Monday, November 18, 2013

13.1 Ft. Lauderdale - November 10, 2013

One of my side jobs is that I do some promotions work for US Road Sports at local events, and in exchange I get complementary entries to their local events. This year, I wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity and complete all 5 of the races in the Florida Storm Series to obtain their special Category 5 finisher's medal.

The first race of the season for the Storm Series was 13.1 Ft. Lauderdale, and I was stoked. What I love so much about Ft. Lauderdale races is the amount of time that we actually spend running on sea wall and the spectacular views. I joined my dear friend Seth for the race and we sadly were minus our third in the trio as Brina was unable to make it... which I knew might be hard for me as Brina is so good at pacing me and that meant I would be on my own for the duration.

With Seth at the start. Yes it will be a good day.
But sadness over not having my friend there wasn't gonna get me down. I've run half marathons before, I knew that this would just be different. I would use the time to get deep within myself and focus on all of the important things... like why I enjoy the feeling of being at a race. I've been pushing myself for so long to get a PR, that lately I had been feeling like maybe I was losing some of the centering feelings that turned me onto running in the first place. This was a great opportunity to regroup and reevaluate my approach to races.

I arrived in downtown Ft. Lauderdale nice and early and found parking. I got ready in the garage and waited on Seth, then we went to the start line where I had the goal to meet up with a co-worker and friend who was participating in the wheelchair division. After a few obligatory photos (which I wont share because I don't want to share without permission), we headed to the start line. We ran into a few race regulars that I knew and a few old friends, and before we knew it the anthem was finished and the race had started. Seth and I said our goodbyes as we herded through the start corral, and he was off. Me, I surprised myself.

I started really strong. I reminded myself that recently I had learned to take shorter quicker steps to increase my time and reduce my energy output, and felt myself plowing through the first few miles. As I am still a run-walk-runner doing 1min:1min ratios... my overall pace was slower, but I was easily doing 11 minute miles while on my run intervals. I was impressing myself at how strong I felt. And what's more, I had NO FOOT PAIN.

The worst part of the tunnel experience
We ran through the city streets for the first few miles and down through the New River Tunnel, which was very cool. I have always wanted to run a tunnel, but now that I've done it, I don't think I ever want to do it again. The downhill is easy but right before the bottom, the air quality gets bad with poor ventilation and no movement to the air at all. It is hot and humid, and on my exit from the tunnel I felt like I had an elephant sitting on my chest. Thankfully it was a short foray into Tunnel-world and we exited back to the streets where there was a nice breeze.

I was pacing with 2 lovely women and we chatted a little. Turns out that one of them knew me from a group that I am an admin for on facebook, and we were able to enjoy our time together (I actually ran into her yesterday at a football game and I think I'd like to continue a run-panionship with her, but I digress).

Horrible photo of me with my new Run-panion, Kim
I think the tunnel and my pet chest-sitting-elephant caught up to me somewhere around mile 5... I saw these women pulling away from me a bit as we hit the beach, but I wasn't running for time (remember, this was a regroup race), so I was OK with that. I felt myself slowing down a bit, but with each moment of slowing down, I felt my joy for running and my positive thinking increasing. How different it was to run for me and not for the clock.

4 miles north on the beach, then 4 miles south to the finish-line, and the finishline was in sight. Seth ran over to me about 50 feet from the finishline and told me that he was going to bring me in (I LOVE when he does this), but he had to stay out of the chute, and I pushed full steam ahead. I was exhausted, but it was over. And I felt great.

I never steal photos, but with a pic like this...
That is... until I crossed over the mat and I revisited the huckleberry hammer gel that I had around mile 11 and I couldnt clear my airway. Before making it to get my medal, I doubled over choking on this viscous huckleberry flavored nastiness. I couldn't catch my breath and we called for medical who forced 4 bottles of water into me in rapid succession to induce vomiting. The medics stood over me while the color returned to my face and my lips went un-blue. And Seth stood nearby watching, shaking his head and laughing at the fact that I can't seem to push it like that without needing medical.

No PR for me that day... depending on who you ask. Officially, no PR... but my garmin measured the course at 13.38 miles with a pace per mile of 14:56... which would be a 1 minute 5 second PR. I'll take that. Amazing what a no-stress race will do for a person's time.

is this thing real?

Net- 3:18:43
Pace- 15:10
OA- 2002/2088
Female- 1079/1151
Age- 33.11%

AND I had enough energy left over that Seth and I skipped the shuttle back to our cars and instead chose to walk an additional 5K... guess that is a good 16 mile training session for my upcoming full marathon in January.

P.S. The foot pain returned on the walk back to the car... guess we have learned an important lesson about my feet and concrete. Time to look into cortisone shots.


  1. Sounds like a fantastic race for you and I LOVE that "stolen" shot!

    1. it was! I dont normally put "stolen" shots in my blog posts but I just couldnt resist on this one. I am actually contemplating ordering this one (something i never do because of cost) to remind me of what this is really supposed to be.

  2. What a fun race, congrats on your finish!!!
    On a side note, don't get cortizone shots in your feet. I have had a lot of doctors warn me about those, there are far more worse things than can happen than the benefits of them.
    Instead try changing your running form, it takes a little practice and concentrated effort, but you'll notice a world of difference, foot pain can disappear in a day or two with changing your form:) Good luck!

    1. You are right about changing your form helping, I've been forcing myself to work on my quicker shorter strides to help with my speed, but it also seems to do wonders for the feet issues i have. its taking a LOT of practice and i slip up and forget sometimes,... but its a process. i didnt learn to distance run overnight....