September 20, 2014
The Miracle Miles 15k was a last minute race for me. It is another Track Shack event and this particular event helps families with premature babies during their NICU stay; hence the “Miracle”. This is something that hits home for me since my oldest nephew was born at about 26 weeks. He weighed just over two pounds and a lengthy NICU stay of his own. Thankfully, he’s almost 12 now and you wouldn’t ever know he was a premie if we didn’t tell you.
I woke up this morning and it was raining. I am hoping that it will let up some but, when I checked the weather, it wasn’t looking promising. I have Ziploc bags for my iPod and my phone and such so they won’t all get soaked. But, since I don’t have a raincoat or poncho, I will be the soaked one.
I had to pick up my packet this morning so I arrived early enough to be able to walk back to my car. I am semi-familiar with the area since this is also the area where Best Damn Race was earlier this year. I know where I need to go for parking and about how long of a walk it is from the garage to the start area.
I park my car in the parking garage but leave my race gear. I’ll get my packet and come back so I’ll get all my gear together when I get back. It only takes me a few minutes to walk to packet pickup and I am able to get my packet in just a few seconds. Once I get back to the car, I get all of my gear ready; I put my iPod in a small Ziploc bag and put it in my armband. I also put my phone in a baggie and stick it in one of my pockets on my capris (my skirt has attached capris with pockets). My orange and my peanut butter pretzels go in my SPI belt.
I head back to the race start area and find a semi-dry place to stand under the awning by the Publix. Runners are crowded in because it’s raining fairly steady. It isn’t hard rain but it’s moderate and it isn’t letting up at all. It’s also kind of chilly. As the race announcers call us to start, we all filter out into the road and line up according to our pace. I line up near the 10+ minute per mile sign. (Course map here!)
We’re off and it continues to steadily rain. Again, it isn’t hard but it’s enough that within the first mile, there aren’t any dry spots on my clothes. I don’t mind the rain in that it’s keeping me cooler but I don’t like it in my eyes. I don’t run with a hat and today I am wishing that I had one.
We’re running an area that I am not as familiar with. I am sure I have driven some of this but I don’t really recall it. There is a massively long hill during the first 5k of the race that is really is kicking my butt. I am sticking to my intervals but, this hill is just a long incline and it is a struggle. I am thankful to make it to the top of it!
The second 5k of the race takes us through some residential areas. This is nice because some of the trees offer a little protection from the rain. It is nice to run for short stretches without having rain in my face. It’s still just a steady rain and I am thankful that it isn’t harder.
I am making pretty good time. I am sticking to my intervals as much as possible and I feel pretty good considering how soaked I am. It is cool because of the rain but I am not cold or hot; I am fairly comfortable. I am looking forward to finishing though so I can put on some dry clothes!
I head into the final 5k. We are running through an intersection with heavier traffic near the Orlando Executive Airport. The are police officers at the intersection that I am approaching. I start running for my interval and there is a lady running just behind me and to my left. The officer nearest me motions for us to go ahead and the officer across the intersection allows one motions for the car waiting at the intersection to make the right turn onto the side street. Unfortunately, the driver must have misunderstood and came across our running path. I jumped back quickly and yelled “whoa”. The lady behind me also stopped abruptly. We didn’t get hit but it was certainly a near miss.
The officer immediately yelled at the driver to pull over and then asked us both if we were OK. We both said yes and he motioned for us to keep going. That definitely shook me up some. The driver wasn’t going fast but it still startled me that she cut in front of us like she did. The lady beside me was kind of shaken too. There was a water stop just ahead of us and we both walked through it and chatted for a few seconds. I’ve never experienced anything like that during a race and neither had she.
As I came into the last mile, I felt my legs getting kind of heavy. I was soaking wet and tired and I was just ready to be done. So, I switched my intervals to 30 seconds/30 seconds. I couldn’t switch my Garmin mid run without stopping so I just counted to 40 steps on my left foot and then walked until the timer buzzed. This got me to about 30 second intervals and allowed me to push through the final mile.
My official finish time was 1:52:02. After I crossed the finish line, I collected my medal and some refreshments. Panera Bread was there and they were giving out my favorite cinnamon crunch bagels. I was delighted to have one even though I really wanted some cream cheese to go with it. I ate under an awning near the water table so I could refill my cup. I debated seriously going to the porta potty before I headed back to the car. But, I decided against it because I knew if I pulled my compression pants down, I likely wouldn’t be able to get them back up since I was so wet!
I walked to my car and the rain had finally almost stopped. I was starting to get cold too so I was glad to get to my car. I pulled off my wet shoes and socks and threw them in the back floor of my car. Then I peeled my wet shirt off and dried off a little with a towel. I put on a dry shirt even though I still had on a wet sports bra. Anything is an improvement. I put the towel over the seat so I wouldn’t get the seat soaking wet and then sat down. I looked at my feet and my toes looked like prunes because I was so water logged.
I had planned to run a couple of errands on the way home but decided against it because I was so wet and tired. All I really want to do is take a hot shower and put on some dry clothes. So, I came home to do just that. I’ll run my errands later.
I had hoped for a slightly better time but I am happy with my run overall. The rain hindered me a little because I was afraid the road might be slick and I didn’t want to fall. Also, towards the end, I was so water logged and cold that my muscles started getting a bit tight. I was able to push through it some but it probably cost me a little on my time. I liked the course though. Despite the hill and then almost getting hit by a car, it was very well supported by volunteers who were as water logged as the runners and there was a lot of scenery. The race shirt and the medal were pretty awesome too. Bonus! I will likely consider running this one again. Especially since I can use it as proof of time for other races.
Miracle Miles monies: