That's an 8:22 mile and almost 14 minutes better than the Palm Beaches Marathon!
I barely reached the start line before the gun went off because parking was more of a nightmare than I had imagined, so I probably could have stretched out a little more than I did, but here's my starting point (one minute and thirty seconds behind the guys at the gun). Sooooo exciting!
My muscles were tight from the start, but I just kept saying, "It's a 13 mile jog, it's a 13 mile jog...", turned up my Cascada mix and trotted right over Rte. 395 with 16,965 (Seriously! That's what the race stats say!) other runners. It was a gorgeous morning with temperature's heading into the 70's as the sun rose over South Beach for our first few miles. Those streets were my training ground and it just felt really good to run by all the hotels and restaurants with the staff outside cheering us on. I whipped out my cell phone once we got to Alton Rd. and woke my friend Nick up. He scooted his butt out to Ocean Drive and high-fived me on Mile 5! When we turned onto Washington Avenue, we trapped a prostitute on the corner since she couldn't cross through the mob. I legitimately felt sorry for her. I wonder how long she had to wait there...
I stayed in front of the 3:40:00 pace group (if you stick with them for the entire marathon, you would qualify for the Boston marathon) and as we crept up towards the last few miles, I pushed into the 1:50 half marathon pace group. One of the coolest things ever (seriously, my eyes even got a little wet) was running through the 'tunnel' of fans after we crossed the Venetian Causeway. I didn't know a single person in the crowd, but they were so close to us and there were so many fans, just cheering and jumping and blowing things and who knows what else. It really hit me, feeling part of something so big. I couldn't help but smile smile smile.
I got confused by the wrong half circle of balloons and sprinted through a faulty finish line (that almost killed it for me when I realized that we were still... running...ughhhh) but swung around that last corner, through the grandstand and past the finish line directly in front of the American Airlines arena!!
My friend Erin was working at the medical tent so I chugged my first bottled water and went over to say hi. Bad idea to stop walking! My left achilles was so sore that I started limping. I tried to 'man up' and 'walk it off', but I ended up just walking ... straight to my car. Since they pushed the finish line several blocks up and away from the parking lot, it was a looooong, slooooow walk back to the car. I was glad to leave immediately. I know you're supposed to want to see your friends and hang out and talk and just feel good about life in general... but after this one and even the last one, all I could think about was a shower and a long late morning nap with my bedroom windows open. (My body is not now nor will it ever be accustomed to waking up at 4:30am...)
And that's just what I did. I took a 20 minute shower and slept for 4 hours!
Then I caught up with Nick and grabbed a lazy Sunday afternoon bite with him then we planted ourselves at Starbucks in the heart of South Beach and chatted about life.
Now THAT'S a Sunday! I'm staying off the pavement for another two days but plan to be back on the boardwalk for Thursday night's Run Club. Can't wait to be back in my Lunarglides. Next up is Miami Beach 13.1 on March 6th! I'll check back in on Thursday to let you know how I feel about my brand new Nike compression shorts that just came in!!
And as always, thank you for all of your support!