Monday, October 21, 2013

Sanibel Race for FISH 10k, 2013

I wanted to wait for actual race pictures to be available before I wrote my recap, but ran out of patience. So here's what I've got...

First of all, last year's race was pretty much under the most perfect conditions I could ask for. I was in the end of serious half marathon training, injury-free, with an 8-mile long run under my belt, and the weather had been in the 70s to boot!

I knew going into the race this year that I wouldn't be as strong. It was my first race since July and I had just taken two full weeks off from running because of that mysteriously painful foot lump I had going on. I adjusted my goals accordingly.
Strong coffee is a must pre-race.
There was no way I was going to run sub-60, but my last 10k was 67 minutes and I knew I could beat that. I was secretly hoping for 62, but decided realistically (because of the lack of training) that 65 was fair.

My other two goals were to 1) genuinely and truly enjoy the entire race, and 2) finish injury-free.

The morning started out bright and early...because the moon has been monstrously huge the past few nights.

How is it this bright at 5am?!
 I was excited for this race because it would be the first one I got to run with half of my Ragnar team! Lisa, Daniella, Tracey, Sarah, and I rode together and met Meg at the starting line. It was awesome to be surrounded by race energy again.
The moon stayed up even as the starting line began to fill in.
I feel beyond lucky to be on a team with all these women. They're supportive, genuine, hilarious, and totally honest. Some of them are crazy fast (I'll get to that in a bit), but none of them put pressure or unfair expectations on each other. We are all about just having a blast and running our own races, and that was really important to me this year.
Pre-race: Meg, Daniella, Lisa, Sarah, me, and Tracey!
I had the advantage of knowing the route this year. I remembered the packed-shell loop from mile 4 to 5.5, and that last year it was surprising but a nice break for my legs after running on road. I constantly reminded myself of that example to refocus my anxiety into positivity.

As usual, the race was extremely well-organized. There were tons of cameras out (which is why I was excited to see them...alas, they're not up yet) and I made sure to smile at and thank each photographer and all the volunteers. I ran the entire race and was totally pain-free (goal met!).
Awkwardly trying to wave while running.
I wore my "transcend" bracelet and found myself using that mantra quite often. It wasn't an easy race by any means. Especially compared to last year. It was ridiculously hot and humid, even before the sun was up. My legs weren't as ready as last year, either. But as I ran, I remembered to look around.

The best part of this race is the scenery. The entire route cuts through gorgeous tree-lined roads and lush green fields. It was easy to remind myself to just enjoy it.
Finally, the finish line!
I was glad I was running again; that my foot was 100% pain-free; that I was here with new friends; that I was racing again.
Post-race, basking in our various accomplishments!
Above all, I reminded myself that I was running my race. That my expectations weren't to relive last year, but to be true to myself and to be honest with where I am right now in my running. I took a deep breath every time I started to feel pressure and reminded myself that this race was about much more than hitting a certain time goal; it was about coming back to running with a fresh outlook and a renewed love for this sport.

It worked.

I crossed that finish line exuberant and proud. I hit 65 minutes on the head and was ecstatic. I had not the slightest muscle-ache afterward. (The worst was that I was dehydrated the rest of the day because I hadn't been prepared for the heat...rookie mistake.)
A more honest picture of us post-race.
After the race, we learned that Sarah - who had run exactly one race before this, a 5k - had placed 3rd in her age group! She is super fast and a natural runner...she only started 4 months ago!

Sarah receiving her award.
On the ride home, I discovered Tracey belongs to the same sorority as me, which was an extra bonus. I also learned that Lisa lives literally just down the street from me in one of my favorite running neighborhoods. Basically, it was a perfect day.
When I got home, I showered and napped. Then I had a nice breakfast and added my bib and medal to my collection. It wasn't my fastest race, but it was definitely one of my best...for all the right reasons.



  1. Congrats on your race!!!
    Looks like beautiful scenery and great race pics too! I'd love to see the official ones when you have them!

    Way to go! :D

    1. Thank you! I'm waiting on pins and needles for the official pics to be posted...I'm hoping there's at least one good one!

  2. I'm glad you had such a good time and that this race provided some much needed rejuvenation. Attitude is half the battle, eh?

  3. I love your positive attitude about the race! It's so easy for us to get into the comparison trap, especially with ourselves. You rocked the race given your conditions! And I am so glad you have such an awesome team!

    1. Thanks girl...yeah, I was definitely getting bogged down with thoughts. It was so nice to just let go!

  4. Awesome race! I'm glad you had a great time, and I am most definitely doing this 10K with you next year! :)

    1. YES! You totally should :) It's so gorgeous and fun!

  5. Sannibell Island - what a beautiful place for a run!

  6. Congrats! It looked like an awesome race :)

  7. Wow,...somehow I stumbled upon your blog. I actually ran this same race (was in Florida on in Pennsylvania). Anyways, the amazing part is the picture above of "Sarah" has me in it accepting my 1st place M 30-34 award. Weird coincidence!! I placed 14th overall - not too bad considering I ran the Southern Most 1/2 Marathon in Key West the week prior, and injured my achilles. I will agree that this race was hot and humid. 85 degrees and 90% humidity is not my ideal of a good time. lol To put it in perspective, I'm doing a race this weekend at home and temps are expected to be around 35 at the start. :-)

    Kudos on your finish and more importantly, your positive attitude! Never stop running!!

    - Sean

    1. Wow, small world! And I wasn't even sprinkling my blog business cards around!

      Congrats on a great race for you! That's so exciting, especially given your recent injury. Enjoy your much cooler race this weekend!

  8. What an awesome race!!!!!!!!!
    (I know I am little behind on reading this.... lol!)