Sunday, January 31, 2010
The Miami Half Marathon...
I have looked forward to this race for weeks. I have trained and stayed focus. My nutrition has been good and I have really been working on making sure my body is hydrated.
With that said...sometime you just wake up race morning and KNOW it's going to be a tough day. That was today.
430am....ugh...I hit the alarm and then made sure that my running partner, Rick was up and not sleeping in. I really don't want to do this today without at least having one friend at the start. This race was very popular last year with our circle of running buddies as we took a cruise after the race. It was AWESOME...run a half marathon BY the ship you are about to board and scream at the top of your lungs..."Fix me a margarita...Ill be there in a few hours..." It was a blast.
But this year, Rick and I crammed this race in between a lot of different life events. His girlfriend had surgery (nothing life threatening...thank you Lord) 5 days ago, his girlfriend's birthday party Friday night, my in laws will be arriving next week, AND Team in Training had their kick off meeting on Saturday morning which meant..we had to drive down to the race Saturday afternoon and return Sunday right after. Not EXACTLY a relaxing weekend with a race included.
I laid in bed thinking how wonderful it would be to sleep a few more hours. I thought about how the medal looks JUST LIKE LAST YEAR'S MEDAL...I could just wear the old one (NOT!!). I thought about hot coffee and a Sunday paper and maybe a visit to the Spa....but the course was calling so I made it to my feet and got ready and out the door of our Downtown Miami hotel at 530AM.
The race start was PACKED with over 18,000 runners but we made our way to our corral and before we knew it, the fireworks were going off and we were on the run. The run heads over a large causeway in the first mile so I ran just a little bit before slowing to a walk up the causeway.
Im a Florida girl and fully believe that HILLS were made for skiing, hiking and enjoying from the balcony of a beautiful hotel room in the Rocky or Smokey Mountains. I don't run hills...even if they are man made. Im learning..slowly...but for now..I walked that hill with gusto and ran carefully down the other side.
I was feeling pretty good in the first 5 miles. I had found a pacing partner named Allan from South Florida that was walk/running the race as I was. We made our way for the first 5 miles until he decided to walk the rest of the race and I kept going.
At mile six, we were on South Beach where we were greeted and cheered on by some of the most incredible Drag Queens you have ever seen. At first, I was stunned...then amused. The things you will see when you run a Half Marathon.
At mile eight, I started to have trouble with my feet but I couldn't figure out why. I had not changed my shoes or socks..they were the same model of shoe and normal socks I always wear but something was not right. My fear of falling behind got the best of my good judgement...so instead of stopping. I kept going.
By mile 11, I was really hurting but I am blessed to have that endorphin rush that some athletes talk about so I had difficulty pin pointing WHERE exactly I hurt. I knew my feet were the issue but I didn't know where...
I crossed the finish line 17 minutes slower than my best time. Definitely not the day I was hoping for. I had stuck to my run/walk plan until mile 10 where things kinda went to hell...but....it was a solid effort. I kept walking through the finish line and my feet began to pound with pain. I could hardly walk. What in the world have I done?
I made it to the front of the hotel where Rick was waiting, dressed and showered to help me to my hotel room. He had already finished, cleaned up and checked out. Someday, I want to be that fast.
As he helped me into my room, he removed my shoes...to a gasp and a shocked look on his face. "Missey, how in the world did you run like this??" I had 3 blisters on the left foot...but the right foot was pretty bad!!
To my horror, I had a blister...but not your standard blister. This bad boy was 5 inches long 3 inches wide and FULL of blood. It stuck out 2 inches from my right foot and looked like it would burst at any moment. We iced it immediately and then put all of my in an ice bath.
I called Hector and my friend and former Coach Beth for advice. I have had blister before but NOTHING like this guy. He had his own zip code. We put Preparation H on it (if you have never heard of using that stuff on blisters, you gotta try it..it really works) and wrapped my foot in a large bandage. I was able to get another pair of shoes on but I gotta tell ya, I am happier right now not having a shoe on that foot.
I was disappointed with my race but better to learn about my shoe issue (those shoes went into the trash) than to be dealing with this in an Ironman or Half Ironman race. These half marathons are really tune ups to help my running. Triathlon is the passion and the goal. I can tell some small improvements have occurred but I need to drop a bit more weight and work a little harder to get that PR. It was a solid and fun race even with all the difficulties!!!
I thought about posting a pic of my foot but I think it would gross you out!! Better to just post the race start photo!!!