That, my friends, is the kinda time you get when it’s the 7th ring of hell humid and you’ve barely run for the past month. It’s hard to believe I ran a 2:03 in Sarasota just a month ago.
Sunday morning started with a 4am wake-up call. Michelle and I did all the pre-race things we do – got ready, ate some breakfast (oatmeal and a banana for me), and got our caffeine on.
This race was the first time I’ve ever seen timing chips like this:
We fastened them on with zip ties but I could still feel it flop around on my shoe through half of the race even though it was on really tight and through several laces. Not a big deal, just not my favorite. At the end of the race, they cut them off and took the chips back.
Michelle and I drove to the park (where the Expo was held the day before) to catch the trolley that took us to the race start. We had NO problem parking and caught the trolley right away.
Side note: Our friend’s Tiffany and Connie ran the 5k. They waited for an hour for the trolley and once they made it to the race, they were closing the starting line because finishers were starting to come in. They almost didn’t get to run. Luckily they did and schooled all the other teams by coming in 17th out of 129. Way to go, ladies!
On the trolley, I enjoyed my second Red Bull before 5:30 am.
Then Michelle and I annoyed other passengers by taking way too many pictures of ourselves. I say, the more pictures you take before your gross and sweaty…the better.
We arrived at Pier 60 and stood in line for the restrooms a couple times during our hour and a half wait before the race started.
People kept staring at Michelle (or her bib?) and we couldn’t figure out why. Maybe it was her super-hero like utility belt that she uses to scale walls.
We headed down to the race start where people without bib numbers were just hanging around IN the start line.
There were no corrals but the race start seemed pretty organized for having no organization. A guy just made an announcement for the 6 and 7 minute milers to get toward the front, the 8, 9, and 10 minute milers to get in the middle, and the 11 and 12 min milers and walkers/joggers to get toward the back.
This is all the people standing behind us.
The race started on time and I really didn’t feel like I had to dodge many runners like I normally do. I’m sure this was a sign somehow.
Most of our running areas along the course were really narrow so girls were running outside of the orange cones which slowed cars that I could have touched if I reached my hand out.
Although the picture is blurry, the first bridge is in the distance here. There were three of them. Three horrible, horrible bridges. That didn’t include the rolling hills. For the first time, my hamstrings are sore after a race. The whole race felt like a hill climb. I will never bitch about the Melbourne Half Marathon bridges again.
Pretty sunrise over the first bridge.
Top of the first bridge.
Oh, I saw a LOT of ladies in running dresses (there’s one in the picture below). This was the first time I’ve ever seen one. I want to bring running evening gowns in style. Look for that at my next race.
I know runners look forward to the decline after a bridge – but I thought it was all hard this time around.
Around mile 3.5, blog reader Shawntae recognized my Camelbak (!) and said hello.
Hi Shawntae! Thanks for saying hello. 🙂 (I hope I spelled that right.)
Don’t worry, I didn’t get totally creepy and stalk you in the race results to get that spelling.
Shortly after the mile 4 marker, I put away my camera. I hate holding things during races and I needed to get out my trusty sweat rag because I’m a disgusting, sweaty woman.
My pace was significantly slower than normal. At my worst, I can run a 10 min mile but I was running a lot of 11 minute and 11:30 minute miles during this race. At Mile 9, I walked for 5 minutes. I also walked leisurely through three water stations. Then I walked for a few minutes at the top of the third bridge (Mile 11) because my heart rate felt too high. I was DYING during the entire race. It was SO hot and uncomfortable.
Best part of the race? Tiffany and Connie stayed after their 5k to cheer for me and Michelle when we crossed the finish!
No clue why I’m still wearing my headphones there, because nothing was playing.
Speaking of the finish, as I was coming in I heard the announcer call my name and then I crossed a big blue area that looked like the finish. So I started walking.
It wasn’t the finish.
I looked up to see photographers and ANOTHER big blue area that was the actual finish. So, I had to start running again. That was SO confusing to me. Tiffany and Connie said that everyone was making the same mistake, so at least it wasn’t heat stroke that was making me see finish line mirages.
Oh, and the Sweaty Band that I bought that the Expo did not stay in my hair. I didn’t even realize it was falling out until Michelle said something. The blog world swears by them and I’m here to tell you…I have not found a headband that can stay on my head.
I did LOVE my new sunglasses and the iFitness belt I bought rocks the pants off of Spibelts.
Michelle and I walked around a little bit after the race and took some pictures.
We waited for about 30 minutes to catch a trolley back to the area where we parked. Then we took cold, uncomfortable showers (not together) because there was NO hot water at the condo.
Before we headed home, we had to get a few pictures. Remember that belt I told you about in the last post?
Let’s look at it a little closer.
Yeah, those are hands.
I love a belt that can double as a fashion statement and a way to show surprise.
Michelle gets cranky if she doesn’t get Starbucks after a race, so we stopped there and I had my first Starbucks drink ever – a tall skinny vanilla iced latte (Michelle’s treat!).
I felt like Mary Louise Parker in Weeds holding this drink.
The latte wasn’t bad, but it’s not my thing. I think next time I’ll stick to their mini-cupcakes. 🙂
Overall, this was the hardest half marathon course I’ve done. The heat didn’t help at all and I had a hard time getting through it. But I finished and got my medal and I’m proud of that. Now I can sit back and relax for a couple months before marathon training starts.
Updated to add: A cool thing I forgot to mention about Iron Girl – they email you with your actual race results, not just a link to get your results. I’ve never seen a race do that and thought that was pretty cool.