I moved back to Florida in 2013. This was around the time that I had just started running marathons. I figured that a Thanksgiving visit to my parents and a race the same weekend was a good idea...and that is how I have ended up running Space Coast for the past 4 years.
It is the oldest marathon in the state of Florida and I love that historical part of it. It is also somewhat nostalgic for me because I ran high school cross country in Brevard County and had a few cross country meets in Cocoa. Cocoa is the home of the Space Coast Marathon.
This is also where I got my first BQ in 2013! I'll never forget that race...all I thought about was running smart, being conservative and getting that BQ!!! I also had just started following Heather's blog around this time and met her for the first time at this race.
That first year of running this race has led me to 3 more races at Space Coast as part of a 5 year medal series called the Big Bang Series. I've run the half twice and the full twice. The medals for the marathon and half marathon are beautiful! You can also earn an additional medal for completing the race 3 times during the 5 years of the Big Bang Series. There is also an additional medal if you complete races all 5 years of the Big Bang Series.
I was able to win my age group the first 3 years. This year was my highest placing with the 5th female overall and winning the first female Master's. I also double dipped since this race doubled as the Road Runner's Club of America's Half Marathon State Championship.
I was pretty happy with being able to finish so high today but it was not the performance that I wanted on that course and at this point in the season. My time of 1:31:40 was almost 2 minutes slower than 2 weeks ago! I'm not a huge fan of the road on this course. I was constantly watching the crowning of the road and I hate the little dips up and down. It is one of those "flat" courses with these itty bitty dips the whole way that mess with your quads. I'd rather run big hills. Not to mention it was super lonely out there for the first 6.5 miles. I felt like I was leading a pack for the first mile or so. I could hear feet behind me until mile 2. Then there was almost nothing until mile 6.5 besides for the occasional spectator yelling, "go girl!" I think 2 guys passed me from mile 1 to 2. I passed a girl around mile 4. I finally felt like I saw the light when I hit the out and back and could see the rest of the half marathoners running. That entertained me for a few miles as I heard people yell, "you're in fifth or go get 'em girl." It also lifted me up as I saw a few friendly faces in that group. One guy passed me on the 6.5 miles back to the finish and I passed one guy! We were all really spread out considering there were suppose to be 3600 runners. Jacquelyn finally appeared at mile 12 and ran the last mile with me. She got up early to be there for me because she said I'm always at her races!
I never seemed to be able to find my groove with my pace the whole race. I can make excuses all day and boy do I seem to have a million but I didn't have much faster in me. Excuse number 100...I find this race really difficult with the chaos of a holiday week, especially considering I had family visiting for 2 weeks prior to the race.
Who could get anything done with that little bundle of cuteness???
Excuse 200...I just was getting over being sick. Again, I didn't taper at all for this. I still put in the mileage and workouts prior to this race because this was not my target race. It was simply just part of the Big Bang Series. I do believe that I will hit 1:28.59 when I've tapered and everything aligns just right.
The course is run next to the Indian River but for some reason I'm too focused on the road to even look at this. The road is a little windy and you have to be conscientious of the tangents.
In case this Momma wasn't tired enough, we stopped at Epcot for a quick jaunt on a few rides. It was definitely a home run with the kiddos! They got to ride Soarin and Test Track twice! The crowds were definitely heading home after the holidays.
I think I blew up the step counter my Garmin Sunday!!! I ran 6 to 7 extra miles before and after the race. I'm using this as time on my legs in exchange for marathon training long runs. I helped my friend Darcey hit a sub 3:30 in the marathon! So excited for her to win her age group and to have a redemption race after a tough and windy Detroit marathon!