Race morning started around 4:30 am. It was convenient staying right on Ocean Blvd. in South Beach but the race got moved a half hour earlier to 6:30 so it meant an earlier wake up call but less time in the sun. As I went down stairs in the hotel to eat some breakfast and get ready, some guys we’re coming home from a night of partying. It was definitely the trend when I got out on the street as more people were hanging out in bar clothes and clearly not heading to the race 🙂
I got a mile warm up in heading to the finish line area to pick up the bus to get to the start line. The bus was filled with costume wearing runners, clearly buzzing with excitement to be up early to run and not party. Picked up my packet, hit the bathroom and got another warm up run in. Right at 6:30 they said go and we took off.
I was very conscious not to start out too fast. Prior to the start, I located the 2:00 hour pacer who was just a little behind me. About a 1/4 mile in, the group caught up to me and I stuck with them. We wound our way past the cruise ships and over MacArthur Blvd. into South Beach. We made a right hand turn and navigated around a large hotel and restaurant towards the beach. Around mile 4, we had to run on the beach. Now they told us it was hard packed and had to be done because of construction on the boardwalk but it was definitely not hard packed! Not only that, it was definitely a mile long and not 1/2 mile. Well, it took its toll on me and I lost the pace group shortly thereafter.
A little while later I spotted my mom which helped but I was still within sight distance of the pace group. As I reached the half way point, my stomach was tightening and not making me happy. I was hoping it was going to get better so I didn’t take the opportunity at the two public bathrooms and proceeded for the next 5 or so miles to seek out a bathroom as things got worse. It was not fun and I tried to distract myself with music and the view of the ocean but around every corner I was looking for another restroom that was no where to be found, I mean when we got on Lincoln Ave I was considering stopping into the only place open, Starbucks but was afraid of being turned away since I was sweaty and looking like a skeleton at 7am.
As we finally made our turn to go back on the course, I hit the original public restroom, losing 3 minutes to the stop. I immediately felt better and saw my mom again around mile 11 but the stupid beach struck again (I had forgotten about it) and again it took its toll on my achilles and calves. My pace slowed and the last 1.3 miles to the finish were rough.
Typically, my last mile is one of my fastest but this race would be totally different….I not only slowed down but I actually walked in the last mile. Never. Happened. Before. It was demoralizing and felt like forever and it didn’t help that the course was long so that last .1 was really .3
I finally crossed the finish line with my skull Hoo-rag on and got my well-deserved medal. I hobbled back to the hotel with water and juice in hand but proudly wearing my werewolf medal.
Total time: 2:09:xx Around 9:55/mile average
The stars didn’t align for this race and that’s ok. It wasn’t supposed to be a PR race and it certainly wasn’t but I got through it and know its just part of my training towards the later part of the season.