Part two of my double race weekend was on Sunday with the Celebration Half Marathon! I also ran this race last year and absolutely fell in love with it so I knew I wanted to do it in 2016. [Again] I was stressing out about what to wear since it was supposed to be chilly at the start. I decided to stick with shorts, but kept my fleece pants on right up until the race started and I put everything in bag check. This ended up being such a great idea that I may have to use in the future. I stayed nice and toasty until it was time to run.
Heather and I headed down to Celebration around 5:15am with the hopes of finding a good parking spot, but we ended up having to walk a little bit to get to the downtown area. We met up with the other MRTT moms at the Grand Bohemian Hotel right across the lake from the start line. We took some pictures and made our way over to get ready to start the race.
The race started and we were on our way. We planned to stick with our 5 minute/45 second intervals since that is what we had been running for the last couple of months. As soon as we got onto the course, I immediately recognized everything and knew what to expect coming up. We ran through the beautiful neighborhoods, on the boardwalks, and around the lakes. In hindsight, we probably started out a little too fast considering we didn’t do much talking, but we were holding a very good pace for the first ten miles or so. We walked through all of the water stops and most of them were timed perfectly with our 45 second walk breaks. Around mile 7, I had an orange slice and it tasted so good that I probably could have eaten 20 of them, but it made me realize how hungry I really was. I didn’t eat nearly enough breakfast so by the end of the race I was starving and couldn’t even think about putting more water into my empty stomach. Lesson learned.
A little bit after mile 10, Heather started to hit the wall. I’d been there before, I knew exactly how she was feeling. I kept encouraging her to keep moving forward until the end of the race, knowing very well that she probably wanted to punch me in the face, but I figured that was the risk I’d take. I had warned her that the very last part of the race was horrible since we come off the boardwalk and see the finish line, but it is on the opposite side of the lake from where we were. We were so close, yet so far! We crossed the finish line at 2:19:44 which was a PR for Heather and another sub 2:20 race for me!
She couldn’t help but be a little disappointed in our finish time because she wanted to both of us to get a PR, but I wasn’t disappointed at all. We did great, but also have room for improvement, and I am happy with that!
Official results & pace:
1659 — Kendra Gilbertson — 31 — Orlando — FL — 2:19:44 — 10:40
Finally, it was time for the best part — the after party! We enjoyed great food from all of the restaurants in Celebration, and of course, enjoyed our hard-earned free beers! Greg and the kids came down as well, so I saw them as soon as we crossed the finish line, which always makes a race so much better!
Until next year, Celebration!