A very random distance, but a very good race. Last Saturday was the annual 18 mile Draggin Tail run in lovely Sunny Hills, FL. Sunny Hills is such a small town, that I could not find it on weather.com to find out what the temperature was that morning! I'm also pretty sure the only things in this town are churches and golf courses. Literally. Anyway, you could either do the race as a relay (6 miles each) or the full 18. Since we all have upcoming marathons, mostly everyone opted for the full 18.
The morning started out at a blistering 27 degrees - but at least it was sunny. The night before the race I was kind of stressing out what to wear, tights or shorts? Turtleneck or tech shirt? So I ended up rocking shorts, long sleeve tech shirt, ear warmers and visor. (hey, it was sunny and I was running 18 miles - so I figured that I would warm up!) I picked up Kelly around 6:15am and headed up to Sunny Hills. It was about a 45 min drive north of Panama City. We get the the race and met up with the rest of our training/triathlon group. Our main goal was to use this as a training run - not to push it to hard and just enjoy the run. And all of the hills that came with it.
The race was on county roads that lead through beautiful forests with rolling hills. EVERYONE was freaking out about the hills - but to be honest they where not NEARLY as bad as the Atlanta race the weekend before. Not even close! I felt like a seasoned hill runner :) Anyway - I stuck with a good 9 to 9:30 min mile pace and just cruised along. Fueling myself with GU's and water every 4-6 miles kept me going and feeling strong. I completed the race in 2:51 which was under what I was expecting! Also, everyone in our training group placed! I rocked out a 2nd in my age group which I was pretty proud of - since I took it as a training run!
To be honest - I was not sure how I would feel towards the end of the race. But I felt amazing. So in two weeks we are heading up to Huntsville, AL to run the Rocket City Marathon! What's another 8.2 miles?
On a side note - non race related - my whole family is down here at the beach for the holiday! They are in an amazing condo that overlooks the gulf right down the street from my condo. I'm so excited...that they are not staying at my place :)