Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lake Minneola Half Marathon Recap

Hey, guys!  Joe and I have had a busy but fun weekend, and I look forward to telling y'all about it tomorrow.

Today, I wanted to recap the Lake Minneola Half Marathon from Saturday.  I was nervous about the race, since I hadn't gotten in any long training run beforehand.  I adjusted my goals because of that and planned to run a 3-minute run/1-minute walk intervals.

The race started at 7am and was in Clermont, FL.  I got up really early to make the drive in time to get my packet before the race start.  When I parked and walked up to the registration table, there was a really long line.  I also needed to go to the bathroom and got nervous about getting to the start on time.  Luckily, they opened up some other lines, so I got my packet and took everything back to the car.

I skipped the long bathroom line and went on to the start line.  Luckily, there were some porta-potties near the start.  They delayed the race a little because of all the people still arriving, so I was able to begin when I was supposed to.  The view from the line was beautiful!
I started the race by running the first mile.  It was pretty hot and humid already (70 degrees at 7am!), and I was already quite sweaty one mile in!  After that, I started my run-walk intervals.

The course started around Lake Minneola, then took us on an out-and-back route down a bike path nearby.  It was mostly shaded, making for an enjoyable run!  While we were on the bike path, there were some pretty big hills.  I had no idea there were hills in Florida, but apparently Clermont is full of them!  This part of the race lasted until mile 6.5 before heading back to the lake.

That part of the race lasted until mile 6.5 before heading back to the lake.  We ran on a residential road to continued all the way around the lake.  This was a really pretty route, with great views of the water, beautiful trees canopying the road, and nice houses to look at.  I kept thinking that the lake looked so big, but the whole way around was about 6 miles!
Throughout the entire race, I was feeling great.  The run-walk intervals really helped my mental race.  Knowing I could walk in 3 minutes, I would push myself a little to run a bit faster.  Looking at my time throughout the race, I knew I was doing well and on my way to a PR if things kept going well.

Around mile 10 was when I started hitting a little bit of a mental wall.  I kept telling myself to just focus on getting to the next mile, which worked for me.  Once I got to the mile 12 marker, I got a great energy boost and ran the rest of the race after the 12.6 mile mark.  This was the first time that I was able to actually sprint to the finish, since I had plenty of energy after running intervals throughout the race.  My official finish time:
2:24:02 (11:00 minutes/mile pace)!  A new half marathon PR!!
I was really NOT expecting that, but I can definitely attribute that to the run/walk intervals.  I knew I wasn't properly trained to run the whole time, but the walking intervals definitely helped me stay rested and keep injury-free.  My buddy Jeff Galloway would be proud of me for PRing with his run/walk method :)
I think two other things helped me perform well in this race, despite the lack of regular training.  First, I've been more focused on strength training over the last two months.  This helped me get my PR at RnR Virginia Beach, and it helped me once more this race.  Second, bikram yoga has helped increase my lung capacity.  There's a breathing exercise at the beginning of the practice where you focus on deep breathing.  They always say it helps increase lung capacity, and I've definitely noticed this during the practice.  I'm able to breath deeper than I was when I first started, which I'm sure makes a difference when I'm running.  Plus, I'm sure the regular walking intervals helped a lot!

There was a fitness expo after the race, and I enjoyed some of the post-race food
and the mist tent--perfect for such a hot day!
Overall, this was a fun race.  It was a good small race with lovely views throughout the entire course.  I would recommend that they get some more help during registration in the morning and also not advertise the course as "flat" considering the hills during the first half of the race.  I really enjoyed running this race and was so excited about the PR!

Question for you: What was something unexpected that happened to you this weekend?


  1. Great race girl!!!! I had no idea there were hills in FL either. ;)

  2. Congrats on running a great race and setting a new PR! I love doing run/walk intervals :)