So while I attempted to talk Matt out of spectating - since I wouldn't be racing it anyway - I also decided to rope Kristin into joining me. Misery loves company!
|Apparently bridges are a selling point for some people.|
Kristin planned to meet me at the house at 4:45am so we could run 5 miles before she signed up the morning of. Then we'd have some time to relax and stretch before the race began at 7am. (Race organizers in Florida need to realize that a marathon/half marathon should start at 6:30 at the latest. Starting after sunrise is asking for disaster.)
|I hate you, Florida. Honestly, the weather is making me really nervous for BDR.|
|After our five miles, the starting line began to fill up.|
|And we're off!|
We saw Matt at mile 3 or so and told him to bring us ice the next time we saw him. The course wound through semi-shaded neighborhoods. We struck up conversation with a few other runners. One of the highlights of the course was around mile 5, when we saw "puppies" playing in a yard that turned out to be baby goats. So cute!
|Still all smiles despite the heat.|
We had agreed from the beginning to walk the bridges' ascents. The first bridge had a slow, long slope, and this was our first really long walk break. There was no shade or protection from the sun here, and very little breeze. I began to play mind games - as a race director, what would I add to the race to make it better?
Watermelon. Fruit kabobs. Misters. Troughs of ice along the route. A giant sun-shade to protect the course.
We ran the descent, but the bridge brought us to blacktop and a long, hot slog along 41. Desperate for water, we veered off course to a Wendy's to see if they were open, but no luck.
I texted Matt:
By the time we got to mile 11 of the race (16 for us), we had decided to run to the start of the next bridge, then walk up, as planned. Around 11.5 a woman on the side of the road was providing handfuls of ice, and we gratefully stuffed our bras again and kept trucking. At this point, I just wanted to be done.
My legs felt fine the entire run, but I was just absolutely sapped of energy from the heat. It was really frustrating; if it were cooler out, we could have killed this run.
|Bridge 1 on the left, bridge 2 on the right.|
At the top, we knew there was only about half a mile or so left of the race, so we ran down and refused to walk from that point on. We saw Matt just before the finish, and Kristin shouted, "There's Matt! I've never been so happy to see your husband!" I heard Matt yell, "You're almost there, I have your Cokes!"
Matt found us and gave us our Cokes. (Mine said "#1 Fan" on it...so sweet.) Coke after a hot, long run is seriously like the nectar of the gods. If I ever had a doubt before, I know with 100% certainty that Matt is the best spectator ever.
We had water and bananas and generally just tried to cool down in the shade a bit.
|Sean had a Go Kart race and couldn't come to the marathon, but he joined us at the end to cheer a bit. It was cool that the top three marathoners were women, but the fact that the lead man had to DNF due to the heat is pretty telling.|
|I had the avocado and bacon skillet with three eggs over easy.|