Sunday, November 11, 2012
I don't understand what happened because I woke up early enough to make it on time. Everything was laid out last night and the Nano and Garmin charged. I placed the safety pins in my bib, socks stuffed in shoes and flip flops placed in my bag for after the race. This was the best part of my morning....getting ready for the race.
I had planned on leaving the house at 5:30, but somehow I lost track of time and I did not leave until 5:45. I go out my back gate to hop on Doral Blvd. to head east for the highway. There was a really bad accident (the police blocked off all lanes on Doral Blvd.) because a car crashed into one of the twenty feet palm trees. My neighborhood consists of gated communities that block off five to ten streets at a time. I drove five blocks and then had to do a u turn and double back to my street. I don't think the person made it because the police only blocked off traffic in both directions and I did not see anyone near the car assisting.
I finally make it to the highway and drive northeast towards Ft. Lauderdale from Miami. I make good time driving to the race. I took advantage of the traffic lights to put on my socks and shoes. I found a parking garage fairly easy and park. For this garage you had to pull into a parking spot, and pay before you leave the garage...it took me two tries before I paid. I walked halfway to the machine and realized I did not know my parking space number. The second time I forgot my money. By the time I raced back to the car to display my ticket in the window, I hear runners below running by which means the race has started....yikes.
Bib in hand (not pinned on yet), Garmin in hand (not on my wrist), hat in hand (not on my head), and Nano in hand (not on my wrist) I dash down the stairs and run in the opposite direction of the runners to get to the starting line. Oh I was a sight to see, I'm sure. I stop in front of the first band, a Cuban band, to pin and strap on my gear. I usually do all this at home...in the future I will continue to do so. I race to the start to cross the mat and play catchup. The second band, next to my parking garage, cheered me on big time. They ran towards me to play (it was a high school marching band), and they ran with me while continuing to play; I felt special! A few minutes later I ran down a tunnel and then up a very deep tunnel. This time I was prepared for "hills"; i included hills, okay bridges, in my training this time around. I caught up with the last runners and soon passed the 3 hour pacer. Now I feel like I am part of a race. Shortly after I pass the 2:45 pacer.
I felt lost during the race because my Garmin took forever to power up, I started off too fast, and I was not running with my ideal pacers. I was not impressed with the course. There were a lot of turns in the beginning, I did not mind that at all. I am not a big fan of turn around courses. Now I get to see what I just ran, but in the opposite direction. Boring. Although we did run along the beach and saw the ocean from mile 4 until the end.
I knew this would not be a PR race, but I feel I would have done a little better if I had started on time. I also used up too much energy in the beginning of the race having fun with the marching band and also a little later using my hand held water bottle as a pretend microphone with another band. I was not going to let my late start put me in a "Daphne downer" mood for my race; I trained too hard the past 10 weeks to do that. All in all, it was a good race. I finished in 2:35. Yay...go me. This is the first of my Category 3 races( I have to run the Ft. Lauderdale 13.1, ING Miami half, and the Miami Beach 13.1) to qualify for my extra medal. And I plan to add one more race in February to qualify for the Half Fanatics club.
One more story and then I am done. Oh yeah, this race started in one location and finished three miles away; I don't like this. We had to get shuttled back to our cars. I had a nice chat on the bus with another runner. When we got off the bus, we continued to talk as we walked back to the parking garages. Everyone was walking around in circles looking for the garages, including myself. My "city girl" radar kicked in. I do not remember the street I turned on (that would have been too easy) but I did remember my parking garage had a tunnel for the cars on the street to drive through....remember this is where I ran onto the street to run back towards the starting line and where the marching band ran with me after I was officially in the race. That was my landmark to find....and I did!!! Whew, now I can go home. What an experience.
Thanks for hanging in there to read my long race report.