Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Race

The Race directors arranged for a bus to come every 15 minutes to our hotel, from 3:45 to 4:45 and drop runners off at the starting line. When I actually go on the bus @ 4:30, nerves started to set in. Was my (R) foot ok? Am I going to have to stop and walk, like the 1st half marathon I did? Will me not sleeping last night affect me? Before I could give myself answers to any of these questions, the bus driver said "Good Luck!!!" and opened up our doors. We were there and I guess I just figured that I'll have those answers in about 2 hours. I saw a bunch of people doing their pre-race routine. Some local track teams were doing their stretches, Joints in Motion was doing their pre-race thing and the DJ for the race was playing reggae-exercise music that got a lot of people pumped up. Believe it or not, the race was supposed to start at 5:15 am, and the starting gun sounded off at.....5:15!!! I would've bet all the money in the world that a Jamaican race would start at least 30 minutes late, at the earliest
I started and like all races, the start was very difficult to maneuver in and out of people. I finished my first mile in 8:24, which is slower than the 7:55 goal pace that I wanted to accomplish. By mile 2, I seemed to settle in and get in a groove. I was right around 7:50ish/mile for miles 2-6. Mile 7 had the most amount of supporters and cameras and bunch of a media folks were around that area. I got excited and started running faster, and I negatively felt my change in pace after 3 minutes. I was unable to finish miles 7&8 under 7:50 pace. Mile 9 was where I knew I was within reach of the finish. I told myself that I should start to push it and try to get back in the 7:40ish/mile pace. That worked well, until the end of mile 11, where I felt the cramps coming on... uh oh!! My legs felt heavy, but I hung in there. Mile 12 was rough. I knew this wasn't going to be a fast one, but I wanted to make it respectable. Two guys passed me, and then one guy, who I was talking to earlier in the race, caught up to me and said, "I'm hurting" and then I said "I'm cramping, so since we are in the same boat, let's make a deal. You push me to the finish and I'll push you." He said, "Fair deal", so we talked all the way to the end. The last .10 mile, we sprinted and said we wanted to look good for the pic!! It was greatly appreciated, and we talked for about 20 minutes after the race. Guess what his name was??? Greg!! It must've been meant to be that Greg helped Greg out, huh?? After the race, I was interviewed by and it wasn't until after the interview that I realized that I forgot to stop my watch. My unofficial time was 1:43 minutes, by their clocks. My chip time will be a little different, due to me starting at the back. I finished 7th in my age grop and 82nd overall. Sorry, no pics at this time, because I only have internet access and I can't download stuff from the camera. After the race I watched others come in and cheered them on. I left the race area after watching the first marathoner come in at around 2:30 min. A guy from Belgium won, and he is staying 2 doors down from me. As I am writing to you all, there are people still out there doing the marathon.... Boy oh boy, 6 weeks left until the big one, and I got my hands full!!!

Sore, stiff and satisfied


We're Here!!!

Wow!!! I guess I have a lot to cover. The last time I blogged, I was in Tampa getting ready to leave for Ft. Lauderdale. I guess I will pick it up from there. Ft. Lauderdale turned into a longer than expected trip, due to heavy traffic (over 6 hours,and it usually takes us 4). Due to us getting in past 10 pm, and being completely exhausted, I was not able to run on Wednesday. Thursday at 5 am was my running time, and it didn't go as planned. Two huge dogs started to chase me, but luckily as one of the dogs were coming after me, the owner yelled to him and he obeyed. I freaked out, so I decided to work my way back to my in-laws. On the way back, my (R) foot started to hurt, so I walked the rest of the way back (yes, physical therapists actually get hurt). When I limped back to my in-laws, I got the kids ready and we were off the airport. Flight was great and we actually arrived 5 min. early (which is very shocking that anything affiliated with Jamaica is on time). Our trip from the airport to our hotel was 2 hours. When we get here, the first thing I noticed was the different groups that were here to race the marathon. Joints in Motion, The African Leukemia Society, etc.... and they were easy to pick out due to them wearing badges displaying who they were affiliated with. Again, the beauty of these races is the you can't pick out a runner based on an individuals age, size, shape, gender or color. Since being here I've met many runners from Florida and other parts of the USA, Canada, Slovenia, Belgium, Africa, Norway, and Denmark.
Fast Forward to yesterday, one of my little ones has a pretty bad fever and has been sick since our first day. Yesterday was awful for him and last night, Kerry and I probably slept 1-2 hours combined, as we were up with him as he cried and vomited throghout the night. Didn't have to be nervous about the race, as more important things took center stage. So with that said, I didn't need an alarm for my 4 am rise. Kerry always gets nervous about me racing, and was even more nervous, because she didn't want bad things to happen to both me and Arjay. She prayed for me before I left the room and I was on my way!!!