My husband and son decided to make the trip with me this time, so we all loaded up the car and made the 3 hour trip to Fort Lauderdale Saturday morning. We got to the expo around 1 pm, after dealing with the cruise ship traffic near the convention center. The expo was pretty small, so we were in and out pretty quick. I was dissapointed to receive a men's large shirt, when I was pretty sure there had been a men's/women's selection when I registered. They wouldn't let me switch out then, but told me I could at the end of the day or the next morning. After leaving the expo, we headed over the the Westin Resort and Spa. This was located right on the course at mile 25. Easy walking to/from the finish line. We managed to swing an upgrade in rooms and ended up with an ocean front view! Awesome. After some fun times on the beach, we headed out to dinner, then back to the room for an early night for me.
I got up with my alarm at 4:30 am race morning. I hit the start button on the coffee machine, got dressed in the bathroom, grabbed my coffee and bags and then headed out the door. It was strange walking to the race area by myself. I thought I might see other runners there, but I didn't see anyone until I got to the parking area. I got right on a bus and soon we were headed to the start area. I was so happy I took the bus to the start! We could see major traffic heading towards the parking garages around the start area. After I got dropped off, I found the table with shirt exchange. I swapped out my shirt, then headed to the porta potties before heading over to the Art Museum. I met Rhonda there and a few other Marathon Maniacs. It was a nice area to hang out in. Lots of places to sit and it was a shelter from all the wind. While we waited, I told Rhonda about the Dances with Dirt marathon that I am running next month. She said she lived right by the race location. She looked it up on her iphone and signed up right then! A true Maniac. :) Not many Maniacs showed up for a photo, but we did get a 3 person shot taken by a race photographer. We had about 15 minutes before race start so we headed over to bag drop, which was at the back of the corral. The line was massive! Rhonda found her friend Sara in the crowd, so she went over to hang with her while I waited. I got my bag in the van with about a minute to spare. I found Rhonda and Sara in the crowd and hung with them because I could get not further ahead. There was a big group of people between me and the 5 hour pacer. I had wanted to start with the 4:30 guy! I was going to have some catching up to do once we got moving. Finally we made it to the start and I was off!
Miles 7 through 16 - 9:31, 9:37, 10:16, 10:00, 10:22, 10:18, 10:38, 10:21: 10:30, 10:05,
Finally I am running south, to the finish with the wind behind me! It feels great. Every once in a while I get a wind push that feels like someone has shoved me in the back. It's that strong! The 4:30 group catches up to me, so I decide I will try to hang with them for the rest of the race. We are running a good pace, through it feels a little fast. After a mile I look at my Garmin to see what the split was and notice it was just under a 10:00 mile! He should be keeping a 10:18 pace! They seem to pick up the pace even more, so I decide to let them go and hope they don't get to far ahead. I know I have a couple of minutes of extra time, because I started behind them. By mile 19, I notice that I am stiffening up. I decide I will take walk breaks through the water stops. This is the first marathon in years that I have not run with intervals from the start, but I thought I would give it a try with this race. I was at 3:22 at mile 20. I should have had plenty of time to finish in 4:30. I just needed to focus on my goal. Miles 17 through 20 - 10:21, 9:58, 10:56, 10:39
|Trying to finish strong even though I hurt!|
Finish - 4:37:26