Sunday, December 11, 2016

Panama City Beach Half Marathon


Panama City Beach happened December 3rd, and was half marathon #12 👣 for me. It was part of an epic girls weekend! I have run some fun races, but this one will shine in my mind because it was such a unique experience. 


By now, I  bet a lot of you have seen the pics on Instagram and other posts but I wanted to add a few anyway. 

Tricia, Wendy, me, Marcia, Holly, Darlene, Judy behind the bench :)


and this pic has the beautiful Mary Beth on the end by Wendy :)


Typically at a race, I am fortunate if I know even one person who is running…
To meet up with 7 blogger friends was incredible.

I woke up and ate two bananas (thank you Holly) and got ready to roll with the rest of the ladies. We were five minutes from the start line so travel was easy, and I did my usual craziness and made about 10 trips to the restroom total before we started.


This was actually after the race...

It was so nice walking to the start to have friends to chat with; usually my nerves are making me melt down before a race. I did feel slightly nervous, but I had already resolved to roll with whatever happened, so I was in way better shape mentally than usual. I mean how I could not feel happy!? I was there courtesy of a very ❤ gracious host, meeting seven incredible beautiful women who love to run as much as I do, staring at beautiful blue water, white sand, and the weather was so crazy amazing! It was cloudy but not dreary, cool in the 50’s, very low humidity, it was breezy, and it is a flat course! Not that I run mountains at all, but it is certainly not super flat on a lot of my routes, so the flat is a novelty for me.








I was in heaven! Dream race conditions are hard to come by. I wish I could have been in shape to really capitalize on it, but I have been struggling to recover since I ran my marathon, Nov. 12th. I had one decent run on Thanksgiving that was 8 miles, and have not had a successful run since. I attempted to run a few times before the race and always ended walking because my legs hurt so much. Recovery has been a slow process for me, it just has.

By the time we lined up, I was hoping my legs wouldn’t hurt and I could at least run a little in the beginning with my buds. I planned to start intervals a few miles in, I knew that was my best plan for a fun race. Intervals help with my lack of training the past month and help the pain level in my feet…well, foot, it is really my right foot making most of the noise now. I had my watch set for 3 min run/40 sec walk.

Being on an out and back course with 7 friends to look for was a huge part of the fun for me!
I was excited about this before we started running. 


We took off and my legs felt great!! Cue, the choir....🎶Ahhhhhhhhh! I was so happy, I was soaking up the breeze, enjoying finally getting to run, and I was able to be near Holly and Darlene…maybe a mile or so. I loved the beginning miles of the course, I could see the ocean! 

I was moving a little faster than I should due to all the excitement, and I knew I needed to rein it in and do my own thing so I could get to the end. I started my intervals after mile two and enjoyed looking at the water.

Somewhere around mile 3ish I saw Tricia and Mary Beth running and chatting away, looking strong and steady.

I just kept plugging away at the miles. When the runners who had already turned on the course started to pass by me, I entertained myself waiting to see each person I knew so I could hoot and cheer! 

The great thing about the out and back – it doesn’t matter who is front or behind you, you know at some point you will see them on one side, or the other. The excitement started about  mile 7 (the turnaround) I hooted at each person loudly!!! 🙌🙌🙌 And was able to high five Holly as she flew by! I wish I was in shape to chase Holly, but I am just not there right now. Judy passed me when we had palm trees in between us, but we spotted each other and started fist pumping. I realized she was also on PR pace! I was so excited knowing it was going to be a good day for several of the ladies. 

I love the halfway point in a half marathon, unlike that darn marathon, you know you are really on your way to being done! I still felt really good, so I tried to pick it up for a bit.

About mile 9ish I heard my name…it was a gal I had met the night before at Starbucks from Instagram a few of the ladies knew. I was floored she recognized me with my hair up, in a visor, all sweaty…
         Tricia, Holly, and Jodi

We chatted for a bit, she is the sweetest…and she introduced me to a few more runners from Instagram who were nearby. I love the gals I met from Tennessee, I could tell they would be a bunch of fun.

Mile 11 was the first real stab of pain I felt in my foot. I tried to walk slowly and let it calm down. I really wanted to skip my intervals the last few miles, I could see Darlene ahead of me and really wanted to try to catch her, but my foot was not really cooperating, so I kept my interval rhythm up until the end. About a half mile out, I tried to pick up the pace and I was right near Mary Beth and Tricia, and I remember being so impressed with their strength… both ladies were working on a shiny new PR . 


I remember as we were approaching the finish line, I could hear the music and the cheers as folks were coming in, and saying, “Speed worktime!”  Tricia gunned it with me…and in we came very close together.



Overall, I was tickled my leg muscles held up so well while I ran, I felt content with my finish time and my effort. I really gave it all I had, and I felt so blessed to have the weather we did. The one and only thing that was a little tough for me was lack of Gatorade or Powerade (whatever they were supplying)  at the stops. I do notice drinking plain water makes me feel a little wonky. I do better with some electrolytes, but I didn't carry my own hydration, I decided to rely on course support so that's on me...

After the race we headed to get our free beer…I took a cup and asked how will they know we picked ours up, there were no tickets…and someone says it is unlimited…What??!!😛 SO I hung around chattering to the TN gals and Jodi for quite a while, then I found I found my girls and the fun just kept going and going and somehow we ended up in karaoke bar (yes, there was showering in between) LOL and what happens at the beach stays at the beach. 🙈🙉🙊




I also got an ab workout from laughing …just sayin’

There is so much more I could say, I could write a 10 page paper probably, but it was truly a very unique experience, that gave me some wonderful memories I will always treasure.💗






 ðŸ’š Thank you Holly! 






#NeverGiveUp - Thank you Wendy 💗

Thanks for reading my recap! I hope you have a fabulous week :) 

Can’t get enough of this weekend? Want to see more, check out the others recap’s right here!
Karen 

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap!


Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  

46 comments:

  1. What a great recap! It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I got to spend it with you! Looking forward to more in the future.

    PS Those gals from Tennessee were FUN!

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    1. Thanks Wendy :) I enjoyed it all and I am glad you were there!
      Those TN gals were fun, maybe we'll meet again lol

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  2. I'm so glad you had a good race and the time of your life hanging with your blog pals in Florida! You captured your excitement perfectly. Do you always go to the bathroom ten times before a race? I do!!

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    1. Thanks, it was so much fun.
      Yes, I am ridiculous, I even have a billion bathroom breaks at the gym before and during a workout - I get sick of going!

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  3. Sorry to read your feet are hurting and recovery is long, but look at the bright side.... what an amazing experience and weekend you had. Spending time with all those lovely ladies would be better than any perfect race or PR for me. So glad you got to enjoy it !

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    1. I always have foot pain, but I try to never let it hold me back! I just work around it.
      It was a wonderful experience and if I had to walk the whole race I would have been fine lol

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  4. It sounds and looks like you had an amazing time! Congrats on your race! I'm sorry to hear about your foot pain, ugh...but it had to be fun running with your friends and making new friends too!

    Your photos are fantastic! Man I would love that weather right about now, haha!

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    1. Thank you, I had a blast!! No worries, about the foot pain, I just try to work with it now and enjoy myself.
      The weather was very nice lol as it is bitter cold here...
      It was great to meet from new friends, I hope to see them again soon. Fitness oriented friends are the best!

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  5. What an amazing weekend! I so wish I could have been there ;-) Your finish time is pretty amazing considering the struggles you were having towards the end. Good job!

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    1. I wish you could've too!
      Thanks, I try to roll with what day holds and always do the best I can in a race :) That was all i had that day!

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  6. I know you're struggling, but you are still sure speedy! It was great to share a room with you & meet everyone!

    All we can ever do is our best & you should be proud!

    I need those memories as the snowplow comes around . . . again. :(

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    1. Thanks, Judy :) I do struggle, but you know I still really enjoy myself. I gave it all I had! I really enjoyed rooming with you :)
      Ugh...snow. It is cold here but no snow, I don't envy you.

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  7. It's so much fun to see all these pics and relive those wonderful memories. I'm so glad you had a great race despite the ornery foot. Looking forward to next time! :D

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    1. It was so much fun :) Loved getting to hangout with everyone!
      Cranky foot and all, I still really enjoyed the race, it is just part of it now. I won't let it keep me from having fun.

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  8. Loved your recap Felt like I was t here.

    Oh wait I was LOL.

    And it was a great experience . The Best.

    Glad I got to meet to you and hope to run with you again. You'll probably beat me.

    Not looking forward to running in the snow this week :(

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    1. I loved meeting you and hanging out - I wish it was easier for us to get together!
      I am sure I won't beat ya ;)
      I don't blame you a bit...I am not a fan of snow running :/ take it easy!

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  9. I've actually LOVED reading each of these Panama City Half posts from you guys. It's interesting how you all mention some of the same things about the weekend, but each have your own race perspective. I ran an out & back 5K yesterday & I loved being able to cheer for my super speedy friend. Usually I don't get to see her race - but an out an back let me cheer her on. She won 1st overall female!

    A racecation like this with blogging buddies is the way to go for sure!

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    1. I was so happy when I took off that nothing ached, I was good to go. This was a whistling and skipping kind of feeling race for me :)
      That is great she won overall female! The out back is great with friends, I have never ever had that kind of experience before. It was the best!

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  10. I am so super jealous of this post! ;) In the best way possible.
    Love you all were together. How fun!!!!
    & a bellyache from laughing? THE BEST kind of ache there is!!!
    So glad you have a wonderful time together!

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    1. Thank you :)
      It was such a unique experience to meet and run with so many friends and to be able to hang out was a gift! Life is too short not to be silly and laugh :)

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  11. Congratulations on a great race!! That looked like a really fun weekend!! To see and know so many people at the race makes it so much more fun!

    How is your foot feeling now?

    People in Florida make me laugh with their light up palm trees!! They are so awesome!

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    1. The palm trees look amazing with lights, I was kind of dazzled by them lol
      Thank you Ana, I felt so good for most of the race - it made it a very happy one for me.
      My feet usually calm down in few days from a long run. I can make it 8-9 miles without too much discomfort, but once I cross that threshold they hurt- that is why i do intervals. I am afraid I would end up injured again if I just ran that long.

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  12. Sounds like the best weekend! Congrats on running a half so soon after your full.

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    1. Thank you Clarinda :) The crazy thing is I really wanted to run a half the weekend before, but my legs would have none of that! I feel blessed this went so well.

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  13. Congrats on finishing your 12th half marathon! Now we'd better both rest a bit, right?! Well, unless some fun race comes up soon!

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  14. foot pain is the worst for sure! Way to finish though. So jealous of all your pics all weekend. What a great group of ladies

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  15. Sounds like such a fun race weekend! At least your foot did well for most of the race. Hope you are recovering well!

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    1. Too much fun! I am feeling pretty good, just trying to be patient while a few aches clear up :)

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  16. Congrats on the race! I followed you girls all weekend on IG and it looked like a blast!

    I love the fuzzy sock pic!

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  17. What a fun time you ladies had! That is wonderful. And you did great on your race, Karen! I am glad your feet and your legs held up for you and hopefully this will help you to continue on the recovery path so you can start training for your next race!

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    1. It was really a rare experience for me, I loved it. I am trying to be patient and let some aches clear up, I do have Jan. and Feb. plans lol hopefully, I can get back a regular routine soon :)

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  18. This all looks like such an amazing time and what a fun group of ladies to get to do this with! Sounds like a great race to run other than not having Power or Gatorade along the way, but lots of free beer at the end is awesome!

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    1. It was really an amazing time. It is a great race!
      the free beer - omg, I look at my watch and it was 11:30 a.m.and I feel like I've been partying all day LOL

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  19. I've really enjoyed each and every one of you ladies' #holottafun recaps! And 2:11 is a fabulous finish time for someone who wasn't at their "best" ...congratulations! I've got a half coming up next month which I have not and can not train for due to my tendonitis in my ankle ...I've thought about either dropping down to the 10k or pressing on with the half by doing intervals. However; I've never done intervals. Any tips? Best app for doing this?

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    1. Awwww thanks!
      During training I experimented with a lot of different intervals 4 x 1, 3x 1, 3 x 40 seconds, 4 x 30...you get the idea lol I found that the short breaks really make a huge difference in how fatigued I feel especially when it is hot. I have a Garmin I can program times into and it beeps and vibrates, but I also carry a gymboss (timer) I clip to my bra and have it set to beep and vibrate. Intervals are so much easier if you can just follow a beep and not have to look at a watch. I usually do a mile warm up then begin my intervals. Try it!! You will be amazed!
      I have never used a phone app.

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  20. Reading your recap put my right smack in the middle of the fun filled weekend again! Ahhh I so don't want the memories to fade either. I am so very glad you had a good race. You are in a much better position than you give yourself credit for, I mean you just finished a marathon girly! That right there is amazing!
    It was super nice to meet you finally in person, you are a delight and I so wish I lived closer to you, we would have a ball!

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    1. It was a truly wonderful experience! I will treasure the memories.
      Sometimes it is hard to do intervals when everyone else is running, but I like being there and being part of the fun and I still feel accomplished when I finish a race!
      I loved spending time with you and really appreciated you picking me up!! I wish I closer too.

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  21. The weekend was definitely full of laughter! OMG -- what I wouldn't give for a doughnut too. Or a massive hush puppy. I thought I drank Gatorade at some of the stops and water at others so I didn't know the Gatorade was missing? I was taking GU as well, and salt. This trip was better than I could ever have dreamed, yes even with those stupid obnoxious sand spurs. And, I'm so happy I could spend time with my favorite travel buddy on the way home too. Thanks for linking, Karen.

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    1. It was full of laughter for sure :)
      I did have Gatorade a few times, but especially after we turned on the course, I kept asking for it and they just had water. I was fine though, but I learned a lesson lol
      I did not bring a thing with me!
      I appreciate the invite, the ride, and all the laughter and fun so much! xoxo It was wonderful to spend time with you.

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  22. What a fun trip and a great treat! I am happy your legs held up and hope they are still feeling good!

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  23. It sounds like you had a really good race for the most part, and it's so awesome you got to meet and spend time with so many blogger friends!! That would definitely be a highlight of any race!

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    1. I really did love it! I was happy my legs felt good for the day, happy legs have been hard to come by lately! Being able to actually hang out was a highlight for sure.

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