Sum it up in 3 words: painfully stupid fun.
Fortune cookie tonight: "Courage and optimism are your best traits."
Let's start with the mil gracias (million thank you's) first:
WW for supporting me and being my cheerleader and shoulder to cry on
As I said Sunday,
*For the record*NO MORE MARATHONS FOR THE REST OF 2012. And I absolutely mean it.
Tribu and Tom for signing up for this race and not having to convince me too much to sign up for it.
YOU! For your encouragement and positive vibes, prayers, thoughts through this journey to #5.
I felt very loved going into this event. :)
Ok folks, grab some popcorn. This one's going to be long.
Just what you would expect from a large event. Loads of vendors for headbands, other races, all things running, and we saw this guy (Ryan Hall) for a second... but didnt stick around for an autograph. (no, we werent in the front row. My camera and photo taking skills are just that good lol)
2 weeks before the race I injured my hip-groin and couldn't walk without limping. needless to say I didnt run at all the final 2 weeks before the marathon. Ok, WW and I ran/walked 3.3 miles 2 days before the marathon. That run actually seemed to loosen up my hip more than stretching and cycling had done. I was extremely nervous to embark on a 26.2 journey of potential huge catastrophe in Miami. My only goals were to have fun, and do whatever necessary to prevent further damage to my hip issue.
- Early race start 6:15 am. Started on time, in the dark.
- Weather at the start was around high 60's and 100% humidity
- More nervous at the start of this race than the other 4 marathons i've completed.
- First few miles flew by, and sucked the life out of me. We stayed in the low 9:00's the first 4 miles.
- I couldnt believe how sweaty I was after just 3 miles. Especially since I dont sweat much while running usually.
- Saw The Discom-BOB-ulated runner somewhere on the causeway heading to South Beach. She looked so strong in the heat and humidity. Tribu and I wished her well as she took off in the darkness towards Ocean Drive.
- Miles 5-13 were all mid 9:00's- sub 10:00's I felt pretty beat before the half.
- We got to the half around 2:05. All of my instincts, everything inside me was saying pull off for the half.
- but we continued on.
- It was very hard seeing 3/4 of the racers divert around mile 12.5 to the finish, knowing we still had another half to run.
- Tribu kept encouraging me. I couldn't let her (or myself) down. Tribu sacrificed her own race to stay by my side the entire time. This was her first marathon over 4 hours... I kept telling her to go and run her own race, but she was adamant about staying with me. Sorry about the PW (personal worst) but it was fun!!!! :)
- My hip/groin thing had warmed up by this point. but running slower than usual because of the heat was starting to catch up with me.
- The second half of the race was not nearly as scenic as the first half. Yes, the neighborhoods were cute to run through, but I really liked the vibe better running downtown and in south beach.
- I think I started walking through water stations around mile 15? Up until that point, Tribu would get me water or gatorade and I would keep chugging along. Because stopping would have been very bad so early on for me.
- I remember around mile 18-20? we ran through an area that had many people spectating at cafes. I pulled an "Abdi" (remember the Olympic trials) and started cheering and waving my arms to get the crowd going. And they went.
- It was EPIC hearing everyone cheering. and lifted my spirits just a hair...
- I hit rock bottom early on.I cursed myself for not stopping at the half. I tried to keep conversation with Tribu, but it was difficult. by now, my quads were getting very sore.
- So what does a good pacer do for someone in my condition?
- Feed me mango salty electrolyte strips.
- Unfortunately they didnt help too much, since I wasnt experiencing cramps, it was just extreme muscle fatigue. :( but the mango strips were tasty!
- HA. I was delusional by the time I suggested we take photos with Miami in the background- around mile 24.
- A few of the runners from the Brandon Running Association who weren't running the races ran with us for a little bit near the end. The addition of new people to our posse of 2 was a nice change. Tribu, you are lucky to have such a supportive running group!!!
- The last 2 miles were brutal. I asked the vultures to come get me because i was "road kill" apparently not stinky or dead enough for them...
- The finish had a slight uphill, like Chicago marathon. AWESOME!
- Tribu and I held hands as we sprinted towards the finish. I think she was pulling me, and I was doing my best to keep up. The final .39 was at 8:30 pace- which felt like 6:30 pace by that point.
- I guess we ran an ultra. haha the garmin read 26.39 at the finish. So much for running tangents!
- Hey Marathonfoto! If you see 2 women running together holding hands laughing smiling deliriously heading towards the finish, PLEASE get a good shot of BOTH of US. (especially since the runners were very spread out in the last 100 yards)
- While I love this photo of me, and there is an equally good photo of Tribu, I would have bought the photo of us TOGETHER looking like this. Instead we are 2 separate shots... Sigh
- I don't think I've ever been so happy to see a finish line in my life. Maybe I was just a tad happier when I finished the NYC Marathon 10 years ago...
- I really cannot thank Tribu enough for staying by my side the entire time. If it wasnt for her, I would have easily been on the course another 30 minutes to an hour more. I AM SO THANKFUL FOR YOU and your encouragement and skills as a "pacer." :)
- Huge Congrats to my WW for finishing the Half. I am very proud of you!!!
- I got 27 compliments on my sparkly skirt my mom made. :)
- Tribu is the best BFF/ Pacer EVER! I owe you a few beers when I come visit in a few weeks
- No trouble starting the race- it had 23,000 people I think (4,000 Full, 19,000 half). Did have to weave around a few walkers the first couple of miles.
- No water stops until mile 3? It was hot on the causeway in the dark!!! (but i brought a bottle of water with me, so no real problem there)
- No ICE at ANY aid station.
- Lukewarm water/ Gatorade.
- Volunteers were AWESOME!
- Not much crowd support, which was a nice change from Crazy Chicago Marathon...
- No cooling sponges/towels, etc. See a pattern here?
- Maybe Ive been spoiled by Chicagoland races??
- Great destination event. So many countries represented.
- I would NEVER do the full here again. I am currently a fan of 35 degree long runs while wearing shorts and a jacket. 71 degrees + 100 % humidity = Disaster (and major shock to the body!)
- But I would consider doing the half...
- It was CLOUDY all during the race. THANK GOD. Had it been full sun, I would have DNF'd
- The heat didn't bother me past mile 8. I think the temp dropped a little, and the humidity let up a bit.Still very warm though. Or I was crazy.
- Took a powerbar 1 hour pre race, gatorade prime 15 minutes prior
- Gu and salt caps every 5 miles or so. Some how I had 2 gu left over. So I must have taken 4.
- I am more sore from this race than my last 3 (all faster). I think running much slower than what I trained at contributed to this. Maybe using different stride/muscles for 11 minute mile, vs 8:45 mile?
- My outfit: Moving comfort shirt, bra, Aspaeris compression shorts (which I believe helped me get through this by supporting my hip and leg muscles), CEP compression sox, Nike lunar elite+ shoes.
Im thankful for all the support I had going into this race. While I was hoping for a much faster time (pre injury), I am absolutely happy with how this race turned out. It is a big W for WIN in my book. Each one of these races present different obstacles to overcome, and I am glad I experienced this race. .I dont believe my hip issue is any worse than what it was 2 weeks ago (obviously it set me back a few more weeks for recovery now, but I am feeling much better than what I would have imagined)
Time for more warm soaks, and dates with the foam roller. Ouch!