13.1 Ft. Lauderdale RR (2011)

Short:  I ran my third 13.1 Ft. Lauderdale (10th completed half marathon).  Did not PR but ran strong.  Final time: 2:14:58, which is a PR post asthma, but not even close to what I could have accomplished before the Summer.

Long: On Sunday, I ran the 2011's 13.1 Ft. Lauderdale race.  This has always been my favorite HM of all times, mainly because it was my first HM in 2009 and because it's always my PR race of the year.  However, since being diagnosed with asthma, I have struggled to come to terms with the fact that my PRs may be gone for good (or at least for a while).  I also finished the NYCM last week and, although recovery is going very well, I approached this race with trepidation.

I have been debating between attempting a PR or not for this race.  I knew it would be hard, first because my lungs are still stuck at 80% breathing capacity, and because I had an unplanned marathon I just finished.  After NYCM, the doctor changed my inhaler but it was two days before the HM so I'm sure the medication has not make its way to the lungs yet.  Since my recovery runs went great and my legs were ready to roll (which shows I did not run to my full capacity in NYCM but you know what happened there) I decided to shoot for a PR, which I thought was reasonable since my easy pace is faster than what I was shooting for.  It would've happened but for the shoe.

Pre-Race:  I had made plans to meet a forumite from the NYCM forums (SundayShuffle) who was here on business.  So, I was looking for a Mike.  The first thing that happened when I parked the car was that this guy approached me and said: You must be Damaris.  I said yes, and noticed his bib said Ed, so it was not Mike.  It seems he's a lurker of the forums (Hi, Ed!) and identified me by my avi.  Ed, next time, stay and chat.  You just caught me by surprise.

So, I walked to the starting line, called Chiqui (who was late, of course), left my gear and went to the potty.  The lines were already long, as I knew they would be.  Then, a guy approached me and said, hi Damaris.  His bib said Mike, so I made the mistake of asking whether he was SundayShuffle, and he looked at me like uh.  It was MikeB, a local who is a friend from Daily Mile.  Double whoops of the day.

Chiqui is still MIA so I head to the corral to wait (hopefully) for Chiqui and SundayShuffle.  Then I finally see and meet SundayShuffle, a very nice gentleman, with a British(?) accent.  We chatted for a bit until he headed to the front of the corral.  Finally Chiqui comes to me and her first words are: I am about to crap myself.  Well, good morning to you too, LOL.  We head to our respective places and wait til the start of the race.

Race:  The weather was gorgeous.  It was warmer than in prior years (at least 5-10 degrees warmer) but it was still in the low 70s and OK humidity and with a breeze.  Eh, a fricking headwind, I mean, for 6 miles.  We start promptly and I start running well.  I hit miles 1 and 2 at sub-9mm and I feel well.  Mile 3 is the tunnel (underpass) and I finished the mile at 9ish, which is where I want to be at.  Everything is working great...for now.

Miles 4-12:  I started to feel tight-chested at Mile 4, which is one of the indications that if I continue to push, the asthma may arrive, so I backed off from the pace I was doing.  Then, my right foot fell asleep.  Also, my sock made a knot under the ball of my foot, hurting my foot.  So I stopped, took the shoe off, arranged the sock, and off I went.  This was repeated 10 FRICKING TIMES during the HM.  By Mile 12, the ball of my foot was bruised.  Ugh.  This was my 250+ mile shoe, which I've used for tons of runs, LRs, races, and stuff.  Why, oh, why?

By Mile 12 I got tired of stopping for the fricking shoe so I decided to limp to the finish line and I did.  I knew the chance for a PR was done but I still wanted to finish in sub-2:15 and I (barely) did.  2:14:58.  I got my medal and waited for Chiqui.

Post-Race: I was also supposed to meet two other forumites, jeffbrig (who I met last year) and Slomo.  We finally got to chat and meet while drinking some beer, and Slomo was nice enough to take this picture of us (he took several, but this is the one I like the most).  I have to mention that this was before 9am and we already drinking beer.



Chiqui came in and we got to take some pics and I mingled and took pictures with my running group, etc.:





After the mingling, I had breakfast with Slomo (he's very nice), but unfortunately, I had to hightail it back home before 11am.  Maybe next time we'll get together with Chiqui and Jeff and have brunch again.

I love this event.  You can also see my weight loss journey through this event's pics:

2009



2010



Now



Anyway, except for that shoe issue, which was repeated once a mile, and sometimes two, I ran strong.  I had fun, and I felt like I could run a good race one day.  Just not now.  There is so much for me to learn about my asthma and the doctor and I do not even know whether my PR days are over.  So, for now, I am going to concentrate on doing all my races and getting all the medals.  After all, I am running 4 more marathons in 3 months, and 2 more HMs.  They will all be a learning experience on how to run, how fast, and what to do should the asthma arrives.  And if my PR days are over and this is as good as it gets, I'm OK with that too.

Thanks for reading!

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