This week the Tuesdays on the Run Linkup asks “What has running taught you?” Oh grasshopper, running has taught me so many things. Patience, perseverance, goal setting, managing stress, you name it, there’s a lesson. Just this past weekend in Florida, I had yet another epiphany, which I’ll share at the end of this race report.
Wendy and I met at the airport early Friday morning. After connecting in Atlanta, we got to Holly’s adorable beach bungalow late in the afternoon.
Once everyone arrived, we went to get our race packets and enjoyed a race-eve dinner.
Race morning dawned overcast and cool with a little breeze. A quick 5 minute drive and we were at the starting line. That will never happen in Chicago.
If you’ve been hanging here with me, you know I had a high hamstring incident last week at the Schaumburg Turkey Trot and have been resting/rehabbing it ever since. On Thursday I felt like walking the 5k would be my best option. On race day though I was feeling a little more optimistic. I decided to start at the back of the half marathon pack and walk/shuffle as best I could for as long as I could. If it started hurting too much I’d walk or turn back if I needed to. Sounds like a plan.
Do not aggravate the angry hammy
We went off and I carefully shuffled, ever so slowly. Angry hammy twinged with each step, but nothing unbearable. I made sure to take really small steps, never opening my stride enough to anger it. The course was a flat, almost straight out-and-back along the coast. Beach and hotels on one side of the road, kitschy throwback shops, mini golf, etc on the other. Nice.
Many runners around me were doing walk/run intervals. One woman rotated between run, walk and high knees. Not quite sure what that was about but alrighty.
When the lead fasties made the turn and started heading back in, I got to survey the field. I was thrilled and surprised to see a woman (overall!) was in the lead by at least a minute, and she ended up winning! Speaking of fasties, our own #holottafun group had a few awesome PRs AND an AG win.
My race was uneventful and I was thrilled my hamstring hung in there and seemed to loosen up a bit after the first few miles. I did not tweak it one single time. It didn’t feel the best in the final couple of miles but I still had to fight the natural urge to pick it up at the end. Since the race, it’s none the worse for wear so I will take my time and continue the rehab process before planning any spring races.
Final race thoughts: This was a fun little race, only in its second year, at a very reasonable price. It was well organized and everything ran on time. The course is flat and fast, but with very little, almost no crowd support. The medal is nice but the shirt is plain and man-sized. Even the small is just too big. I do like the tropical graphic on the back. Post-race beer and gumbo was very nice. The finish line party at Margaritaville was fun and festive. I would definitely do this one again.
The best part about this race? I say it here on the blog pretty regularly: I’ve blogged so long and became a coach because I love when people exceed their expectations and love helping them do so. I’ve been Marybeth’s “Coach M” for about a year now and her running transformation has been nothing short of amazing. This was the first time we’d met in person and I can’t even express how special it was to not only meet her but to be there to see her throw down the performance she did, which I will let her tell you about in her race report. THAT is what running has taught me. Sure I will always love running, racing and challenging myself, BUT I found that coaching others and helping them unleash their potential to be more rewarding than I ever imagined.
I’ll be back soon with the non-running shenanigans from our weekend. What’s your fave race-cation? Have you raced in Florida? What has running taught you?