Father-Daughter Half Marathon

Marathon #2 - dominated! This race is extremely special to me as it's the first time my Dad and I have run together, and it's the only race where I've actually met my goal time! The course was on a new portion highway designed to help ease traffic between Niceville and Destin, Fl. It was the only race I've heard of that didn't offer finisher medals, but the proceeds are going to the Special Operations Warrior Fund so I'm totally okay with that! They also had a size small shirt option that I've never seen before so I'll actually be able to wear the shirt from the race.

If you take a look at the elevation graph on the bottom you'll see there were a decent amount of 'hills'. They are baby hills, but they came rapid fire and definitely slowed me up a bit.2014-01-04 07.16.00I drove out to Fort Walton to meet my Dad at my parents house, and we rode up to Niceville and tried not to freeze before the race. It was 35 degrees out which is really cold in Florida terms (Northerner's are scoffing out loud right now!)2014-01-04 07.46.04Dad's goal was a sub 2 hour half (his previous PR was 1:59) and my goal was sub 2:15 (my previous PR was 2:20.) I started off the race strong, and my average pace was about 9:45 for the first 6 miles. Since my goal pace was 10:15 I knew I should slow down or I'd end up regretting it the second half. I didn't slow down, and I did regret it. I'm going to run another half in the next few weeks and my goal for that one will be to keep a steady mile pace the entire time.

I felt great until just past the turn-around point, around mile 7. I think there was (yet another) hill and it was the first time I stopped to walk for about 30 seconds. I picked up speed again, and just before the water station around mile 9 I recognized someone standing off to the side. BF to the rescue! I mentioned I'd be running the race to him last week, and without me asking him to even come he told me he wanted to be at the finish line. #SoStinkingSweet So, I was looking forward to him being at the end, but he totally surprised me on the course! He had emailed the race director to find out where he may be able to stand on the course since it was all on highway. I slowed down for about a minute to walk with him, and then powered through the rest of the race as best I could.2014-01-04 10.20.50 HDRDad and I both ended up getting PR's! Dad came in at 1:57, 4th in his age group, and I flew across the finish line just in time, at 2:14:33 (7th in my age group.)  2014-01-04 10.26.19I couldn't have asked for a better race! Having two of my most favorite guys there had me grinning like a dork the rest of the morning. I'm so lucky. 2014-01-04 10.49.58As if the day couldn get any better on the drive home I found out I was being featured on the Sears website. Totally surreal to see my face up there!Sears (2)After a quick shower at my place the BF came over and took me out to grab some food. I was hangry (angry hungry) and got a wicked craving for Taco Bell so we headed there. I devoured a black bean and rice burrito and he took me over to Zaxby's. He's a regular there and has been hyping up their birthday cake milkshake as the best milkshake he's ever had. Well - he was right. #SOGOOD I made the mistake of looking up the nutritional info last week when he mentioned it to me, 1000 calories and 100 grams of sugar. So ... definitely not something I'd get regularly, but we split it (okay I had about 70%) and it was heavenly.

Sunday morning we went on our first run together - a 5k at recovery run pace.

2014-01-05 10.39.18

 

Salem was so impressed he helped BF foam roll when we got back to the house.

2014-01-05 10.48.02After a much needed stretch session we chowed down on a delicious brunch.

2014-01-05 11.15.04

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect race. I still have dreams of a sub 2 hour, but I'm wondering if that won't happen until next year. I can't imagine cutting over a minute off of my pace time within the next few months. Summer will come and there aren't any races around here because of the heat, and then I may be in marathon training mode for the Fall again. I'm still dreaming of doing a Tri, but financially that may not be feasible either. I just feel like I want to do something new!

What's the last new fitness activity you tried? What have you always wanted to try?