Well hello there!
(marathons can really take it out of you…)
I’m sorry it has taken so long… prior to Logan’s arrival, I figured he would nap all day and I could be a full time athlete with a spotless home and cooking extravagant exotic dishes on a daily basis. Boy, was I wrong!
What I did know from an early age was that I HAD to take my boys to Florida to make lots of memories as well as to take lots of photos of Logan in his infamous outfits (remember he was dressed as Winnie the Pooh at my 1st half marathon when he was 5 weeks old?).
A couple weeks after booking the holiday, Kyle shouts at me to tell me he has found a marathon the 2nd weekend we are there:
A couple hours’ later, we were entered and had organised a babysitter (don’t worry – numerous references, calls and a visit to their house was had in the lead up).
I must emphasise that we did not rest up, eat well etc the first week we were there. We walked probably 6+ miles each day around the parks/malls, drank copious goldfish bowl-sized glasses of margaritas, and ate our weight in buffalo chicken. What we did do was relax and just have fun with the race, which I genuinely believed really helped!
Prior to heading to Orlando, Lewis encouraged me to drop the cycling and swimming for a few weeks, just so I could get the mileage in order to complete the marathon (it was a tough experiment to get right, because too many miles would make my pelvis hurt, but too little meant no marathon), so I focused solely on running for maybe 4 weeks, topping out at 70 miles, including a 22 miler. Thankfully the weather wasn’t too bad before we left, so I could take Loges out in the buggy for hour+ runs, otherwise not sure I would have managed (he’s not the napping kind).
Anyway, race day came and we were both excited rather than nervous. It was a chance to see a new city, feel competitive again in a real race, and just see what we could do with no pressure. Lewis urged us to only give 90% so we could continue to train as opposed to taking a couple weeks’ off, which worked to a certain extent until both our bodies shut down and we were floored with a virus once we got home last weekend… so that coach tip also made us relax as we had no expectations.
A 7.30am start was great! Not up at a ridiculous time, but not taking up your full day! Everyone seemed really friendly and up for it, but the locals were all wearing loads of layers to keep on right up until the gun went off, whereas us Scotsmen were fine wearing the bare minimal while they played the national anthem.
The gun went off pretty soon after (can’t say either of us were ready for just how quickly after the national anthem it started), and off us marathoners went, along with the relay guys and the half marathoners (complicated to calculate where we were in the race!).
And man was it hilly! There wasn’t a flat stretch until 10km in, when the flat part was on a winding dog walkers path. You couldn’t use any momentum because of all the turns on those paths!
We didn’t hit a real flat until 12.5miles in, when we went around a lovely lake, which had a bridge we went over with actual ice on it! In Florida! My half way split was 1.28 which was a good number, I had been able to chat away until then (shout out to my new friend from Georgia!) but the hills did take it out of me, and a lack of gels/Gatorade at the stations were beginning to concern me (partly my fault because I wasn’t as loud as the Americans when shouting ahead to the volunteers with what I wanted!).
(it got pretty lonely out there… pretty though!)
The 2nd half was MUCH flatter – along an old railway line (hello DSL!) – where I saw Kyle on the out and back section. I forced him to high 5 me but as he was nearly 3 miles ahead at this point, he was in a worse state than me! It did give us both a boost (I was worried his hip wouldn’t let him complete the full distance, and he was pretty shocked I was leading the women’s race!) and at that point I was thinking I had less than a lunch hour run to go. My mind turned from “oh geez this is such a long way to go” to “wow 10km is nothing”.
Mile 24 was the LONGEST mile of my life. I was consistently hitting 6.45s but was convinced this was a 9minute mile. When my watch beeped at 7.05 I was shocked, but at the same time made me realise if I stay with this nice rhythm and relax I might still break 3 hours.
(why don’t pics ever show the hill – struggling up one of the last hills on the course)
With 1 mile to go I saw Kyle with Logan and Monica (THE nicest babysitter EVER!), made a joke to conceal my tears, and made my way up and down the final hill to finish in 2.58!!!! AND FIRST FEMALE!!! I won by 8 minutes and was told it was a new course record!
(I love my support team!)
I know my potential is better than a 2.58, however, given my preparation, our action packed schedule while we were in Florida, the course itself, diet, lack of sleep, my pelvic issues and – of course – just Logan in general, I am beyond thrilled!
Icing on the cake was that Kyle’s hip held up and he was 2nd in 2.32, and that I was interviewed.
For abc news.
On Superbowl Sunday.
Link can be found here: https://www.wtxl.com/sports/new-tallahassee-marathon-winners-come-from-around-the-world
Thanks as always for reading and once I get these Florida pics online, there will be a wordless post coming up next with lots of baby spam, but this can keep you going for now!