Another half-marathon in the books! It wasn’t pretty, but the medal at the end and I suppose the health benefits were totally worth it. Because of my working in retail right now, I was not able to leave Virginia until late Friday night. Thankfully, my awesome father said he would drive down to Florida and back. We left around 10pm Friday night and 16 hours later we were pulling up to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) aka where they put the Saturn V rocket (moon rocket) and the Space Shuttles!!
It’s NASA!!! (Space Camp reference, anyone?)
Packet pick-up was a bit confusing and rough. There was not enough space to accommodate (pun intended) all the people picking their bib up. The t-shirt pick-up was at the back of the very small expo and was again, confusing. After sitting in the car for 16 hours, I was done. Thankfully, this was the only part that I had an issue with. We took a few more pictures in front of the giant NASA ornament and we were off to the hotel.
We tried Tijuana Flats for dinner, which was fantastic, and then we came back for me to get things set up for the next morning. I slept in my race clothes and I am not sure why I have never done this before. Best. Idea. Ever! The alarm was set for 0400 and before I knew it, it was time to get going!
We got to the start with plenty of time to spare. For whatever reason, I decided not to hit up the port-a-potties. I still find it hard to use these disgusting things. Only in extreme emergencies. What can I say? They are on my list. (I digress) The sound system kept cutting in and out during the National Anthem, but the entire crowd joined in and after we were done singing the countdown happened and we were off.
The temperature was perfect, but the humidity, OH THE EFFING HUMIDITY!!! It reminded me of when Arkansas went to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans my senior year and while it was 40 degrees, the humidity was 100 % and so it felt much warmer. It was so humid, I could never put my sunglasses on and my phone camera was fogging up. I did get some nice pictures along the course. Which made the pain, starting around the half way point, a little more bearable.
Still here? Good! Almost done, I swear!!
I had no real strategy for this race. I knew I would finish and I was hoping around 3 hours, but we no training, just finishing was fine for me. I settled in a 1/1 interval until the half way point with my right calf decided to revolt. Let me tell you, it is a great feeling being half way down with a half marathon and not being able to straighten your leg. I took a GU and hoped for the best. Things continued to go down hill. A lot more walking happened, but once I hit mile 10, I knew even if things got really bad I could at least walk it in.
I picked up the pace the last 5K and went back to run/walk intervals. It hurt less to run, but knew I could not do that the entire last 5K. Once Mile 12 was in sight, all bets were off. Time to bring this home and get that freaking awesome medal at the end. I took an ear bud out and let the amazing crowd bring me in. This was the first time having a name on my bib and I loved it! To have total strangers tell you, by name, you are doing amazing and that you are almost there is inspiring.
I remember coming into the finishers shoot and seeing an “Endeavour Lift-Off” sign, but Endeavour was misspelled. It was spelled Endeavor. Anyone else notice this or did I make it up? The last part kept making turns, but then there it was! The finish!! It was beautiful!
Thanks, Dad, for this incredibly unflattering picture! Ha!!
Official time was 3:27:11.
I am so not happy with that time, but a better time is a goal I can work toward next year and considering there was zero training that took place for this race, I will take it.
Best. Medal. Ever.
I loved this race, not only for the medal, but because it was a great way to kick of December and to add together two things I love, space and running. The course was gorgeous and it made the humid a lot more bearable. I will definitely be back for at least the next 4 years, but I will actually train the next races. My quads and calves are less sore today than yesterday and tomorrow they will be less sore. I took yesterday and today off from working out, but tomorrow I am hitting the gym hard again.
Thank you for all your sweet comments and messages! A huge thank you to my father for doing all the driving, dealing with all my questions about car gasoline in the car, and my meanness before, during, and after the race. Thank you, all!!
“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit, when there are footprints on the moon.”