Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Get Yo GAME FACE On….26.2 #2!


Here we go, friends!! I have been waking up early every morning since July, haven’t slept in on a Saturday in 6 months, have lost numerous toenails, and have trained in the cold, wind, and rain….for THIS. 

After the Savannah Marathon (my first marathon ever) Crissy decided I could move up to Hal’s Intermediate training schedule. It was a little more intense….included an extra day a week, some hills, and a few track workouts and tempo runs.  I felt way more in shape this time and was REALLY hoping to sub 4.

We woke up around 3:50 am, ate breakfast, showered (to wake our bodies up), got all our gear on, and headed down to the cab at 5.


We had to walk about a mile to the starting line. 

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Lil cutie patooties, aren’t they??

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The “Athletes”

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I wasn’t able to ‘go’ at the hotel, but it hit me before the race so we made our way to the port-a-potties. Not one of my prouder moments, but I’m glad I went before the run & didn’t have to deal with any emergency bathroom situations. That could be bad.

Starting line…

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A great reminder to us and others….Phil 4:13.  (I sweated it all the way off during the race. It was written in SHARPIE if that tells you anything!)

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We were all in different corrals, so we huddled up for a prayer and split. I think Crissy is too hard core to cry, (wait till I tell you her results!), but Lori & I both got emotional. The national anthem gets me every time. I tried to record it on my phone to share with y’all, but I’m a loser and forgot to press “record.” Uh, that would have helped.

There was so much energy in the corrals and all throughout the race. I loved that.

The weather was absolutely perfect too. Overcast and cool…..somewhere in the high 60s or low 70s. It was really humid, but not unbearable. 

{Thumbs up. Keepin it dorky in true Danielle fashion.}

The entire race course was GOREGOUS. We ran past some huge cruise ships, across the some bridges, and had some great views of the ocean on both sides. We ran all through downtown Miami, through some parks, and through some nice residential areas. 

I felt great.  I felt a hint of discomfort in my legs and thought they might cramp later on, but I was conscious of it and knew I needed to eat some salt and drink some Gatorade along the way to help with it.

At mile 8 I looked up and realized I was with the 3:50 pace group. I stayed with them till about mile 13. I still felt good, but a big part of me couldn’t help but be jealous when we split off from the half marathoners. I still had to that whole 13.1 again.

I brought my own Gatorade and water in my fanny pack fuel belt so I wouldn’t have to stop at water stations for a while, but they did have these neat little water pouches they would throw you as you ran by so you didn’t have to get slowed down by the people walking through the water stations. You just bite a whole in the corner. Loved them.


{Really….who else has that much “stuff?” I was not exaggerating.}

They also gave out great “snacks” along the way. I had two banana halves, 2 orange slices, a few chunks of pineapple, and some crackers I brought. I alternated water and Gatorade at every aid station and had about 8 shot blocks throughout the whole race.  I hoped that “food selection” would help with the cramping.

It rained on us for about a mile and a half, but it was just a light rain so it wasn’t too bad. All was well. I slowed down some after the halfway point, and when I looked up at mile 16.5 I was with the 4:00 group. Still on track to sub 4 and still feeling pretty good. Until….

the blisters. DANG!! My shoes are a little old, but I rotated them every run with another pair, so I figured they’d be okay. Not so much. I got some serious blisters on the bottom of my feet and they were burning. I changed my gait to try to relieve some of the pressure. I’m not sure it it was an intentional change or not, but it was a bad move. I could feel that my legs were going to cramp (AGAIN!), so I just wanted to prolong it as long as possible.

{I know these pictures are gross, but I just want you to see this junk…}

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At mile 22 I felt myself getting emotional. I don’t even know why, but I got myself together before I turned into a blubbering mess. My feet were hurting and my legs were cramping, but I knew I could push through it. Isaiah 54:17 kept running through my head.


{Still smiling. That’s a good sign. I love how my shorts ride….that’s a great look for me, isn’t it?}

Miles 24-26 were such BEAUTIFUL parts of the run. At this point I was cramping so bad (left glute & hamstring, right quad, both calves and both shins) that I had to stop about 6-7 times. I would stop for 5-10 seconds to stretch, and then kept going. But not fast. 10-11:30 miles. If I was moving, I was running, but I did have to stop some. I was super bummed because earlier in the race I was expecting to blow my Savannah time out of the water by about 20 minutes or so.  It is SO frustrating to have the energy, strength, and cardiovascular ability to keep going, but not be able to because you feet or legs refuse to cooperate. ANNOYING.


{I know it looks like I’m walking, but I promise I’m not…I’m just running really slow and babying my feet.}

My LEAST favorite part of the run was the last .4 miles. Uphill across this hard metal bridge thing that was killing my feet.

I was SO glad to cross that finish line!!


I only beat my Savannah time by a minute, but hey, a minute is a minute. Considering I cramped the whole last  6 miles and had to slow down and stop some (AGAIN!), I was content with PRing, even if it was just by a minute.

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I had my “professional” picture taken….


I know what you’re thinkin. Sweet pic, huh? I thought so too. I know it’s hard to take your eyes off that sexy face, but check out my soaking wet and clingy shorts. See, I knew you’d enjoy that. That’s what I’m here for…..your viewing pleasure.

I called the girls and met up with them after eating a couple of chocolate chip cookies, of course. I was REALLY glad I didn’t feel like puking this time. I am a puker (not proud of that either) and got sick after my first (and only) half marathon. I was super nauseas after my first full too, so I figured I’d probably get sick after this one as well. But I seemed to be good to go….

I couldn’t WAIT to get my shoes off though! Barefoot in Miami? I probably have a disease now. Whatever.

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The girls both had a GREAT race! They loved the course as much as I did and were both happy, felt good, and were injury free. Lori just recently started running (she is releasing her inner athlete) and this was only her 2nd half marathon. She killed it! She’s been having some major IT band issues, so I’m thankful she made it through pain-free.

Crissy is just a bad chick. This Miami ING race made her 10th marathon, and she completed it under 3:30!!! She is a beast. She finished in the top 10 women in her age group and placed 50 something overall in her division.


We walked a few blocks after the race and found a cab to take us back to the hotel. He looked at me and said He said, “You wet? You sit in back so next people not like to sit on wet seat.” Hahaha!!! He made me sit in the back seat because I was so wet. Rain + humidity + my sweating = a soaking wet combo.

The Medal:

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Overall I am really happy with how this race turned out. I know I didn’t meet my goal of a sub 4, but I did finish. I felt GREAT for the majority of the run and I was on track to kill my PR until about mile 17. I also had my fastest half marathon and marathon time yet, and loved the race course.

I’ll fill ya in on the post-race stuff later.

Remember how I thought I wasn’t going to get sick? Yea, that didn’t last, so you’ll have to check back for all the gruesome details and our post-race celebration!!! Oh, and I have some sweet war wound pics of my chaffing.  Apparently I did an awful job applying Body Glide and I had the most painful post-race shower ever!!

Another 26.2 in the books. Giving God the glory for every last mile….

I’m not sure if I’m ever going to do that again though.

 And I mean it this time.


Kara Tate said...

Girl!! What a great race recap! So proud of you! Now, can you please teach me to be fast like you?! ;)

Unknown said...

Congrats girl!! Way to push through!! I love all of your pictures!!! One minute is definitely one minute so congrats to you on your PR!!! :)

Kim Harner said...

Sounds like you did awesome! You go girl! I think you rock too! Don't sell yourself short! I admire you for doing it and not giving up! You are an inspiration for sure!! This post cracked me up! LOL!

christa said...

Congrats on finishing. Blisters are horrible!! You did awesome!!

P!nky said...

WOOOHOO!!! Way to go girlie!!! Congrats on getting that 26.2 done! Very inspiring!!!


Diana Amy said...

CONGRATS ON THE PR!!! That's not easy to do in heat & humidity and I'm so proud of you! Also, I'd be willing to take a bet that you WILL be doing this again ;)

I am so inspired by your repeating verses in your head towards the end...I'm usually thinking incredibly grumpy thoughts but I'm going to try to match your example to glorify God AND keep my spirits up when it counts!!

LeeAnn said...

Congrats!! Sounds like a great race!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! You did awesome.

bnfunky said...

You are a BEAST!!!!! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!! I wish we were in the same city! I know we would have a good time together! Glad you made it! Glad you beat your time!! Glad you got back safe to your husband!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so late getting to your recap, but CONGRATS!!! I'm sorry you had such a rough go at it, but youre amazing and YOU DID IT!!! Not only did you run 26.2, but you did it through tough crampy muscles and blisters!

Christy said...

I'm a little behind the times, but nice job. I enjoyed reading about your marathons. I'm headed to my first full in less than three weeks so reading other's experiences is getting me stoked!