On February 2, 2014, I ran in the Life Time Miami Half Marathon. I had to be down in the area (Ft. Lauderdale) two days later for work, so, I did what any crazy runner does and opted to go down a few days earlier to run a race!
The night before I put together all my items so when I woke up before the sun was even thinking of rising (I had a 30 minute drive from Ft. Lauderdale down to Miami), I would have an easy time getting out the door quickly.
The next morning I woke bright and early and all sorts of bushy tailed for the race. Found parking easy enough and even managed to find the start corral without too much hassle. Found the port-a-potty, and used prior to entering my corral, a way to avoid it during the race itself.
Upon entering my corral, I did what any solo runner does, I started chatting up a few people around me. It’s a way to keep the stress and anxiety low and the adrenaline push in check before the gun.
The anthem was sun and the wheelchair participants were off. This race started earlier then any other I’ve been apart of thus far – 6:05am! Next up, the elite athletes and then the rest of the races. Being in the last corral, we didn’t actually cross the start line until, about, 6:45am. And we were off – running around downtown Miami.
Everything I read about the race said how relatively flat the course was. I of course, didn’t fully comprehend this until the term relatively until I was going to the expo and realized there would be at least two hills – crossing the causeway in to Miami Beach and again on the way out of Miami Beach! So within the first quarter mile – up the first hill we go. But, oh, what a sight to see as we come down the other side – the sun is rising!
Regardless of the hour, and the early hill – who can beat a nice 13.1 mile run in the middle of winter when the sun is rising and palm trees are everywhere!
So I start to get back to the groove the race. The first hill is behind us, and now it’s just amazing scenery, people, spectators and views for the next 11 miles, right up until my knee / IT band starts to act up. Around mile 4 steps start to hurt, running is a bit rough, my knee is stiff with each run motion I make.
But, I keep moving. I take water or gatorade at every station. I use my Gatorade Chews and the GU to keep me going. Around mile 7 I just want to give up. My knee hurts, my sugar levels are off and the temperature is heating up. But at this point I realize, I’m halfway done – this is something I can do. I do some quick calculations in my head and realize that if I attempt to push myself, keep going at my current pace, I can finish with a PR. So I crank up the tunes, go back to my head and increase my focus. Just in time I see the funny surrounding us.
So as I tough it out, I enjoy myself. I relish that it’s winter and I’m surrounded by palm trees and sunshine and not the piles of snow that NY has been buried under for most of the winter.
Then, out of no where, I am coming up to mile 11! I have 2 miles left. I know I can do this. I can do anything. Mind over matter right? And what better way to help with that theory to have the skies open up and the rain come down on us. I love the rain, I love playing in the rain, I love watching the rain and now I love running in the rain. It was cool and cooling. And the skies opened at just the right time – the temperature was starting to get to my head and some of the stations were running out of gatorade and water. So for the next 20-30 minutes we ran around downtown Miami in a light rain.
After all this, as I cross the finish line I am proud. Proud for not giving in to my weakness to quit. Proud that I have finished my 3rd half marathon. Proud that I did this on my own, first race where I did not know anyone else in the pack of runners.
And then I was disappointed – they ran out of medals! The cut off time was 3.5 hours and yet somehow, they ran out of medals for the half marathon at roughly the 2 hour mark. I finished in 3 hours and 9 minutes (shaving 2 minutes off my previous half marathon) and for all my hard work and effort I had nothing to show for it. I had no prize, no medal, just my time, my new PR, but it’s hard to show that. It’s not the same as walking around with your medal for hours after the race, staring at the prize for the next few days – seeing that shiny hard earned object up with the race of them.
5 weeks later, I still have no medal, and I have not heard anything about when we are getting out medals. I do not know if this has anything to do with Lifetime taking over sponsorship of the race from ING or not, but either way, it left a very bad taste in my mouth. I am a meeting planner, you ALWAYS order more stock of an item then you have people registered. I find it hard to believe that so many people registered after the medal order was placed that they ran out of medals. So sadly, I have no medal to show you in this post – and for that I do apologize, because it was a spinner medal and pretty awesome! Will update once I receive the medal.