The pre-race road trip and pasta dinner with Cute K and Caribbean Steve was a total blast. We talked a lot on the way down and thought the scenery of South Florida was gorgeous. The race expo was at the Galleria Mall which made me very happy since really all malls are like my second home. The goodie bag and expo were both on par. For a small race, they did a great job of setting up a good expo with lots of free swag. After the intimidating mass of people at the Marine Corps Marathon, I gotta say I much prefer the smaller crowds.
Caribbean Steve wore my sister’s race number since she didn’t get to go down to Ft Lauderdale with us, but don’t worry he didn’t actually race or she probably would have won her age group. Haha. Also since my sister’s new last name is now very Irish, Caribbean Steve was the darkest Irish man I’ve ever seen.
Cute K and I had decided to set our sights on a 3:50 marathon. We both felt we could hit that goal and for her it would mean a Boston Qualifying time. I knew going in that this would be Cute K’s race. She was running so strong during our training runs and blowing my doors off at the track.
The morning of the race I was a bit nervous. I decided I would take a caffeinated Gu the second I woke up to get things moving, if you know what I mean. Cute K and Caribbean Steve and I head to the parking garage and got a bit lost on the way there. I was pretty panicked at this point but we figured it out and had time to hit the porta-potties before the start. The Gu did it’s job and I was much more relaxed with that issue out of the way.
Cute K got me all worked up again cause she thought she mixed up her electrolyte caps (eCaps) with her sleeping pills. They look just alike so she had to compare them with mine and even taste them to make sure they were the right pills. This was hysterical to me and something I’ll never forget.
Pre-race me and Cute K. Check out my Team USO singlet!
As the race started I felt good. I was trying to stay calm and stay on pace, which are both hard for me. I knew we had to speed up a bit to make-up for the sluggish first mile due to the crowd but I was worried about bonking at the end. Cute K was wonderful at that. I’d push a bit too much and she’ll pull me back in. We both had pace wrist bands with big huge lettering and a saying we selected. Since I was doing my Team USO fundraiser I chose something that my friend Tam, who is in the Air Force, always told me when we ran together, “One foot in front of the other.”
The miles progressed and I was feeling, oh how shall we say this, less and less chipper. I was fine until about 15 or 16 and I just started feeling like I needed to focus and didn’t want to waste more energy talking. Cute K was just as bubbly as ever and I could tell she was feeling great. She went to put on her tunes and her iPod wasn’t working so she was really looking forward to seeing Caribbean Steve at mile 18 since I wasn’t really a bundle of laughs at this point. Hey, it happens.
We hit 18 and didn’t see him in his high-lighter yellow shirt. Cute K was worried. But then, like a ray of sunshine – there he was. He was hootin’ and hollerin’ and had made friends with just about every single person we passed, runner and spectator alike. He ran with Cute K for a bit and then fell back to chat with me because at this point Cute K and I needed to part ways. She was on fire! I was on cruise and officially in the “bite me” zone.
As I watched Cute K zoom off I wondered if I could maintain for the final 6.2 miles. I oscillated between “I hate this” and “Stop being such a pansy ass. You aren’t fighting in a war, you can do this.” It was hot and I was tired. I had dropped the pace down to an 8:30 but I was struggling.
Thank GOD for Caribbean Steve. He was saying and doing all the right things as a pacer. He tried to get me to visualize a four mile route we run a lot when I hit the 22 mile mark. Although when he mentioned the tennis courts coming up I literally thought he meant tennis courts. Oops. Damn marathon brain. He ran ahead and grabbed my water and he even promised to buy me ice cream after we finished. I am not sure why he did this since I don’t really like ice cream all that much. But I did find it helpful since he’s pretty cheap so that was an extremely nice gesture. I mean come on, you all saw his busted old flippy floppies. Heh.
We got closer to the finish and I kept asking him where the damn finish line was. It was very hot at this point. We were running along the famous A1A, which while beautiful, offered no shade and no breeze. He said, “Oh, I see it. It’s right up there.” Liar. He didn’t see it. He told me this after of course, but again, such a wonderful friend to lie to me at this point. I never needed a lie like I did at mile 25.
I managed a final surge at the end when Caribbean Steve prompted me to pass some dude. Heh, sorry dude, but thanks. And I also managed a big smile as I crossed the finish line. It was hot, I was spent, but damn if I didn’t hit my goal. My official time was 3:48:04 and that made me 5th out of 37 in my age group.
This marathon felt different than the others. I had a hard time enjoying it from about mile 16 on. I’m pretty sure that I put too much pressure on myself and made it “work.” I feel bad that I just couldn’t be more fun with Cute K. It was just one of those things. She had a kick ass race and got that much deserved BQ with about 6 minutes to spare. To say I’m happy with my nineteen minute PR would be an understatement, I’m thrilled. The post race festivities were pretty awesome. They had tons of free drinks and food. It was so nice to sit in front of the ocean on such a gorgeous day. We made friends with a few first time half marathoners after and that running camraderie never ceases to amaze me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the running community is a wonderful group of people.
Great race!!!! Congrats on a new PR!!!
Happy Birf_day B.o.b………….
Happy Birthday and Congratulations! I knew you were going to PR with all the speediness that you've acquired recently! You are such a hard worker and I'm so glad it payed off even if you didn't feel great for the last bit. I am in awe! Great job!
Happy Birthday, and Happy PR! Sorry it wasn't more fun in-race, but you gotta love the result.
Awesome job you!!! That's so great you have such a support with you during the race!
Having the right people pushing you when your losing focus is invaluable, for sure.
And congrats Cutie K for the BQ! Awesome.
Rock on with that new PR!
I am so ecstatic for you. A 19 min PR is sooo amazing! Love the pictures…I miss South Florida sometimes. LOL Hope you are having a great bday!
Congratulations! And Happy Birthday!
Awesome! This is just awesome. This is inspiration to the rest of us that PRs happen after bad races. That HUGE PR's happen. For those of us on Team Cleveland, this is such an inspiration!!
Happy birthday and congrats on the new PR!
Aw, Steve is so sweet to bribe you w/ice cream. He just wanted to see you smile. We don't like to see our friends in pain. Hey, he can't be any less Irish than Shaquille O'Neal. What a great guy for reeling you in. I love the turtle medals! Hmmm, not sure if it's fitting tho, Speedy B.o.B. I totally understand the Bite Me stage. I knew you'd be flipping off the photogs. I was in so much pain and in a foul mood at mile 25 in Vegas that I yelled at a guy who stopped in front of me to take a picture (don't get between a girl and her BQ time!), and he told me to go f*** myself. That guy pissed me off so bad that the anger lit a fire under me and kept me going. I probably said out loud every bad word in the English language on the last overpass(and I think I made up some new ones that would embarass a merchant marine). But hey, it worked. Congrats to you both! Way to smoke it!
Sorry, to clarify, the guy who stopped in front of me to take a photo was a runner, not a photographer.
Happy birthday and congrats on the awesome PR!
Just in case I haven't bombarded you with enough adoration via text, call, facebook and email, here's another one for the blog for good measure: I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! I knew you were going to rock this marathon and you did! You are awesome Boo, plain and simple. And I say that not only because it's your birthday but because it's true and I love you. Can't wait to start Cleveland with you!!!!
congratulations! that's a huge PR! have a wonderful birthday!
Not sure what's better – shaving 19 minutes off your PR or running five marathons before 31. Awesome job on both. Congrats!
Congrats. Great race report! You have great friends too!
Awesome job BoB, you rock! No marathon is easy, there are always difficult times, but you did an amazing job and way to destroy your PR!
What an awesome job!!! And 5 marathons? Daaaannnnggg!
Happy Birthday! I hope you have an awesome day!
1) Congrats on the PR! Even if it wasn't how you may have pictured it pre-race!
2) Happy Birthday!
3) Join the multisport revolution! It's my first year, but I'm gonna give it all I got!
I was thinking about you all day! Happy birthday girly! Congrats on an AMAZING time. I love the "Im in the "bite me" zone"! Thats too great! Ill have to use that one!
I got no marathons before 31, but 2 before 32. That's something, no?
Congrats on the SUPER AWESOME PR! You really kicked some ass!
And happy birthday 🙂
Under four hours, a turning point in your marathoning life but believe me now that, that monkey is off your back you'll run the next one faster and with relative ease!
Don't make up your mind about ice-cream until you've tried green tea ice-cream. It's good!
Such an honest and well-written race report. Awesome Beth! Congratulations on 19 minute PR! That is HUGE! If you can fathom another 19 minutes, that's a BQ 🙂 So happy and excited fotr your performance! Happy Birthday to You!
you have the best attitude! you are my hero! you are awesome! congrats on 5 marathons before 31.
Congratulations!! You demolished it!!
dude! you beasted a1a. feeling junky in the last 8-ish miles and you pull a 3:48 out of your behind? hello, awesomeness! congrats to you and your friend!! and that's a great mindset/perspective – this is not as hard as our troops have it!
Congrats and happy bday!
What a great effort Beth! I think this really shows your growth as a runner. On a day where you were less than 100%, you were still able to stick it out and PR. Congratulations! Now – if they'd just quit moving that BQ qualifier time on you….