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    LLTS01   107,964
100,000-149,999 SparkPoints

My First Half Marathon!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

First here are the numbers

13.1 miles
2:45:40 time
4530 calories burned race day
43, 715 steps for the day

My cousin and a close friend accompanied me to Miami for our first half marathon. We had a slight flight delay on Friday bur were walking around South Beach a little after 9 PM taking in the sights and looking for food.

We spent most of Saturday walking around and then walked 9 blocks to the convention center to pick up our race packets. We went around 3 to meet up with the Sparkteam but I did not find a soul and went back into the Expo. We walked around for a while and bought some Gu, socks, and other little items. This was supposed to be our rest day but we ended up walking around and shopping and I logged over 20,000 steps that day.

We went to bed at 10 and set the alarm for 4 AM. We had to walk 9 blocks to catch the shuttle to the race. Once on the bus, we hit bad traffic- at 5 AM!!!- on the bridge into town and were getting anxious about the time. There was a bad accident that blocked a couple of lanes. The shuttle driver ended up letting us all off at the end of the bridge and told us we would be better off walking to the start line. The sky was dark, with a sliver of a moon and a bright star above us, and hundreds of runners around us converging on the staging area. The finish line and the bag check were 3 blocks from the start line. The blocks were long blocks and we started running to get there and to check our jackets. We were definitely warmed up by then.

We queued up at the start line and a few minutes later the race started. It only took us 10 minutes to pass the start line. We waved my cousin off since she is much younger and faster, and Teresa and I settled into our usual running routine, chatting and taking in the sights.

We made a turn an up the first bridge which was the one big incline of the race and very manageable. We passed cruise ships to our right and the sky started turning a pinkish purple as the sun was coming up.

What a magnificent course to run. We passed islands with mansions and palm trees and then were just surrounded by water and the ships. We did great heading into South Beach and the water/Gatorade stops were plentiful along the way. We even took a few pictures- who could resist. The scenery on the way back was much more residential with shorter older bridges and quiet neighborhood streets.

Teresa was coming off a knee injury so we made sure to keep a slow pace and stopped to stretch a couple of times. The race was really uneventful, beautiful and scenic until about mile 10 when I felt myself struggle. Ironically, Teresa was getting more and more pumped up and started to punch the air and respond to the crowds cheering us on. It made me laugh and after � mile and more Gatorade I felt better. The last 2 miles were exhilarating. There were more crowds, I could feel the end was within reach and we were definitely not last- lol.

Teresa and I stayed together the entire race and crossed the finish line together. It was definitely getting warm and I felt bad for all those runners who made a right turn a � mile before our finish line to continue for another 13.1 miles.

We met up with my cousin and stretched for a long time. There were tables and tables of bananas, bagels and cream cheese, fruit cups, protein shakes and cookies. This was the best fed racing crowd.

We took the shuttle back to Miami Beach and walked the 9 blocks back to our hotel wearing our medals and huge smiles.
The hotel crew brought us buckets of ice and we iced for quite some time before showering and heading to the beach.

I am thankful that we had brought a foam roller and tiger tail on this trip and trust me, we used them both several times a day.

It was an amazing weekend, a fabulous race and a fun time. And we had a fabulous celebratory dinner.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
BETTAPRINCESS 9/26/2011 10:42AM

    I really enjoyed reading this blog entry, and the pictures are amazing. Congratulations on your half marathon.

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GRATEFUL4TODAY 8/17/2011 9:42AM

    Yeah for finish lines! I love your story! So fun! Congratulations and here's to many more fun races with friends!

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1HEART2 5/7/2011 11:38AM

    This is such a great blog. it inspires me to keep up with my 5k trianing program so i can grow up to be like you! Thanks.

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MARLINEX 4/20/2011 11:15PM

    Hey Lady!
I am totally late to the party on this one, but congrats on your first half and AMAZING time! (You say it's slow, but it's 20 minutes better than my half marathon PR!)

I am hooked on the half. It's the perfect distance for challenge, but doesn't destroy you too bad :)

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-PAULA 2/13/2011 7:37PM

    Congratulations on your first half marathon. Thanks for sharing your blog and your pictures. Sounds like you had a great time!

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TERRYT55 2/13/2011 12:59PM

    I had a great time reading all about your experience. I loved the pictures too.

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MARIE625 2/13/2011 9:09AM

    Ok, how did I not know you were running your first HM?? Good grief! Sounds like you had an excellent time though. Congratulations!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEDDYBABE 2/13/2011 8:10AM

    Congratulations on your first HM! And how special to share it with special friends and family! Your pics are great! What an accomplishment! emoticon

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SEABREEZE65 2/13/2011 7:45AM

    What a great blog and great photos. Congratulations!

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MINNA72 2/13/2011 3:27AM

    Awesome report! Loved the photos as well! Just can't fathom such weather in the middle of winter, gah - I am so envious!

Congrats on finishing strong!

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ROOT4HOME 2/12/2011 4:35PM

    Congratulations on a GREAT 1st HM!! Love the pic's to your race report...thanks for sharing and glad it went so well and that you had loved ones to share the experience with you! What great memories!! When's the next? emoticon

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DRB13_1 2/12/2011 1:37PM

    Congrats! Your pictures are so beautiful, makes the rest of us wish we were there, too. Be proud and show off your bling (medal). emoticon

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ROSIE777 2/12/2011 11:51AM

    I was there too & it was my first 1/2 but with hurt knee I still did good time too. Congratulating.

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RHONDALYN10 2/12/2011 10:47AM

    Congratulations! So exciting! I will be completing my first 1/2 this year as well. You were so fortunate to do it with people you love!

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ABSOLUTZER0 2/12/2011 10:08AM

    Woohoo! Congratulations! This was a nice report, too! The pics added a nice touch to the report. It was awesome of the hotel staff to bring you all ice. Again, congratulations!

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LOGOULD 2/12/2011 9:53AM

    What a wonderful race report and the pics were awesome...I love these reports...I get all teared up! I'll be running my first this year and when I do, I'll be replaying all the reports from all of you who have gone before about the joys of crossing that finish line! WAY TO GO!

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    Congratulations!! It sounded wonderful. Great fun!

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WESTCOASTGIRL1 2/6/2011 7:47PM

    Wow...Louisa! What a wonderful/ amazing experience. It brought a tear to my eyes reading it. I am so so proud of you!
Thanks for sharing. One day I plan to do another half too. Your pictures look like it was amazing.

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CMB2048 2/6/2011 4:26PM

    How wonderful! I bet you feel so great! And it looks like so much fun too!

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PELESJEWEL 2/4/2011 10:53PM

    emoticon CONGRATULATIONS! What an awesome accomplishment!

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LEAH57 2/4/2011 11:58AM

    AWESOME, Louisa!!! emoticon

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    Congratulations, Louisa! I just looked at my half marathon time from last May and you kicked my butt.



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RUN2MYDREAMS 2/3/2011 3:40PM

    You are marvelous! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SACGIRL 2/3/2011 10:54AM

    Congratulations on your first half!! Are you ready to do more? Love the pictures :)

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REMEMBER2BME 2/2/2011 6:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Great job & great blog as well!

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REAL_FOOD 2/2/2011 5:56PM

    That's just a terrific blog. Seeing the number of cals you burned makes me almost want to run one myself! Almost.

Congratulations on your accomplishment!


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CHANCE0719 2/2/2011 2:26PM

    Sounds like a wonderful experience!!! Great pics! How nice to ice up and then relax on the beach!!

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TREEBW 2/2/2011 1:15PM


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HAPPYPATTY1 2/2/2011 11:34AM

    Congratulations! That is quite an accomplishment!

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DIGISCRAPPY 2/2/2011 8:44AM

    Incredible - so exciting! Makes me want to run one, though I'm not sure that I'll ever find the scheduling opportunity for the training that it would take.

I'm so proud of you - you did fantastic! You're my hero! emoticon

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FLMOMX2 2/2/2011 7:56AM

    emoticon on your half marathon. Looks like you had a great time here in FL. Lucky you are here this week for the race. We're in the high 70's and 80's. emoticon

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CBSPECIAL 2/2/2011 6:13AM

    great pics, looks like you had a great time.

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CHRISTYK08 2/1/2011 10:59PM

    Sounds like a terrific experience! Glad you got to be in the warm sunshine. emoticon

We're in the middle of an icy deep freeze in Fort Worth-- no school for my son today & tomorrow & no work for me both days. All the resources for streets are at Cowboys stadium...

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TRISH2229 2/1/2011 10:12PM

    What an adventure! It sounds like you had an amazing run at sunrise! Beautiful! Love all the pictures. I'm happy you had good weather. Apparently, you did well running and it was great you and Teresa ran at the same pace. Then sunning on the beach afterward - that was a prize all in itself! You rock! Is that Gelato I see in the picture? Well I think you burned enough calories to have a several gallons! I foresee you doing this race again in the future. Leaving the wet snow behind to the warmth of Miami in January. Oh yeah. Fabulous! Bravo! I'm so proud of you. emoticon emoticon

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PINKNFITCARLA 2/1/2011 10:06PM

    What an awesome blog about your experiences! I soooo wish I was there with you all! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GHW1968 2/1/2011 9:30PM

    I'm so happy for you! What an incredible experience!
A-maz-ing and Inspiring!!!!

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SEPPIESUSAN 2/1/2011 9:28PM

    Wow, congratulations! I have never run that far in my life! The pictures make this post a really fun read too!

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BEST_LIFE_NOW 2/1/2011 9:24PM

  You all look so good! Well done! I especially like the way you ended the day ... soaking up the sun at the beach ... emoticon

A year ago, would you have ever guessed that you were capable of this? Who knew .. emoticon

You continue to inspire me and so many others, Louisa! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

And the foam rollers ... heaven ... emoticon

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_BACK2BASICS_ 2/1/2011 9:16PM

    I could sense the tension when you were on the bus, attempting, thankfully successfully, to get to the start of the race. You were probably pumped with more adrenaline than you ever imagined. Sounds like a great first experience for you first half. Does that mean you are up for another, maybe Richmond in November? emoticon

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