The ING Miami Marathon: This is Not One of My Happy RRs, So You Be Warned!



Today, I completed the ING Miami Marathon.  It is our big local race, the race every member of my running group runs, the one that was my PR for almost a year.

I had planned on this being a PR race two weeks ago after the Goofy when the recovery was unexpectedly fast and when my running and the asthma seemed to just click.  However, the unplanned and the unexpected can ruin the race of many.

It took me hours to write this because had I wrote this RR earlier today, it would've been worse.  I finished in tears, not because I didn't PR, but because I should've just DNF'd this race after what happened.  But, since I was already on the course and the medal was just so cute, I decided not to.  Or maybe it's because I'm stupid, you can decide.

Two weeks ago (after I had decided to give the PR a go), I got sick.  Just a light cold worsened by the allergy shot.  I was in bed for a day.  The asthma doctor told me this week: "Don't Expect a PR on Sunday", as she heard my chest and noticed the cold was somewhat there.  So, I was hoping I could prove her wrong.  My runs this week went extremely well and gave me hope that I could run back to a somewhat normal level.

The 4:30 keeps eluding me for a year.  All my races demonstrate I can.  Today shows I could, so long as what happened does not happen again.  So, for that, I am happy.  But 3 hours ago I was still frustrated.

The Good:
  • No asthma attack!
  • No sock issues!
  • Beer at Mile 22!
  • Strawberries at Mile 23!
  • Being called by name by so many strangers (seriously, I thought you guys were all there, as I kept wondering, is this one from RWOL?)
  • Weather turned out to be better than expected
  • Seeing a coworker that we don't like each other in front of her house waiting for me to cheer me on and after Mile 22 to cheer me on again and take my picture
  • Wearing my Marathon Maniac tattoos and being called on it by everybody.
  • Purple compression socks rock.  People said so!
  • Wearing all white and no shirt.  I saw people wearing black, shirts, even arm warmers, but when my running skirt was attached to my body by Mile 1 from the humidity, I knew I had made the right decision.
  • 82-Go water.  Again, those water pouches that you can carry with you.  MUST HAVE on every race.  I was not able to catch one until Mile 11 but I carried a disposable water bottle until I did.
  • Getting yelled ay, ay, ay, by two hot guys as I chicked them.  I guess they liked the view of my behind.
The Bad:
  • Finishing 5 minutes off my current PR
  • Not getting bananas at the finish line because they ran out of them 
  • Slightly high humidity
  • Missing the MM picture because I had to find a potta potty.

The Ugly:
  • Bad and serious nausea at Mile 19 caused by the GU 2X Caffeine I ate.
Now that I slept on it (literally), my frustration and tears are gone.  I ran like a metronome, an exact pace mile after mile according to my pacing band and was even ahead by a minute.  This course is not easy; it's hilly, it's crowded for the first 12 miles, it can eat you alive.  Then, at Mile 17.80, I ate a GU with 2X caffeine.  I have used those caffeinated GUs before although I really don't like to drink caffeine on the course (and now we know why).  I went from prancing around Coconut Grove at 10:10mm to walking in pain and wanting to puke.  All within the span of 1 mile.

So, I walked a bit, thinking I could resolve it, and then ran.  Bad idea.....  So I walked again, then I tried running .  And I walked, and I walked.  Oh, there is a photographer, so I ran.  Past the photographer and I walked, LOL.

The beer came out at Mile 22 and I thought, what can go wrong with my stomach that has not gone wrong?  So, I drank it.  Coldest thing I tried all day.

The strawberries appeared at Mile 23 and I stopped to eat some when this guy tried to take my water cup away (I had put it on the table).  The nerve!  Trying to prevent him from doing that made me drop my strawberries on my white bra.  If looks could kill...Anyway, spent 5 minutes of the Aid Station taking the dang red from my bra.  My purple socks are carrying enough attention that I don't need the rumor that I have bloody nipples too, OK?

The pictures are going to be awesome, you just wait.

I finally started running after Mile 25.50 (after the final hill).  My stomach still played havoc but I felt I could handle that until the finish.  I finished in 4:50:57 according to Garmin but 4:51 according to my FB page (from the ING Marathon website).  Not sure which one will become official as the active.com site is down because all 27000 people must be looking for our results at the same time.

Anyway, I ended up frustrated and doubting my ability to PR ever again on any race I ever will run, EVER, least of all in Berlin.

But after some food an hour ago and a nap, I feel much better.  I really ran strong until I ate that GU.  I didn't DNF and I finished not that much off my PR.  I had no sock issues (although the socks and the shoes were hurting by the end but that's more the light shoe than anything else).  I had no asthma attack.  I call that a good day!

I might do the A1A in three weeks as a fun run or a PR attempt and surprise myself.  Or not.  Today is not the day to decide.

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