Never thought I’d type that! Like really…2 years ago I wouldn’t even have thought I would type that.
I could not have asked for a better race at Space Coast, so here’s the run-down.
Up early and my nerves started to set in, but they weren’t too bad. I did a racing no-no and wore new things on race day – a new hat and a new shirt, plus my calf sleeves. I typically only wear the sleeves after running, but I had been having some issues with my right heel & calf, so I opted for my compression.
My hotel was only 15 minutes away from the start and I found a parking spot quickly. Once parked, set my alarm, and went back to sleep for 30 minutes. It was a very cool morning — thank goodness! A quick 15 minutes later, the race started. I turned my iPod on and just started running.
Right from the start, the half marathoners go left and the marathoners go right. I decided to stay around the 5-hour pacer as long as I could. I actually passed them around mile 2 and stayed ahead until I made a restroom stop. But I wasn’t bummed, I was still feeling good and the weather & wind was still keeping the morning cool. I also passed a few of my friends during the first portion, always a pick-me-up!
At mile 10 my arm sleeves came off as it was starting to warm up. I took more walk breaks than I would have liked between miles 11 & 12. I kept reminding myself that finishing was going to be an accomplishment in itself. I wasn’t playing any mind games yet and was very excited to soon be able to say that I was halfway done. Once I turned past the halfway point I started passing half-marathoners that were finishing their race.
I had already run 13.1 faster… I had 13.1 to go and still felt great and had plenty left in the tank!
When my hair was long, I loved wearing hats. Since I chopped it all off, I feel a little boyish wearing one, hence the makeup during races and it ensures cute race pictures! But I still wear hats when I run because then I don’t have to bother with sunglasses. But I sure wish that I had them for the second half. When I run any distance, I often look up as a distraction. I find a tree in the distance and catch it, then find a telephone pole, catch — it’s a mind game, but whatever, it works. But I couldn’t do this because the sun was RIGHT in my face and I didn’t have sunglasses. This is one of two complaints about my race, and I’m happy to say I only had two issues with my first marathon.
So I couldn’t gaze into the sky and find cool trees — okay, just keep running. I saw quite a few of my friends during this part of the race and that helped immensely.
I was mentally preparing myself for 20, because I had never run past that point…
But I must have done something right with my training because I passed the 20-mile marker and nothing happened. No wall. No nerves. No pain. So I just kept running.
As I had mentioned before…the sun was beating down on me and I had the tan lines to prove it. I was eagerly awaiting the turnaround point, went through the Hawaiian-themed water stop — and BAM! HOLY HEADWIND! I wish I was exaggerating. I had 5-6 miles to go and had energy left in the tank to try and push it. Based on my elapsed time, and what little math I can do in my head, there was still a chance of getting close to five hours. I wanted to take it.
But, that didn’t happen. I was only able to run at an 11:30 pace those last miles.
I tried, I pushed.
But running into the wind was like a wall, but it did keep me cool!
The mind games started with 4 miles to go and my quads were burning and tried to spasm. I was hungry and for the last two miles, I started hating my decisions. I knew I’d probably get to that point and luckily, it was easy to motivate myself because I knew how little left I had to run.
With the end in sight, I had to make a sharp turn into the final running shoot on paved bricks. Some Run Tampa peeps were there to cheer on my finish and I crossed the finish line at 5:15.
I could not have asked for a better first full marathon.
Congrats on such an amazing race! I almost did that race and sort of kicking myself for not doing it after your recap!
Thanks! It's always a good race; I've done it the last two years now.
Congratulations! You ran a smart/great race! Space Coast is pretty nice, even for spectators. I had a good time milling around downtown Cocoa and catching the runners as they went through. Mike loved it last year.
Thanks Beka! I got lucky everything worked so well for my first marathon!
Congrats that's a great first marathon experience!
Thanks Jessica! 🙂