Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon

This weekend came and went so fast. I guess that means I had fun, but damn, slow down time. I picked up my Washington DC sugar mama, Melissa, from the airport on Friday night and immediately took her to a bar.

I like to take all house guests on scenic boozing tours of Orlando. Speaking of which, that was my first drink since New Year’s Eve. That’s 24 days for you non-drinkers who are wondering why that’s so hard. My liver has been desperately looking for something to filter. By the way, alcohol has not lost its deliciousness in those 24 days. Just had to make sure though. Drinks also effectively put us to sleep for the night.

Saturday, we met up with my chauffer for lunch at the Relax Grill at Lake Eola. There’s a lot of new artwork around Lake Eola and Melissa knows a photo op when she sees one.

After lunch, Melissa and I picked up our race packets and stopped at a few stores. Next time we looked at a clock, it was dinner time and we wondered where the day went. I was an amazing host and took her to a vegan restaurant (her fave) and supported her mostly vegan ways by eating unpronounceable things with her.

A tempeh and quinoa salad. I kinda liked it. (Don’t tell the meat of the world.)

After dinner, Melissa watched me go in full freak-out mode over what to wear for the race. She loved that. Like, a lot. Then we went to bed and I slept like total shit. There is nothing like knowing I have to be up at a specific time that makes me wake up every hour and look at the clock.

Sunday morning, Melissa and I got up at 4:45am. Melissa did not want to be up and it was obvious. And kinda funny. #grouch We got ready, picked up Michelle, and headed to Celebration which is about 45 minutes away. We were running a little late (or maybe that was just me) and parked a mile from the start, so we ended up running the mile to make it to the start on time. Now, some people would call that a warm-up mile. I call it an unnecessary extra mile I had to run.

Once we got to the start, we split up quickly. Melissa and Michelle went to their pacer areas and I went to the port-o-potty. By the time I got out, the race already started and I was back with the five hour marathoners. It was pretty humid for being in the 50s so I was already hot from the mile run. Then I spent the first four miles cursing the heat and dodging slower runners who like to stop and walk in the middle of a packed course without looking behind them.

Five miles into the race, things were getting much better. I was feeling good, the crowd was thinning, and the temperature was dropping. I felt like I was running in Miami Vice – basically down a long road with lines of extremely tall palm trees on either side. After the Miami Vice road, we ran several miles on a wooded boardwalk which was amazing. It was so peaceful and quiet and I felt super fast. We also ran sidewalks around several lakes and by white picket fence homes I’ll never be able to afford, even with my part-time dancer job. All in all, it was a really pretty course and really well run for an inaugural race.

I ate a few peanut butter pretzels every couple of miles but around mile 7, I could tell if I ate any more I’d have to stop at a port-o-potty. So I didn’t eat the rest of the race which sucked because I needed it, especially around mile 10. My legs felt good, but my energy was dwindling. That’s when mile 12 happened.

I took a giant nose-dive into the sidewalk.

A really nice guy helped me up and another kept asking if I was ok. They were really concerned so I know it didn’t look good. I appreciated them stopping but was worried about them losing time on their race which made sense to me, all sprawled out on the sidewalk, at the time. But seriously, I heart runners. They are the best.

Alright, so I had a mile to go and I was hurting (mostly my chin, which hit the sidewalk pretty hard, and my scraped-up hands from catching my fall. Oh, and my forehead that I just noticed this morning.) So I turned off my music to get rid of distraction and finished that last mile as quickly as my body was allowing. It felt fast, but apparently wasn’t because it was my slowest mile.

Celebration half

Official time: 2:09:13. Not what I wanted but I felt good (finally!) and it’s a big improvement on my half in November (2:21:54) and my half in December (2:28:11).

I met up with all my girls after the race, including Katy and Victoria.

Hat triplets! (Not planned though it should have been.)

Melissa and I left pretty quickly since we had to shower, eat, and get to the airport on time. It was just as well, because after that fall, I was achey. Not life and death or anything, but I wanted to leave. Despite the fall, I loved the race and will definitely do it again next year.

Oh, and a big congrats to Michelle who ran a PR and Melissa who felt miserable during the race but still won second in her age group. Love you ladies!

21 Comments

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21 responses to “Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon

  1. It’s funny that you loved the boardwalks – I HATED them. It was pretty congested when I was running them and I felt so cramped. It totally slowed me down too. I loved running the Miami Vice street though.

    I’m so happy you had a good race (despite the fall – ugh on falling). Although, I feel like I barely saw you.

    Dang that Melissa is speedy!

    • Paula

      I can see those boardwalks sucking if they’re crowded. I think I got lucky with people running in singles instead of pairs. Maybe if you were slow like me, you wouldn’t have the crowding problem. ;-)

  2. Melissa

    No one should a). be awake at 4:45 am or b). expect cheerful conversation from me if I do have to be awake. I think my alarm went off in the middle of a REM cycle or something. Blah.

    Despite the fall, I think it’s kind of great that you had such a good race. And I think you probably need to figure out that fueling thing because I’m sure that would help. I will go research that now instead of working because I am selfless like that. You’re welcome.

  3. So when looking at your pictures I had a memory of blogs past…and Michelle had a pretty nasty fall herself training last November! It’s so sweet that you fell in solidarity…:-P Glad it wasn’t too serious-and barely altered your time! Lets face it, all of us runners immediately think of the timing chip before we worry about things like injury or scarring.

    • Paula

      I do like to be a supportive friend. I guess if I really wanted to support her, I would have gotten stitches. Rude of me not to do that. :-)

  4. Jenny

    Glad you had a great race (minus the fall of course)! Hope you’re feeling better!

  5. 1. I am pretty sure Melissa stole that plaid shirt from me.
    2. Way to keep going after the fall! I think I’d sulk my way to a bar.

  6. Amber K

    Sidewalks and floors, they’re always there to catch you when you fall. Hope you’re feeling better!

  7. kathleen

    You look great after that fall! I can’t even tell (though the hat might be shading some of it)… And falling at mile 12, I mean, at least it wasn’t mile 2, right?
    Great time… looks like that whole vegan thing worked for you!

    • Paula

      Yes! Much better 12 than 2. The bruising didn’t come until a little later and it’s mostly under my chin – so probably the best place one can be bruised on their face. Although, I did get asked what all the ink was on my face today at work…so maybe not the best place?

  8. Awesome job!!! I’m glad you like my Miami Vice street! And I’m so happy I got to see you run by. So funny you recognized Molly Beagle before me. Hehehe :)

    I run on those boardwalks all the time, and they always affect my pace, even when I’m the only one out there. All of the sharp turns get me!

  9. Glad you had a good race despite the fall. Ouch!

    Oh and you are such a great host. Loved that part of you taking Melissa straight to a bar after picking her up from the airport.

  10. I can’t believe Celebration has a half marathon! Your time is awesome (humidity, epic falls and all)!

  11. Pingback: Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon - Recap - Crazy Running Legs

  12. Pingback: Out of Retirement

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