|Not the best shirt ever! The color - yuck!|
This is my second time running this race and I will probably keep it as an annual event. For one, I live in Santa Rosa County and my children go to school here and, well, like I said, it is a great race!
The temperature was just about perfect. Probably in the high 40s or low 50s. This is a one-way race. You take a bus from the Lowe's parking lot in Gulf Breeze to the toll booth on the norht end of the bridge. Then you get to run back for 4.8 miles with 3 miles over the water! Like I said, this is a great race. There is the usual 'hump' like you have in just about all bridges and a small, and I mean small, downhill just before the finish. As long as you don't get a strong headwind, it's a good run. One you can PR in if you are running good.
I got the the bus area early like I always do. I'm not one of those runners that can show up 30 minutes or less before a race and then off we go. No, I have to get there early so I can calm the nerves and get my warm up run and stretches done. So, like I said, I got there early. The start time for the race was 7:30. I got on the bus at about 6:30. By the time they took off, we got to the start at about 6:45.
This is where things got a bit interesting. Like I have mentioned before, I like to get a good mile warm up before my runs. This time was no different. After I got done with my stretches and the usual potty stop, I headed out for my warm up run. Now I don't know if I have mentioned this before on this blog, but I have asthma. It is pretty much controlled and I don't have to use an inhaler often. However, the cold is a good trigger for an attack as well as nerves. I usually take a couple puffs of my inhaler before every race. For those races like this one where I have to take a bus to the start, I use the inhaler before I board the bus. Well, this time I forgot. So, combine the nerves and the cold, and bam, asthma attack. I probably hadn't gone a 1/4 mile when I started to wheez (sp). Not bad mind you, but wheezing none the less. I actually considered getting on one of the busses and going back to use my inhaler. I didn't!
I got my warm up mile done, got back to the start and relaxed a bit before the race. We did the anthem and then we were off. Like I said earlier, this is a 4.8 mile race. I didn't want to start off too fast and not be able to finish strong. I keep my pace around 7:45. First mile, no problems. Was holding a steady pace. Had a young lady about about the same pace and her and I stayed together for about a mile or so. Right around the 2nd mile, I started to feel heavy in the chest. I could really hear my breathing. The wheezing was worse then it had been on the warm up. Oh and this just happened to be a time when I was running with no music. Perfect right? NOT!
|Fatma and I|
The after party for this race is awesome. Probably the only time that you will see 250 people eating huge hamburgers for breakfast (not me, I passed on the hamburgers). I placed 2nd in my AG last year and honestly thought I had a chance of placing this year. Alas, it was not to be. I placed 4th. Only 30 some seconds behind the 3rd place finisher. I'm very competitive and this bothered me to no end. Of the 3 people that placed in the top, I didn't recognize a single one of them. Unusual considering I race just about every weekend. You can be rest assured that I will pay closer attention to those around me next time. I know I could have pushed hard enough to have caught that guy! LMAO
Anyway, overall it was a good race. I managed to finish without have to cross the finish line in an ambulance!
As always my friends, remember "Real athletes run, all the rest just play games"!