Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ft. Lauderdale Half Marathon Race Report

Ok, well it's been awhile since I last hit the blog and I guess I owe myself a race report on the Fort Lauderdale half marathon since it's been over 2 weeks. 

This race came about because I had a 20k training run on my Boston marathon training schedule and I was going to be in south Florida anyway so why not. Well. Short answer is if I ran it as a training run then all good, but if I raced it for a major PR having not trained for a half marathon it could be down right stupid. I'll save the suspense... I was down right stupid.

We arrived in South Florida on Friday night. Dropped the kids with the grandparents and headed to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. The weather was perfect and I spent the afternoon drinking beers and getting sun by the cruddy hotel pool. We had a nice dinner out and retired to the cruddy hotel room for a pretty decent sleep. Given the 6am start time and the bus ride to the start line, I was up at 4 am. Had my normal hotel breakfast of coffee and cereal and headed out. 

cold but not nervous like I was the previous year
It was quite "chilly" especially since I was in my little running shorts and tank top. I knew as soon as we got moving I would be perfectly dressed.  This race is run amazingly well as we made it to the start line with ample time. Found a spot next to a generator to stay warm in the exhaust and waited for the start. 

Race was great. I started near the front and was just so happy to start running to get warm. Settled into a nice 4:35/km pace and ran happily. The sun was just coming up as we crossed e bridge over the inter-coastal and hit A1A. It was pretty spectacular.  I ran a consistent race, staying with a good group of people.
the views are down right stunning
There isn't much more to say than this is a beautiful, flat and fast course. Aid stations are well staffed and efficient.  Great support and a fun race to run. The last 5 km my legs were feeling the stress of the run since I was running basically faster than I normally would for this distance. I pushed through and hit the finish line in 1:37:15. A huge PB for me by about 5 minutes. 
Barry's signature shot

I was completely wasted when I finished.  It was like I say at the end of a hard track interval- if you don't feel like puking you didn't go fast enough. I felt like puking.  It is a fabulous finish line but I couldn't find Barry and that is always stressful for me. At the end of a race I have this unnerving need to find him and when I can't I get super irritated and annoyed. 
This was me when Barry found me
Finally we found each other and at this time I was freezing cold. They don't have Mylar blankets at these southern races so I was just ready to get back to the cruddy hotel and get out of my wet running cloths and into something warm. I wanted to go back and see the official results because I thought I might have made the podium. But of course we went back and I was hit with yet another 7 th place (6 th and 7th seem to be my sweet spot). But I ran it as fast as I could and at the time I was happy with the PR and breaking 1:40.

Sadly, racing this race was a mistake as it trashed my legs. Specifically my right hamstring. Exactly what happened last year after racing the Toronto Yonge Street 10k ....  So I've had to pay the price by missing out of running long while in Florida and having to curtail my training for a couple of weeks. 

So I returned to frigid Toronto without running a nice 30k run while in warm Florida. This of course threw me into a seriously depressed tailspin but that's for another post. 

Lesson learned though, if Ironman Lake Placid is my "A" race, my expectations and plan for Boston Marathon have to be tweaked!  While I had grand hopes for running close to 3:30 at Boston, I am now thinking just breaking 4 hours at Boston will be respectable.  I'm back to running now and my hamstring seems to be ok so only the next few weeks of training will tell!

And if you ever want a great destination race - I have now raced both the full (read the report here) and the half and I would do them again!  The expo is amazing for such a small race, the logistics are well run, the course is amazing and the finish-line has more food and freebees than any race I have ever been at!  So next time the Polar Vortex has you down escape to Ft. Lauderdale in mid-February for a destination race!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks..Also visit my page Moving Company Fort Lauderdale