Thursday, February 20, 2014

A1A Marathon 2014 Recap

Fort Lauderdale is the farthest from home that I've traveled for a race.  The A1A Marathon wasn't even a blip on my race radar until my friend Denise, who was already registered for the marathon, encouraged our Disney training group to register.  I considered just registering for the half but decided to go for the full marathon (my 4th) because I would be trained after running the Disney Marathon in January.

Before the A1A Marathon, I ran a total of 3 times in 2014....Disney Marathon, recovery run the next week and Best Damn Race.  That's it folks, no other training runs.  I also ran A1A in brand new shoes that I had never run in before.  These are examples of how NOT to train and run a marathon.  Even though I did everything wrong, I still had a great race.

I ran in new shoes because after getting HUGE blisters on my toes at the Disney Marathon, and I'm talking blisters that span 3 toes on one foot and two toes on the other foot,  I was not running in those old shoes again.  So I bought new shoes but didn't have a chance to run in them.

Denise and I arrived in Fort Lauderdale Saturday afternoon to pick up our race packets and enjoy the expo.  The expo was fantastic, second only to Gasparilla.  We received an abundance of samples and freebies to take home.  Then it was off to dinner and the hotel.

Denise and I started off the marathon at a nice pace to warm up.  Shortly after we started, we ran over one draw bridge.  Other than that, the course was nice and flat. At about mile 4 1/2 we entered Birch State Park.  It was a beautiful park on the water with shade trees and picnic benches.  As we passed the 6 mile mark in the park, I decided it was time for my one and only bathroom break. I spotted and used a nice park bathroom instead of a horrid port-o-potty.  Denise did not need to stop so we parted ways.  She set a time goal of under 5 hours and my only goal was finishing the race.

Photo by Denise

I felt great so far in the race so after my potty break I picked up my pace, hoping to eventually catch up with Denise.  I kept on running, only to stop for water and fuel.  My only race disappointment was the fuel on the course.  I only brought one gel and they only offered Fuel Strip Fuel Chews.  While the Fuel Chews did help to fuel my energy depleted body, I couldn't eat them and run at the same time.  Yes, that was a personal problem but the whole running-breathing-chewing-swallowing, choked me up.  I had to either walk while I chewed the chews or put one in my cheek to let it slowly dissolve.  It worked but wasn't ideal for me.

By mile 15, I had not caught up to Denise or seen her on the course.  The turn around took us through a residential area where we didn't pass runners going in the opposite direction so I thought I probably missed her there.

I am a competitive person.  At this point in the race, I realized if I kept up my current pace, I could finish under 5 hours and might even beat my Disney 4:57 time and PR.  With a goal set, I had to git-r-done!

My mile 19.  I wondered why I was running another marathon.  I also asked myself why I was trying to PR.  I was there to support my friend, I didn't need to PR!  AND, because of my park bathroom jaunt, my Garmin was .30 miles ahead so my watch rang the next mile before I was actually there on the was torture.

The last 6.2 miles where hot and agonizing but with a goal in mind, I wasn't stopping.  The last water stop was .75 miles from the finish and the volunteer was shocked that I didn't want water.  He even told me this was the last water until the finish line.  I thought to myself, Yes I know but it's less than a mile and I have a PR to make, I don't need your stinkin water!

I finished and PRed by 8 minutes!  My shoes did a superb job with no blisters!

Photo by Denise

Age Group: 27/44
Overall Place: 423/632
10K split: 1:08:31
Half split: 2:22:03
30K split: 3:26:14
Average Pace: 11:04 min/mile
Total Time: 4:49:57

I looked around for Denise but couldn't find her so I sat on the beach wall and waited to see if she was still out on the course.  About 10 minutes later, she crossed the finish line!  Denise had a new PR too.

Photo by Denise

I really liked this race!  Other than the one draw bridge, the course was very flat.  The expo had lots of venders and goodies.  The finisher medals rocked!  I would definitely do this race again.

1 comment:

  1. Great recap and a great job on the race! I am so glad you were there even though we didn't even run together! Stupid bathroom! lol It was just so wonderful having you there and being there for yet another one of your PR's. xox


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