2011 ING Miami Half Marathon
Time 1:46:22 | Pace 8:08 | Age Group 61/1139
Mile 1: 9:07
Mile 2: 8:13
Mile 3: 8:01
Mile 4: 8:12
Mile 5: 7:56
Mile 6: 8:01
Mile 7: 7:58
Mile 8: 7:59
Mile 9: 8:01
Mile 10: 7:58
Mile 11: 7:54
Mile 12: 7:41
Mile 13: 7:32
The Half Marathon was the only distance I didn’t PR last year so I was really looking forward to this race. My goal time was 1:48. I’d had a few good training runs, but I wasn’t convinced I could run “that fast” for 13 miles.
Geoffrey decided to skip the race due to a tibial stress fracture which put a 6 week dent in his training schedule. As race day approached, it became clear that Geoffrey wouldn’t be here for it at all as he’d be traveling for work. Fortunately, my friend Vicki was also driving down by herself and we decided to carpool. I picked up my race packet the day before. Due to my unemployment, I avoided the expo altogether and was back on the road again within minutes.
On race morning, I woke up at 4am and had a few pieces of toast – one with marmite, two smaller ones with peanut butter. I also drank some Gatorade. Before I knew it, Vicki was outside my door and we were on our way. This year’s race was more crowded than others and we got to the starting chute with only a few minutes to spare. Fortunately, indicative of Miami, the start was delayed by almost 10 minutes.
Once we were off, I could really feel how much more congested the race was than in previous years. Not only did it take me 4 minutes to get to the actual start line, but once I crossed it I felt like I was barely moving. I spent a huge chunk of the race weaving through the masses. It was a bit frustrating but I tried to focus on enjoying the scenery. Seriously, this is one gorgeous course.
The first few miles flew by. After mile 3, when the crowds started to disperse, I locked onto what felt like a comfortable pace. I was shocked every time I looked down and noticed I was consistently doing 8-minute miles. Before I knew it, I had run 7 miles and hadn’t had a single gel yet – not even before the start of the race like I normally do. I freaked out a bit but quickly realized I felt fine. Actually, I couldn’t believe how strong I felt. I had a gel and some water anyway.
As usual, I checked my form at every mile. Unlike other races, I didn’t have to modify anything. I was so amazed at how well I was running. There wasn’t a hint of pain or discomfort anywhere, not even the slightest sign of fatigue. We suddenly arrived at the cheerleading section of the race which is around mile 11. With 2 miles to go, I decided to increase the pace. I still felt great. I got to the Half/Full turnoff, and for once, the thought “Oh thank goodness I’m only running the Half” didn’t cross my mind. I felt like I could keep going. I crossed the finish line ahead of my goal time which was an amazing feeling.
I had water, a banana and some gatorade after the race. I couldn’t believe I’d run the whole way on one gel. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome and the best part is that I know I will continue to improve. Also, this race helped boost my confidence about the Full Marathon I will be running in a couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to it !