|Last Snowy Footprint?|
|First Flowers of Spring|
|Fargo ND, so cold the trees turned blue!|
The other concerning factor was that the low temp for the area was now no where near the 50 degree range it had been for the past few weeks. The low temp on race morning was 60 degrees with a predicted high of 77 and a 4-hour finish temp of around 70. The humidity was 71%, also a little higher than
|Tomoka Starting Line|
...oh and did I mention there was a 15 minute delay for the planned 6:00am start time due to, of all things a train accident, so add 1-2 more degrees to the already warming temps...oh boy...
While there were pace groups available at this race I purposely chose not to run with them for fear of crowding and not being able to pick my line (steps) as I needed to find the smoothest path. Still I did try to keep myself within sight of the 3:50 pace group led by Kimmy and the 4:00 pace group led by Mike. At mile 18.8 upon entering Tomoka State Park I was about equi-distant between these two groups...pretty much the perfect spot considering the early conditions. Now to just hold a +1 pace (~9:45/mile) or so for the rough miles...I was eager to see what would happen.
Then disaster struck...
The "packed dirt trail" (as advertised) was literally nothing more than a gravel road and sections I thought would be somewhat smooth and do-able, were anything but do-able. Using both my Garmin running watch and the RaceJoy App on my I-Phone, I soon realized I couldn't even hold a 14:00 average and even that was too painful to continue.
Within 200 yards, I was reduced to walking and even though I periodically began to gingerly run/jog some sections, my average pace for
|Let's Get This Party Started!!!|
both miles was about 25 min/mile. While I was extremely disappointed, I decided to keep moving forward and finish the race...and there was no easy "Hop on the Bus" option like there had been at Shiprock two years ago during my first and only DNF of my marathon career. After exiting the park, I took pride in making the next mile in 12:11 but then to add insult to injury, mile 22 (which Earl and I drove incorrectly the day before) actually diverted into a housing subdivision along the Titus River with no sidewalk and extremely rough Florida style shell pavement which turned into another 21 minute/mile for me. After exiting this additional rough stuff, and back to the main smooth road ,I pulled each of the last 3-4
Earl was waiting for me at the end and we compared notes. He had wanted a sub 2 hour half marathon but also succumbed to the heat and ended up at 2:10 instead, not ideal, but not as big a miss as mine had been. I told him that I briefly toyed with the idea of taking my 50Sub4 shirt and a can of lighter fluid and starting a fire...but I calmed down and now am looking a other Florida marathons to attempt. It won't be for a while as it is definitely warming up now. Next attempt will have to be November or December at the earliest.
One nice sideline on the trip, we got to meet up with Earl's daughter Brittani and her husband Ron who live just down the road in Titusville. We got to catch up with them and
|Ron, Earl, Brit, Dan @ River Grille in Ormond Beach|
Now its off to Spring Break, oh, back to Tampa FL of course. Linda and I are going cruising once again, this time for our 25th wedding anniversary. We will be departing Tampa for Honduras, Belize and Mexico on a 7-day Royal Carribean Cruise. This will be our 4th cruise but first one with this company. Additionally, we will be celebrating with my twin brother Dave and his wife Annette, who are also celebrating their 25th...oh yeah, did I mention we had a double wedding? We will be renewing our vows somewhere in Belize...I'd better get to writing mine! Hoping for some good barefoot running on the track on top of our ship "Rhapsody of the Seas!"
March Mileage = 131.47 miles