I was going to look back to my race report for the 2012 Miami Half Marathon but alas it appears I never wrote one. I’ve run Miami for as long as I’ve been a runner excluding the two years I ran Disney. This event has never been about the race for me. It’s about visiting my sister. It’s about spending time with friends. This year it was about spending time with a loved one as well.
Last year was the only year that I traveled to my Sister’s house alone. This year my girlfriend was able to come along. In previous years I’ve had a couple of close friends join me. We boarded the plane insanely early after being up late packing our bags. It was about 13F in Rochester and the tiny little plane we were on loaded from the tarmac. I don’t know airplane procedures but they left the door open for a very long time. I didn’t bring a jacket — for what purpose? We were headed to Florida! I was shivering next to my nervous girlfriend wishing they’d just close. the. door. I wanted feeling back in my toes.
Although this was not a goal race for me I wanted to break 1:30. This has become my benchmark for half marathons. I knew I wasn’t in shape to PR and I didn’t want to put for the effort and focus required to do so. Others in my party wanted to do well and the pre-race nerves were evident.
We entered the corrals close to race start time. I was in ‘C’. I kindly pushed and shoved my way as far to the front of the corral as I could muster and I’m glad I did. As it turns out they placed people from at least a 6:30 min/mile to those shooting for an 8:00 min/mile. If you are a runner (and you must be or you wouldn’t be reading this) then you know what I’m going to say next. It was crowded. VERY crowded. I was frustrated as I passed people walking. This is the one area where Miami really needs to improve. This race has grown to astronomical proportions. The half marathon boasted 16,000 finishers! They need more corrals and more waves to alleviate congestion.
I quickly became disappointed with my splits. Seeing a 7:30 (40 seconds off of my goal pace) did not make me happy. I tried to relax and hope for it to get better as the crowd thinned slightly. Unfortunately my splits didn’t change enough to make me happy. I decided to let go and just enjoy the race…and just as I did that my pace quickened and I started to get happy when I saw my times!
Near the end a guy started encouraging me to run with him. This rarely, if ever, happens to me. As we approached the finish line we raced each other. For the first time that I can remember I was not able to out-kick my opponent! Either I left more on the course or I am out of shape! Regardless, I was grateful to have been pushed.
The only real disappointment about this trip was returning to Rochester (it just doesn’t feel right to call it home). How tempting would it be to disappear off into the sunset never to be seen again?
1 7:33 (major disappointment when I saw this)
3 7:14 (more disappointment)
4 7:02 (started to question how the day would go then stopped worrying about it)
13.1 7:31 (6:50) I’m rather shocked that I slowed down. Oh well.