Thursday, November 22, 2012

Latin Music Miami Beach Half Marathon

November 18, 2012

Girls weekend in Miami Beach! :) Me, Dawn, Gina and Amy headed down to Miami Saturday morning. We made good time, arriving in the early afternoon. Thankfully we got to check in early, so we dropped off our bags at the hotel and then walk the mile to the expo on the beach, which was also the location of the start and finish line. The expo was pretty small for a Rock N Roll event, so we were finished with that pretty fast. We walked along Ocean drive for a bit and then headed back to the hotel to relax near the rooftop pool. After a little bit of relaxing, we walked over to Lincoln Rd, which was just two blocks from our hotel. It sure has changed a lot since the last time I was there. But since, it's been over 15 years, I kind of expected there to be more going on! :) We met up with Ken, Bret and a friend of their's for dinner at Tiramesu Restaurant. They had a yummy Pesto gluten free pasta with zucchini. After a fun dinner, we walked down Lincoln Rd for a bit, checking out the fancy stores, before heading back to the hotel for an early night.

We started race morning early, 5:30 am wake up call. We were out the door by 6am, heading toward the race start, we encountered lots of people still out having fun from the night before! We arrived, took a few pre-race photos, checked in our bags, made one more pit stop and then headed to the corral. Amy was in corral 3, so we wished her luck and headed to #4, were we met up with Bret and Ken. We only had a few minutes wait before the national anthem was sung and the first corral was off. It was a small race, so only a minute between each corral being let go. Soon we were off and running!

We ran along ocean drive for a couple of blocks before turning left. We then turned right, on to Washington. We passed by out hotel and then Lincoln Rd. Our pace was brisk. I was already thinking I couldn't keep it up for long. Just after mile 2, I asked Gina when we would start intervals, because there was no way I could keep this up much longer! I was already dripping in sweat. She started her interval watch, so we had 5 minutes before our 1 min walk break. Just after mile 3, I noticed Amy up ahead at the water stop. Normally she is much faster than us, so I knew she must be having a rough time in the heat two. We had a long, banked, slight up hill to take us towards the first bridge. I hugged that as tight as I could. I didn't want to have issues with my IT Band This first bridge wasn't too bad, but we did feel a bit of a head wind. Miles 1 through 3 - 8:29, 8:31, 9:10.

We had a nice flat stretch for a while, but up ahead, we could see the big bridge looming. It looked very high! At the base of the big bridge, there was a band playing. They kept saying the same words over and over again. As were were passing them, I heard them say "your almost there!" Um, no. We are not even half way done yet! Geesh. I asked Gina how far we had until our next walk break. It wasn't going to happen for a while, so I put my head down and powered up the bridge. Of course our walk break came as we reached the top! I got a chance to get my breathing under control before we started running down hill, which was the best! For a little while now we were going back and forth passing Amy or being passed by her. By now, we had left her behind. She really wasn't doing well. The next few miles were in a not so great area of Miami. Lots of run down, industrial buildings. Nothing interesting here. At mile 8, we came up to the relay exchange. There were lots of people running the relay. So now we had a lot of people pass us because they had just started and had lots of energy! Miles 4 through 8 - 9:04, 9:35, 10:44, 9:22, 10:03

Just before mile nine, we made the turn towards the third bridge. This one wasn't too bad, but the sun was starting to pop out of the clouds a lot more now. Poor Gina had no hat or sunglasses. I don't know how she did it! The next few miles were a blur of running and walking and surviving the heat. I was happy to cross the last, little bridge back onto the island. We hit mile 12 at just before 2 hours. No sub two on this day. I just wanted to make a respectable time, which I knew we could. Thankfully the last mile went by pretty fast. We made the left turn onto the sand last stretch and hauled it into the finish line. Miles 9 through 13.16 (a little long) - 10:12, 9:35, 10:23, 10:29, 9:36, 1:21

Amazingly enough, Gina and I finished with the exact same time of 2:06:38

Overall, it was a fun trip and run in Miami. Looking forward to a colder race. :)

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