Emily and I caught and early flight to Ft. Lauderdale Saturday morning without a hitch. With the stress of taking care of my grandma these past few months, and then her passing, my mom was in need of a getaway. We decided Mr. Blondie would stay at home and we’d make this a girl’s weekend. My mom’s flight arrived shortly after ours, and we met in the airport.
We’d hoped to spend some time on the beach that afternoon, but it was way too windy. You couldn’t put a beach towel down without it blowing away, and the sand was whipping around. I knew it was going to make for some fun times at the race the next morning.
As excited as I was for the trip, I was feeling kind of blah about the race. I never got the pre-race jitters, or that feeling of pent-up energy like I normally get in anticipation of a race. Even standing in the start coral, I was hoping a wave of adrenaline would wash over me once the gun went off. It never happened.
Going in, I knew I was going to struggle with the temps and humidity (mild by South Florida standards, but still warm and muggy), and the monotony of the course (up A1A, back down A1A). I thought the pancake-flat terrain would negate some of those obstacles though. The strong winds weren’t something I had anticipated in addition.
Miles 1-4 weren’t so bad. I was on pace for a decent race and felt good. Around mile 5 mile the ocean belly kicked in…you know that sloshing, weird feeling. Around mile 6 my legs suddenly got really tired and heavy. During mile 7 the 1:40 pace group passed me. I may or may not have muttered
After that happened, I was convinced I wasn’t even going to break 1:45. And y’all know my real goal is to break 1:35. Somehow I managed to hang on for a 1:41:xx finish.
If I’m smiling and waving in half marathon pictures, it’s a clear indication I’m feeling purely craptastic. If things were going well I would have been oblivious to the cameras.
|We hit the pool to unwind after the race instead|
We stayed at a hotel just a few blocks away from our old apartment. It was hard to believe it’s been over 4 years since we’d left. So much has happened in our lives since moving to Atlanta, but everything felt very familiar and unchanged once we were there. We ate at some of my favorite old restaurants and did a some shopping at my favorite boutiques.
The plan was to fly back first thing Monday morning, then spend the day doing more Christmas shopping in Atlanta so my mom wouldn’t have to ship Emily’s gifts down to our house this year. I’d been tracking flights in and out of Ft. Lauderdale for 2 weeks looking at capacity trends, and it didn’t look like we’d have an issue getting seats.
What I failed to realize when I originally decided to do the race was this was Veterans Day weekend, and the northern schools also had the week off for teacher conventions. The cardinal rule of standby travel: DO NOT travel on holiday weekends or school breaks. I looked at every Florida airport and combinations of connecting flights through other major hubs. I concluded there was no way we getting a flight out before mid week. After deciding everything from Plan A through Plan Y wasn’t going to work, Plan Z was put into effect……Road trip time!
After having an ordeal with Budget Rent-A-Car (I've never had a good experience with them, but they were the only ones who would do a one way rental), we hit the road. We had all day to make it back to Atlanta, so we were game for the adventure. It wasn’t a bad drive at all. Emily slept most of the way, and I had my mom to chat with and keep me alert. I also learned the proper way to roast and carve a turkey listening to Martha Stewart radio on Sirius, hehe.
It was a fun girl’s weekend even if the race itself was a letdown. This was about 1.5 minutes faster than any half marathon I ran while we were living in Ft. Lauderdale, but I know I'm capable of better now. It wasn't my day. I have my chance at redemption next Saturday. My disaster on the Schuylkill earlier this year was followed by a PR two weeks later. Here’s to hoping history will repeat itself.
Anyone have a Turkey Trot or other big race coming up in the next couple weeks?
Official time: 1:41:25