The race venue was only five minutes from the hotel, and the race didn't start until 10am. I'm assuming the late start was for the SUP portion, but an 8am start would have been preferable due to the heat. I'll get to that momentarily.
I had 3/4 of a protein bar and a small Fuji apple for breakfast, and ate three or four Chomps 15 minutes before race time. As far as breakfasts go, it was skimpy, but I hadn't really planned ahead very well for eating while traveling.
|At the start line!
Our divisions were separated further by board type and combined-age. Matt's portion of the race was four miles on the water; mine was eight on land. We met at miles 2, 4, 6, and 8, then ran across the finish line together. At the beginning of the race, I wore three red bracelets, and we exchanged them at each meetup so that by the finish line, Matt was wearing them.
I was worried about getting lost, and the race was very small, but the organizers had done a great job marking the course, and there were volunteers pointing the way at all the tricky turns. I only got turned around once, and a fellow runner quickly sent me back the right way.
|Coming in to the first exchange.
(Sorry...I know so many of you are braving sub-zero temperatures right now! I'm not sure what Florida is thinking, but someone needs to remind my backwards state that it's DECEMBER!!)
My legs felt fantastic, but three miles into the run - after our first exchange - I could feel my heart-rate getting out of control. I was having trouble breathing. I took extra time at the second exchange to drink more water and pour some over my head.
|Not exaggerating. Look at my idiot state.
I like to be able to run an entire race without walking at all, but sometimes we need to assess the situation and make smart choices. Choosing to be smart is sometimes harder than pushing through, because of the disappointment that goes along with it, and this feeling that we're "backing down".
|Spoiler alert: we finished! Our medals are bottle openers. Love it!
I can't do anything about it now; I'm glad we went to the race and I had a great time. Being disappointed in the outcome is stupid because the experience itself was such a great way for Matt and me to enjoy the sports we love together.
|Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
|1st place...I like that our age group was 40-75.
This race was a learning experience. At our second meetup, I told Matt I didn't think I could finish. By mile 6, I had resolved to finish strong and had found my second wind. I now see that I need to work on training for hitting the wall and working through less-than-perfect race conditions.
|Perfect beach weather; not exactly perfect race weather.
|Enjoying the view as we wait to eat.