away from us. That was an awkward, so I just drank more rum and all was well :)
    Lindsey @ Happy or Hungry recently posted..We Love the Nana

    • says

      LMAO. I can’t even imagine the awkwardness! I would have been tempted to send him a drink with a message that you are hoping to see him in the bathroom again later. Lol.

      And thank you!

    • says

      We do need to run a race together. What’s halfway between us???

      And lol to people seeing your crotch. Once, you have a baby — is anything sacred?

  3. says

    It was so much fun seeing you this weekend. Makes me really miss living in Orlando! Congrats on the PR!!!! We’ll have to do that again someday.

    • says

      Yes – so good seeing you! We really need to have an Orlando/Tampa blogger meetup. I love hanging out with you guys and nerding out about running/training. Congrats on going sub-1:50 again!! And I was SOOOOO wrong about Kelly! Ha.

  4. says

    That is SO amazing!!! I’ve had the porta potty door opening only happen once and thank god it was a young child. But, like you, I swear I locked the door. The young child probably thought I was an idiot and probably had nightmares for life!

    Yay to such a good finish time. And seriously, can you give me a tutorial on how to get super nice legs like yours. Does it involve sitting on my ass all day? haha
    char eats greens recently posted..munchkin meals: the tortures of teething

    • says

      Thank you!! And you know, I was laughing too. If you can’t laugh at yourself when I comes to something like that, then you are just taking yourself WAAAAY too seriously!!

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