RnR Miami Beach RR: A Great MP Workout And A Decision To Make

Today, I ran the RnR Latin Music Miami Beach Half Marathon in Miami Beach, FL.  It's the second year for this race and last year, I did it for fun with Rich, Jenn (although Jenn DNS'd due to injury), Dana, June, and Shen.  We had tons of fun then and I knew this race is a great one.

This year, the race changed dates and instead of December, it was this weekend, which worked better for me, as there is a HM in Weston, FL, I love to do but conflicted with this race.  So now, I can do both. Happy smiley 6

My next marathon is in two weeks (RnR Vegas) and have been wondering what pace to run for that race.  I think I am ready to attempt another PR, since I was sick during MCM and a PR was all but impossible then.  So, this HM was supposed to be a test of what I could be capable of in Vegas.

Since MCM, I've been running a lot.  My team in the 2012 in 2012 game in RWOL is in the semi finals and I decided to do my part by running 50 miles two weeks post marathon and another set of good miles this week.  So, I knew the lack of rest days in the last two weeks was going to affect me today.  I had not taken a rest day for 14 days, so I took advantage of a wedding I had to attend to in order to schedule a rest day and Friday became my rest day this week.  Even with that rest day, my legs felt dead all throughout the week.  I just did a 5K race and a HM last week and the 5K was an all out effort.  So, I was exhausted.

Last night and early this morning (as in 4am), I thought of just turning the alarm off and sleeping in.  I thought of DNS'ing the race but then remember that notwithstanding that, I still had to do a long run today and I would still need to wake up early to beat up the heat.  So, I woke up, got dressed, and headed to South Beach.

I was surprised to have made the trip in less than 30 minutes.  South Beach is at least a 30 minute drive, but today the traffic was light.  The main road entrance was already closed but I was able to grab a parking lot less than 1/4 mile from the finish line.  Score!

After going to the potta potties, I did a 2 mile warmup and ate half a banana and drank my coffee.  I forgot to take my GERD medication before I left the house so I was hoping that the stomach wouldn't bother me during the race.  I was not lucky today. Sad smiley 4

After several days of mid 60s at 7am, today was hot.  And humid.  73F at the start and 78F at the finish.  80% humidity at least.  Plus the course was hilly with 4 causeways throughout the course.  My course PR was 2:14:XX when the course was identical to the 13.1 Miami Beach which is in the Spring.  That course PR was established in 58F and more than two years ago.  Today, I had to use the albuterol prior to the race because I almost had an attack during the warmup, it was that humid.

My plan was to run this at the MP I wanted to run Vegas at.  Since Vegas has a cutoff of 4:30, I wanted to run this at 10:15 to finish slightly faster than 2:15.  I felt that if I could do this, I would shoot for 4:30 in Vegas.  If not, at least it would give me an idea of how far off that cutoff I would be (the cutoff is based on the last runner crossing the starting line, which is not going to be me, LOL).

But the best laid plans are always changed.  As we started, I knew it was my day.  My breathing was great, my legs felt like I had not run in days, and everything just clicked.  Although I tried to do my first mile at 10:15, I came in at 9:56mm and decided to push it and see how long could I run at that pace.  At least until the hills.

The course is organized in 3 flat miles, 4-5 uphill/downhill, 6 uphill/downhill, 7-8 flat, 9-10 uphill/downhill, 11-12 uphill/downhill, and 13 flat.  Maximum elevation recorded on my Garmin was 197ft.  We had four of those, which for Florida, is the hilliest half marathon we had.  It is also a tough course since it has no shade.

I felt the humidity and the heat immediately, so when I grabbed the first water cup at Mile 3, I dumped half on my head.  Same for all the ones I caught.

As I hit the first hill, Mile 4, I ran by effort and noticed my HR was up by a lot, but that I felt fine.  I finished the uphill and the mile as my second fastest mile of the race.  The other uphills went the same way, by me running a perfect 13 mile run with a slight negative split at the end.

When I reached the Mile 12 marker, I noticed that the whole race had gone by without me needing the inhaler.  No asthma issues for the first time and while running at MP.  By this time, my paces were more 9:45-9:51, so I was actually running faster than at the beginning.  Mile 13 was at 9:27 and I was not even breathing hard.

I crossed the finish line in 2:09:06, soaked with sweat, with my sunglasses all foggy, but happy.  I knew this time with no taper, a gazillion miles, and 6 races in the last month means I am capable of great things during my next marathon.  I actually need to think of a new goal marathon pace because the one I wanted to do is definitely too slow.  The heart rate, the effort, the performance shows I can do well in Vegas.

Thanks for reading!




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