Mobile Half Marathon
January 13, 2019
January 13, 2019
Half Marathon # 59
Alternate Post Titles:
We Ate Our Way Through Mobile
You CAN Eat Oysters Every Day
Do Ghosts Need Toilet Paper?
I Came Home With a Bad Cold
Isn't that the most festive looking finish line you've ever seen? Oops. I'm getting ahead of myself.
I've run this half three times in 2014, 2015, and 2018 when it was known as First Light. I've also done other halves in Mobile [the correct southern pronunciation is Moe-BEEEEL] while running in the Biggest Loser series. It is a favorite location with races usually starting and ending in their quaint French Quarter. Did you know Mobile is known for the first Mardi Gras celebration? Surprisingly, not New Orleans.
This race is small but the direction is top notch. Knowing I was under trained from nursing a sore piriformis, I expected to do a lot of walking and that my time would probably be a personal worse for the course [spoiler: it was]. But, I didn't want to cancel as I was so looking forward to spending the weekend with my friends.
|Mobile's famous Dauphin Street in the French Quarter|
We stayed at the Malaga Inn; the original buildings dating back to 1862 with room seven supposedly haunted. The property was beautiful, surrounding a lovely courtyard with fountain. The rooms were charming and appropriately dated. Unfortunately, so was the service. [Or perhaps the ghost took our toilet paper and towels?] Best of all, it was just blocks from the race making logistics super easy.
|The obligatory beach shot.|
While waiting for Karen to arrive, we spent Saturday on Dauphin Island. The beach was stormy and windy but we found the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and enjoyed stretching our legs with some easy hiking on its wooded trails. We even spotted an alligator!
We had an incredible lunch at Beached; the shrimp and grits outstanding. It was a surprising find in the deserted, off-season vacation town. Returning to the city, we hit up the small race expo and perused the French Quarter for souvenirs. I had to buy the Santa ornament made from an oyster shell. After more relaxing chatter over dinner, and some very entertaining people watching, we snagged Karen from the airport just before bedtime.
|Hello, little guy!|
Race morning was so easy! We walked over just minutes before the start and had our picture made with a few of the Azalea Trail Maids. The weather was nearly perfect at a cloudy 52 degrees (but with 13 mph wind). A few minutes after starting, I spotted Karen and we ran together for a while. I felt OK maintaining a sub 10 pace but knew that wouldn't last. My lack of endurance would soon show up. I caught up with Wendy near the halfway point. She was singing along with her playlist so I knew she was having a good race. We ran together for a mile, maybe more, but then I dropped back. I was completely spent by mile 8.
I incorporated walk breaks after that; nothing official -- just when I tired. The later it got, the more I walked. I can't say enough about the plentiful volunteers and law enforcement working the race. Although I enjoyed the course with its impressive canopy of mossy oaks and charming homes, I was happy to see the finish line. I celebrated with a fist pump when they called my name. A resident of L'Arche Mobile gave me a hand-crafted finishers medal. It's such a special touch that the benefactors make the medals and award plaques themselves.
|WHOOT! I'm done. Official time 2:17:33.|
We sampled the post-race fare of yummy red beans and rice (with cornbread, naturally) but didn't hang around long. Even though they had a fantastic Dixieland band to entertain us, it had gotten colder and hotel checkout was looming. We couldn't end our trip without more fresh seafood so we headed back out to the bay where we dined at Blue Gills (more oysters for the win!) and lingered a long time over coffee on their deck. As I'm sure you can relate, when girlfriends are together the conversation never stops.
|Karen and I wearing our handmade medals.|
Reflecting back on my last few half marathons, I need to find a way to focus less on pace and finish times. And I'll be the first to admit that it's hard for me to do. But, I'm aging. My body hurts somewhere most every day. The pressure to perform at a good-for-me pace is adding a certain level of stress. However, I think sharing a race with friends is certainly a step in the right direction for finding my happy running place again.
One thing is for certain. I'd do this weekend over and over again. Race clock be damned.
|And that's a wrap!|
Have you ever visited Mobile, Alabama?
Have you been to a Mardi Gras parade or event?
Many thanks to Kim from Kooky Runner for stepping in as guest host last week!
|Wendy and I host this linkup for|
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
We thank you for linking your
FITNESS RELATED POST with us!
I'm smiling as I read this! This race zoomed right to the top of my favorites and it's not because of my crummy finish time. In fact, it is really about the whole experience. This is how we're going to age, together, over cocktails and oysters. Well, you'll have the oysters...ReplyDelete
Love you so much! I can't wait for our next adventure!
Your aging plan sounds like a good one. And I suspect you'll eventually try a baked or grilled oyster and think they are delicious. No rush. Where will we go next? Hmmm...Delete
What a great race recap! I have to say that the colorful finish line photos make me smile :) This seems like a race I need to think about adding to my bucket list. The food alone makes me want to travel there!ReplyDelete
So happy that you were able to spend the weekend with all of those lovely ladies :)
Having the Azalea Trail Maids at the race certainly add some color and southern charm to the finish line. My post seems to be mostly about the delicious food. No regrets. Ha ha.Delete
I have been to Alabama. I think I need to. It looks so fun.ReplyDelete
I agree totally.
Running now is about the experience not the finish time. Racing with friends is the best.
So as we age we just need to stay healthy and enjoy life. And oysters.
Staying healthy is so important. But I just can't seem to feel completely good at one time. I fix one thing, something else goes wonky... You must try grilled oysters if you haven't already!Delete
I have never been to Mobile myself. Love the finish line ladies in those dresses! How fun. Looks like you all had the best time. Love all those smiles. Congrats ladiesReplyDelete
The architecture and flair is very similar to NOLA. But, there are spectacular beaches just a short drive away. You don't get that in NOLA.Delete
I love that "We Ate Our Way Through Mobile", LOL! I got hungry just reading this post!! What an awesome recap and what's even better is the fact that you spent it with Wendy and crew! I love Wendy's aging plan for you both - now that's the way to do it! (PS: If ever I am in the US, you've just sold me on this race. I think this is one I would do).ReplyDelete
I realized my post was mainly about food. No regrets though. It was delicious!Delete
That sounds like such a fun time!! I used to live in Pensacola and we would head over to Mobile on occasion. In fact, I DNS'd the First Light Marathon one year (didn't realize these two were one in the same) because my friend and I had signed up to do it the day after Mississippi Blues Marathon (it was a thing). After MBM, we were both wiped and decided to bail on First Light. I'd definitely come down and run the half in the future though. Mobile is so beautiful!ReplyDelete
I laughed out loud at your alternate post titles but I'm sorry you came home with a bad cold!
They just changed the name this year. Now the back to back challenge is to do Pensacola on Saturday (instead of MS Blues) and Mobile on Sunday.Delete
This sounds like such a grand time (despite the aches and pains and tiredness on race day). I actually have been to Mobile...several years ago, for Mardi Gras! Everyone thought I was crazy for talking about Mardi Gras in a non-NOLA locale ;-) You and your oysters.....it's only appropriate you found that ornament!ReplyDelete
I have never been to their Mardi Gras but apparently it is a HUGE thing. We noticed there were still beads wrapped around power lines and trees etc. from last year's parade.Delete
It sounds like a good time was had by all! This sounds like such a lovely race. And oysters every day? Yes, please!!!ReplyDelete
I've always been a big fan of oysters baked with cheeses or Rockefeller style but then I tried the grilled ones last year. OH MY! So yummy.Delete
Never been to a Mardi Gras parade or event and never been to AL at all.ReplyDelete
What perfect weather! That's always a blessing, even when you're undertrained and struggling. Even better sharing the weekend with friends!
I'm so glad it wasn't hot. There were actually a few times we turned into the wind during the race and I felt chilly! I think the temp dropped while we were running though.Delete
I haven't been to Alabama in years and I would really love to come and do this race one day (probably not feasible). I love the crinoline ladies, I cannot get enough pictures of them! And well done on a tough ask - you're brilliant and inspiring.ReplyDelete
I asked one of the young ladies and she confirmed all of the petticoats were keeping her warm on a cold morning. After 59 half marathons, this location remains a favorite!Delete
I hear you on the wanting to perform well, but something is always hurting. My problem is that my running friends are at least ten to twenty years younger than me and aren't experiencing the same types of aging issues... While they're getting faster with strong training, I'm getting slower.ReplyDelete
To answer your questions, I have never been to that part of the US.
Thanks for the linkup!
Some of my running friends are younger and haven't experienced the dreaded "M" and I think...just you wait. But then again, some are my age and are leaving me in the dust. There is no rhyme or reason to it. I guess we all age at different paces too.Delete
Looks like a wonderful weekend. Yes, shift your focus from the clock to the fun. There's life after PRs. I swear there is.ReplyDelete
Ok, ok. If you say so! LOL.Delete
I'm so glad you all got to get together. Being with such amazing women helps you focus on what really matters. Those dresses are amazing! LOL on the ghosted tp.ReplyDelete
It helps these women are in somewhat similar circumstances with their running too. We can commiserate. It helps to know it's not just me.Delete
Sounds like such a fun weekend from start to finish! And oysters every day? Yep count me in ;)ReplyDelete
At this point, each finish line brings its own joy - far more about the experience than the finish time. I'm glad this one was a great experience!
I'm so glad these ladies wanted to come this far south for a winter race. It sure made this race much more fun this year!Delete
What amazes me is how close your time was to the clock -- quick start!ReplyDelete
Oysters, all the oysters all the time
Glad you had such a great weekend
When we walked over to the race start, the street we were on came into the front of the corrals and we just never moved back much. So, we were pretty close to the line. It's a small race with less than 1,000 in the full and half.Delete
I've never been to Mobile but now I want to! I'm with you - less concern about pace and finishing times and more fun experiences with friends. Nice work!ReplyDelete
It's shocking how quickly I lost my endurance. If I can feel strong throughout a race, I'm usually pretty happy no matter what the time is on the clock. Sadly, I did not feel strong this day but thankfully the fun made up for it.Delete
Sounds like a great weekend! Those costumes for the Trail Maids look so heavy to wear - I wonder how they deal with Southern humidity!ReplyDelete
They dressed do look heavy! I asked one of them if it was helping to keep her warm on that chilly morning. she said it was. I can't imagine wearing them during the summer.Delete
Sounds like such a fun weekend...and lots of great food!ReplyDelete
Can you tell I like to eat? LOL. Fresh seafood can't be beat.Delete
It sounds like you guys had such a fun time. Those photos are amazing. Those dresses - wow!! I've never been to Mobile or anywhere with Mardi Gras anything!ReplyDelete
The pictures of the Azalea Trail Maids do not do them justice. The colors are so vibrant and they make such a impressive visual statement.Delete
It was wonderful seeing you! I couldn't agree more, this is a great race and I loved everything. I am so glad I got to be with you all even if it was a just a brief visit. You are amazing inspiration, keep on running :) AND thank you for riding me all over!!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you chose to come to the deep south for a winter race! I loved every minute of it but hope next time you will be able to come earlier.Delete
Oh and the alternate blog titles are hilarious LOLReplyDelete
Well...I did eat my way through the weekend. Oysters. Hush puppies. Sweet potato casserole. Burger. Shrimp and Grits. On and on. No regrets.Delete
This looks like such a fun race! I love the finish line photo!ReplyDelete
It's such a vibrant feel at the finish line with all the maids' colors and the residents of L'Arche Mobile too.Delete
Wow, those dresses! I have never been to that part of the country, so all of the southern charm is foreign to me. So pretty!! Hopefully the post race aches don't last too long. It's hard to shift to "just for fun" for a race, isn't it? And piriformis pain? ugh. Been there, no fun. Glad you were still able to enjoy a girls weekend. Looks awesome!ReplyDelete
Piriformis pain is new to me, except maybe after a marathon or hard half. It's a nagging ache that just won't go away but also doesn't get any worse. And it doesn't bother me unless I'm running so I always think it's gone...until I go for a run.Delete
Sounds like a fun weekend and definitely a good step toward finding your happy running place again :)ReplyDelete
Congrats on the race! Sometimes it's necessary to ignore the clock in order to maintain sanity and enjoyment when running.ReplyDelete
I had a nasty piriformis injury a year ago at this time. So painful. I hope you heal up quickly. Massage therapy worked wonders for me. I wish I had done it sooner.
And yes, you most definitely CAN eat oysters every day. :-)
Oh, how fun! I have never been to Alabama, Mo-BEEEL or otherwise, but this look like it would be a wonderful race to run!ReplyDelete
I have been to Mardi Gras. We went once over Spring Break in college. We knew someone who lived there, and there were about 20 of us in one of the gorgeous NOLA houses. We went to parades in the city and then even went to one of the smaller parades outside of town. Caught an entire crawfish bag full of beads too. :)
so much fun!!! I'm almost tempted to fly to Mobile next year to do this race! I would have definitely eaten the oysters too.ReplyDelete
you know I do care a little bit about finishing times, but mostly I'm just so thankful that I am able to run and able to finish. While I am focusing on time this year I think I will likely let go of PR's and pace within the next couple of years.
I've never been to Mobile but I was briefly in NO for Mardi Gras back in 1987.
My brother lived in AL for a couple years and I never made it down - I missed out! Alabama looks beautiful and your time with friends was icing on the cake. I really like your perspective on racing. Sharing experiences like this are what make it! Forget the race clock. It's about relationships.ReplyDelete
Mobile looks like so much fun! What an awesome girls weekend. Congrats on another half completed!ReplyDelete
Sounds like such a fun weekend and fun race! The grilled oysters must have been so delicious.ReplyDelete