2013 A1A Ft. Lauderdale Marathon RR: In Which Damaris Wore Gloves and a Long Sleeve And Still Froze Herself to a New Marathon PR

Today, I ran the A1A Ft. Lauderdale Marathon in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  There has not been a Winter in South Florida (at least in Miami) in more than two years, but we got a Winter DAY today.  Only a day.  Tomorrow, we'll be back to close to 90F weather by tomorrow.

I didn't taper for this race and I didn't train for this race.  This was part of my quest for a second star on the Marathon Maniacs and it was very cathartic to have the marathon that gave me the first start on the maniacs to give me the second star.  As of today, I have two stars on the Maniacs, woot!

This was a very tough marathon.  It was low 40s at the start but with the wind at 23mph, the feels like was in the mid 30s.  I decide to wear a long sleeve top and gloves, skirt, compression socks, and a buff-like headband in case my asthma would surface in the wind (it usually carries dustmites which are my downfall).  So, I was ready for it but I didn't do anything out of the ordinary.

Marathon Week:
As all of you know, I've been very busy at work, with lots of court time and lots of personal issues.  First, I had severe asthma last week, culminating with me running only 53 of my 65 miles planned.  Then, it was one of my cats who got an ulcer on her right eye, which ended up with tons of vet time that included me witnessing the death of a dog that had been run over by a car.  Probably the same drivers that try to kill me every day while running.  Finally, came my dad, who was shot at on Friday night on his way home.  He lost his car (they wrecked it in the shooting) and he is still very nervous, but he is alive and well, thankfully.  As you can see, this whole week was very stressful!

I was able to sleep 4-5 hours, which is unheard of for me on race day.  Woke up at 3:55am, got dressed, and drove the 20-30 minutes to Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, where my court is located, in fact, to start the race.  It was freezing!  People were hugging strangers in the corrals just to keep warm!  I chatted with some of the runners and we talked about the great weather we would have (minus the wind), as compared to last year which was at 85F.  Overall, I felt OK.

As soon as I was able to park, I found the potties.  On the line, 2-3 girls were talking to me about our Winter gear and I mentioned the fact that I hope I didn't feel sorry for wearing a long sleeve and one them asked me whether I was wearing something I could ditch later.  I thought: this bitch must not know inknburn if she asked that question.  Hell, no.  I am not ditching this expensive top!  Hello?

We started a bit late, because the wind had knocked off some of the cones and markers, so they had to do extra work before starting.  So, instead of 6am, we started at 6:15am or thereabouts.  I crossed the starting line 3:30 minutes or thereabouts after the start.  I had not eaten anything prior to the race except my coffee because I woke up feeling nauseous and had cramps, so it would be one of those day, sigh.  I started as usual with the first three miles at easy pace, hoping for an easy first half followed by a good strong finish.  By Mile 6 I was on the pace I wanted (as close to 10:20mm as I could) and I decide to go with the flow.  Although I expected to ditch the gloves by Mile 2, I wore them all the way to Mile 20-21, and after I ditched them, I felt sorry because my hands were freezing the rest of the way.

My paces are below, so I'll just do a summary of each portion of the race:

Miles 1-5: Sunrise started at around 7am, so the first 5 miles were in the dark.  It was not as windy as it would be the rest of the way, but I took it easy.  I only brought two gels because of my stomach, so I used the Gatorade/Powerade at the water stations.

Miles 6-13.1:  I felt strong at Mile 6, so I started getting on pace, hoping I could do some good miles until we head to the beach which is super windy and shadeless (last 10 miles).  By Mile 7, the headwind was brutal.  I sometimes stepped 3 steps to the left the wind was bad.  It was a headwind from Mile 7 through Mile 16.

Miles 13.1-18:  I crossed the halftime at close to 2:18, which was somewhere I wanted to be.  I was already on PR pace but I knew I would get slower as we get further, mostly because I knew the course and most of the last 10 miles were with no shade and the wind would be brutal.  I was not mistaken, LOL.

Miles 19-25:  These miles were tough but the 40-50F weather helped. The headwind was brutal which kept me freezing the whole way.  I decided to ditch the gloves at Miles 20-21 after trying to ditch them several times, followed by me wearing them again because it felt so cold.  The wind made everything 10-20F colder!  The miles were so slow (although the pace does not show it) due to the headwind.

Miles 25-26.2:  OMG, I wanted to walk so bad!  The wind here was brutal which meant I started getting asthma issues here.  Breathing was labored and I wanted to walk to get rid of it but thought I could handle the asthma for 2 more miles so I just ran as much as I could.  You can tell that I got slower.  It was not a wall or anything; just the wind and the chest.

Finished in 4:34:09, a 3:09 minute PR!  I was not shooting for a PR but I wanted to run at my usual marathon HR with some warmup miles.  Overall, I am very happy with my performance, as I have been doing 1-2 marathon per month and still being able to PR with my racing schedule, my asthma, my job, and my life, is really rewarding!

This is the third marathon without albuterol and that makes me very happy.

This race gave me my second star on the Maniacs.  But the new journey starts.  A second star is not enough; bring on the third, starting next month.....


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