10, 9, 8 ….Blast Off!!

What can I say!! The Space Coast Half was one of the most amazing races I ever participated in. To make it extra special it was my 13year old son’s first half and he beat me!! I waited until the day before to register for this race due to the fact I had already run a full marathon in NY and did a training run of 20.5 miles 2 weeks after. I know I am crazy and really do not understand what was going through my mind. I couldn’t even finish the 23 miles and had to stop short for the first time in a training run. How I made it up to 20.5 miles God only knows!

I am so proud of my son. He has been training with our local Galloway group since June. He asked if he could go with my and given that they were short runs and run / walks I told him he could. I thought maybe after a couple of Saturday’s he would just go through a phase and say he had enough..time to move on to another hobby. He stuck it through and has named the experience “Sliding Doors” as in the movie. I asked him why and he told me, “Mom can you imagine if I never came with the you the first time, I never would have thought that I would be a runner and meet so many friends’ I have to say for such a young boy he can be smart at times. I cannot even begin to thank the Daytona Galloway group for all they have done to include my son and make him feel that he can accomlish his dream to run his first race. This kid was determined and more importantly he was having fun!

I was so excited to meet my number one idol Kathrine Switzer at the expo. For those of you who have never heard of her here is a brief synopsis. This woman was the first to register and run the Boston Marathon and after the race coordinator Jock Semple tried to pull her off the course and take her numbers she had doubts as to why she should continue. But she held strong to show that women can indeed run a marathon..history was made and it opened doors to all women to participate not only in Boston but the Olympics and other marathons races throughout the world.

I was not prepared to run the Space Coast marathon. I was still injured, burnt out and just tired. My son kept pushing me to register him so I waited as long as it took to do so. So there we were at the Kennedy Space Center to register and meet Kathrine Switzer. Given that the expo was not as large as other expos I have been to such as a Disney Race and NYC it was still very nice and not crowded at all. While we were waiting to meet Kathrine Switzer I purchased our Gu Gels and waited in anticipation to meet her.  She was just as amazing up close and very friendly. I told her how she was my idol and because of her women like me can participate in a marathyon like NY and I had just ran it myself 3 weeks prior. She gave me such a big hug and inscribed in mycopy of “Marathon Woman” the following:

“Dawn-

This is in honor your finishing your first Marathon – 2011 N.Y. City Marathon! This is a victory forever!

K. Switzer

11/26/11 Spacecoast”

I was so honored that she took the time to make it so personal and not your standard “best wishes blah blah blah” She even told everyone waiting on line that this was to be my son’s first half marathon. This made him feel even more important.

The next morning I met up with some friends and we drove down to Cocoa Beach for the start. Parking was easily available. I just love the smaller races. Here I am putting my son’s first bib on. My favorite photo A big thank you to my friend who took it That’s her hubby beside us running his first full marathon

Even waiting in the corral we had our support team from Galloway standing on the sidewalk beside us to cheer us on at the start. With a large screen above us and the simulation of a shuttle taking off the countdown began with a thunderous roar and we were off. My goal was not only to finish but it was the first time I wanted to attain a PR of under 3 hours. I was so close this past March when I ran the NYC Half with a time of 3:00:48 after running the Princess Half a month before with a time of 3:19:37.  It was an improvement  even after making a top for the porta potty and running those grueling hills in Central Park. But it still gnawed at me that I could not break going below 3 hours.

One glitch at the start of the race, my boys being typical boys, removed the battery from my Galloway run/walk timer so now I was in a panic. How we were going to do this without a timer was going to be a challenge. So my son and I just took off and as we were running I would hear beeps all around us, signaling that many runners were using the Galloway method. We usually train doing a 30 sec run and a 60 sec walk but we were so lucky to find runners doing a 1:1 ration so we joined them. I could not have meet such a nicer groupf of participants Not only that but the volunteers both at the expo and the course were outstanding Kudos to the Running Zone who sponsored the race.

My son was pushing ahead and I let him go. I could not hold him back This was his dream too. I was a proud Mom watching him take off in front of me.

He crossed the finish line in 2:43:06! 23rd in is age group and 4th for boys aged 13 years old!!and I did PR amazingly at 2:55: 14. I did it!!

After the race we were served hot pancakes, sausage, eggs, pizza, sodas, orange and grapefruit juices, bagels, bananas and oranges. All included in our fee. I was floored!! The BEST finish line party ever. Our medals were so nice commemorating the 40th year

This race was so worth it The scenery, the people I could just go on and on. If you live nearby in Florida or visiting family for the Thanksgiving weekend or just want to get away please don’t pass this one up. You will be plesantly surprised and will come back again and again!!

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~ by RunningJunkies on November 30, 2011.

4 Responses to “10, 9, 8 ….Blast Off!!”

  1. I must have been just behind you…I finished in 3:01…I wanted to get under 3 hours so bad but still did way better than my Wine and Dine time of 3:23 🙂

  2. Hi Kirsten I wish I would have met you We were so close It would have been nice to run together!! Maybe at another race Lets touch base Are you doing Disney Marathon?

  3. OMG the Goofy I know a lot of people that are doing that. The training can be brutal but the end result is a huge accomplishment! Good luck to you 🙂

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