The good news? I knocked off 7 minutes from my previous Half Marathon pr.
The bad news? I ONLY knocked off 7 minutes from my previous Half Marathon pr.
The Miami Beach 13.1 began EARLY Sunday morning, start time 6am. I always like to give myself at least 2 hours of "awake" time before any race, so if you do the math the day began before the rooster sang-- and I mean that literally. I was staying with friends who live in a very nice community in Miami but somewhere nearby there was a rooster that performed it's duties quite well-- sounding it's natural alarm at the ripe hour of 4:30am daily! This is not something you would expect to find in a suburb of Miami-- but it is a city full of interesting characters!
Moving on. The temperature Sunday morning was well..... for Miamians, Cold, for a Buffalonian like me, perfect. It was in the 50's but as the sun began to rise-- so did the temperature. The race was well managed and organized. It began on Ocean Drive-- not far from one of my favorite bars-- The Clevelander!!! There were about 2,000 others registered but the start line was wide enough so there was not a lot of crowding.
Without too much fanfare (which I like) The gun sounded. We were off!
I felt really good from the get go. I was keeping my pace to try and meet my goal of finishing closer to 1:30-- That is until mile 4 when my pace slowed. I did not feel tired-- in fact I was barely sweating. My Polar watch had broken the week before the race so I had no instant indicator telling me my pace which was driving me nutz. I relied on the mile markers which each thankfully had a clock. By mile 4 I had noticed my pace was down from 6:55 to 7:30's. I could have pushed even harder here but was concerned of burning out too soon. Next time I will know better.
Also during mile 4, I was forced to do what I've always said I wouldn't: make a mid-race pitstop. I consumed WAY too many liquids pre-race (coffee, gatorade, protein drink, red bull) I could not hold it one more second. I hit one of the many Portapotties along the course route. I made it quick but it still took away 1 minute 23 seconds!
The last leg of the race there was a very challenging hill, which in "flat" Miami is hard to come by. This incline was man made but still pretty tough. The worst part is you climb it twice. The course took you across the Julia Tuttle Causeway, which connects the beach to the City of Miami, and then back again. As challenging as it was by the time you were done with the Causeway-- the race was almost over. Just 5K's left-- and 5 very flat K's!
I was still running strong-- slower thanks to the 2 monster hills , but beginning to pass several people. I finished strong but knew I was going to be closer to 1:40 as opposed to 1:30.
I crossed the line at 1:39:24. A time, given the effort put in, I am quite happy with... not thrilled-- but happy. I told myself before the race I wanted to finish strong and not "burn out" towards the end. I never did "burn out" but I do wonder if the end result would have been better had I pushed it a bit harder in the beginning.
Next time maybe I will.
Chip time 1:39:24
age ranking: 27th out of 132
Overall: 124th out 1557