91. throwback to my first state (florida)
Today, Saturday, is a travel day as I'm running in the OKC half marathon tomorrow for the first time! Chap and I decided to make a little weekend trip out of it (instead of the mad dash to sleep and race like last weekend). We'll be tromping around Bricktown today and I'll post a full recap of our still-less-than-24 hour trip to the OK Capitol next week.
This morning, I did get in my last training run (not counting the race) for the week. The rest days early on this week threw my schedule off, but I'm so happy to have all my miles in. The StudiOne group did their miles first and we celebrated fastest miles and new runners. I set out after for a warmup mile and then 5 miles at 7:30 pace. I stumbled upon the Golden Driller races and got a boost of energy from that crowd. My paces look good, but I felt tired and slow.
I thought today, since I don't have much to post about while we're on the road, I'd start with a race recap of my very first US half marathon! I ran this race as a senior in college, before I had a life goal of running a half in every state. And certainly before this Boston Dream was hatched. This was back when I just wanted to run and travel for life. Which I guess, 8 years later, I kind of am.
State #1: ING Miami Half Marathon 2010
January 31, 2010
Important Background Info:
- Had just returned in December from a semester abroad in Ireland.
- I ran my first half-marathon in September while in Dublin.
- I’m a senior in college – last semester!
- My college boyfriend lived in Miami at the time and was working for the Health Corps, a job I was actively pursuing for post-grad. We weren't really still together but hadn't broken up formally either....
- 2010 was the same year the Colts were heading to face the Saints in the Super Bowl – hosted by Miami.
The race was the last weekend in January so I had been back at Rhodes for a couple of weeks. I remember the adjustment back to life in Memphis after living in Dublin was hard for me – lots of changes that I missed in the fall. It was good to be back in school though. The weekend I was scheduled to leave for Miami a gigantic snowstorm blew through Memphis. And in typical southern snowstorm panic, the city shut down. School was cancelled. The gym was closed. My flight was delayed, and delayed and delayed until finally it was cancelled.
I got bumped to the next day flight – cutting my relaxing 3-day vacation into a whirlwind weekend revolving mostly around the race. I remember there was still snow for my delayed flight and I was worried that wouldn’t even happen but it did and I made it to Miami – exactly 24 hours late.
After an airport reunion, the first order of business was packet pickup. Because of the cancelled flight, I missed the allotted hours for the expo and pickup. Luckily when I called the race director from the snowy Memphis airport, she was very understanding and told me how and where I could pick up my race bib after hours.
Once that was secured, it was time for food! Since the weekend was already off to such a rocky start I threw all “pre-race” expectations (plus, I didn’t have enough races under my belt at this point to really have a routine) out the window and we settled on Mexican. It was an excellent choice – beer, chips, guacamole and ceviche on the beach were just what the wintry Memphis girl needed. It was the first time I had ever had guacamole made right in front of me at a restaurant – I was quite impressed.
I had to go straight to bed (after a walk on the beach of course) because the Miami race starts so early. The 6:15AM start time is the earliest (still to this day) I’ve ever run a race. The idea is that you finish as the sunrises (or before it gets too high in the sky). We started at American Airlines Arena downtown. I remember I ran with my phone to text the boy and my family updates on my run – but it was pre-iPhone days so I don’t have many photos from the run itself.
I wore my Colts-blue tank top and race skirt (remember they were playing the Saints the following weekend in Miami at the Super Bowl!). After the first couple of miles on the course, we ran along Cruise Ship Row. I enjoyed this part because for Spring Break 2009 I was on board one of those ships. Those memories helped get me through the next couple of miles.
A lot of the middle miles were spent “island hopping” – lots of bridges.
Here’s what I remember thinking about during the race: it’s hot. nice house. spring break. post-grad plans. health corps. another nice house. super bowl. hotter. wonder what it’s like to go clubbing in Miami. Ireland memories. diet sprite.
Course support was fantastic. Plenty of water stations, about every mile. Lots of entertainment too, not just in the form of beautiful scenery (I don’t think palm trees and beaches could ever get boring!).
At mile 10.5 I encountered the famous “cheering zone” – placed strategically to give runners of the half and full a turbo boost. Well it certainly worked for me! By now the sun was full up and it was probably in the 90s (ok, 70s). I heard cowbells, cheers, whistles, air horns and those blow up boppers that fans use at basketball games to distract free-throw shooters. It was awesome, and just enough to get me to the finish line!
If I remember correctly, the first order of business after the race was a drug store for some Advil. My joints were sore for some reason. And then it was immediately home for a nap. I had to rest up for the adventure that awaited – the Pro Bowl! Since the Super Bowl was the following weekend, none of my Colts were playing but we still had a fun time watching the game.
I was not too impressed with the t-shirt but the 3-D rotating medal more than made up for it! I pulled these out of the keepsake box for a photo-op.
It was a great first-state weekend with the boy (who was impressed enough to run it himself in 2011!) despite being cut short and I returned to Memphis completely wiped out, only to be disappointed by the Colts’ loss in the Super Bowl.