Official Time: 2:02:26 (some day I will tell you all about my weirdness with even numbers and the #26)
The Melbourne and Beach Half (and Full) Marathon took place in Melbourne, FL. The course was mostly flat — except for the ginormous causeways (there were 2 of them) that we ran over around mile 5 and mile 11. My legs are tired.
If you are DYING to see the course, you can see it here (marathoners did this twice. Once was enough for me). Note that it is in FF mode and the person recording it was on a motorcycle. I kinda felt nauseous watching it and was constantly afraid the person was going to crash (s/he didn’t).
I picked up my stuff (and Paula’s) at the expo, held at the Crown Plaza, on Saturday. I didn’t take any pictures because I had both kids in tow and I’m lucky we even made it into the hotel (and back out). Thankfully, packet pick-up was super quick. Considering the race was only $60, the packet had a lot of nice stuff – including a hat, a reusable bag, and a cotton t-shirt. I also picked up a free Publix bag and $5 off coupon. Score!
After the expo the kids and I headed over to our friends’ house (the hubby’s college roomate and his wife – Brian and Trisha) in Melbourne to spend the night. The hubby joined us later after got off work. We had a fun night – our friends have 2 girls and the kids pretty much entertain themselves. There was also a little Wii dancing and Family Feud 🙂
I got up for the race today around 5:15. Got dressed, drank a cup of coffee, and ate a Cliff bar. Our friends live about 10 minutes from the race start – so I left the house @ 6 and met up with Paula by 6:15. I’m really glad we spent the night in Melbourne!
After a visit to the port-a-potties, we got in line (no corrals, which was kinda nice) and waited for the start (and took a massive amount of pictures).
Around 7:04ish we were OFF!
The first few miles were uneventful and even though I was trying to run them slower, I was still under a 9:10 pace. Around mile 2 Paula and I were being silly and taking of pictures of each other when not 1 but 2 people offered to take our picture . This was probably the friendliest race I’ve been in.
Around mile 5 we hit our first causeway (Eau Gallie Causeway) and DAMN. It definitely slowed me down, but I was able to keep my pace under 9:25. I spotted at least 5 photographers at that point, so the race photographers should be interesting!
The next 6 miles were pretty standard. We ran by some crazy, gorgeous homes that are right along the river. I started alternating between water and Gatorade at every other station (about 1.5 miles apart). Totally awesome part of the race? They were giving out Cliff Shots AT EVERY STATION. This seriously rocked. They were NOT stingy about giving them out either.
Around Mile 11 we hit the 2nd causeway and I thought I was going to die. I kept my stride short going up the hill and extended it going down and I think that helped. I actually had to keep reminding myself to extend my stride (especially during the flat portions) and when I did I ran so much faster. Need to work on that.
I hit mile 12 at the bottom of the Melbourne Causeway and just kept telling myself — 1(+) more mile! I knew at that point I wasn’t going to PR, but I still pushed myself. Oh and at 12.5 right before I ran under a bridge a random small train came back and honked at us. It was oddly exhilarating.
Then all of a sudden there was the finish! I had my eyes scanned for the hubby, the kids, and our friends. I saw L first and she was SO confused (yet cute). B was climbing on something and didn’t see me – but I heard him yell MOMMY! So awesome 🙂
I crossed the finish, chugged a huge cup of water, and then met up with my cheering squad. THEN I went on the hunt for Paula. I left her sometime around mile 4 (sorry P – I needed to zone out) and I wanted to cheer her on at the finish. Of course, she didn’t hear me. Also cheering her on was her friend Liz who AWESOMELY brought us Vitamin Water and Protein Bars. She is AWESOME. I don’t think I can stress that enough. AWESOME. Thanks Liz!
After we watched some chick puke (and then B renacted the puking by pretending to puke in a nearby bush – oh 4 year olds) we moved on to the after party. There were bananas, oranges, pizza (that I gave to the kids), beer (yep – had some beer!), and pancakes — an a whole bunch of other free stuff. We hung out for a little bit and then it started to rain so my cheering crew headed home. A little while later (after I almost spilled beer on Liz’s super fancy/expensive camera – go me) we headed out ourselves.
I arrived “home” to a shower and egg/bagel sandwiches (I cannot thank you enough Trisha!!). We left Melbourne around 1 and the rest of the afternoon consisted of the kids sleeping (to say they were exhausted is an understatement) and me working (oh, and the hubby running!). Fun times!
Overall, I think this was the most challenging race I done so far. I was also REALLY consistent during this race and my slowest mile was under 10:00. This is HUGE for me! I don’t know that I will do this race again (we’ll see), but if you live in (or near) Orlando and you are looking for a extremely well managed, local race (that’s relatively inexpensive) this race is definitely worth checking out. The local support was AWESOME and like I said – this is probably the friendliest race I’ve been in. Everyone was just SO nice.
The nerd in me loves to see the stats:
I’m pretty sure this was the world’s longest post — so good night!! Off to watch my Supernatural boys 🙂