Best Damn Race Half Marathon {Race Recap}

On Saturday I ran the Best Damn Race half marathon downtown. This was my third time running a Best Damn Race, but my first time running the half marathon. My last two BDR races were the 10k in 2015 and 2016. Both of those races resulted in a 10k PR so I was pretty fond of the BDR race. However, I wanted to do something different this year.

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The race started at 7:25am, which is later than normal, but it was nice to have the sun up at the start of the race. It was chilly and I even considered wearing my long sleeve shirt, but I am so happy I didn’t. The weather was great, but I was definitely hot during the race.

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The race started and we were off. Leading up to the race, I hadn’t thought much about my race goals, other than to finish. I wasn’t too concerned about my projected finish time. When Michelle started having issues with her music, I decided to stop with her so she could get it figured out. Even with the quick stop, we still had a 9:59 first mile. I immediately thought about keeping each mile under 10 minutes, but tried to push those thoughts out of my head.

We were moving fast for the first half of the race. Each mile was well under 10 minutes, two of which were even under 9 minutes – 8:56 and 8:59! I was feeling it. I knew I started off way too fast and I told myself I wouldn’t be able to keep that pace for the whole race. My mind started to get in the way. At the mile 7 water stop, I got some water and went to the potty. It was a good excuse to let Michelle go ahead of me so I could slow down a bit.

I did slow down and I started taking more walk breaks than I care to admit. I walked through the water stops and took an extra walk break here and there between miles 8 and 13.1. After crushing the first seven miles, the next six were between 10 and 11 minutes each mile. It also didn’t help that the last half of the race had a lot more cobblestone than the first half. My feet and legs were taking a beating so when my mind was telling me that I couldn’t do it, or to slow down or walk, I listened.

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I knew Greg and the kids were heading downtown so that is what I focused my energy on after mile 12. I thought about trying to come in under 2 hours and 10 minutes, but once I saw them, I stopped to say hello and give kisses before heading to the finish. The kids cheered “go Mommy go!” as I ran off, which completely melted my heart. I crossed the finish line and my watch clocked me at 2 hours and 11 minutes exactly. My chip time was 2:10.55.

Based on time alone, this was my second best half marathon. But taking into account all other factors of the race, I am disappointed in myself. I have (over)analyzed everything about this race and have come to the conclusion that I started out too fast but that I could have continued at that pace. I am fully capable of doing it, but the mental struggle was real. I usually can push past it and just focus on finishing the race, but this time was different. I am still super stoked with my time, but can’t help to think about what it would have been if I didn’t stop to walk a few of those times.

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The Best Damn Race is a really well organized race and a fun one at that. One thing I didn’t like about the race was the course route. There were way too many brick roads and I have officially sworn off ever running downtown again. One thing I loved about the race was the after party. It was so fun to have a drink and chat with so many people! The kids played at the park then we walked around Lake Eola before heading to lunch. It was such a fun morning.

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It was so good to see so many familiar faces at the race. I sure do love this little running community here in Orlando.

my weekend in photos

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after an uneventful friday night, i got up on saturday morning and headed downtown for the best damn race half marathon.

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it was a tough race, but i finished! race recap and lots of pics to come.

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greg and the kids came down to catch the end of the race, which i was so happy about. they hit up the park to play after the race.

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the weather was absolutely perfect this weekend.

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a walk and a bike ride on saturday afternoon.

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we headed out early this morning to go to legoland!

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it was the lego batman movie day at the park so there were some fun things to do. we built a (very) small part of the joker and got to see it complete before we left.

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as well as several of the small squares on the big mosaic. we had to pull crosby away from the table or he would have built the rest of little squares.

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they also go to meet lego batman! crosby holding his hand melts my heart, he loved it.

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hanging out it the dino while kenley rides the roller coaster.

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they had the ride to themselves.

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we had such a good time at the park today. i needed a batman shirt to fit in though!

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we had a busy weekend, but it was sure fun!
how was your weekend?

Best Damn Race 10k {Race Recap}

Race season continues! Two weekends ago, I ran the Best Damn Race 10K for the second year in a row. This year, I was more excited for the sole reason that I actually had someone to run with and I had several friends that were going to be there. There was a very large group from the running group running one of the three races offered that day. I knew it was going to be a fun time.

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The race started and we were underway. Heather and I had a goal to run the race under one hour and PR. It was chilly at the start of the race, but I later regretted wearing a long sleeve shirt. It warmed up quickly and I was definitely sweating by the end of the race. We did a good job of pacing ourselves and each of our miles were pretty consistent. I was even surprised by a few of them when I saw we were going faster than it felt like we were going. Once we hit mile 5, I knew we had to finish in the next 12 minutes in order be under an hour, which I knew we could do. I casually mentioned this to Heather and it turns out she was already having a little bit of anxiety about the finish (oops!). Around mile 5 and a half, I inched ahead of her and she gave me the wave to keep going. At mile 6, we turn the corner to finish the race, but the finish line is at the other end of the road. It is the longest .2 miles of my life! The street is lined with runners who have already finished, as well as fans cheering everyone on. It is exciting, but also stressful. I could see the giant clock at the finish line and knew I was going to PR.

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I finished the race with an official time 58:51 which was over a minute faster than last year! Before grabbing my medal, I turned around to see Heather finish. Not long after we got our medal, we saw Kayla walking up! She finished a lot sooner than she thought she was going to so I was happily surprised to see her!

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We ran the whole race without stopping, which is affirming our decision to no longer run intervals. My watch congratulated me on my fastest 10K and we were off to celebrate!

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The after party was great, complete with free beer and Absolute vodka – hello Bloody Mary! We also devoured rice, beans, and chicken from Pollo Tropical. It was all delicious and so much fun seeing all of the running mamas out there. Thank you BDR for a great race, even though I still am not a huge fan of the 10K distance.

my weekend in photos

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i walked out of our bedroom on friday morning to see these two goobers being twins.

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greg finished jury duty late friday afternoon and said goodbye to the nice view.

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saturday morning we ran the best damn race 10k downtown. all three of us got to ring the pr bell at the end of the race! more to come.

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the weather this weekend was amazing so we spent a lot of time outside. i know i say this every week, but c man is killing it on his balance bike.

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saturday night, ashley & britton came over for dinner. we tried the new cupcake place near us and they were just as amazing as they look!

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after taking daddy to work today, the kids and i went out for a nice little 2 mile run…which turned into quite the workout. it had been a while since i have pushed them in the stroller and i underestimated how hard it really would be!

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afterwards, we played at the park!

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this afternoon, we headed to daddy’s work to see disney live!

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it was a cute show and the kids had a great time!

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we had a great weekend! how was yours?

Best Damn Race 10K {Race Recap}

Let me quickly rewind a couple weeks. Our MRTT chapter participated in the Moms Run This Town winter virtual was on February 15th. Kayla and I ran the 10K (6.3 miles to be exact) in 1:07:53 which was a 10:41 pace. I wasn’t really feeling it that day and around mile 4 I could not believe we still had two miles left. As always, it was a fun event, but I didn’t feel like I was in “race mode”, I just treated it as a long weekend run.

Fast forward two weeks and I was planning to do the Best Damn Race 10K. BDR also had a half marathon option, but I didn’t want to commit to the half marathon knowing that I was going to be out of town for work in February with no guarantee to get in my runs. I had heard good things about the race so the 10K it was! The night before the race I was not feeling it at all… I hadn’t picked up my packet yet so I knew I had to get to downtown by 5:45am with plenty of time to get my packet and get back to my car before the 6:45am start. Both Kayla and Sally couldn’t run the race, so I was without a running buddy. I was really just feeling sorry for myself, but I made the decision to sign up (and pay money) to run the race so I was going to do it.

Once I got to the expo to pick up my packet, I started to get my usually pre-race jitters. It was a little bit chilly and the forecast called for rain, but the weather was actually really nice at the start of the race. I made the decision to make the most of this race. It was only 6.2 miles so I was going to push it. I wanted to run the whole time and I wanted to PR (set a personal record). My previous 10K PR was just two weeks ago when we ran the virtual race. In the back of my mind I thought that it would be awesome to run it under an hour. I just had ran my first 5K under 30 minutes so could I double it and do this 10K under an hour?

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It seemed like a very small group for the 10K, which ended up being good since the roads weren’t crowded. We started the race as the sun was coming up, even though it was really cloudy and threatening rain the whole race. I wanted to make sure I didn’t start out too fast, but I also wanted to try to stay around a 10 minute/mile pace. Once I approached the first mile marker (i.e. my Garmin watch), I felt like I was in a good pace. First mile: 9:42 – awesome! I gave myself a little cushion too if I start to wear down towards the end. Miles two and three I thought about everything and nothing at the same time. I tried not to look at my watch and just run. I was also trying my hardest not to trip on the cobblestone on the downtown roads. Second mile: 9:40 – even faster! I missed my third mile split, which really annoyed me, but I didn’t think it could have been any slower than ten minutes (it wasn’t – 9:39!). When I saw my time for mile four (9:44) and overall time of under 39 minutes, I KNEW I was going to get under an hour. I was determined…and you could tell – I ran mile 5 in 9:22 and I honestly am not sure how that is possible. Mile six felt like an eternity. I felt like I should have been so close to the end, but the course was SO boring at this point. It hit mile six (9:22!) right as I turned the corner next to Lake Eola. I could finally see the finish line, but it still seemed SO far away. By this time, my watch was around 58 minutes so I picked it up a little bit more and was practically sprinting at this point. I was too close to not get in under an hour. Right as I was crossing the finish line the official time clock changed from :59 to 1:00 and I stopped my watch at 59:56 so my adjusted time had to be under an hour. I got my medal and was huffing and puffing. My watch alerted me that I had my fastest 5K time and my fastest 10K time. I DID IT. I checked my phone to see the tracking text alerting me (and Greg at home) that I had finished:

Start: 6:47:37AM
Finish: 7:47:29AM
Chip Time: 00:59:53
Chip Pace: 09:39 min/mi
Gun Time: 01:00:09
Gun Pace: 09:41 min/mi

I beat my goal by 7 seconds and my previous 10K time by 8 minutes (can you tell I’m a numbers person?)!!! I ran a 9:41 min/mi for 6.3 miles… I still cannot believe it. It is so rewarding knowing that all these runs have been paying off and that I am truly getting faster. Also, I placed in the top 20 for females in my age group! (I told you it was a small race, ha!).

Mentally, I felt great the rest of the weekend, but my body did not feel the same. I can tell a huge difference when I run races downtown on the uneven roads and the cobblestone. My feet hurt from sliding around in my shoes and my legs took a beating. I followed up this race with a 3 mile run on Tuesday and I had a new outlook on my pace. I am definitely closer to a 10 minute mile than I am to an 11 minute mile. Next up: Tomoka Half Marathon in less than four weeks!