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Race recap: Brazen Hellyer Half Marathon

I have done back-to-back long races only one other time, and that was back in July when I was in much better shape from marathon training. Also, there was a full week in between (Saturday to Sunday).

Today? Second half marathon in LESS than a week. (Ran on Sunday, and today is Saturday.) Oi.

Ouch. Owie. ALL THE HURTS.

All things considered though, I still finished with my second fastest HM time ever (2:59:04 - hey, I wanted to go under three!). What a difference the climate makes, right? It was still kind of warm for my liking, and I spent a good portion of the race course in direct sunlight, but Florida was just frickin' brutal. I bet if I hadn't run this past Sunday, I'd have done even better today. (I <3 Bay Area running.)

The first two miles were probably the worst. It's like every possible thing that could hurt was hurting - my ankle, my knee, my shins, my calves, my quads. "NOOOO STOP WHAT ARE YOU DOING??" screamed my legs. I had to stop briefly to tighten my shoe laces (which made a lot of things better), and while it never got EASY, I managed to push through at a solid pace.

The last three miles felt like six. I seriously swear, after I passed the mile 12 sign, it took me a billion years to finish the last mile. My calves were crampy for the last two miles, so I started splitting my intervals (I normally do a 3/1, but I started walking the second minute, so it ended up being a 1/1 instead) and thankfully I crossed the finish line without limping or dying, unlike the Princess Half, where I could barely walk.

After picking up my medal bag, I made a beeline for the refreshments (the best part!), and then all was well with the world:

So yeah. That's all. I've got one more back-to-back in May (Brazen's Western Pacific and Mermaid Run East Bay, both of which are in the exact same place). My next race is in two weeks - Badger Cove. It's one of those scary trail ones. I plan to do the early hikers' start because I expect to take about a year and a half to finish it. It's part of the Brazen Ultra Half series.

A couple more pics:

The walk from the parking lot. Isn't that lovely? It's not SO crazy for me to want to be here doing this, right?
Me and Michael, who did the 10k. This is probably the only picture where I don't look like I'm dying.