Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon 2012

aka “How not to train for a half marathon…”

another title could be “do as I say, not as I do…”

Let’s dive right in.

My third half marathon is in the books! I last ran the Marine Corps Half Marathon the year before, October 1, 2011, and finished in 2 hours 52 minutes and 23 seconds. The year before was crazy because I found out I’d lost my job (the company was closing) the day before.

So I recently learned that you can change the alarm on the iPhone from just saying “Alarm”. I know, I know… How does a geek like me not know this?? so.. now I use it ALL THE TIME. For example..

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My first alarm of the day. My second alarm of the day is below. Surprisingly, I sprung out of bed on the first one, so this was actually unnecessary. Still fun to see it pop up as I was getting ready.

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I drove down to the stadium and parked super quick. One trick I have is to take the Hart Bridge to get to most events at the stadium (including Florida/Georgia). I get off at the Adams Street exit (the one to the left by the jail) and then essentially just do a u-turn onto Forsyth and end up right by the Arena. It’s a quick way of beating all the traffic that usually gets stuck on Bay Street or the Mathews bridge.

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When we got there, the first stop was to use the port-o-lets. For some stupid reason, all the port-o-lets throughout the stadium parking lot (the one’s they use for the Jaguar games) were all locked. The ONLY ones I could find that were open, had a REALLY long line. The ones at Met Park were also open, but I’m pretty sure they had lines too.

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When I FINALLY made it through the line, I literally waited for the race to start about 2 minutes, and then we were off. I had NO time to warm up as a result. This is my fault for not getting down there sooner. Oh well. I already knew I wasn’t running this race for time. I was just hoping to finish before they started shutting down the race (which is about 3 hours and 30 minutes). Why? I hadn’t really trained well at all. Before, when I had trained poorly, I completed my long runs on the weekend but not my mid-week runs. THIS time, I was decent about the midweek runs, but hadn’t had a run over 6 miles. Yikes!

Here’s a recap of my training plan in a nutshell: dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

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Well we got things started and right away I came across this guy. Regardless of whether he was running the half marathon or the 5k, this was crazy impressive. This was a good reminder right from the start that I was lucky to be able to complete the half marathon, regardless of what my finishing time was.

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Not much farther down, I started hearing the marines cadence coming up from behind me.

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Sure enough, there they went by chanting “Sound-off; 1 – 2; Sound-off; 3 – 4; Cadence count; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4; 1 – 2 — 3 – 4”.

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Finally, it was split time. 5k or half?  Here’s my last chance…. at this time around 2 miles, I didn’t really feel that bad.

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Main Street Bridge time!

Throughout the race, I made sure to stop every half mile or so and stretch my calves out on a curb. Last year at the Subaru Distance Classic, I ended up dropping out due to Achilles Tendonitis, which I did NOT want to happen.

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Now HERE is a smart water stop group. He had piles like leaves of water cups all gathered together thanks to his handy dandy rake.

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Acosta Bridge time!

I ran the race as a 4/1 interval. Run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute. Super easy, because all you need to do is remember to walk from 4-5 minutes and 9 – 10 minutes. Apparently I have a hard time doing math while running, so this is one of the few interval runs I can mentally fathom.

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While the sky was a bit overcast, it really was a beautiful day out…if not a little…warm.

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Seriously, look at that view of the Fuller Warren bridge. The clouds were just stunning…and then my iPod broke.

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Finally I made it through to Avondale. The race is an out and back, so I had fun being able to watch the runners returning towards me and try and spot out my friends.

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Just past Avondale, I ran past the best water stop of the day! Tootsie pop stop!

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Right around mile 7 (across from Espeto Brazilian Steakhouse), I ran into my friend, Caron! She was headed out to breakfast, and just stopped to cheer on the runners for a few minutes. That was a much needed surprise and boost!

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Around mile 9 or so, we turned and ran along the river. When I saw this guy, I thought of Adam who loves to fish. He should have gotten his butt outta bed that morning and fished while he waited for me! haha

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By this time, the sun had burned off the previous overcast weather, and it was HOT. If I recall correctly, it was right around 80 degrees. Seriously, anything in the 70s is really too hot, especially for a half marathon.

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The weather was deceiving, because it looked absolutely beautiful out.

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We ran along the river right on the same path as the Krispy Kreme challenge from earlier in the summer.

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And then, it was the dreaded bike path. Oy.

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It’s always a good feeling when you see the first bridge you ran over towards the end of the race.

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Along the riverfront, I was really hurting. My legs hurt.. bad. I was pressing on and by this time, switched to a 1/1 run/walk. Run one minute, walk 1 minute.

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Love these statues because they mean I only had about a mile and a half left!

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I have no idea how they caught me smiling.

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Yeah, this is more realistic.

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FINALLY FINISHED in 3 hours 16 minutes and 38 seconds! Absolutely horrible finish time. My worst time ever by over 20 minutes. I had serious moments throughout the race that I doubted this would ever happen. (Huge thank you to Becky & Tom for taking this picture. I was totally delirious at this point.)  I could blame my finish time on the heat, but really? It’s because my training was crap.

If I thought running the race was horrible, the days following were absolute torture. Because of my lacking in training, I was literally sore for about a week. REALLY sore.

Ok. Onto the next race, the Subaru Distance Classic Half Marathon on Thanksgiving….which I’m seriously training for this time! Lol

2 thoughts on “Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon 2012

  1. Great post and congratulations to you for a great run! I’ve run Marine Corps a few times before and this was the hardest one for me. I was so bonked out that at the end, just before running onto the grass, I actually ran right instead of left, and got lost! Yowza – added another quarter mile just when I didn’t need it. 🙂

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