I kept comparing my pace to the 2020 event, and I was thinking about how much slower I was moving now than the previous race. I was getting in my head and feeling kind of down.
Mile 2: 13:10
The trail continued to run along the Lake Apopka shore. This was an out-and-back so we had the same beautiful scenery after the turnaround, though now we were running into the sun.
I was looking down a lot, and kept trying to remember to look up and enjoy the beautiful course. As long as I looked to the side, the peaceful landscape was a good distraction. That sun was brutal, though!
I had started almost dead last (a runner with a stroller came into the narrow chute behind me and it wasn't possible to let her pass without being awkward) so after the turnaround I saw all of the people I had passed. It wasn't a huge amount, but it was still a little pick-me-up to think about.
This was a cupless race, so the water stop at the turnaround had several jugs of water available. I brought my own handheld and didn't need to refill. The volunteer or staff members manning the water stop were really encouraging, which was appreciated.