First, I'd just like to say that it's really quite difficult to write a recap when you've pretty much forgotten that you ever ran a race in the first place.
I arrived in Ft. Lauderdale around 6:30am on Saturday. Annie and Heather came and picked me up, we grabbed coffee and breakfast and hit the road for Orlando. 3ish hours later we arrived and headed for the Expo so I could get my bib. It was more difficult than last year because you had to park and take a bus to get to the Expo instead of just parking there. Fortunately we did not have wait for very long going in either direction.
After picking up my bib and eating lunch, we went to the hotel and got settled. Then it was time to head to dinner. We had an errand to run on the way, and by the time we got to dinner we were able to be seated right away.
After dinner it was bedtime for the runners and party time for the spectators.
Race day was kind of a blur.
3am wake up call, on the road to the start by 3:30am. Bag drop a little before 5am, in our corral by 5:10am, race started at 5:35am.
It was hot, 72°F and 100% humidity, but there was a bit of a breeze and a chance of rain, so I tried not to let the weather get me down. However, 100% humidity is too much for this Alaskan girl. Ick.
Things started out ok, but by about mile 5 I was done. I even considered just quitting because I felt so awful. Then I decided I wasn't a quitter and I kept going. Annie and Heather were at mile 7, which was a nice boost, but not enough to keep me going at a reasonable pace. When I failed to show up at mile 13 in a timely manner, Annie thought she better turn on the ringer on her phone since she was my emergency contact! Eventually, I made it there and I finished.
Here are a few shots from the race.
It's still dark in this picture so this had to have been somewhere between the start and mile 3ish. Note the excessive amount of sweat so early on...
Almost to the finish...
Surprisingly, this was not my slowest half marathon. However, I came nowhere near any of my goals, but I am not disappointed. The weather was hot even for people who don't live in the frozen North. The medical volunteers were pulling people out of the finish chute and making them go to the medical tent if they looked even a little off. There were also volunteers at the water/Powerade tables on the way out of the finish area who made sure that everyone had an open bottle of water or Powerade. If they saw anyone who didn't have one, they were handing them out and helping people open them.
After meeting up with everyone else, we headed back to the hotel for showers and breakfast. After rinsing off and drinking 10 gallons of water, we packed up and headed out the door. There was no time for socializing or relaxing...we had a ship to catch! I managed to choke down a couple pieces of bacon (thanks to Sue's husband for cooking us breakfast!), but couldn't manage the eggs. We hopped in the car and started our 3 hour drive back to Ft. Lauderdale.
We stopped to grab snacks. I ended up with a bag of salt and vinegar chips and a bag of dill pickle chips because those were the only two things that sounded good...and I was still fighting the urge to puke.
Three hours in the car after running a half marathon is not a pleasant experience. I was worried about my ability to get out of the car once we arrived at our destination. Fortunately, I managed...there were several profanities and a lot of "hey, wait for me"s involved...
Stay tuned for part 2...the cruise!