Read Part 1
Neither Mark or I slept very well. We couldn’t get the AC set just right. So 3:30 came super early, but we got up, got ready, and made our way to the lobby building to catch the 4:15 shuttle. The bus pulled up just as we walked up and we hopped on, not realizing there was an enormous line of runners we just skipped. I learned later there were shuttle issues and people ended up waiting a long time and just making the start, so I feel bad now, but honestly did not see the line.
We got to the start village pretty early and wandered the town a bit to stay warm. I had toss gloves and arm warmers made from socks, and a toss jacket (hello velour tracksuit!), so I stayed pretty warm. There were real restrooms in the park, so I made full use of those, even though it was quickly apparent that my efforts the previous couple of days failed pretty miserably.
I got down a Clif bar and we made our way to the start line. Since I didn’t know what kind of shape I’d be in, we lined up a little behind the 3:15 pacer, even though that was a pipe dream for me. I got to see a friend at the start who, like me, had great hopes for the race but was coming in injured. A terrific local singer sang the national anthem and an astronaut counted us down. We were too far in the back to see it, but a jumbotron showed a space shuttle launch, and with a puff of smoke, we were off!
Mile 1-3 (15:23, 15:19, 15:09)
I felt pretty good through the first few miles, but I could tell that I was going to crash and burn fairly quickly. I just didn’t have enough fuel stores to make this one a good race.
Mile 4-8 (15:12, 15:07, 15:38, 16:23, 18:21)
At this point I was still hanging in there, feeling ok. I was taking gu’s every 45 minutes, but I was sucking down water like it was going out of style. I also took maybe 3 salt tabs during the race, which is unheard of for me. Near the turnaround I started feeling nauseous at times, and things really started to fall apart. My stomach acted like it wanted to rebel, so I made a portalet stop at 7.5. I got dizzy in there, but that was about it.
I saw my friend from the start line and she was holding strong here. Seeing somebody I knew gave me a little boost.
Mark signed up for the Three Little Pigs challenge, so he stopped for his bacon around mile 7. I wondered how his stomach would handle bacon, but apparently he has an iron gut.
Mile 9 – 13.1 (16:49, 16:37, 17:00, 17:45, 16:40, 16:46)
Miles 8 & 9 found me fighting the nausea pretty badly. Seeing as I had only run up to 10 miles in training, I knew the last 3 would be tough, but I didn’t expect them to be this tough. Around 9.5, my legs just had nothing left to give. My right IT froze, and my left calf was cramping. There was walking. There were tears. There was this:
and when the 3:30 pace group passed us, even more tears. I so wanted to beat my time from my first half, and it was just not going to happen. By 11.5, everything hurt so bad I think I would’ve dropped out if it weren’t for Mark. But we (very slowly) carried on, and finally hit the mile 13 marker. I was able to suck it up and run most of the last .1 to the finish, where, once again, I cried, but this time tears of relief.
And I had SO earned that medal! And my shin didn’t hurt at all. So THERE, #stupidshinsplint!
Total time: 3:35:04
Place: 2947 / 3307
Age: 313 / 358
Once we got over the Expo debacle, the race seemed well organized. Of course, we didn’t experience the shuttle problems others did and I did read later they had run out of medals. There are no corrals and the start is self-seeded, but it seemed to me that people did a really good job with that. If I’d felt better, I would’ve liked to have tried to stay with one of the Galloway pace groups, and I’m glad they offered them.
Aside from a couple of tiny hills, it’s a pancake flat out and back completely along the Indian River. It’s mostly shaded and really pretty. It is a 2 lane road, and shared with the full marathon, so it does get pretty crowded at times. My Garmin tells me I added .15 miles by weaving.
Water stations and portapotties probably every mile to mile and a half. The volunteers were terrific, and handed out Gatorade and water, with the addition of Gu on the way back. The unofficial water stations were even better: beer, bacon, bananas, bloody marys! Maybe next year I’ll take advantage.
One of the best crowd supported races I’ve been in. The neighbors come out to cheer and hand out goodies (see above). There were signs and costumes and pom poms. It was a big party.