Race Report: Florida Beach Half Marathon finale
Race prep: Nothing specific, just been in a holding pattern for the past month with so many races close together.
Weather: 70s, humid, windy, partly sunny. It could have been worse.
Goal: Win by 50 seconds against those ahead of me in the series, or try to by racing on my own terms. If they beat me, they beat me, but they’ll have to take my best punch.
The race: Wow. I was seriously geared up for this. I was third entering this race, and had serious work to do. I was down 50 and 3 seconds from 1st and 2nd respectively to try and win the race series which started October 31st. Now I am sincerely thankful for the comments (from this site) to tell me just to run my own race plan and not let anyone get comfortable. I chose to go out hard- much harder than I ever have. I wanted to make the pace uncomfortable from the start. No one even attempted to stay with me from the gun, and I had a 20-second lead at least by mile 1. It was 35 seconds by mile 2. And I pressed to open a 55-second lead by the end of mile 3 on second. I’m sure the next two guys assumed I would fall off. I did not. I was hoping somewhere along the way they all broke apart, which I wanted to happen as this is a really windy course. The first 3 water tables weren’t ready for me or the lead bike come by even to even hand out water, and one of the tables wasn’t even being manned. The biker felt bad by the third table and dropped back to me to offer to go back and grab me some water and offered me one of his GUs, but I didn’t really mind and told him thank you, but I’m okay. Although the water would have been nice since it was humid, things happen and they are all volunteers for goodness sake. I’m just thankful they are there to begin with.
I was on a mission until mile 8 just plowing through the wind solo, where there is a big turnaround loop at the end of the island in the middle of some serious crosswind. I knew I needed to keep pressing but gained some confidence at this point. Timing from the turnaround, my lead was 2 minutes on the nearest person, Anthony (who was ahead 50 seconds in the series on me), and then at least 3 minutes on the next two guys which included the 2nd place guy, Chris, who had a 2-second lead on me entering today. I pressed on- wind now on my back. By mile 10 I was feeling great, and that was probably where my mistake was- I unintentionally changed breathing patterns and lost control of my breathing by the end of mile 10. I developed a cramp pretty quickly thereafter in my obliques/abdominals. For mile 11 and 12 I battled that to no avail, and decided it best to slow down until I got back onto a 3/2 pattern in mile 13. This worked perfectly and the stitch dissipated within 30 seconds- I wish I had tried that two miles earlier! Dumb of me. The last ¾ mile went fine and I crossed the finish at 1:12:45.0. I then anxiously waited out the next 50 seconds to see if I would win the money for the series and was relieved to have earned it as the seconds ticked away. What a fun experience!
Me- 1:12:45 Anthony- 1:15:49 Lee- 1:16:56 Chris- 1:17:41
Race Series $$$ results
1st- me, 2nd- Anthony, 3rd- Chris, 4th- Lee, 5th- Sean
Splits- 5:24, 5:25, 5:23, 5:33, 5:28, 5:33, 5:32, 5:33, 5:26, 5:30, 5:42, 6:02, 5:40, Finish- ~ 0:34