Warning! 26.2 miles is a long way to go, therefore this will be a long one!
Marathon #2 is in the books! I am so glad that I did it and I was blessed enough to share the experience with my mom! So here’s the story:
We traveled down to Miami on Saturday, picked up our race packets and enjoyed the sights of the expo.
They had a car that everyone could sign or write their goals on. As I searched for a blank space, I found another IRun4 Runner’s marking and left one behind it!
At the expo I picked up a new item, the Running Buddy. The magnetic pouch that clips on your shorts or belt for extra storage. I know, I know… never do anything new on the day of a race. I knew I would need to carry extra tissues and GUs and decided the risk was worth it. My allergies had been acting up and I didn’t want to get caught without a way to handle it!
We arrived at our hotel after a brief traffic issue. The road that the GPS wanted to take us on was blocked for the race finish shoot for the following day. Yes, our hotel was that close! We admired the beautiful harbor view from our room and got our race day items laid out for the morning.
We headed out to dinner at the Bayside Shops along the water, which was a short walk (maybe half a mile) from our hotel. We had dinner with the Moore’s and the Spaulding’s. Ashley Moore is an amazing young girl who suffers from paralysis due to a terrible car accident. Her father is apart of our Capital Insurance Family and asked if I would mind utilizing my running as a fundraiser for the Miami Project for research for a cure for paralysis. Of course I said yes! We asked people to donate per mile – our grand total was $60 per mile! or a total of just over $1,500 raised for the Miami Project! After a wonderful carb-filled meal, my mom and I retired to get some rest.
The Miami Marathon is also accompanied by a half-marathon that all start at the same time and run the first 12.8 miles together. So my mom and I got to run the first few miles together before we got separated due to pace and A LOT of people. With 25,000 participants in the 5k on Saturday or Half and Full marathons on Sunday, there were a lot of people. The race course had beautiful scenery and was well planned with water, aid stations and portapottys!
Within the first mile of the course is the largest bridge on the course. It was good to get it out of the way and move on with the rest of the route. From the top of the bridge, we could see a tug boat shooting water and several cruise ships in dock.
Then we proceeded down Ocean Drive in South Beach. Again, beautiful scenery!
On the way back towards the finish of the half and the cut off of the full, we went over another set of smaller bridges called the Venetian Causeway. At about mile 9 I mis-stepped in a small divot in the ground and I felt a shooting pain in my foot. I stepped to the side and walked for a minute. I knew that I had hurt something – of course later I would know it was a stress fracture. Shortly after that, we passed a pineapple station! What a nice treat!
At the 12.8 mile mark to shoot appeared, the half finishers were to turn left and the full marathoners were to turn right. After turning right and continuing on my journey, I had decided that I would be gentle to my left foot and take my pace easy. At about the same time my mom text me and let me know that she was feeling good at about mile 10 and that she would be pushing herself to finish the full marathon! My only reply back was “take care of my mother”.
At about mile 14 I encountered an older gentleman, who I would later learned was 72 years old and running his fifth Miami marathon. He had on a jacket that said Boston marathon 2010, so there’s no telling how many full marathons this gentleman had run in his lifetime. We talked for a little while about his service for our country, raising three girls and much more. He wanted someone to hear his story! So I listened for a mile or two until he needed a walk break and I kept going.
During Space Coast, my first marathon, I began to hit the “wall” at about mile 19. So as I approached mile 19 I began to become a tad anxious. But God had already handled that! Along came a small group of runners that were running intervals at about the same pace I was. The gentleman that I could discern as their leader invited me to run with them and introduced himself and his friends. from mile 19 to almost 23, these new friends kept me going, kept me talking and kept me from realizing that there was any “wall” to be hit. At mile 22, their local running club had a beer stop! So I stopped with Mark and my new friends to have a beer before finishing the race.
The toughest portion of the Miami course was mile 23, which took you out onto a causeway with very little shade. I didn’t realize how sunny the day had become until we hit this point in the course. Thankfully miles 24 through 26 were shaded by The buildings of downtown.
My Miami finish time was five hours and 34 minutes, and almost 20 minute PR over my space coast time! I had my redemption! After collecting my metal and Finishline goodies, I quickly return to the hotel to take a shower before returning to the finish line to watch my mother finish her first full marathon! It was in this walk that I could really feel that my foot had encountered a stress fracture! It felt exactly like the one I had a little over a year ago. I wrapped it gently with some athletic tape and have not run in the last few weeks to allow my body to heal.
So what’s coming next? Gasparilla Distance Classic with Team Freedom, the Gate River Run, Sarasota half marathon, and Iron Girl half marathon. The training alone that this season has required has exhausted this runner! Don’t misunderstand, I will continue to run! But I will be pulling back in my training so that I can balance all of the areas of my life!
This year as I celebrate my 30th birthday I intend to run the Disneyland half marathon in September just a few weeks after my birthday. I never thought that I would be a “runner”, but now that I am I can’t imagine my life without it!