Monday, February 14, 2011

Breast Cancer Marathon/Half-Marathon 2011

Ok, so I think I am officially recovered from my vacation and the illness I brought home with it, and no more blog slacking excuses- If I can race, I can blog about it right...

Ok, so this past weekend was pretty much my all-time favorite race. I have had this date circled on my calendar since running it last year and it is already circled for next year.
Penny and Jaime were both coming up for the race. Penny was registered for the full, and we had gotten a bib for Jaime to run the half as a training run since she has her goal race in 2 weeks. I was kind of bummed going into this weekend that I wasn't running the full, I had really wanted to, but the training just wasn't there, but I was still excited nontheless.

Saturday we engaged in plenty of pre-race carb-loading, and as usual, John was a saint and tagged along all weekend doing anything and everything we asked of him, including taking a zillion pictures.

Sunday morning we got up, had a few slight transportation glitches that ultimately worked out even better for us in the long run. The line for the recommended shuttles to the start was absurdly long when we arrived there at 6:05am (for a 7:30am race). By 6:30 we had not moved in the mile long line, and the buses were trickling in so slowly we decided we were better off to take our chances parking and walking (running) to the start.

Jaime and I dropped Penny off at the start, since she did not need a warm-up and we went back and parked in the Publix parking lot 1.5 miles away from the start line. We used the chance to get in a warm-up and made it to the runner's village with about 20 mintues left until the race start, it worked out fine in the end. We left our warm-ups, dropped our bags and headed to the start line.

We packed into the first corral, and I surprisingly managed to find one of the girls from my track group who was right at my pace. Even though we started together I lost her in the first 100 yards, I think I went out faster, but was just focused on doing my own thing.

My original goal for this race was sub-1:55. However, with the ski trip, being sick, and some lack-luster long runs, I didn't think I had it in me to run that race yet. But the weather was beyond perfect, my legs were so well rested, and the first 2 miles dropped like it was nothing, so I decided I would try for it and see what happened...

John had gone out to the beach ahead of us to take pictures, and managed to find all 3 of us in the crowd

I held my 1:55 pace until mile 7 when I started to faulter a bit. My legs were already getting heavy, especially my right hip that still occasionally talks when my ITB gets irritated. I kind of expected that considering the hills (bridges) in the first 3.5 miles, but I wasn't expecting it until we got back to said bridges at mile 10.

My pace didn't drop too much from mile 7 to mile 10, I was still in range of a 1:57-1:58 and a possible PR, so I just kept going. The race actually went by super fast: Miles 0-7 were over before I knew it, 7-9.5 was a little slow, but 9.5 to the finish also flew by even though I started dragging.

Climbing back up the slanted sprial on ramp to run over the bridge back to the finish put athe damper on for my legs. Cardiovascularly I had the endurance to hit that 1:55, but my legs were not ready for it after basically 2 weeks off. BOTH IT bands started hurting at mile 10 after I got up that ramp, to the point where every single step made them ache. I was actually praying for the next uphill because I knew it would give them a little reprive.

At 11.5 when the last big climb started I just kept pushing and knew it was less than a mile once I got to the top. Once I got to the mile 12 sign, one of my other team members was there, I knew to look for him, and he was SO excited and motivating! He ran with me for almos a 1/4 mile and got me pumped up again, I am so thankful for him, I had started to lose the fun of this race at that point and he got it right back in me.

Even though I could not fly down the downhill to the finish like I had wanted, I made sure to push with what I had and finish respectably.

Garmin Results 2:00:59
Official Results 2:01:39--> that was clock time, my chip didn't register at the start :(

Considering all the circumstances that is actually a good performace, no complaints here.
That is a full minute per mile faster than my time from this race last year, and I have another half in 2 weeks and I am searching for the 1:55.

After I got my medal and water, I needed some ice on my knees, I knew if I could help keep the inflamation down early, I could hopefully get back to my normal schedule this week.

Jaime and I grabbed our bags and headed back to the finish line with John to wait and watch all the other we knew come in and finish.

Once we tracked down Penny later we grabbed a beer and got to the walk back to the car.

 I had a great weekend with both of these lovely ladies and am excited to run with them again soon!


  1. You still kicked major butt after the last couple of weeks you had girly! Love, love, love that race and so wish I could've gone back this year! Great job out there and I look forward to seeing you get that 1:55 in two weeks!

  2. Congrats! Looks like a fun all the pics

  3. GIRL, YOU ARE AMAZING!! Great job. I heard that course is crazy hard and you rocked it. Um, you are absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Seriously, I went through your pics three times and can't believe how good you look when you are working out!! GREAT JOB and I am so excited for your next half!!!

  4. what a fun race. sounds hard though. so congrats! way to go out there and leave it all out there. love the pictures too. GORGEOUS!

  5. Great race Stephanie! :) Looks like a race to add to my "must-do" list!