Well, I won't lie. The race was rough. I had to really dig deep to push myself through it, while at the same time cutting myself slack due to circumstances. It was a weird balance of disappointment, resignation, and personal understanding like I've never experienced.
|Tried and true: I stuck with my go-to Saucony Hydralite top.|
|Breakfast of semi-champions: peanut butter and honey on toast and a cup of coffee.|
I chose to run with Gatorade Energy Chews instead of Gu Chomps because the shape of the package fit better in my fuel belt with my inhaler taking up space.
|The super-crowded trolley that brought us to the start line.|
|Pre-race: all smiles!|
|Sean was smart and got to the venue early enough to see sunrise. Here's the bridge we ran across.|
|A little blurry; all the runners making their way up the bridge.|
By the time I got to the halfway point, though, I knew I had to adjust that plan. My energy was low and my muscles were cramping up something wicked. I wonder if my impaired breathing had something to do with that.
I saw Sarah and Sean as they came back from the turnaround, which was a nice morale booster. At mile 8 I took my first non-fueling walk break. By this time, the sun was high and had burned off any cloud cover. There was no shade. The main stretch of the race was basically 11 miles of straight urban road.
|I saw this sign on my way to packet pickup and nearly cried with disappointment at the idea of not running this race.|
I passed Five Guys, storage places, the hospital, and a multitude of other concrete establishments. Not the most inspirational of routes. There weren't a ton of spectators, but the ones who were there were awesome!
As the temperature rose, I decided I'd have to take walk breaks at each mile. The 2.5 miles between water stops became a problem; I could tell I was dehydrated. (Probably due to cold medications on top of everything else.) I began drinking Gatorade along with water at the stops, as much as I hate to drink it while racing. I knew I needed the sugar.
So, with all this walking, imagine my surprise when I realized at mile 10 that I was still safe to come in under 3 hours. (3 hours for a half marathon isn't really a good goal for me usually, of course, but today was different.)
I found my second wind with 1.5 miles to go. I was able to run to the last drink stop, at the base of that same bridge.
|This look of relief is not at all feigned.|
|How Florida is this start/finish?|
|Sarah, Sean and I enjoying our bling. This was Sarah's first half, and she finished in 1:47. Ah-maz-ing!|
|Despite the disappointing time and all the walking, I earned this baby.|
Also, I think it was a miracle that I couldn't run this as a full. The dull, quiet course and brutal weather wouldn't have been a good one for my first marathon.
|I think I need to add some more hooks to my bib holder!|
|Post-race meal: sushi!|
Take that, DNR.
Here's a weird thing about long-distance races: afterward, I'm both starving and disgusted by food. As hungry as I was all day today, I could barely stomach more than chocolate milk, sushi, and a handful of grapes. Does this happen to anyone else?
Post-race, I'm having some pain in both knees and there's a fist-sized spot at the small of my back that is just killing me...But I think that's related to sitting in the trolley on the ride back more than anything else. Also, the almost-blister I got at the 15k came back in the same spot. Maybe it's time for new socks?
I hope to be in tip-top shape by Tuesday.
I need to give a quick shout-out to Kristina! She ran her first ever half-marathon. With a bucket-list that includes running an ultra before she's 30, I'd say this is the first big step toward her goals!
I can't wait for some of the professional pictures to come back to so I share the total awkwardness of my running form.