Sunday, December 11, 2016

PCB Race Recap (WW #71)

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4 WEEKS and COUNTING

My Week At A Glance:

M   Rest
T    Ran
W   Ran 8
T    Rest
F    Ran 6
S    Ran 5
S    Ran 18

Total = 43 Miles !!






Ho Lotta Fun Weekend
Panama City Beach Half Marathon Recap


Back this Winter, I threw the idea of running the Panama City Beach Half Marathon out to a handful of fellow bloggers.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think they would all want to come and run with little ol' me!  I truly felt honored and privileged.  I also tossed the idea out to everyone who linked on the Weekly Wrap.  Sadly,  there were no other takers.

Judy, Darlene, Me, Tricia and Karen -- SO EXCITED to be in FL!
The first of our ladies (pictured above) arrived on Thursday evening just after an incredible sunset.  We dined at Shades and Mary Beth joined our crew just before bedtime.  Did we go to bed?  Eventually...there was so much to be said!  Friday morning, we walked a 1/2 mile down the beach to famous Thomas' Donuts (just...OMG).  We went for a nice mid-morning beach stroll, and lunched right on the water at Schooners


Our view at lunch!

Then it was time for the Chicago ladies (Marcia and Wendy) to arrive!

Front L:  Marcia, Karen, Wendy, Me with Tricia in front          Back L: Judy, Mary Beth and Darlene  
The gang's all here!       (I think someone said "pose"!)


After an easy packet pickup (no expo) we ate at Brick Oven Pizza Friday night.  Saturday morning, Marcia led us in a pre-race warm up before leaving the house.  The race was all of 5 minutes away.  Parking?  You couldn't get closer.  Some ladies visited Margaritaville for real restrooms before the start.

The entire race crowd is just around that curve waiting at the start line.

The weather was nearly ideal.  I've run this race several times before it was re-branded as the Panama City Beach Marathon/Half.  It was a little breezy, but I'll take that over the prior years of extreme humidity, heat, and dense fog.  The course started and ended in beautiful Pier Park running right along the coast where you had nice ocean views (well, when not blocked by condos). 

Wendy brought us Momentum bracelets that said NEVER GIVE UP.

I started out with Karen and Darlene but quickly realized I wasn't running my own race.  I dropped back for a while.  Going out too fast is suicide for me.  Being in the middle of marathon training, and especially after two16 milers the previous week, I had zero expectations.  I was tired right from the first step and fully expected to be.  The wind was a bit of a struggle, but I've run in much worse.  

The turnaround was a fun distraction as I watched for Wendy who I knew was out in front and then the other ladies after I made the turn.  Everyone seemed right behind me.  {Pick it up Ho!}   I got them all high-fived except Judy -- there was a median between us -- and I didn't see Marcia who I knew was favoring an injured hamstring.


I eventually spotted Wendy way up ahead and assumed she was struggling.   I patiently worked to close the gap.  It took me a couple of miles but I caught up to her while she was taking a picture with a huge monkey at the retro 60's Goofy Golf. [The monkey's long tail swings back and forth to foil your putting attempt!]   This struck me as funny (sorry Wendy!)   Indeed, she said she was struggling and we ran together for a bit.  She dropped back and I ran ahead.  Then feeling light headed, I dropped back.  She surged ahead with an awesome second wind.  It was fun using her as my rabbit and she definitely helped me negative split the race.  My last mile was the fastest.  I'm thrilled when that happens.  Our official times were 22 seconds apart.  I gave it everything I had and was completely satisfied. 

Official Time =  2:04:00    (Toothless at the finish as usual...)

A huge thanks to my favorite rabbit!

Wendy, Marcia and I cheered loudly as the other ladies arrived.  Darlene won first in her age group. Karen had a fantastic race (after a very recent marathon no less).  You may remember I coached Tricia this fall.  Her initial goal was to PR in the half distance.  She came mighty close in her last very hilly half.  This time?  She nailed it!  I was so proud.  Mary Beth and Judy also had incredible PRs.  Overall,  I think you can say it was a great day!

You can't go to Margaritaville without visiting the gift shop!

After enjoying Margaritaville's after party we ate lunch at The Back Porch, sitting outside so we could cheer for the marathon finishers.  We returned to the house and played on the beach, took countless photos, and just sunned, gabbed and chilled on the deck for a while.  Later, we went to Shuck 'Ems for dinner.  It's a dive of an very casual oyster bar with dollar bills completely covering the ceilings and walls.  We thoroughly enjoyed great seafood (only Mary Beth and I ate oysters), awesome baseball sized hush puppies, and a fun night of karaoke. {Low Rent = Good Times}  In true we-just-ran-a-half-marathon fashion, we were home by 9:30!


Of course, we hit up the doughnut shop again for refueling the next morning.  There was more beach strolling, frolicking, yoga, and more pictures.  Darlene, Karen and I went for a short recovery run (walk).

This was a very warm and humid run!

We lunched beachside at Pineapple Willy's.  That evening, the remaining crew did a little shopping at Pier Park and dined at Pompano Joe's.  I think we were their only patrons! 



It was an incredible weekend connecting with other runners.  We may all be on different journeys, have different goals, different interests and even different personalities -- but this crazy running thing bonds us together in a way nothing else could.  There were so many wonderful memories of the trip, it's impossible to mention them all.  I'll just post a few extra pictures.


Comparing notes
Me, Wendy





















Coach Ho is so proud of Tricia!

Darlene, Me

















Thanks to Tricia for helping me host this event!









Hush puppies to die for!


















Karen, Me  (What is going on?)
Those beautiful sugar sands!

















And that's a wrap!


Do you like oysters?  How about Karaoke?

Have you participated in a girls running weekend?



79 comments:

  1. I will chase you down anytime! Seriously, I absolutely loved this weekend. I cannot wait to get together with you again. Next time will be waterskiing, right? Love you so much!

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    1. Absolutely. We can double up and do that together. What fun that will be! We'll need a photographer in the boat for that one.

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  2. Congrats on a great race! Isn't it the best having a rabbit-friend to chase during a race? Not to sound like a broken record, but it sounds like you all had so much fun!

    To answer your questions: I do most seafood, but not oysters or mussels... I will never put anyone through the trauma of listening to me sing karaoke! I've done several boys and just me race weekends where I was the only girl. In fact my last Boston was a guys and Deb weekend. I've also gone on several race weekends with just one other girlfriend and then last year I enjoyed an overnight in Annapolis for the ZOOMA Half with a group of girlfriends.

    Thank you for the linkup!

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    1. I've had mussels only once (in the V.I. and served with black linguine) and they were very good. It's not something I see on local menus though. The music was pretty loud and thankfully you couldn't really hear our voices. And luckily the restaurant was not crowded either. LOL.

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  3. I do love chasing a rabbit -- it always helps! Hosting, even when it's a paper plates affair, is tiring. Not to mention marathon training . . . I actually do like oysters (not raw, though, which is kind of weird considering my love of sushi).

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    1. I can only eat a few raw. My favorite is Rockefeller, baked with spinach and cheese, and that's the way I ate them that night. So good!

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  4. It was a great race and a stellar weekend, thanks to our gracious hostess! So many great memories (and sand spurs) I am still smiling from ear to ear!

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    1. My car is still full of sand spurs. I need to do something about that ... like have someone else wash and vacuum. HA.

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  5. Sounds like such a fun race with a great group of women! Isn't it amazing how the blog world can bring you all together? Looks like some fun times!

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    1. It truly feels like you already know them. There's definitely a commonality and running themed conversations that never end!

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  6. Love seeing all the pics- looks like such a fun weekend and a great race! I would really like to be back in Florida right about now...

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    1. It certainly is a nice place to visit this time of year. There is just something about the beach...

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  7. Loved seeing all of your photos of your amazing weekend! What a great group of ladies

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    1. I felt truly honored to spend time with each of these ladies. And they were such good sports about the small cottage, excessive sand spurs, etc.

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  8. This looks like so much fun! I've always wanted to get a group together and do a racecation. I did a small one with one of my friends (just the two of us) to Disney this year for Wine & Dine, but more people would be even more fun! Congrats on running a good race and for that last mile being the fastest mile. Love it when that happens!

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    1. I've yet to do Wine & Dine but I know I certainly would enjoy that one. Tricia and I have done a few together and we always have fun too!

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  9. This looked like such a awesome time for all of you. I wish I could have been there....it would have been just the little pick me up (in a most grandiose way!) from my post-Route 66 slump. Next time ?

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    1. I'll definitely put you on the list! What a nice weather change it would be for you this time of year as well. You can't go wrong with the beach.

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  10. Oh my gosh it just looks like you all had so much fun! It's been for-ever since I've had a girls' weekend - so good for the soul!

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    1. It is a lot of fun to connect with other strong women who "get" this crazy running obsession. Trust me, there was NO shortage of conversation over the four day weekend.

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    1. Even though I had met a few of these ladies this year, it was nice spending time getting to know them.

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  12. I love oysters ans karaoke! I've never done a girls running weekend but it looks like fun. Way to go in the negative splits!

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    1. If I can negative split, it makes me feel so much better about a race -- no matter what the clock says.

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  13. Girls weekends are so much fun- and I love blogger meet ups! I've gotten to do a few of them. It's amazing how bloggers can feel like old friends even if you've never met before.

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    1. Yes -- it feels like meeting up with old friends. Funny, I didn't find it awkward at all! There was certainly no lack of conversation!

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  14. Holy moly you crushed it this week! How are running all the miles!? I am hoping I can get there again. I love this recap! I really do wish I was in shape to chase you, it helps me tremendously to have a rabbit lol
    I can't thank you enough for everything. It was so much fun.
    I mentioned in my recap how strong MB and Tricia ran, I wish I could have run with them too! I just have to do my thing right now and steady running isn't it.
    The pic of you and Wendy is beautiful :)

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    1. I actually added an extra day of running in this training cycle since I wasn't getting as much cross training as my last cycle during the summer. We'll see how that plays out. I can't wait to run with you again!

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  15. What a fantastic weekend! All of you did so great! and had so much fun too!

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    1. As a whole, I do think we were happy with our efforts. I hope everyone came home with a few happy and fun memories.

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  16. I had my first girl's race weekend this spring in Nashville and loved it. We've planned another for next spring and we've since met up for local 5ks and such. It's really great to have friends that GET IT when it comes to talking about / loving running. Plus, they all like to have a good time to celebrate! Great job on your race last week and the high milage this week! Impressive!

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    1. Nashville is such a fun city to spend time in! I can see how a girls trip there would be a HOOT.

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  17. Oh wow such high mileage for the week! I so admire you! Congrats on a great race, I loved seeing all of your photos, there's something about getting together with your fellow running bloggers that is just special! Glad you all had fun :)

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    1. I was really sweating the weather on this race. I'm used to the humidity but knew some of the northern girls may not be. Thankfully, we lucked out with a nice low humidity, cool temp day!

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  18. This sounds like a wonderful weekend. I'm sorry I missed the post with the invite!

    The baseball size hushpuppies sound interesting.

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    1. I don't know why this restaurant makes them so big. But, they are exceptional. You could just eat a couple and make a meal out of it.

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  19. Sounds like such a fantastic weekend and race! :-)

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    1. Well, we did have to overlook a few snafus -- like the zillion sand spurs that were tracked into the house. The girls were great sports about that.

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  20. Looks like you all had so much fun! Wish I'd been able to join you all - one of these days I'll have the time to do meet ups again. (Probably not until I stop spending all my money on my 50 state pursuit...)

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    1. You've really knocked a lot of states off of your list in a short about of time. Very impressive!

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  21. Congrats on the negative split race! So cool you all got together to race! Love your pics! Great miles last week too!!

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    1. I knew it wouldn't be a very speedy race for me, but I was pleased with my effort and the finish time.

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  22. Looks like such an amazing time! Love your zebra skirt and all the great blogger friends you got to meet up with. Sounds like you all had a blast and rocked the race and the town. Plus it looks so much warmer there than here right now :)

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    1. That zebra skirt is my favorite and also a gift several years ago from my sister. It did get quite warm during the day, but thankfully at race time it was ideal.

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  23. I loove that last picture of the medal! And everyone's Momentum Jewelry bracelets! What a fun time :)

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  24. I kept waiting for a picture of those amazing donuts! What an awesome trip/race! I wish I could get a fun group like that together! A great experience :)

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    1. I usually don't take pictures of my food. I just get busy eating it. LOL. The other bloggers ladies took pictures of the doughnuts, however.

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  25. Oysters are okay, but I LOVE me some hush puppies. :)

    I've never done a running weekend quite like that, but I'm organizing a team for Ragnar PA this coming year, and I'm thinking that'll be a blast. Most of the folks joining are a part of my local running group!

    I'm envious you organized it all, and it seems to have all gone off without a hitch!

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    1. You would have been in heaven with these hush puppies! How fun to be organizing a Ragnar team. That will be a blast. Also, it's on my bucket list.

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  26. It looks like you had a really amazing trip and race! I love that it was a girls weekend and that so many people set new PRs. Those beach pics and the medal are very pretty, too.

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    1. I felt truly blessed that these ladies wanted to come and run with me. Overall, we were happy with our results and some of those PRs were HUGE! I think the medal is very nice.

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  27. You were the best hostess. I hope you invite us all again. I had the best time.

    Love all your pics!!

    You are going to rock your marathon. I can feel it!!

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    1. Awwww shucks. I knew if I kept the coffee flowing, we'd be OK. LOL. We had some pretty darned good food too. That helps.

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  28. That sounds like an AMAZING weekend! I am not a fan of oysters, but I do love Karaoke! I traveled to Chicago to cheer on a girlfriend running the marathon and we ran the International 5K that weekend together!

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    1. I'm grateful the restaurant wasn't too crowded the night we did Karaoke. I'm sure we were pretty obnoxious. LOL. But boy, it was fun -- so we didn't care what the others thought.

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  29. This looks and sounds like such a fun race weekend! I love meeting up with fellow running friends or blogging friends for weekend races. I have a big one coming up that I'm currently training for in February and I can't wait for that weekend to get here!

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  30. What a fun weekend!! Thank you for sharing more pictures!! It would be awesome to run with all of you someday!!

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    1. It would be a dream for me to make this a really big event, with unlimited participation. How cool would it be to meet lots of other blogger friends? I think I may need some sponsors to help me out though.

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  31. This looks AMAZING! I love bloggers getting together like this. I'll have to keep an eye out for the next big event!

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    1. I hope we can put together another one next year!

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  32. That sounds like such a great weekend! I love the look of that teal colored drink. :)

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    1. I'm not even sure what that was. We just thought it was pretty!

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  33. An absolutely beautiful weekend... and I'm not referring to the weather! I soooo want to be included in the next blogger get-to-gather!

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    1. Wouldn't it be fun for a HoLottaUs to get together? I think we've decided the next one will have to be on a much bigger scale.

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  34. Looks like so much fun! Love that running brings people together! Great job on your half marathon! Excited for you marathon coming up!

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    1. I'm ready to enjoy this marathon and a trip to Disney.

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  35. What a fun group of ladies :) Great race recap!! I love oysters but only ones that come from reallllly cold water (aka from PNW/Canada)!

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    1. I bet those cold water oysters taste nothing like our warm water Gulf oysters. I'd really love to try one!

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  36. Loved the recap!!! They always say pictures are worth a thousand words so it looks like you ladies wrote quite the novel! So glad you were able to to have the blogger get together and have a complete blast!!!!
    Loved all the pictures btw! They are all priceless!

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    1. There was definitely not a shortage of picture taking between the eight of us. We tried to share them all, but I see I missed quite a few.

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  37. Loved seeing all these pics! What a fun weekend! Next time I want to come too!

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    1. I hope I can put another one together (or something pretty similar) in 2017. I'd love to meet you!

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  38. You are most definitely the ho-hostess with the most-ess! I loved every minute of our weekend and could not have had a better time! I am looking forward to our next one! Thank you again! #holottafun

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    1. You are so sweet. It was wonderful to finally meet my other southern sista!

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  39. I can not love this anymore!!!! Such a great time was had by all and I second that, we all have different goals, different journeys but we are bonded together by our love of running! I think we all need a tattoo next trip! Bahahaha !

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    1. What fun we had! I've got to work on tank tops for the next one too! The possibilities are endless.

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  40. I loved seeing all the photos on Instagram. Sounded like a fun time all around and what a wonderful idea to round up a bunch of 'runner bloggers' to do it! I love karaoke but haven't done it in awhile.

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    1. I hope we weren't too off-key with our karaoke, but the restaurant wasn't very crowded so it really didn't matter. Thank goodness for small favors!

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  41. What a fun weekend with some beautiful ladies!! Glad it went well and you all had a blast.

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