Fort Lauderdale 13.1

So, the story goes like this: On November 13th I ran the Fort Lauderdale 13.1 race.  This was my goal half marathon for the rest of the year but I failed to train as I had planned.  Actually, running in the summer sucks ass and I slacked off significantly.  I was supposed to have been averaging 30-35 miles per week and I never even came close.  So, yes, I was under-trained.  That said, I was determined to do the race since a) I had paid for it and b) I had bullied (OK, not really) someone at work to train for it and run it so I had to be there.  Thankfully, he slacked off even more than I did and thus was WAY more under-trained, especially considering it was his first half marathon but also his first race ever.

The night before the race I stayed at a hotel in Fort Lauderdale, about half a mile away from the start line. I did that because I live over an hour away and I’m tired of having to wake up at 3 in the morning just make it to the start.  Of course, just because I was that close to the start line doesn’t mean I got any more sleep. I slept horribly, as is usual for me the night before a race.  I kept waking up, checking the time, etc.  At one point I dreamed that I had woken up at 7am and had missed the race.  Then, in the dream, I realized that I was dreaming and kept trying to wake up but couldn’t. I kept telling myself “this is just a dream, wake up, wake up!” I finally woke up, checked the time and it was only 4am. FML.  At 5am my work friend texted me and at that point I gave up and got out of bed.  So much for decent sleep.

I finally made it to the start line, met up with the friends, dropped my gear back, etc. then made a beeline for the porta potties.  The line was HUGE and there were only 10 minutes until the start.  No time to stand in line.  I made my way into the crowd and stood by my friend Damaris, along with my work friend, and waited.  The start of the race is my favorite time, everyone is happy and pumped, no one has had the chance to get grouchy due to a bad run, bad weather, whatever.  It was actually a fairly cool-for-South Florida day.  The gun went off and off we went.  My friend stayed with me for like a quarter mile and then realized I was running too painfully slow for him so I told him to take off and he did.

My ambitious goal was 2:15 but I’d be happy with either a PR, meaning 2:20 or better or under 2:30.  The first few miles were fine but still HAD to go to the bathroom.  Finally around mile 4 I pulled out and went into the porta potties.  That took about 4 minutes so at that point I was sure I wasn’t going to make my 2:15 goal.  I was OK with that though, my dignity (IE not crapping myself) is worth more than a few pathetic minutes off my finish time.  I kept running for a couple more miles and then we turned into A1A and into the wind.  Holy molly! The wind was 15pmh or so with wind gusts of 25-30mph.  That makes it VERY hard to run!

I kept thinking that if I cold make it to the turn around point the rest would be cake thanks to the tailwind but nooo….. When the turn around point came, the wind just went again.  There was no tailwind.  From what I’ve heard, most of us were thinking about this tailwind but we got punked.  Thank you, Mother Nature!  I did walk some, to be honest, but I was exhausted.  That wind took it out of me.  Somewhere before the turn around I crossed my friend who was already running in the opposite direction and he had a huge smile on his face while I was trying not to die.  WTF??  We high-fived and kept on going.  I’m glad I was actually running when I saw him or he would have given me hell!

When I FINALLY crossed the finish line, I was sooo relieved.  I just wanted water and to sit down.  My legs felt like jelly.  I didn’t make my goal of 2:15 or my goal of PRing but I did finish in under 2:30.  My chip time was 2:25:10. I think that if I hadn’t gone to the porta potties, I would have, at least, come very close to my PR.  I’m cool with that.  I was just happy to be done.  Of course, Damaris and my friend finished way ahead of me so they were waiting at the finish line and I felt slower than molasses on a cold day.  We had a beer and went our separate ways.  Back at the hotel, I had a HUGE complimentary breakfast of bacon and cheese omelet, bacon, pancakes, hash browns and orange juice. What a better way to end a race morning?

The pictures are pretty horrible, which is why I didn’t bother to buy any.  Not to mention that $30 for a pictures of this type is highway robbery.

Official results:

Distance HALF MAR
Clock Time 02:26:15
Chip Time 02:25:10
Overall Place 1518 / 2147
Gender Place 641 / 1057
Division Place 115 / 171
Age Grade 45.4%
Pace 11:04.3
Split10K 1:09:34

Garmin info:

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