The Miami Marathon - Part I

"For me, running is a lifestyle and an art. I'm more interested in the magic of it than the mechanics." LORRAINE MOLLER

I awoke at 4am in the morning not even woken up by the alarm that I had set up. I am guessing that this was because I was anxious to just race again. I have not raced since october in the ING Hartford marathon and that was the last race I really took as a serious race. Anyways, NC woke up, we quickly changed and gotten ready, stretched a little and then ate our respectable meals (bagel and two banana's). MD woke up as well as she was going to take us to the starting line. I was amazed that MD even offered to take us to the marathon start.

We made our way to the start as MD showed us around the "good parts" of downtown miami. But made it without a scratch and NC and I got out of the car and quickly made our way towards the port-o-potty line. The runners on our line were not taking the same amount of spaces as the other line next to us...NC and I wanted to change this as we slowly moved the line over.

I told NC that as runners, we are very ridged people. "We" usually go by the book of what our training schedules tell us to do. Well, some of us. Other "mavericks" like to do whatever we like to mess up the system or like to do whatever we feel like doing on a particular day. Anyways, I made my deposit into the port-o-potty and we then moved onto the clothing drop off area.

It was amazing about the masses of people and about 3,000 marathon runners were there and about 13,000 runners all together. As we finished up with the clothing drop off, I saw a penny heads up...I picked it up and felt something special in the air. NC knew about the penny as her sarcasm brough great laughter when she asked me if I had found a dead rabbit on the side of the road, would I take the rabbit's foot for good luck? I know, it's grusome, but it was funny as of people finding superstitions and the luck of anything to keep hopes alive. We saw a bunch of Rez dogs (including uptown girl) & the marlin's mascot as we strolled to the starting corrals. Although, we had to pass by the port-o-potty lines that formed on the sides of each starting corrals and wheew! Were they smelly! That would wake you up in the morning.

NC took a cup of water and only wanted a swig to wetten her tongue and mouth. Although when she wanted to pour the rest out, she accidentally got her foot and now had a wet sneaker! We moved around in the corral towards the 3:10 group...we were in corral C and we wondered who was in A and B? There were a ton of people ahead of us and the race took a while to start. NC had warned me that the ideal conditions of this race was not really great for her, she had been battling a cold and stomach bug in the past few days and the conditions of heat and humidity did not forge well...it was not her forte as well as the course conditions of it being flat. Flat courses did not sit well with me, but the heat/humidity was better temperatures than being cold!

As finally the flare guns and air horn sounded the race start, the song of Will Smith's "Miami" came on to start off the day...ahh! Miami! Here we go!

NC shot out of the starting line so quickly that it was tough to keep up with her. I snapped some photos as the night was amongst us and the clear hues of color were amazing to see. I caught up to NC and we ran together for a while. The causeway was the first thing to tackle as we enjoyed it because we are hill runners. I said good luck to NC as I knew I wanted to pick up the pace. She reciprocated in a good luck to me as well and then I left. We could see the cruise ship boats on the right as we ran by, there were about 4-5 that were docked as the lights glowed in the water. It was beautiful and it felt as though we were not even running at all. I followed another runner who resembled one of the members of another team that was a great distance runner...she clearly resembled her...We came off the causeway and I felt really good...had a great pace going and really felt that I was going to have a great day. I thought about a whole lot of things, there was a coast guard boat patrolling on the causeway which reminded me of MD. I thought about my grandfather, who had just recently passed. - actually got really choked up when I thought of him. But I pushed on.

It was about mile 4-5 where we turned the bend to South Beach where my camera just decided to just take voice recordings...ok this was weird. I have never encountered this before and had thought ok, my camera is acting funny due to marathon #2 in Outer Banks marathon where my camera had gotten extremely wet due to the downpouring rain and malfunctioned a little bit...but since then it has been ok. I just recently went to a water station, but did not get any water on my camera...and the only thing that I could have thought of was...was my grandfather...or the battery.

My focus was not on my running anymore but was mostly focused on how to fix my camera. I turned it on, then off again...still just on voice recording. Then switched batteries, hmm still, then it wouldn't turn off...ok, then I would have to take out the battery to turn off the camera. I banged my camera against my hand...arg! I was missing the sunrise right over South Beach...how can my camera do this to me. I still ran and ran and ran...not missing a step, although still focusing on my camera.

I was missing South Beach all together!!! Oh man! I turned my focus back to running as we left South Beach and thought of ALL THE PEOPLE that want me to just do a race and just focus on my running in a marathon...to see how I would do. I would have to do that now...focus on my running and just do it. I knew what half marathon time I would have to pull to get my respectable time. We slowly went around some areas and I then thought I had seen NC in front of me...how can this be? When I was fiddling around with my camera, did she pass me? I speed up and slowly caught up...nope it was not her. I then thought about which people to think about at every mile as another fellow blogger (THE LAM) had done during the NYC marathon.

As we went onward towards the Pubix mile, there were people that had these noise makers that sounded like geese. There was a lone rider cheerer and my reaction at first was, what the hell was that?

I was next to this guy, later I found out his name was Stewart, where we ran pretty much the same pace and we chatted after this incident. After the lone cheerer, there were many spectators with these noise makers and all of them together it sounded REALLY funny. Seriously! I was like, "what the hell was that?" in a very loud fashion so I can chat and talk to stewart, next to me.

We then crossed many beautiful places across bridges where the sky and clouds were picture perfect...yes, I was beating myself over not having my camera. We strolled through a toll bridge (how many marathons or halves do you do that goes through a toll booth?) Which said: change/receipts...I went next to Stewart and said that I wanted a receipt with that...cracking jokes and just having fun. (he had no reaction to that comment) I hoped he could carry me through the longer miles as I knew I could hopefully keep pace. But, he told me that he was hoping to do anywhere close to a 1:28 in the half...I told him that I was bummed that he was not going to be pacing me through the entire marathon and that I could bring him to a 1:28, which we were on pace for...but I guess I had the time wrong. I had gone through some of the sections pretty quickly and for a second there I though I had lost Stewart...he was on my tail a little, and then when I got to the more cheering sections, I had spead up. Funny how I can do that when people cheer me on...I get excited (not excited like I pee in my pants, but just plain old excited.) At this point I had conservatively started to take down some Gels that I had prepared myself for taking throughout the race. I have been learning to understand the importance of taking Gel's, although still I have yet to understand the concept of how to go under 3 hours...The crowd support was great in this last area where we came back into the city and then I heard from behind, "Good Luck! Go get that goal...you'll do it!" It was Stewart screaming at me since he was behind and I screamed back that he could get his goal as well...although he finished with a 1:30 in the scoring times...

Now, it was alone time as the half and full marathoners split. I see the people ahead of me and behind me. It is not the matter of beating the person ahead of you or behind you...it is a matter of concentration and running your race. Every man for themselves at this point and we still have 13 more miles to go...half way there...crossing the half time with a 1:30 clock time...I was about pace, but a little over...

1 comment:

sfrunner said...

BH, hopefully the camera became operative again. Miami and the area is a beautiful place.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and providing encouragement. NYC means a lot this year. Take care. - Wayne