Monday, December 5, 2016

Space Coast Half Marathon

Half marathon #67

November 27, 2016

This was my 4th year of running the Space Coast races. The last 3 years, I've run the marathon. The second year, was my PR marathon time, that still stands. Last year was rough, so this year, I decided to run the Half Marathon.

This year, I went over to the Space Coast on Friday, with my husband and son. We went to the Kennedy Space Center and walked around all day. My feet were hurting by the end of the day. I didn't eat very healthy, either. Same for Saturday. So, come race morning, my stomach was having some issues. I spend a bit of time in the bathroom, before leaving for the race Sunday morning. I left the hotel at 4:30, my normal time. When I got to my usual parking lot, it was almost full! I had to park next to the curb, instead of in a parking spot. I normally would have been worried about getting towed, but I have seen cars park in the same spot every year, and no issues, so I went ahead and parked. I hung out in my car for a while, then headed over to the main staging area to meet my Sarasota friends. I made a longish stop to the porta potty, then went to find everyone. Met up with Lynnette, Kimmi, Toni and Ariana for a group photo, then went to use the porta potty one more time! It was 5:45 and my race started at 6am. The lines were long! I was waiting and waiting. Finally, I asked the people ahead of me, who were all running the marathon (which started a half hour after mine) if I could cut ahead. Thankfully they all said yes. I went in, did my business, then headed to the start, a block away. It was so jam packed. I couldn't even get from the side road into the main street. A woman came by, pushing her way through the crowd, with 4 other people following behind her. I jumped on that train and went with them. I was able to get pretty close to the 1:50 pacer, who I wanted to stick with for as long as I could. I didn't have long to wait before the big tv screen should the shuttle launch. With the blast off of the shuttle, we were off!

A couple of miles from the finish!
The roads were very congested for the first mile. Our pace leader kept us under pace, not sure why, maybe because it was hard to move faster through the crowd? The pace for each mile was supposed to be 8:23, So you can see from my first mile, we were 22 seconds off. After mile one, the pacer started running faster. Miles 2, 3 and 4 were under our goal pace! I guess he needed to make up the seconds lost in the first mile. For me, the 8:23 was going to be a challenge to keep, so when he kept up an even faster pace, I started to feel it during mile 5. At around mile 4.5, I started to slow down a little. For another mile or so, I could still see the group ahead of me, but they gradually pulled ahead by a lot. I decided just to do what I could do and carry on. It was great seeing this part of the course as the sun was coming up. There was cloud cover on the horizon, so I didn't get to see the sun come up over the water, but it was still beautiful. Miles 1 through 5- 8:45, 8:16, 8:19, 8:15, 8:22

At the half way point, we turn around and head back. I love out and backs. Seeing other runners and seeing friends on the course. It distracts from any discomfort I am feeling. I got to see a lot of friends as I headed back. Unfortunatly, my legs started to stiffen up. I just couldn't get them to move any faster. So, my pace got slower and slower. I knew I wasn't going to PR, my new goal was to get in under 1:55. As I made the sharp turn onto the side walk, just after mile 13, I knew I had my goal in reach. I ran the curve, by all the cheering people, to the finish. Very happy! Miles 6 through 13.1 - -8:27, 8:37, 8:35, 8:51, 8:56, 9:04, 9:13, 9:11, 0:43

Finish: 1:53:40
10th in age group out of 381

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