The organizers of the Best Damn Race series held the inaugural Best Damn Race Cape Coral on Sunday. This was my first out-of-town race experience. I was joined on this venture by my friend Sam, who was running the half as well and it was her first half at that!
Sam, our friend Danny and I drove down on Saturday afternoon. The car ride was fairly smooth and we arrived at the expo site with plenty of time and daylight to explore the general area and scout parking ideas for the morning. In the evening I had opted to carb load with a steak and potato meal at Applebees. I had this meal, in general, for my 12 mile training run and felt it worked better than my typical chicken and pasta.
The morning of the race, the temperature read 48 degrees. I wore my Nike tights and teal Adidas long sleeve shirt, with my Procompression calf sleeves under my tights. I debated wearing additional layers to keep me warm, but then decided against as the weather was going to warm up to 54 degrees by 8am and I knew my internal body temp would warm up an additional 10 degrees.
Parking was very smooth. We were able to get front row parking in the lot next to the expo as well as the start and finish chute. This worked in our favor as we were able to stay in the heated car just a little bit longer 😉
The full and half marathon groups both started at 6:45am with the 5k at 7:05am. The course was relatively flat and smooth. I started off the first mile feeling pretty good. I had decided to wear the pacing bracelet that was included in with my training kit from RunFit365 to help keep me on track towards my PR.
As I approached the mile 1 marker I looked at my watch and had a pace time of 10:50, I continued to maintain a pace well under 11:00 for 4 miles where I caught up with the 2:30 Pace Group. I stuck with them for a mile or two and had to break away as my asthma started to act up shortly after 6.5 miles in. I took a quarter mile to walk off the attack and went into run/walk mode for the remainder of the race. I was doing really well maintaining my splits well under the pace break down per mile.
Come mile 13 my legs were on fire, I slowed to a walk again to text my friend Danny asking him to bring some ibuprofen with him to the finish area. As I rounded the corner to the finish chute I kicked it in to high gear and tried to sprint it out with whatever remaining energy I had left. I was 50 feet away when I started to feel cramping in my calf muscles, concerned my legs were going to give out right before me, I slowed a bit and tried not to think about it with the finish right in front of me. I crossed with a time of 02:32:43…I had shed just over 5 minutes off my previous time! The course was over by a 10th of a mile but I managed an overall pace time of 11:34/mile.
What road trip/half marathon isn’t complete with out a breakfast from Cracker Barrel?!
Now it’s time for a weeks worth of rest and to recoup before kicking it into gear for the Disney’s Glass Slipper Challenge as part of the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February.