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.

Pre-Race Day…Saturday in MiAmi!!!

We woke up and had breakfast in our hotel room. I must say, we did a good job being frugal. Everyone kept telling us how expensive South Beach is, so we did our best to keep it in check. We are all teachers, after all.

We decided to go for a little 2 mile run on the boardwalk. I felt GREAT on the run. Taking off the week before and tapering really does a body good.

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{The girls did a good job helping me capture these memories by taking lots of pics. They understand the importance of lots of pics for the blog!)miamiiiii 015

I am trying to work on leaning forward a little more when I run. See how straight up I am?? I have really good posture and that transfers over into my running, which puts a little too much strain on my lower back. Oh well….I’m still working on it.

We hung out by the pool to cool down for a few minutes while they cleaned our room.

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Then decided to go back to the expo for a few minutes…

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After shopping around a little bit more headed to Lincoln Rd to the big outdoor mall. I must say, it made for some interesting people watching. (I have a feeling people probably felt the same way about us.)

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We hit up Starbuck’s for a green tea frappucino. I am SO glad Crissy introduced me to that!! I always drink my green tea hot, so this was my first one and I LOVED it!

We made sure to hydrate ALL DAY LONG because we knew it was going to be super humid and we would sweat a LOT (more than normal, which is already a pretty serious amount). We killed some water and Gatorade.

We decided to eat an early dinner at an Italian place up the street. The race started at 6:15 on Sunday, so we needed to eat early to give our food enough time to digest before our run. I cannot think of anything worse than having to go #2 while running 26.2 miles. Taking care of business before the race is essential. (TMI? Sorry. Just keepin it real!)

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We went back to the hotel and set out all our junk for the next day.  I have such a  ridiculous amount of stuff….it’s actually embarrassing. I am typically pretty low maintenance (that may be shocking to some people, but it really is true), but when it comes to a marathon I like to be prepared. For anything.  We tried to get in bed about 9:30 because we had to wake up at 3:50 am to catch our cab and make it to our corrals by 5:45.  Official race time was 6:15 am to beat the heat.  Nerves started to kick in and I was missing Jonathan, but being the true sleepy head that I am, I managed to fall asleep. Ready for the BIG SHOW.

I can’t wait to tell you all about the RACE!!!!!

Welcome to MIAMI!!! (FrIdaY)

Our flight left at 6 am on Friday morning, so that meant an early start for us three gals. No worries….we were ready to take Miami by storm!

We checked into our hotel and even though we arrived early they had a “beautiful room” ready for us. 

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The rooms were nice, but there were some creepy pics hanging over the beds. We wished we had sticky notes to cover their eyes!

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We stayed at the Red South Beach Hotel….a cute little French boutique style hotel. The workers were super friendly and accommodating; way more than I expected (for some reason).

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After checking in we went up to the room to rest for a little while.  Actually, I hopped in bed and took a little nap. I didn’t want them to have to deal with me being a grouch monster from lack of sleep. Lori rolled around on her foam roller and then laid in the floor while Crissy unpacked and stirred around for the whole hour. I just slept like a champ.

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After our my nap we headed right over to the expo to pick up our race packets. (See, is that painting not super creepy right above my head?)  It was about a mile walk to the convention center. Since it was in the mid 80’s, we were all rocking shorts and flip flop. Ahhhh, that is some FABULOUS weather for January and I LOVED every last second of it. I told the girls all that sunshine was making my heart happy, but my feet weren’t as happy as my heart . I got a blister before the race even started. DUMB. Lesson learned: Make sure to wear comfy/supportive shoes that will NOT hurt your feet before races, especially if you have to do a good bit of walking.

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The expo was huge and there were almost 20,000 runners. I’m not big on the color orange, so I got my race t-shirt for Big Jon instead as his souvenir from my Miami trip.  I also bought a pink carrying case for my i-phone. Typically I don’t run with my phone and I just bring my i-pod, but I knew I would need it since Jon wasn’t there and we would all finish the race at different times.

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I love the One More Mile shirts….

{I really thought I made up the “finishing = winning” quote.}

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{Big Jon said I always say this…I guess he might be right.}

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{And I just liked this one. I like hills.}

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I am seriously about 5 inches taller than both of them….and I am only 5’5 1/2”!!! I felt like a giant all weekend.

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After the expo we ate lunch and hit up the beach. I took another nap on the beach. I know, I know….I sound like a lazy fool, but my little monthly visitor showed up at the airport (what a lovely surprise, right?), so I think I was extra worn out from that.

The beach was gorgeous.

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We ordered pizza in the room for dinner, watched Dirty Dancing, played Family Feud, told stories and laughed until about 9:00. Then it was bedtime. Fo real. That 3 am wake up just didn’t cut it for us and we all take our beauty sleep very seriously. And as Lori said, “We’re not partiers….we’re athletes.” True. Story.

The race was on Sunday morning, so we still had another full day to enjoy Miami before the big race!! So far, so good.