That was the worst race ever!
The morning started out fine. I got up at 4 am, after having a pretty good night's sleep. Had a cup of coffee, then loaded up my gear and headed for the race. Got a parking spot right away, about 2 blocks from the race start. I found my friends right away, talked for a bit, then headed to the porta-potty line. The weather wasn't so great. It was overcast with temps in the low 60s and high humidity (sucks).
I started out with the 4:30 pace group. The 10:30ish per mile pace has been standard for me in long runs. I was doing fine for a while, but noticed the pacer was going much faster than he should have. Sometimes I was at a 9:30 pace! By mile 4 I let them go on and held back a bit. Figured I'd find the 4:45 group.
At mile 5, I was still doing good. I ate my sport beans and within a minute or so, it hit my stomach hard. It just didn't sit well, plus I was pretty hot and sweaty at this point and maybe drinking to much.
By mile 6 I had to take a walk break. That's so early! I was really hurting and thinking of giving up already. Around mile 7 the 4:45 pace group caught up, so I thought I'd try and hang with them. It didn't last all that long. I was walking again by mile 8. Soon enough the 5:00 pace group came up. The guy was really nice, told me to join them. They were running 5 minutes, walking a minute. I thought that would work great. But when they were running, it was at a 10 min pace, and with my tummy issues, this was just to fast. I stayed with them for more than a mile, then let them go.
Pretty much from mile 9 to 15 I was able to run for a half mile or so, then walk for a bit. My husband and son were waiting for me at mile 16. It was great to see them! Wish I could have run stong after that, but no. I was into pretty much walking more than running now. Once I got to 19/20. It was almost all walking with bursts of quarter mile running every once in a long while.
The last 6 miles were bad. The bottom of my feet hurt and I could feel a big blister on a couple of toes on my right foot. My friends husband and son were on their bikes and hung back with me the last few miles. It helped alot, there were not many people left at this point! According to my Garmin, the course was a bit long. I would hit the mile markers about half a mile before their signs. So I got to 26.2 on my Garmin in 5:54, but still had lots to go on the course! ( I talked to a few other runners, they all had the course as to long)
I finished in 6 hours 13 seconds. Bummer! Really wanted to get in under 6 hours at least.
I really don't know what caused the issues with my stomach. I felt over heated most of the race, and due to the cold of the past week, I needed to blow my nose a few times to. So all that phlem was not helping either.
I am back to half marathons. I enjoy them. They are still a challenge, but don't cause as much pain. If I ever run a marathon again, it will be in a cooler area of the country. Florida is not the best place for a marathon. Even in the middle of February, you cannot count on cooler temps.
Top photo: Me, Karen, Daniel and Sheila before the race.
Middle photo: Me about a quarter mile from the finish.
Last photo: After the finish, showing off the medal I earned for making it through the marathon.