So this is over a week overdo. Last weekend I flew down to Miami to run this half marathon then a 5K Sunday and was supposed to be on a flight home 7am Monday morning. A week later I am still soaking up the sun poolside until tomorrow. Thanks Sandy.
So about that half marathon.
I went into it the same way I went in to the past couple. Just planning to wing it and run based on how I feel. If I am feeling speedy awesome. If not I will tone it down. This fall race season I have learned to ease up on myself and not have killer expectations for each race. It was taking the joy out of running.
The first thing I have to say was that the race packet pickup and swag bag were awesome. Miami definitely does it right. Killer medal as well and tech shirt. FTW.
My sister and I had picked up some sweet angry bird costumes. The consisted of capes - pretty sure toddler size but nbd - and socks one pair warn on the arms and another as high socks. Figured it would be comfortable enough to run in and not too bad given the heat.
I woke up race morning feeling very blah. I felt slightly nauseous and my stomach was acting funny. I decided to just eat a bit of dry Cheerios and then bang down a Gu right before the start.
Speaking of start. Partially my fault since I was dragging. But by the time we parked got the bus and to the start the race had begun. We decide to go ahead and use the rest room since it had started what were a couple extra minutes.
Well those couple minutes enabled the race to break down the start. fail. The guy at the start tells us to just start our watches and begin running. So I do exactly that with my garmin and we take off.
The first couple of miles. Brutal. We were all alone on the causeway until at least after the first mile where we hit some stragglers/walkers and it was windy. I remember thinking oh no this race is going to be awful. And that the wind was not fun with the cape. And that I was going to overheat. I was cursing life for about 15 minutes.
Eventually we hit a groove and more runners. We also start off the causeway and towards the beach. Not a moment too soon. The sun rising was BEAUTIFUL. I had to stop and take pictures. (I also have to figure out how to add said pictures from my phone so bare with me if they are all at the end)..
I was feeling good. I was pacing somewhere in the low 9's but also wasn't really caring. I was having fun. The costumes were awesome people were in a good mood my sister was running with me and the views were breathtaking. This isn't a race you run to PR this is a race you run to remember how much you enjoy distance running. At least in my opinion.
Then the inevitable. Around mile 4 my stomach tanks. Even worse ALL the bathrooms on the course were locked. I slowed my pace significantly and kept running off the path praying a bathroom was open. I even stopped and asked an emt probably looking slightly desperate.
Finally just before mile 8 I find one. Stopped and a few minutes later was off and running. Looking at my splits after it is evident where the pains hit and when I used the bathroom because after I hit a comfortable stride running 8:45's or so. Until I had to stop again. And again.
Oh stomach. We so need to figure this out. But I seriously didn't let it bother me. Those last few miles flew by. I was just loving it not paying attention to my garmin. Checking out others costumes and running my little heart out for fun. I knew with all the stops not to care about my time. Plus starting late it was unofficial (note to self I still need to email the race director).
The course was a partial out and back so running on the boardwalk was phenomenal. But the end was just weird. Garmin said I ran 13.47 so I was definitely ready when I crossed that finish line. You kind of went up this hill then down and around and a straight away..you really could not see the finish until it was right upon you.
My garmin gave me a time of 2:10. My slowest half ever. Also probably the most fun. After the finish there was a great buffet and beers for us at a local place Monty's so we hit that up to refuel a bit.
Overall I would DEFINITELY recommend the half. It was well organized (minus the mile markers and mile time clocks - markers were sparse and clocks non existent). Dress up grab some friends and have FUN!! And of course free beer at the finish is always inspirational!