Friday, October 14, 2011

2011 Gulf Coast Half Marathon Recap Part 2: The Race!

Before reading about the race, check out my recap of the day before the race!  2011 GCHalf Recap Part 1: Packet Pickup

Race morning came bright and early as usual!  We fell asleep the night before watching the Rangers game and the TV got left on.  I woke up at 1 a.m. thinking that I was late for the race. I freaked for a moment, then I realized the time….whew! 

At 4 a.m., our alarms went off.  We got ready and were out the door for 5 a.m.  The park where the race was being held had minimal parking - we were warned to arrive early to find a spot to park! 


It’s EARLY but we were ready to run!!!!  The three Musketeers! :0)

Until this race, my PR time was 2:12 from the Swamp Stomp in December of 2010. I felt like I had run my TAIL off to get that time…cause I did.  I had no clue how on earth I would EVER beat that time.  Heather and Amanda’s PR was 2:15 from the same race. 

My crazy running buddy Heather decided to set a goal time of 2:10 for the GCHalf.  2:10, really?!  I was very skeptical.  I knew that Heather and I had trained hard ALL summer….we ran 100 miles in May, June, and July….alonng with hill workouts every week this Fall.  Was it enough?  I had no clue and the thought of 2:10 make me want to puke.


My GoRun group!

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Heather and I with Katie!  Thank goodness Heather had a blanket in her car!!  It was COLD!


The line to the start was LONG!  We slowly weaved through the line trying to get as close to the front as possible. 

As we inched closer and closer, I saw a familiar pony tail!


Heather!  We found Heather and Bobby in all the madness!


We decided to stay and talk with them until the race began.


I loved Bobby’s shirt!


It’s hard to tell, but off we go!!!


As the race was starting


The race was amazing – beautiful morning, awesome weather, great race course….


Water station!

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Spectators cheering us on!



I loved this little church!


Gorgeous trees!


I loved this sign! :0)


Our running group coach – she killed it!!  1:50 and placed 3rd in her age group!


We passed through a gorgeous neighborhood with amazing homes!

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…and we finally hit the lakefront!


Perfect morning for a race!

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At mile 9, I looked at my watch and did the calculations.  We had been running hard but weren’t fizzing out yet.  We were trying to keep a 9 or a 9:30 pace.  Could we reach our goal?

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Still going strong!


We passed the lake and made it to the park!


20 mph? Guess we better slow down!  Hah!

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Go towards the light! :0)


We followed this TNT coach and runner for a good ways. He was very encouraging and I loved listening to him!


Mile 11…just 2 more to go!


I might need this later….good thing to keep in mind….


This Cross Country team was AMAZING!  They yelled and hollered and did an awesome job of keeping us motivated!


Mile 12 traditional picture! :0)


We rounded the corner and could see what we thought was the finish line (we found out later it was really the stage and the finish line was closer than we thought!  Score!!!).

I remember looking for Heather’s parents and our running coaches but I totally missed them.


I heard Julie (one of our coaches) yell my name as I passed (she took the above picture)….

After we passed Julie, I saw a guy with a camera and I recognized him as Brandon from Claim Your Journey.  I yelled and hollered and waved my hands in the air and pretty much made a fool of myself – and yeah, that footage is in the official race video! Hah!  Ah well!

Anyway, after seeing Brandon, I remember Heather grabbing my air and yelling “Let’s go for it!”  I felt as if I were in a tunnel or a movie and the world was moving in slow motion. It was the strangest feeling!  Even Heather was moving in slow motion… “Let’sss gooooo forrrr itttttt…”  Seriously. Strange.


So we picked up the pace and sprinted our butts off to the finish line!!!  I remember hearing the announcer call our names over the loudspeaker which was pretty cool!


Can you guess our official time?  2:10??


We got 2:08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I could not believe it!!!


Holy cow I PR’d by 4 minutes!  Insane!


Me with Joe Relaxo! :0)


We grabbed bottles of water and walked over to meet up with our coaches.  We all had a great race!!!


Heather and I had these nifty little VIP bracelets. After chatting with our friends, we decided to check it out and see what it was all about!


We were asked to rate the water stations that were in the race. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place water stations would each receive a donation to their favorite charity! No, I didn’t fully read the directions before I began and that’s why there’s a 4th place on my paper.  I need to learn to read and follow directions.


Our VIP food! :0) We had a fruit tray, donuts, and sandwiches!


After voting, we hit the Izzos line for a burrito in a bowl!  Yummy!!!

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We also met up with Brandon from Claim Your Journey!! It was great getting to meet him for the first time! 


Amanda and I gave this race two thumbs up! :0)


I also found Heather after the race….


….and we found Theresa from Claim Your Journey!  SO much socializing so little time!


Awards ceremony


Winner of the water station contest!  First place went to the Cross Country team at mile 12!


The band that played post race played lots of music from the 90’s. We even heard the Backstreet Boys!  Hah!


Fun times on the Gulf Coast! :0)


13.1…I did it…and I PR’d!  It was a good day. :0)

After leaving the park, we were given a late check out from our hotel.  We cleaned up, then made our way back home.  We stopped first in Baton Rouge at Whole Foods!


Lunch was super yummy!! :0)  I love me some Whole Foods!

And that’s a wrap!  Overall, it was an awesome weekend, and awesome race, and I will definitely run this race again in the future! :0)


  1. it was so good to see you, you did such a great job girl!
    we need to get together before princess!

  2. This race looks like so much fun and relaxing! I would love to run this next year (maybe as a training run)!

  3. hi doll, thought I would stop by to see how you are doing! looks like you are wonderful and nice job on the race and with the time improvement! i would love to run there - the scenery looks gorgeous!

  4. Hello again! LOVED the post...the pictures were great :) Since this race was practically in my back yard, I didn't do so well with pics along the way. AAGGHH - we must have been running near each other most of the race!!! I finished with a 2:07:29. CONGRATS on your time - a PR by 4 minutes is insane!!! :)


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