Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Key Largo Bridge Recap

Miles today: 5.0 miles, 46:53 minutes
Miles in 2013: 1081.92 miles

Directly after Saturday I was not feeling so hot about running or races coming up. Luckily I have a short memory. This morning I ran with a friend. The cold front had come through and the temps had dropped. It was just one of those runs that felt great and makes you happy. And then you get to watch the sunrise. Love. 
Also I cannot get enough of sunrises lately. 

So the Key Largo Bridge Run Half Mary. It was the 5th annual race across the bridge going into Key Largo, Florida. It was also my first race since the Chicago Marathon. Other than recovery, I have definitely been slacking and enjoying "recovery", eating, and celebratory cocktails a little much. My longest run in the past month was 6 miles. I knew running a strong race was a long shot, but just wanted to go out an have fun. 
We started the drive over to the east coast a little late and but were lucky to catch a little rainbow. 
We got to the packet pickup a little late, but grabbed our numbers, a few pics, and made it to our hotel  before it got too late out.
Cocktails and dancing Friday night were a good little warm up for Saturday. Or at least that's what I told myself.  The race was about 25 minutes away. We parked at a nearby school and took a bus. Very well run. The race started in front of a church on Key Largo.
It was a really small race, but everyone was very friendly and warm. Larry and I grabbed some water and headed to the start. The first mile was all uphill. We flew through the first 2 miles and then Larry took off. It was a beautiful, but really hot and humid morning. The pack spread out very quickly and I put in my music very early. Water stations were fairly spread out for as hot as the morning was. The course was a straight out and back. I happily hit the turnaround at 55 minutes. I knew it was fairly short lived. I had gone through a bunch of salt packets, a gu, and was getting gatorade and water at every water station. At mile 8, I started walking. I walk/ran for the next few miles and chatted with other runners. I was nervous about feeling a little queasy and none of the medics or water stops had salt or anything other than gatorade. Bummer. When I saw the bridge at mile 11, I was thrilled. I had been looking forward to going down that mile long hill for 10 miles. At the top of the bridge, the wind started. I thought it was impossible to make that downhill hard. I was wrong. I crossed the line just under 2:15. Easily my slowest half in long time. But it was beautiful, and fun (sorta), and I did it without knee pain (Thank you Mom!!!) 
At the finish line, I couldn't find anyone with salt packets, tabs, etc, other than a plain bagel, so I hightailed it across the street and bought a back of salt and vinegar chips. Lifesaver. We caught the bus back to our car. (Transportation and parking were a cinch)

We then followed up 13.1 miles, being as gross as we could. 

This was not an easy race. Good stuff: I can't get enough of sunrises, crystal blue water, and palm trees. Or kind runners and great spectators. Not so awesome stuff: I was so jealous of every person carrying their water, I wanted to cry. It was a inexpensive, small local race in the Keys, which is endearing, but with temps in the high 70s at the start, definitely needed a  little more course support. Bottom line: If you run this race, carry water and salt/electrolytes. Music helped, but it was nice to turn it off and appreciate the surroundings and the fact that you are running through the freaking Florida Keys.