Well, I’m officially back from my vacation from the cold and I was only back for 1 days and I ran a half marathon. No rest for the wicked I suppose. I stayed at a hotel in Cocoa Beach, it’s not too far from where I live but the early morning race time and the complimentary bus shuttle to the course is a plus. My good friend Jordin stayed with me since she was running the half too. I told her right away I have a goal time I was pushing for and I had plans to run with a pace group. She was totally okay with it. She had zero time to train for this race with her schooling and her plans on moving. This was her 4th half marathon so she was just in it to run it the best she could.
We shuttled to the course around 5:00 am, it was pretty busy and a lot of people already piling in. This year they had moved up the max capacity up and it was completely SOLD OUT in the half and full marathon. It was a little chilly and we were just finding a spot to stay warm for a bit until we had to walk to the start. We ended up walking to the start a little early so I could find the pace group I wanted to stick with. They were playing some music and of course “The Final Countdown” by Europe is the best song to get warmed up to also with it being a space-themed race it was PERFECT.
They announced for everyone to start moving towards the start so it was starting to get a little crowded. I found the 2:10 pacer and was hoping to stick with him the entire time. While they played a few more songs they finally announced that they were going to start with the national anthem. Then it was BLAST OFF TIME! It was still pretty dark and the course started to narrow along the river so I was hoping not to trip on anything. A lot of people were putting on their flashlights on their phones which were a BIG help. Mile 1-3 went by pretty quick. I was starting to slow a little bit but could see my pacer little ways away. I was still determined to get caught back up to him. Finally, it was sunrise I really wish I had pulled out my phone to snap a picture it was so pretty. But I didn’t want any distractions I was set to try and PR and I didn’t want anything to keep me back. I was doing great until mile 5.5. I had lost my 2:10 pacer he’s long gone no longer in sight, I did, however, find the 2:15 Jeff Galloway run/walk pace group and stuck with them for the most part. Then I realized I had to pee (I’m never the runner who waits before a race to use the bathroom, I just pray I don’t ever have that urge along the way) well the urge came and I knew from the course last year there are porter potties after the loop around mile 6.5 or 7. So I figured I’d hold off until I could get there. Well, I made the loop back out and all 3 were occupied with a line forming. Oh, I kept going again I didn’t want anything to hold me back. As I focused I forgot I had to go I passed another porter potty and then it hit me. I hope I could make it to the next one. So I stopped and waiting to tap my foot. I had already lost my 2:15 Jeff Galloway pacer has been long gone. I thought for sure I wasn’t going to PR. Finally relief I could run again without a full bladder. The rest of the miles started to fly by probably because I wasn’t so focused anymore and just gave up on a PR and just run this race and enjoy it.
Around mile 9 and 10 my hip started to ache a little bit. I had taken a fall on some slippery leaves on a run while I was up in New Hampshire the week before and I’m sure it had to do with that and not properly stretching. The pain was pretty dull it came and went and I just ignored it and kept on trucking along. We started to see some marathoners coming onto the course on the other side of road and it was amazing to see these elite runners and how fast they are. How I’d love to be as fast as them. Then there was some light at the end of the tunnel. Guess what pacer comes up beside me? The 2:15 pace group. I think I started to cry and thought YES! YES! YES! I’m still in this race with a potential PR. I started to pick up my pace and they were getting ahead of me but I stayed as close as I could. My power song came on and it was like I had some gas left in me. I TOOK OFF!! Finally, I came up to mile 13 and said YES .10 of a mile to go. We ran along the stadium gazebo and I almost ran over a man who thought it was ok to cross to the other side by walking in front me. Sorry but not sorry. I saw the time and again started to tear up. I WILL PR THIS RACE!!! I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:18 not my goal time but a PR. That was my unofficial time and wasn’t sure the exact official results yet. I loved that they announced some names as they crossed the finish line.
I waited for my friend Jordin to cross the finish line so I could run it a little with her. She texted me and said, “1 MILE LEFT”. Bless her heart for someone who didn’t train as much as she wanted she sure was having a good time and finished it strong. I am so proud of her.We met up again after she got her medal we saw BEER! Yeah, it was only 8:30 am and we wanted to know where everyone was getting the beer from. FREE BEER its for me. After we found our rewarding beer we set off to find some breakfast. Pancakes never tasted so good. We sat down and rested our legs and enjoyed our breakfast. Then my phone notification went off with my official race results. I CRIED LIKE A BABY SHOVELING BEER AND PANCAKES DOWN MY THROAT. I ‘d my 5th half marathon. OFFICIAL TIME 2:16:04 and I think the 2:15 pacer for waking me up from my slump. If I could hug you I would and thank you so much! I came in 65th place in my age group out of 310.
Once Jordin and I finished our beer and breakfast we had to go find our shuttle bus to take us back to the hotel so we could shower and head home. I was still on cloud 9 over this BIG PR. Knocking off another 7 minutes off my last half marathon which was in October is a big deal for me. I’m sorry for those on Facebook who had to listen to me bragging about it. But it’s just something you work hard for and it shows. This year had been a year of improvement on my race times. I will get to that in my year to end post in the next coming weeks. I am so thankful for all the supportive people who surround me every day and keep me going. I will be back next year to run the Space Coast Half Marathon or who knows maybe I will run the marathon. I haven’t decided yet and I know I have a few months to think about it. I’m in it for the #bigbangseries year 2 complete. Looking forward to next years.