Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ing Miami Marathon recap

Time: 4:30 not my best, not my worst.

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 putting up with me through the training for yet another marathon. I am proud of you for finishing the half!!!
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.

Race Day:  

  • 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." :)
Final Thoughts:
  • 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.
 Final Final Thoughts
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!


  1. Great job on finishing!!! I knew you could do it!!! I totally would have knocked out at at least the half....if not after 3 miles ;-)

  2. Great job digging deep and finishing. I love the finish line photo, but what a bummer they didn't get one of the both of you coming across the finish line.

    Now relax and get recovered!

  3. Great job! I know those slow races are hard because that is my normal pace! Now take time and recover and get those injuries resolved.

    I love your race photo! You look fabulous. Someday maybe I will have one that good! ;)

  4. I think you ran a perfect race for the situation you were in and anytime you cross the line of 26.2 miles is a HUGE accomplishment whether it is your first or 100th time! Great finish photo and awesome skirt...can your mom make me one? :)

  5. Great recap!

    Cool that you got to hear Ryan Hall speak, that guy is the man.

    The course looks good, when I was in Miami we stayed in South Beach by 5th Avenue at Ocean Five hotel (you may have ran by this spot). South Beach was really cool to check out.

    Props to you for running a marathon in Miami, the weather there is tough with the humidity. I was there on Jan 1, and the humidity was already pretty bad.

    Glad to hear that overall the race went okay despite your injury.

    That pic of you coming down the final straightaway by yourself is an awesome pic! I got to say that you may need to buy that one digitally =)

    Funny that you were going for the exact same people that I was going for in the Olympic trials! I seriously think that Desi, Flanagan, Hall and Meb have good shots at medaling in the marathon.

    I might have to read Into the Wild by Jon Krakeur too then, Into Thin Air is a great book - I'm almost already done and I started it last week!

  6. congrats girl!!! it was a tough race and i felt every mile of it too. lol! i'm glad i looked strong when you saw b/c i'm fairly certain that i looked like total a$$ by mile 11. i love me some "blue flash" and it was super cool to sorta meet you. next race for us both MUST be in colder temps. ;)

  7. Congrats on another marathon finish! You are amazing! I also love your sparkly skirt. :)

  8. Congrats! I am so glad you were able to finish and enjoy the race! I hope you have lots of days of rest and relaxation!

  9. LOVE the photo of you, holding your friend's hand. You look amazing.

    CONGRATS on pushing through such a tough, tough marathon! I cannot even BEGIN to think about running a marathon at that temperature and that ridiculous humidity........

    So tell me more about your comment "no more marathons in 2012". Is this because of physical reasons or other stuff going on in life? Whatever it is, I TOTALLY support you either way!!

  10. Bummer that the photographer cropped you two, that would have been a really great shot. Girl you may have had a PW here, but you PREVAILED! I think that it is so much harder to run a marathon when things aren't going as planned then it is to run one when things are going as planned. You pushed through it, looks like you had some great quality time with a great friend, and you crossed the line of marathon #5! The clock just says a number, and that number doesn't represent all of the work that you put in, the tears and sweat, and the passion and heart that go into your running. The clock doesn't define you, and my dear you are awesome and I am so glad that we've somehow been connected via the internet.

    Taking a break from marathons might be a fun experience, you two may or may not get back together again but what ever the out come is you both had a good run and are moving on to bigger and better things!

    You deserve rest more then anyone else I know as you are the race champ! Give that hip some TLC and hopefully we'll be able to catch up soon for another lakefront run!