Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Key West Half Marathon

I started this post in the afternoon of the half marathon and then worked on it some more in the evening but never finished it.  I  never worked on any blog posts after that so I am finishing it up after coming home.     .
Today's the day!

My countdown app on my phone started at over 200 days and now the day is here!  I got dressed, ate my bagel and banana, put gels and a hand towel into the bag I'd be checking and we were off on our bikes to the race site!  We took pictures, of course!
ready to run in Key West!

A really odd thing happened before the race.  The Half Shell Raw Bar, which is a main sponsor of the races, was open for runners to hang out and use bathrooms.  A young man was bringing out the cleaning cart to clean restrooms but runners were lining up to use them.  A man said to the crowd, "Does anyone speak Spanish?"  Erika does speak Spanish so she asked him why he wanted to know.  He asked her to tell the restroom cleaner to hold off cleaning until the race starts so that the runners can use them. When he came out of the supply closet, Erika proceeded to speak to him in Spanish but he shook his head and said that he doesn't speak Spanish!  Erika apologized and asked him in English to hold off on cleaning until the race started.  The man who had asked for someone to speak in Spanish was nowhere to be found, he had left.  I also apologized and told the young man that someone had asked for someone to speak to him in Spanish and so did some other people.  He said it was no big deal.  That was just so odd.
Anyway, I checked my bag and eventually we headed to the start line.  I got in the mass of people and Erika stood along the side because she didn't start the 5K until 20 minutes later.
Once I got out of the crowd of the start, I was running along at a comfortable pace but I wasn't running at 9 minutes.  I knew right then that the sub two hour goal was going right out the window, it wasn't going to happen.  My first thought was 2:05.  Miles 1 - 8 fell between 9:19 to 9:51.  Miles 9 and 10 were 10:00 and 10:21.  Mile 11 was a bit faster at 9:54.  There's something about passing the 10 mile mark of a half marathon and I always get excited after passing 10 miles!  It didn't last long!  Miles 12 and 13 were 10:20 and 10:15.  Mile 12 was the worst.  I actually thought I'd passed the 12 mile marker and missed it.  The mile markers are painted on the streets and I did miss the 2nd mile marker earlier.  I looked at Garmie and saw that I was only at 11.8 miles and hadn't missed the 12 mile mark!  Finally, 12 miles came and that last mile was tough.  Erika was by the side about 1/4 mile out and ran in with me.  I ran as fast as I could with Erika trying to get me to go faster!  We crossed the finish line together with out hands in the air!  I got my medal.  This was the strangest medal I've ever seen:
strange medal
I couldn't figure out why there was a pointy thing sticking out of the bottom of the medal!  It's a bottle stopper!  Once I recovered and the nautious feeling passed, we got a bottle of water and went looking for the food!!  They always have beer and a special cup for the beer.  Last year, I just went to the front of the line and grabbed a cup because I don't drink beer.  Erika is all about the beer so we stood in the long line, which moved along pretty fast, to get beers and a cup!  The truck behind me in the picture has the beer kegs inside of it and they are dispensing it on the outside of the truck. 
Erika and her beer! 
My Garmin read 2:08:36.  Kind of disappointed but it's ok.  This is just the wrong time of year to be in the kind of shape I'd need to be in to break 2 hours.  When I got my bag back from gear check, I checked my phone because I'd signed up for text tracking!  My results were in a text message.  My actual time was 2:08:28!  Erika really surprised herself by running the 5K at an 8:20 pace!  I can't remember just what she said her time was.  I can't look it up since she took the timing tag off of the back of the bib.  (explanation for removing timing tag in my last post.)  We had some snacks and hung around enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful day!  It had warmed to 70 degrees! Yay!  I couldn't believe that the Key West Half Marathon was already over!  I looked around for what was promised for after race food and has been a regular feature of the Key West Half Marathon.  I'm talking about -- Frozen, chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick!  They had it last year, they had recently mentioned it on their Facebook page.  I didn't see anyone walking around with it, we looked everywhere.  I guess they didn't have it this year.  Someone told us that a shop that sells it is right nearby so we walked over there and Erika bought us frozen key lime pies on sticks!  The shop, kermit's, is right on the half marathon course very close to the end.  We stood along the side cheering for people who were running in.  One lady saw us with the pie on sticks and yelled out, "YES! The reward at the end!"  I felt bad because we weren't able to tell her that we had bought them and there was none this year.  As we were walking back, several people walking by asked us where we got them and we told them that we bought them at Kermit's.  I will have to write to the race director and ask what happened to the pies. 
We rode our bikes back to the hotel, showered, went to lunch and then to the beach!  Erika is all about the beach!  As I sat on the beach, my body began to stiffen up and soreness set in.  Yep, I guess I really did just run a half marathon!  We snuck into a big hotel across the street from the beach to use the restroom and then we rode our bikes back to the hotel.  I actually felt better after riding the bike and wasn't as stiff and sore. 

I can't believe that another Key West Half Marathon is over already!  I'm really looking forward to the two days I have left in Key West.  I am definitely going to get to the bottom of why there was no frozen key lime pie on a stick this year!!

Runner Nerd
Key West Half Marathon finisher again

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