Pensacola Double Bridge Run

I’m so excited to share my recap of the Double Bridge Run with you all today, especially since it’s been almost 3 months since my last race recap!

Friday I spent the day prepping for the race. I stopped by Everman’s to get some post-race treats, spent the afternoon on the couch icing my knee and eating a delicious sweet potato, then met a friend for a drink after dinner at The Wine Bar.

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Given how rarely I drink now I was worried that I may regret the one glass of wine I had when my alarm went off the next morning but I’m so glad I went out! I was so nervous about the race if I stayed at home I would have tossed and turned all night so this was the perfect way to relax. Plus, this guy is always a blast to hang out with.

Saturday morning I had my alarm set for 4:20 but woke up at 4 a.m. because I’m a nerd and was so excited about the race I apparently couldn’t sleep. I had my outfit laid out so I spent most of the hour before I left the house stretching and enjoying my usual oatmeal breakfast. I decided to rock my favorite new Old Navy top and blinged out headband from Headbands of Hope!

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I left the house at 5 a.m. to meet up with Larisa and Jennifer at the Hilton to take the bus to the start line together. It was freezing and in the rush of trying to make sure I got to the bus on time I wasn’t thinking clearly and decided to take my keys with me – epic fail. They ended up falling out of my pocket twice before I put them in my sports bra (with my gu pack) for the rest of the race. Only time in my life I felt top heavy.

The race started at the new Maritime Park:

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Gorgeous isn’t it?! Here is the official 15k course map:

Course

The race was pretty evenly split with the first 1/3 going through downtown Pensacola, followed by the 3 mile bridge, then the last 1/3 through Gulf Breeze and the Pensacola Beach bridge. At 6:45 I went to my 10 minute corral and started to get super pumped with all the incredible energy in the air!

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In the corral I bumped into some of the incredible ladies from Running Wild! I kept pace with them until the first water station where I stopped to stretch and walk for a bit. My goal for the first 1/3 of the race, until the Pensacola Bridge, was to not go to fast. With my knee still in recovery I didn’t want to go all out and potentially hurt myself again so my mindset for the day was to just run, carefully, and enjoy myself!

The worst part of the course was definitely the 3 mile bridge. Before the race I though “Wow, this will be so much fun getting to run the bridge I drive over so often!” Yeah. It wasn’t. It was just 3 miles of a bridge. The scenery was definitely gorgeous but it was hard to stay motivated, especially at the top of the ridiculous hill!

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Fortunately, I received some great advice before the race to save my energy over the bridge. I knew once I crossed into Gulf Breeze I’d have the last 1/3 of the race to go, and in many ways the most difficult part because of the on-ramp we had to run up and the hill on the second bridge. Around mile 6 I stopped at the water station to eat my GU pack and stretch for a bit. When I do my long run’s I normally walk about 20-30 seconds after every mile and I did the same for this race.

One of my friends saw this pic of me online that photographers took mid-race. I look so serious!

From PNJ

Photo from PNJ

My only pet peeves about the race were the guys spitting all over the road. Seriously gross. I was almost spit on about a dozen times. Also, the traffic on the bridge was backed up the entire course so I was inhaling fumes as I ran and started to get a bit dizzy!

The last few miles had a decent amount of people on the sidelines cheering and that definitely helped! The last 1.5 miles were pretty easy since I had taken the run so slow I had a nice amount of energy stored up. I was even able to bust out a sprint at the end! I didn’t stop my HR Monitor right away so my official race time was 1:37:06. I was thrilled!

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Isn’t the medal gorgeous? I’m so happy they decided to give medals out this year! After I crossed the finish line I wandered around in a bit of a daze for a minute, inhaling a banana and stretching.

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I made my way over to the food area (provided by Hemmingways) and got a box of red beans and rice. I initially wasn’t very interested in eating it, especially at 9 a.m., but sure enough half of that was gone by the time I made it home at 10!

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I left almost immediately after I finished and I wasn’t able to catch up with some friends I had hoped to take some pictures with but I knew I needed to get home and foam roll + ice my knee. Most of Saturday was spent on the couch watching X-Files and eating. It was glorious. I also soaked with some epsom salts and drank a ridiculous amount of water.

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That night I made up one of my favorite healthy desserts: A banana rolled up in wrap with peanut butter and drizzled with honey and cinnamon. omg.

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Overall, the race was spectacular. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone interested in it. I would even say this is a great race to travel out of town for! The course is gorgeous, the weather is perfect and it was so well organized. One of the absolute highlights of my day was having this doll recognize me from Twitter and ask to take a photo with me. #Died.

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Now that I survived a 15k my next goal is to attempt the half marathon, again. There are a few out of town I may try but I’m definitely going to do the Gulf Coast Half on April 7th!

Comments

  1. says

    This looks like an amazing race with such beautiful scenery! Congratulations on finishing with a great time and, more importantly, a pain-free knee! Woohoo!

  2. says

    Sounds like a hard and tough race! I tend to find running past cars in races a little uncomfortable because people tend to stare awkwardly. The fumes sound like a yucky part of the race! It seems like you ran a really smart race- Congrats!

    • Erica House says

      Thankfully there were 2500 people in the race so I was in the midst of a large group the whole time. I made eye contact with a few drivers but they were all pretty pissed looking since they were stuck there for a while!

  3. says

    Great job on you race! I so very much miss Pensacola! Would have loved to run this race. Often wondered what it would be like to run over those bridges! The next time I go there to visit my family, I’ll have to see what running events are happening!

    • Erica House says

      I used to hate it here but it’s been really growing on me lately. I think because I’ve finally met some incredible people in the area and have been able to travel more and get some breathing room. Feel free to hit me up if you know your coming back and I’ll let you know what events are happening!

    • Erica House says

      I don’t believe it!!! Your like, one of the biggest HLB’s out there! Well – when I finally meet you in person one day I’ll flip out and ask for your autograph ;)

    • Erica House says

      It was! When I first finished I didn’t think I’d be interested in doing it again, but I’m totally signing up for it next year.

    • Erica House says

      Thank you!! :D I’m so happy I made it. I’m going to take it easy with running this week than outline a half marathon plan to start soon. Excited!

  4. says

    Congratulations! I think I’m going to take your lead and build some walks into my long runs while I plan for my Half on May 5th. Hopefully I can get my “everything from hip to ankle” problems in my right leg sorted out by then! I generally don’t take any walking breaks – but the course has water stations every 2-3k so I think walking and catching my breath there might be a good way to break everything up.
    Glad to see your knee recovery is going so well :)

    • Erica House says

      I take absolutely no shame in factoring in walk breaks! Eventually I’d like to cut them down to every few miles so I can improve my pace time but I run because I love it, and not having a lot of pressure on myself for time helps me love it more. Keep me posted on how your training is going!

    • Erica House says

      The funniest part was running behind two guys rocking speedo’s for the first few miles. I really didn’t mean to pace myself right behind them ;)

    • Erica House says

      I had quite a few people yell ‘nice socks’ at me from the sidelines as I ran past! Didn’t want to stop and explain they were just arm-warmers and I’m to cheap to by cold weather pants (I only rock them when I’m wearing my usual capris in cold weather!)

  5. says

    I’m not a distance runner but I always enjoy the race recaps. Nice job! Headbands of Hope looks awesome, too. Thanks for the link. Gonna lurk on there a bit more…

    • Erica House says

      It’s such a great organization – I definitely recommend supporting them and their blinged out headbands!

  6. redletterDaye says

    Congratulations on the race! Did you experience a lot of knee pain during it/after, or was the icing just preventative, so to speak?

    • Erica House says

      I experienced very minor pressure around my knee area during/after the race so the ice was mostly preventative. I’ve heard from other distance runners that, once they recover from knee problems, they will ice after every long run even if they feel fine. I think I will do the same for a while. I’d much rather be extra cautious and try to avoid being out of commission for almost a month again1

  7. says

    Congrats on your finish! I am seriously impressed by that picture of you… all of my race pictures are horribly unattractive! And I totally hear you about the spitting thing. Literally 5 seconds after finishing the Marine Corps Marathon, some guy shot a snot rocket AT me. Ugh, I was so mad and did not have the energy to yell.

    • Erica House says

      I spotted the photographer in advance so I had to decide if I wanted to smile and be goofy, or go with ‘cool and composed’ … I hope it looks more the latter!
      That’s pretty effing gross about the snot rocket. I’m sure the spit is common in races but since my only race prior to this was a 5k I wasn’t quite prepared for dodging saliva bullets!

  8. says

    Glad to hear the race went well- great job! And I love to read that you don’t mind walking breaks if need be. I love running, but some days are better than others and sometimes I get down on myself or compare myself to others when I feel like I need a 30-45 second break.

    • Erica House says

      I thought I’d feel worse walking with others running by then I did. I think the thought of “someone may be wondering why I’m in this race since I’m walking 2 miles in” crossed my mind once and then I saw so many others stopping and walking I realized I wasn’t the only one, by far!

    • Erica House says

      I love some running swag now! I think the reason I may make the half marathon my regular distance (as opposed to 10k) is just for the medal ;)

  9. says

    Well done!! So glad your knee held out for you. I’m having a little trouble with mine at the moment but started foam rolling which seems to have helped!
    I’m running my first half April 7th too!! Rock n roll San Francisco!

    • Erica House says

      Ohhhh I’m so jealous! I want to do a RNR at some point and San Francisco is one of my dream cities I’d love to visit!

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