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Friday, January 29, 2010

Miami Expo and Race Intentions

This afternoon, I made my way down to Miami Beach to hob-nob with the pretty people and go to the expo for the Miami Half. I picked up my race stuff and got my shirt: And then walked around the expo for a bit. Lots of tempting running stuff, but while I wanted to buy a whole bunch of goodies, I was restrained and I just picked up a few essentials:
So, tomorrow, I'll get my race stuff in order, and then bright and early on Sunday morning, I'll be standing in front of the American Airlines Arena ready to run the Half. Therefore, I figure now is an appropriate time to list some of my goals for the race.

Pie in the sky goal: Set a new PR. Which means finishing in under 2:09:45. Yeah....

More realistic goal: Set a new personal course record. I ran the Miami HM in 2008 and finished in 2:22. It was my first half ever so I had no real clue how to run the distance, so now with some experience under my belt, it feels possible to beat this time. In fact, I think I can finish in 2:15, but there are some factors to consider with Miami (which I'll list below) that may not make this feasible.

Most basic goal: Finish with a smile.

So, what do I already know about Miami that makes me hesitant to insist that I can do it in the timeframe I've trained for? Several key factors I learned from my experience in 2008:
  • Miami is a big race. I heard at the expo that there will be about 18,000 runners starting at the same time (for both the half and the full). That's a decent sized race with big crowds to navigate and I'm corraled in the same place I was 2 years ago -- pretty far back.
  • I have a tough time establishing my own pace in a big crowd.
  • Plus, I tend to weave -- adding both time and distance to the run.
  • Miami is also not flat. The race directors claim it is, but it's not. At least not the half: There are two significantly sized bridges on the course and one of them is at mile 10. I don't have the opportunity to do much hill work since to run on hills in FL, you have to either find yourself a bridge or a landfill and neither is in my neighborhood.
  • Race morning traffic is bad and parking is bad, so to deal with this, I plan to arrive early. This means I'll be waiting around at the start for a quite awhile. This has two negative effects: One, I tend to stand and pace, wasting energy and exhausting my feet, and two, it's tough to remain mentally engaged in the excitement when the race start is preceded by so much boredom.

However, to my advantage are the following:

  • Experience. I am aware of all of the above difficulties and I think this is always advantageous, so I know that:
  • While the crowd is big, I just have to do my best to establish my own pace and run my own race and not get caught up in the race of my fellow race participants.
  • I must try not to weave. Always seems good in theory but is bad in practice.
  • While the course is not flat, it is very scenic, and while there is that big bridge at mile 10, the end of the bridge brings you back into downtown Miami into a very loud, fun crowd.
  • Yes, I'll get there way early, but I'll try not to stand around. Instead, I plan to sit around. Sitting on concrete at 5 am is not much fun, but it's better race preparation than standing on it.

So, there you go. I'm looking forward to the race no matter its outcome, so I'll let you know how it goes on Sunday!

39 comments:

Marci said...

Good luck Jess, I am sending PR vibes your way... you can do it, you are running so strong lately!!

Running Kiwi said...

Sounds like it will be a fun race - have fun and good luck!

Badgergirl said...

I like the shirt! Sending good thoughts your way that you don't have to do too much weaving around other runners! Good luck!

Nikki said...

Oh you'll rock this race for sure. I'm so excited that you're already doing a HM...hopefully I won't be too far behind you. Good luck!

Firefly's Running said...

Good luck!!

diana said...

Good LUCK!!! I can't imagine starting with that many people! I think I'd be so overwhelmed.

Jamoosh said...

That is one sweet looking shirt. Have a great race!

Marlene said...

I really like that race shirt!

Sounds like you have a good plan in place to tackle the challenges with this race... good luck following through on all of them!

JojaJogger said...

Run well, run smart. Best of luck to you on Sunday, anticipating an awesome race report.

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Good luck this weekend! Can't wait to hear how you do!

Love the race shirt!

june said...

I REEEALLY like that shirt! on the many people/weaving at the start thing...here is something: just get to the FRONT of your corral regardless of pace..i can bet you that MOST of those people are inappropriately seeding themselves; learned this while running many races...and just stay over to the right some so in case you are in anyones way. will work like a charm. and instead of weaving, stay the course and say 'on your left' or 'coming through'...if they are going slower or walking, then whatever..go through them.

good luck!!!!!!!!!!

Lily on the Road said...

OMG girl, you are amazing! I'm so excited to hear all about your race! YOU GO GIRL!

Laura said...

Looks like you are all ready! I love that shirt!!! Good luck :-)

ESH said...

Good luck! DON'T Weave! It sucks the energy right out of you. But believe me, I know how easy it is to remind yourself of these things before the race and how HARD it is to actually do them!

N.D. said...

good luck! You are going to do GREAT! I love the race shirt.

runner26 said...

best of luck jess!! it will be a great race and you'll have a lot of fun!! go get 'em!!

Heather Forcey said...

Good Luck!

hmm114 said...

Good luck to you!!! I love your main goal = Finish with a smile :)

MCM Mama said...

Good luck!!! Can you at least sit in your car for a while with a book?

Have a great race!

Heather @ Side of Sneakers said...

Ooo what a cool shirt!! I love race expos. Good luck on your race!!!!

candlerun (htabby) said...

Good Luck and most of all, have fun! :0)

Jes said...

Good luck on our race!!

d.a.r. said...

Very exciting!!! Good luck!!

Razz said...

You'll do great! Good luck and have fun!

X-Country2 said...

Good luck!! Can't wait to read the report.

Running Jen said...

Good luck! I love the shirt, nice!

I am doing my first "large" half in 7 weeks (NYC half) and I am nervous about the crowds. I have only run in 2 half marathons before, both in Orlando that only had maybe 3,000 people, so the large NYC crowd has me nervous!

Good luck tomorrow!

kelsalynn said...

Good luck! I totally think you can hit 2:15:00, especially with your experience! So excited to hear how it goes!

Carolina John said...

Good luck Jess! have fun and go get that 2:15

TNTcoach Ken said...

Good luck Jess, remember what Paula Radcliffe after having her baby and you're a way better runner than her1 Ha, have fun.......

Rio said...

Good luck! Have a great time out there! Boy- they have a sharp looking shirt this year!

Wes said...

You have fun. You'll rock it!!

ajh said...

Good luck! I love the race shirt. I love your goal of finish with a smile. It is good to have multiple goals. Try to stay on the right or left to prevent weaving. It takes a lot of energy to weave. Just do your best and have fun!

MN Mom said...

Good luck. More power to you.

inmytummy said...

Good luck! I can't wait to read about it. I think setting a course record instead of a PR is a good goal

I like that shirt. I'm running an ING race in March; maybe they'll have the same style.

Aka Alice said...

Yay Jess. I feel a PR coming your way. Nothing beats experience (that's my mantra this year anyway)

eliza said...

It just occurred to me that you and your husband's names are Jessica and Jerry. This is very much like Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld.

RunningLaur said...

Hope you had a great race this morning!!!!!

StephanieC said...

good luck! well you will have finished it by now, so hope it was fun. i'm training for my first 5k in a month in preparation for my first half marathon in september. looking forward to your race report.

and time for you to relax...

K13 said...

Good luck! I'm sure you'll do great!!! And if anything, you'll do FAR better than I plan to do in my 1/2 come March 7th in Orlando...