Monday, November 7, 2011

Boca Raton PAL Half Marathon

Mini-Man, Me and Girlfriend!
The Boca Raton PAL Half Marathon was hopping! 

I picked up my packet the day before at the Runner's Edge store in Boca Raton. You have to get there before 12Noon to pick up your packet! It was a good thing I called - I wanted to see when the store closed and when I could pick up the packet. That's when I found out - the two didn't sinc. They had packet pick-up until 12PM - and they weren't kidding. I was shopping for a light jacket (none on sale) and stayed a couple of minutes past 12PM. That's when I heard a person come in looking to pick up their packet - they were shocked to find that the packets were already on the truck, loaded for the next day's race. Thank goodness I called before we got on the road to check out the University of Miami for Girlfriend! You really need to pick up the packet before the race because the race starts at 6:30AM! This was the earliest starting time of any race I have ever run!

The next day, we got to Spanish River Park at about 5:45AM. It was dark and it started to pour rain. Yes, we, Wing-man and the kiddies woke-up and came out to support me!
I DID tell you that the race started at 6:30AM! 
I swear I did!
Wing-Man realizing the race starts at 6:30AM
You have got to be kid din' me, Mom!
Girlfriend, so not happy to way-up at 5:30!
Thanks guys! I love you, tons!

So, we waited in the car for about 10 minutes, before the rain stopped. Then, I started to jog and warm up. Before I did my sprints, I wanted to use the bathroom - this was the only race I have ever been to that DID NOT HAVE ANT PORT-O-JOHNS! What were they thinking?

Anyway, after the potty-line that was 15 women deep - I did four 100m sprints to wake-up my fast twitch muscles. I felt the humidity hanging on me - it was going to be a hot race. I was not prepared - I thought it was going to be about 65*F. It was probably hotter than 72*F. Good thing it was windy - the race runs along the A1A Highway and the ocean breezes were strong. In fact, in some parts of the race, the wind made it difficult to run.

At the start of the race - they sang "The Star-Spangled Banner". 

I love starting races with "The Star-Spangled Banner"! I always pray for our service men and woman who serve our country so unselfishly to protect our freedoms. There is no better time to say a heartfelt prayer for them than standing at the start of a 13.1 in another state with hundreds or thousands of strangers, all running in this great country - because we can!!

The race started and I was hanging in there - about 7:30'/M pace. But about 3-4miles into the race, I did not feel strong. I felt very tired and my legs felt heavy. At about mile 5, I had to stop and walk. I got very dizzy. The runners on the course that past me were all so nice - they kept asking if I were okay. I felt nauseous and my stomach started to act up. Crohn's can be seasonal and for me, November is my worst month. The two times that I was hospitalized for Crohn's were both in November. And the last couple of weeks have not been fun. I guess the stress of losing power, rolling my ankle, having a midterm and two papers due this past week also did not help. Oh, well. I turned off my iPod and just tried to concentrate on pushing it out as best as possible ...a lot of praying, meditating and mantras! When I stopped, I focussed on who was around me. I saw a man with a blue and white shirt and for the next 8 miles, my goal was to try to catch up to him. I did ...and at mile 11, I passed him! Still, I was really tired.

This race seemed to go on and on. Last year, I ran the New Jersey Sandy Hook Half Marathon - it was a flat race, too. These flat races can be a little monotonous after awhile. It must have especially felt that way for some people - one of the race volunteers sent some people 1.8 miles out of there way! OMG - I would have been livid! The race directors really did a great job of holding it together! They were apologetic, calm, cool and collected! They must have felt awful for those people! I know I did.

I was happy to finish! My stomach was shot!
Boca Raton PAL Finish
The breakfast party was well run. Mini-man stuffed his face with pancakes, Girlfriend had a mini-muffin and I gobbled up lots of orange slices. I was really Jonesing for some coffee - their excuse, "No Power". I say their sponsor, Mr Coffee, should have had a generator percolating some of that great coffee! I can hear my Wing-man, "Should you be drinking coffee? It's not good for your stomach!" Aah, the race started soooo early, I had to go without my morning coffee - maybe that's why I felt tired!

Still, I took first for my age group at 1:41:14.
Isn't that Fire Truck DJ Booth so cute!
Not my best time day I will break that 1hour and 40minute ceiling!
Fake smile, I want COFFEE!
Thank you Boca Raton PAL. I've got to hand it to you  - you really handled the mix-up with all those runners that ran an extra 1.8miles very well! No one should be discouraged about this - I encourage signing up for this race, the prizes at the end were incredible: Multiple $100gift certificates, lots of free Asics Sneakers and Six Month Memberships to a Masters Swim Club (which I won and gave to a mom who was standing by me with her children - I thought the kids would love that!). I was super impressed.

Well, my ankle did not hurt - at all! I guess that tart cherry juice worked! Off to Miami for some interesting people watching, unique cars and some protein to rebuild those leg muscles ...

Girlfriend's favorite pic of the day ...Florida Spiders are huge!
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