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ING Miami Marathon - RunMarathon

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Miami, Florida
United States
US Road Sports & Entertainment of Florida, LLC
73F / 23C
Total Time = 4h 23m 52s
Overall Rank = 1706/3943
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 70/233
Pre-race routine:

I spent the night before at my friend Christine's house. She partied until 4:15, and we were up at 4:45. Somehow, I never heard her come in, and she never heard me leave - and she lives in a studio apartment!
Event warmup:

Patrick drove me to a spot a few blocks from the start. I made sure I had all of my race gear, used TriSlide to lube up those problem spots, and headed into the crowd.
Hit bathrooms in the Arena, and again at the port-a-potties near my corral. I was more calm than I expected to be.
I had wanted to start with the 4:30 pace group, but when I finally saw the sign, it was WAY in the back of the corral, and I wasn't about to work my way back there.
I got into position and ran into a friend who was running the half!
15 minutes after the start, I finally hit the start line!
  • 4h 23m 52s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 04s  min/mile

Wow. Where do I start? I was smiling for almost the whole thing!

We crossed the start line, and I was moving at about 10:20min/mile, and so was everyone else. I was so happy I ran into Rosa before the start, and we ran together for a few miles. I carried a water bottle, because I was told that the first aid stations were a total cluster. Glad I did! I chucked the water bottle after the second station and started relying on the course.

I lost Rosa around mile 3, and I was on my own. I chatted with a few people, was blatantly ignored by others... Just as we entered South Beach, the 4:15 pace group passed me. I had no idea they were behind me!
Around this time, I also changed the screen on my Timex. I had set the distance to 26.8, and the time to 4:30. The screen just had big #s, telling me how many minutes & seconds I was behind my goal time. I was probably around 4-5 minutes at this point.

South Beach was cool. I hit the 5 mile sign and thought to myself that I could do that 4 more times... and then still run 1.2. They had these 8oz bags of water they were handing out, which were the best thing EVER. ( Somewhere on SoBe I also stepped on a mostly full one of those that squirted directly up my shorts. For a split second, I thought I peed.

We ran past a good amount of spectators, some still out drinking from the night before, some just waking up to cheer us on!

I picked up another running buddy around mile 7, and we chatted for about a mile. She told me to take the sidewalks over the bridges on the Venetian Causeway, because the metal grates were tricky. Shortly after I left her, I picked up another girl who works for lululemon. They had INSANE cheering sections at two different points on the marathon course, and she took off when an entire entourage ran about 1/4 mile with her.

Along the bridges, there were even people cheering from boats! I thought that was totally cool. The final bridge brought us back into the ING Cheering section. It was just after mile 10 - and I let the thought enter my head that I still had SIXTEEN miles to go! I quickly pushed that out of my head and decided I couldn't count down miles until I had less than 10 left. Until then, I'd count up! The cheering zone was crowded but not very loud. The highlight was definitely the guy in the middle of the course with a "Free Hugs" sign. I gave him a BIG hug, then continued on to the crappy part of Miami.

The miles stopped flying by from 11-13. I was anxious to reach the Half/Full split. I eventually made it to the halfway point, crossed the mat in 2:13, and found my friend, Wally!

I personally do not bandit races. I think those that do are making their own decision. Wally wanted to bandit the half, but when he found out I was running the full, he asked to run the second half with me. I accepted. He's ran the half at this event more than once, and really wanted to do the second half of the course.

So I picked up Wally, who had a Happy Birthday balloon tied to his shirt so I could find him. The balloon was meant for a friend whose birthday was the next day. But, it was Wally's birthday earlier in the week. He was confused when people started wishing him a happy birthday because he forgot he had a balloon tied to his shirt!

I briefed Wally on my pace, progress, plans and whatever I thought he should know. We settled into a comfortable pace and kept going.

Shortly after mile 15, we came upon the hashers! Patrick met me on my side of the road and gave me a little cup of beer. I drank it, and I was off again!

My plan was to eat every 5 miles. I ate at 5, 11 (didn't see the mile 10 aid station in time!), and at 15, I really didn't want another gel. So, I waited. Mile 16 came and went, and I still didn't want to. I knew I would be starting to cross that bonk line, so at 17, I forced one down. Luckily, it stayed down, and my stomach didn't revolt.

I hit mile 18, and I was confident that I had 8 more miles in me. Around this time, I looked at my watch, and it said --:--:--. I was right on par with a 4:30 finish (for 26.8 miles though). My GPS had me about .2 miles further than the course at this point, too.

At mile 19, we were FINALLY headed back in the direction of the finish line. I was still happy feeling good. I could have stopped at a port-a-potty, but I didn't want to. I was afriad it would be hard to get moving again. My stomach gave a few threatening grumbles for the last 7 miles, but thankfully, nothing awful happened.

We hit mile 20, and I saw my first runner in distress - sitting on the side of the road with medics attending to him. I was happy I still felt ok, but it was a reminder that things could shift at any time.

With a 10k left, gas still in the tank, I expected the miles to start flying by again. They didn't. I kept breathing steadily, taking in gatorade and water at the aid stations, and pushing to mile 21.5 where I knew I'd see my hashers again. I grabbed a beer, a kiss and some high-fives and kept moving. To my surprise, two MORE hashers were running with me! Stop the Bus and Wimp! (Those are their hash names, get used to it!)

They caught up, told stories, and just distracted me from running. At mile 22, we split and head towards the Rickenbacker Causeway - the tallest bridge in South Florida. Wally complained, but I told him we'd just turn around under the bridge, and not cross over it. As we ran through the toll booth, I joked about not having change. Stop the Bus was happy to see I still had my sense of humor, but that was about to disappear.

Mile 23 brought pain. I was still moving, still picking off people left and right, but dang did it start to hurt!

Right before mile 24, I ran into yet another hasher! He was running the full and was struggling. We ran with him for about a mile before he dropped back. I hit mile 24 and started pushing with whatever I had left, which wasn't much.

The finish line did not want to get closer. The last two miles felt like four! Wimp stayed back with my other friend, and Wally and Stop the Bus stuck with me. We came up to the last half mile, and Stop the Bus kept telling me to push harder! I told him I had been pushing harder for the last two miles!!

The put a nice drawbridge (read: FL version of a Hill) in that last half mile. Go, go, go. Don't stop. I was struggling to breathe. I wanted to walk so badly, but I didn't. As we passed the 26 mile marker, Stop the Bus told me it was my last chance to shave off a few seconds, and that I'd be happier for every bit of energy I put into it. I pushed a little harder, and crossed the finish line!
What would you do differently?:

For my first marathon? Not a thing.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around. Found Patrick. Found Christine and her family. Her dad was SO PROUD of me, and I had never even met him before!

Patrick and I sat down in the beer tent, then walked like 1.5 miles to the car. We got some food, and headed to the hash, where I walked another mile or two, and had some more beers :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

If I ran more while training, I'm certain I could run faster. But, we'll save that for another time.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-10-03 12:00 AM
04:23:52 | 26.2 miles | 10m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 70/233
Overall: 1706/3943
Performance: Good
Course: From the arena, out MacArthur Causeway, through South Beach, back to downtown on the Venetian Causeway, past downtown (1/2 marathon split), down to coconut grove, out the Rickenbacker Causeway, under the bridge and back.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-01-30 10:31 AM

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Subject: ING Miami Marathon

2012-01-30 10:45 AM
in reply to: #4018498

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Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon

Nice run.  Love your report. 

2012-01-30 10:47 AM
in reply to: #4018498

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Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
Nice job.  Throwing down while drinking beer.  Totally awesome.  Not easy to push the pace at the end of a marathon, mentally and physically.  Sounds like you paced it just about perfect
2012-01-30 11:03 AM
in reply to: #4018498

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Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon

Super duper job, Elaine!!  Wow!!  Way to hang in there and finish strong!  Beer is good motivation, hydration and nutrition, apparently!  I can vouch that it can be inspiring...a nighttime trail run I did this autumn had beer at mile 5 of 6! 

Congrats on a great first marathon!  When is the next?!

2012-01-30 11:06 AM
in reply to: #4018498

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Lancaster, PA
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
OMG! I Am so happy for you. Congratulations!!!!! So glad you had a great race. Enjoy your upcoming R&R......
2012-01-30 11:12 AM
in reply to: #4018498

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Chatham Ontario
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon

AWESOME job Elaine... Love the beer fueled run.... LOL

I am still never running a full. My feet can't take that kind of pounding...


You ROCK...just sayin'

2012-01-30 11:37 AM
in reply to: #4018498

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Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
Beer helps w/ the pain and gives energy...  I'm a hasher too.  Username is P.A.M.
2012-01-30 11:50 AM
in reply to: #4018498

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Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!!!! You rock!!
2012-01-30 1:08 PM
in reply to: #4018498

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon

Excellent RR Elaine.  Hasher names like Stop the Bus and Wimp are pretty mild from the names I've heard.  Drinkers with a running problem, you've got to love THAT!  I didn't count down until mile 20, and after that, the last six felt like the first 20.  Maybe I will meet a Wally in my next marathon, I'd rather meet him than Mr. WALL Tongue out


2012-01-30 1:28 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Subject: ...
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2012-01-30 1:35 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Melon Presser
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon

CONGRATULATIONS, marathoner!!!

Smiled the whole time? That really is the whole point ... except you also smoked it, hey, top 1/3 AG is FOP, right??? ZOOM ZOOM

One of the mary sayings is that it's a 20-mile warmup for the hardest 10K of your life. Well, that happened for you, and you were HARDER. Way to go!

2012-01-30 1:53 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Norwalk, Connecticut
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
nice job!!! There is food in beer but no beer in food!!!!  Glad you had a good time, congrats on the finish!!
2012-01-30 2:14 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Bartlett, TN
Gold member
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
Excellent job on your race Elaine!
2012-01-30 2:49 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
Beer drinking, negative splitting and kicking the whole way. Great report! Very happy for you for your achievement.
2012-01-30 3:42 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
Awesome Elaine!
2012-01-30 4:36 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
And cute pics to boot! Congrats girl!

2012-01-30 4:45 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon

Huge congrats Elaine      

Fantastic pics too - you really were smiling through the whole thing which is awesome! 

2012-01-30 7:42 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
Awesome job! Congrats...and enjoy that incredible run base you have built.
2012-01-30 7:54 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
Nice job!
2012-01-30 8:46 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
Great job,  I dont think I have seen that big a smile on anyone else running a marathon.   Very entertaining to read.   
2012-01-31 12:21 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Hoosier heartland
Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
I enjoyed reading your race report.  Great job on your first marathon!!!  Your pics are awesome.  A wonderful smile in each photo.  LOL, your pics do not look like someone who ran a marathon.  

2012-01-31 3:10 PM
in reply to: #4018498

Subject: RE: ING Miami Marathon
here is a public congrats! 26.2 deserves lots of posts. Good job!
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