Space Coast Half Marathon

Remember when I decided to run 3 half marathons in 3 months?  And remember when I then decided to do 2 half marathons 6 days apart? Well, I completed my first of 4 half marathons that I am running on Sunday.

I am so excited to be 1/5 of the way done with the Big Bang Challenge!  I was always amazed with the course and the medal for the Space Coast Half Marathon.  And the finish line party.  But I’ll get to that later, I’ve got a race to tell you about.

I wasn’t able to make it out to the Kennedy Space Center for the race expo, but I was able to have Mel and her husband pick it up for me.  Thanks to a last minute offer, I was able to head down to Cocoa and stay with Mel at her friend’s house after I got out of work Saturday night instead of getting up ridiculously early and heading straight to the race.  It’s about an hour drive from work so I got there at 11 and was up around 4:30 to get ready for the race.  Mel’s friend lives about 10 minutes away from the start line.

Mel and her husband were running the marathon, so I was on my own for the half.  They dropped me off near the start line since the half marathon started 30 minutes before the marathon and I made my way to the drop off my bag before heading to the start line.  There weren’t any corrals for the race, just pace groups.  I kept heading back and the last group that I saw was the 2:45 group.  I’m not there yet so I got behind them.  As always, I struck up a conversation with a girl near me and we chatted for the remaining 15 minutes or so before the race started.

The start was exciting because the screen showed a countdown and a launch to send us off.  The course is a nice an easy out an back course along the Indian River.  I was nervous about going out to fast, but I was determined to stick to my 1:1 intervals.  My first mile was good, but my second mile was a bit upsetting.  After I got my grove though, I was able to keep my pace nice and consistent for the next 6 miles.

Around mile 3 or 4, a girl asked me if I was doing run-walk-run and asked if she could join me.  I was happy for the company so we ran together for about the next 5 miles.  I did notice some people out there with shots of Blue Moon at mile 4 and I made note of it to stop and get some on my way back.  Turn around point had a misting machine.  It wasn’t a hot day at all, but the day was incredibly humid so that mist felt great!

I was still feeling good until about mile 10 when my right hamstring started to tighten up.  I was able to keep doing my intervals even though I was slowing down.  By the time I was at mile 12 my hamstring was done and I was struggling to run.  I ended up walking a good portion of that mile.  Even though I hadn’t seen the 3:15 pace group, they were suddenly with me.  I tried to run with them for a few intervals and I’m pretty sure that running with them was the only thing that kept my last mile reasonable.

Mile 1: 13:33
Mile 2: 14:13
Mile 3: 13:42
Mile 4: 13:33
Mile 5: 13:47
Mile 6: 13:38
Mile 7: 13:35
Mile 8: 13:59
Mile 9: 14:15
Mile 10: 13:56
Mile 11: 15:01
Mile 12: 14:28
Mile 13: 15:16

Despite my legs starting to give out on me, I was able to finish with a PR.  It was such an improvement over my last PR which was almost 4 years ago.  I know that I’ve struggled in the past few years with some injuries and lack of training so to get a PR on a race so early in the season just made my day.

My official time was 3:16:28.  Not too shabby.  And I did take that shot of Blue Moon at mile 9.

The finish line party was pretty good too.  They gave you a cold and wet wash cloth at the finish line, along with a beach towel.  As soon as I got through the finisher chutes, I saw that there was a place giving pizza to the runners.  I headed over there and grabbed a slice and then made my was to the Publix booth that had pancakes and scrambled eggs.  Of course I ate too quickly and started to get an upset stomach so I had to take a break and find a restroom.

I was waiting for Mel and her husband to finish their race so I spent time in a pizza place relaxing, trying to rest on a park bench (when it got really windy and chilly) and in a coffee cute little coffee shop.  After I warmed up, I went to wait at mile 26 where I cheered on the finishers and then hopped up to run with Mel for a good portion of her last mile.

I was so excited to be with her at the finish line.  I”m so proud of her and her husband.  I know that they don’t want to ever do a marathon again, so for them to finish strong is a great way to go out.

This entry was posted in Big Band Challenge, race report, Space Coast Half Marathon. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Space Coast Half Marathon

  1. Pingback: Whoops! I Did It Again | Who me, run?

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