On Day 1 of the Fort Lauderdale A1a weekend, I ran a 5k.
On day 2, I had to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed to arrive at my 35th half marathon.
I knew that this half marathon was going to be a slow one. I was feeling somewhat down on myself and my athletic abilities for the past few weeks (maybe even months). Thankfully, my dear friend Lisa was coming down from the Stuart area of Florida, so I would get to see her and spend some time with her.
half fanatic just like me, she wasn't about to let some pesky injury slow her down. I decided before the weekend even started that I would forgo my own pace and would instead walk with Lisa and hope for a finish that was sub 4 hours.
This would be the 3rd time that I had done this course, and while it really is one of my favorite courses to date, I felt confident in my decision to spend the morning enjoying the event with my friend at her pace.
The course is straightforward, starting in downtown Fort Lauderdale, going over the intercoastal and toward the beach, then north for for 2 miles to a small park which is very peaceful and serene. Then back out to the beach, northward until mile 8, then a turnaround and south on the beach until the finishline.
I had a lot of friends who were also participating in the race, and it was nice to see them out there on the course. A few friends got their elusive PRs, and I couldn't be happier for them. Around mile 12, I had a friend leave the oceanfront restaurant that she was having brunch at and walk the last mile or so with me to encourage us on a nice finish.
I finished strong, as did my friend Lisa. We met up with other friends at the finishline area, and then we went off to start our day. There really isn't all that much to say about this race... unremarkable course as it was my 3rd time doing it, unremarkable weather, unremarkable pace. The real joy was in the camaraderie and conversation with a dear friend that I don't get to spend a lot of time with.
Listen, it wasn't my best finish time, but I took solace knowing that I had accomplished more in that morning before everyone else was awake than most do over the course of the day.
And hey, it was half marathon #35.
Pace 18:18/ mile