Friday, January 30, 2015

Space Coast Half Marathon 2014 recap

For the second year in a row, I traveled over to the east coast of Florida the weekend after Thanksgiving to run the Space Coast Half Marathon.  I enjoyed and PRed the course last year so I had to go back for more bling!

The 2014 medal featured the Challenger Space Shuttle with 7 stars representing the seven lives lost when the Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff on January 28, 1986.

Denise and I drove over on Saturday to visit the expo and pick up our race bibs and packets.  The expo was at a local hotel instead of the Kennedy Space Center this year.  The expo had more exhibitors than last year but was extremely crowded and hard to maneuver.  They ran out of women's race shirts which was very annoying, especially considering I did early registration before the general public.

Expo selfie with fellow Striders

After the expo, Denise and I checked in to our hotel and then met the Striders for dinner.  At dinner, one of my fellow runners, Bob, volunteered to pace me in the half to an under 2:00 hour finish.  I just PRed at the Savannah Rock N Roll Half with a time of 2:02:26.

On race morning, I was ready to conquer my half and hopefully a new PR under 2:00.  I met up with Bob and was a little nervous for him to pace me because we hadn't ever run together before.  We lined up near the 2 hour pace group in the start corral.  Shortly after, the race started and we were off, running along the scenic Indian River.

At about mile 3, my legs were already tired (probably because I walked around Busch Gardens all day on Friday).  We ran a nice pace and did not start out too fast.  I told Bob I wasn't sure this under 2 thing was going to happen today because I already wasn't feeling it.

The 2 hour pace group (A) and the 2 hour Galloway pace group (B) kept passing each other.  At about mile 4, I needed a little walk break just to catch my breath so we stopped to walk with the Galloway group.  I figured we could catch up with the other group (A) on the next run portion.  The Galloway group started their run portion and it was a SPRINT.  This Galloway group was equivalent to running intervals for 13.1 miles!  No thanks!  We caught up to the other group (A) but after the sprint I just ran, I couldn't keep pace.  The 2 hour pace groups ran off ahead but I was ok with that.  I ran my own race and if I didn't meet my goal, there would be another race.

Bob kept me going towards the end of the course where I would have slowed down my pace if I was by myself.  It was a hot day that slowly zapped my energy for running.

The last .10 mile curved around Riverfront Park in a half circle to the finish line.  We ran over a timing mat that I thought was the finish line and stopped running.  Bob looked back at me and yelled "come on" and I heard people yelling, "keep going"!  I was not at the finish line yet but the mat that allowed the announcer to call out our names.  UGH!  I started running again and crossed the finish line about 10 steps ahead.  I was glad to be done!  I didn't finish under 2:00 but did PR by 24 seconds.

Overall Place: 434/3304
Female Place: 184/2329
Age Div Place: 33/417
Average pace: 9:19
5K time: 28:33
10K time: 57:08
15K time: 1:26:15
Chip time: 2:02:02

I love the space shuttle medal and will be back for more!  What's your favorite race medal?

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