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.
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