November 29, 2015
Marathon weekend! I am so not ready! Shoulder was feeling better, but still on pain relieving meds. The forecast was showing high humidity, warm and windy. Heading over to Cocoa Beach Saturday morning, I was not looking forward to running a marathon the next day.
Carolyn and I left early Saturday (7:30 am), so that we could get to the expo early. As soon as we parked the car, I found a facebook friend, that I had planned to meet up with! It was great meeting Kerry for the first time. We had belonged to the same mom's running group for many years. We all went into the expo, heading for bib pickup. Carolyn and I found Rob, who hung out with us as we did our shopping. We then headed over to the hotel, but couldn't check in, so we got some lunch and hung out on the beach for a bit. Then, it was off to the mall and then dinner. Carolyn and I got our race gear set up, then got to bed early. 3:50 am alarm set!
Miles 1-7: I found myself running with the 4:10 Galloway pace group. I couldn't shake them, even though my watch was showing mile splits that were slower than they should have been running. It was a large group and they were doing strange intervals. Something like 1:45/30. So it was back and forth with them for at least 4 miles. It was hard to get by them once they stopped to walk. They took up half the road! Thankfully they eventually pulled ahead. I felt like the effort to keep a 9:30ish pace was much harder this year than my 9ish pace was last year. I knew right away it was going to be rough. We had a nice breeze for the first 6.5 miles. Once we made the turn and started heading south, the wind was at our back, the sun was rising and it was getting hot.
Miles 8-13.1: I started to struggle during this section. I walked part of the little hills, which I didn't have to do the last 2 years of running this race. I was having a hard time getting out of the funk I was in. Just feeling low, because I knew it was going to be a long day. I made it to the half way mark at 2:05, which wasn't bad considering how crappy I was feeling already. I really wish I could have taken the turn towards the finish, but I didn't realize at the time, that was an option!
Miles 14-20: By mile 16, I was feeling very overheated. There was little shade for the last couple of miles and no wind. I started walking a lot more. Around mile 17 or 18, Carolyn caught up to me. We ran for a little bit together, before I told her to head on. I was going to be walking a lot. She and I went back and forth a few times. Thankfully, we hit the second turn around, and started heading North.
Miles 21-26.2: The wind on the way back felt glorious! It helped to cool me down, so I was able to start running a bit more. But since I had been walking so much, I had stiffened up. It made running harder. It just wasn't my day! Carolyn and I ended up run/walking the last 5 miles together. She had a rough day as well. We pushed it to run in the last mile. I was so happy to make that last semi circle turn to the finish line!
Post race thoughts: Running a marathon in Florida is rough. The weather in the winter is unpredictable. You never know if you will get lucky and have a cool day or if it will be summer time warm. I had planned on running the 5 year challenge for this race. If I go back for year 4 next year, it will be for the half marathon!