First, I gotta apologize for this race recap coming so late. This week has been pretty busy. We arrived back in DC on Tuesday afternoon/evening, and catching up with work these past few days has had me completely drained in the evenings. But alas, I digress…
So when we all first signed up for the ING Miami Marathon, the plan was to get away from the cold DC winter and frolick and play in warm sunny Miami. This plan was solid.
Upon arrival the temps were in the upper 70s. Beautiful. Well, until you consider running 13 miles in that kind of warmth. I immediately began to worry. Forecasts said to expect temps of 66 at the start and mid-70s by noon. Those sounds like great hanging out temps, but for someone that has been running in relatively cold winter temps (and performs terribly in the heat) it was no good. And the only thing I could do was hydrate and hope for the best.
And hydrate I did. Along with some carb-loading. Well, I guess spaghetti bread would really be double-carb-loading. But it was some seriously good double-carb-loading. Will def be making that again! Yum! Thanks to Amelia for finding that recipe!
The next morning, we took a cab to the start, and as predicted it was already in the mid-60s. And a lot more humid than I was used to. Panic. More hydrating.
We got to the start, hopped in our corrals, and waited for the race to begin. The entire time, I was worried about my “race strategy”. I found a knee strap at the expo the day before, but I didn’t know how it would actually hold up for me. So I decided I would stop and stretch my IT band every 2 miles. More hoping. *fingers crossed for a good race!*
Eventually we were off and running through the streets of Miami and over the bridge to Miami Beach. As predicted the course was flat, so that was nice. The only hills were the bridges we went over. But it was certainly warmer than I was used to. By mile 2, I was already a sweaty mess.
I managed to continue trucking along, stretching every 2 miles, and then later in the race, at every mile. I remember getting to the 6 mile marker and feeling relief that I had no IT band pain. I hadn’t run over 5 in more than a month! And there I was at 6, still ready to do more. :) And when I finally got to the mile 12 marker, I was SUPER pumped. But also SO over running. Regardless, I decided to high-tail it for my last 1.1 miles. When I felt like we were close, I upped the pace a bit more. And then, we hit this turn that took us to the finish. I started to really stride, and then got BOXED-IN! I couldn’t believe it! What happened to everyone trying to finish strong! Eventually got around those
idiots runners and sprinted to the finish. DONE!
Overall, the race went well, and I think I would do it again. The temps did climb a bit, but the water stops were great. There was a water stop about every mile or so, so it was very easy to stay hydrated. I will say that the water stops were a bit hard to run through (either bc the race was too crowded or bc the stops were too short), so I ended up walking through them (fine by me!). And the volunteers at the water stops even started launching the bags of water (yes, they had bags of water) to race participants with outstretched arms! It seemed like a great idea, until I had to start ducking out of the way of flying water pouches!
My IT band was fine until about mile 7 or 8, when I started to feel some pressure/tightness. At that point, I stopped to stretch every mile to prevent it from getting worse. Also because I was (and really, still am) terribly out of shape. By mile 8, I was really wishing that I only had 2 more miles to go. And also wishing I had been able to run anything over 5 miles for the past 2 months. Actually training for a half-marathon is key. But that is neither here nor there. It was great to be in Miami and enjoy a race with friends!
Huge shout-out to Kevin: he finished his first half-marathon! He did quite a bit of training leading up to it, and ended up racing a great race! He totally beat me (this time…). I think this boy is totally hooked on running (and maybe the medals too!) Now on to the full marathons, eh?
This race was not my best time ever, but I’ll take it. 2:15:37. Considering that 2 weeks before the race, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to run it at all, running the 13.1 was a huge accomplishment. But, next time, I’m going sub-2. And that’s a PROMISE. (i’ll also make sure i train)
Do you like traveling south for winter racing? What’s your favorite race/destination?
Happy Super Bowl Sunday to everyone! I hope you get to enjoy lots of delicious (and maybe healthy?) snack!