#MedalMonday, 2019 Publix A1A Half Marathon

By | February 19, 2019

Palm trees make for fun artsy medal shots

I finished. I could still walk after. Atlantic ocean makes for the best race scenery. I pushed on through heat & humidity. I’m a happy camper…errr, runner. But, rewinding.

[bctt tweet=”Fun in the sun on the Fort Lauderdale waterfront #RunFTL” username=”travellingcari”]

Tuesday Topics: Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to talk an oceanfront half marathon while they’re posting about cold weather running essentials. Also posting Medal Monday on a Tuesday. LOL.


The Expo was a lot of fun. It’s relatively small compared with the Cherry Blossom one and easy to manage. I lined up for the bib, shirt & goody bag (three separate, but only the bib was a line) while Mom & Bob went to get the parking pass. Pre-pay parking for your spectators is a time & sanity saver as the Bahia Mar is right across from the finish and finding parking on a beautiful weekend beach day/traffic on A1A with the race isn’t fun. We spot checked some of the meter apps and the pre-pay in the lot was only about $4 more.

After the essentials, we wandered the four aisles. I knew I had “forgotten” my chews aka couldn’t find them before packing last minute so they were what I needed to buy. I found them quickly, although not from the Running Wild booth. I wish I’d realized I forgot my backup shorts as I would have bought a pair there. As I mentioned in the Weekly Wrap, a four store tour of Delray was not productive in terms of finding shorts. Oh well.

Race Day ish:

avocado toast is the best (only?) pre-race dinner for me

Why do I consider pre-race dinner part of race day? When the race starts at 6am and it’s less than twelve hours before? That’s race day!

Luckily I was relatively tired from a 4a wakeup on Friday and was able to fall asleep by 10 or so. Alarm went off at 3:30 and first step was to check to see if I could get an Uber/Lyft to the start. I knew they served Delray, but wasn’t sure about available cars at that hour. I had a backup in Mom, but luckily it looked easy to get a car thanks to bar closing time/airport runs.

Somehow I didn’t end up with a Flat Cari photo. Oops. I opted for the Lotta Breeze capris despite the heat concerns, a bright yellow shirt from the Manhattan 7 Mile making it easy for mom & Bob to spot me coming and my Yankee hat that I wore for Lebow. Why that one? It’s a random game giveaway and wouldn’t have minded tossing it if it got too sweaty. Rather than the new shoes, went with the Vongo 2’s as I ran Lebow in them but hadn’t taken the new ones out for longer than 4.5 miles. I requested a Lyft at about 4:15 and was at the start by 4:50.

in control and ready to roll!

I wasn’t really sure about how to warm up for this, so I essentially didn’t. I did some of the PT exercises at my PT’s advice but otherwise people watched, joined and re-joined the potty lines and watched the clock crawl to 6. It was too long a wait, but with a 30m drive and I-95 a crap shoot, I wouldn’t risk it closer. If I do this again next year I’ll definitely stay in Lauderdale.

the city starts to wake as we cross the Intracoastal

Seeing and waves were more organized than last year, and I think we crossed the start about 6:10 or so. Why “or so” and no exact temperature and humidity? I decided from the beginning or really even from early last week to take it as a fun run. I had not run more than 10K since my last half and when I went into PT I made the decision to sacrifice the goals for all three spring Halfs in order to heal. This was the right decision.

Plus, it’s easy to treat this as a fun run. The course is (mostly) gorgeous, the spectators are fun and aside from the bridges on Las Olas, it’s a pancake. The latter is why I hope one day I’ll set a PR here.

My fueling strategy was a NutriGrain in the car on the way down, lots of water and chews when they felt necessary. The run strategy was to walk Las Olas Bridge, the water stations as needed, and then when my Achilles asked for it. Both of these worked as planned and were the right decision. I was pleasantly surprised that I kept within sight of the 2:30 pacer until Hugh Taylor Birch Park at mile 5ish. I started really strong, but wasn’t a case of going out too quickly.

we were all walking here

I was dreading the stretch from the Park exit to Oakland Park Blvd. as it always seems to go forever – usually because I’ve run out of water when doing it on my own and am inching to the Walgreens. Also, it goes away from the water for a bit because the oceanfront has some high rises–not scenic at all. It wasn’t as bad as I feared. Other than walking the Las Olas bridge and the water stations, I didn’t walk until after mile ten, which was much later than last year. This was where I found the beer station and happily took the water they also offered. Them, Front Runners really go to town with their water stations. Could also have hugged the table with the wet sponge, which felt magic when she wrung it over my head. As you can see, I was not alone in my decision to walk. It was just too warm here.

MarathonFoto hasn’t finished with the photos but I expect one exceptionally bad one as I didn’t even see him until the women next to me did a jump and I was trudging at that point. Although I’d been drinking enough, I was wilting.

would you like some ham with that cheese?

The thing that was different about this race than any other? Mom & Bob were at the finish and knew roughly when I was coming as I’d texted that I switched to walk/run around mile 11. When I saw them, I turned on the ham. This was right after the only part about this race I hate, the inflatable pseudo finish that isn’t. It’s an evil tease. And yes, Dirt in the skirt is the best movie line.

It was hot, I was tired, I finish smiling. Oh, and my official finish was 2:44:17.08. 2018? 2:50:08:71. Almost a six-minute course PR. WOW. I was shocked when I saw my watch because I was pretty sure I’d lost the 2:45 pace group.

I got my medal, did the obligatory finisher photo and made my way back to mom & Bob.

artsy momsy

Palm tree was my only request. Best post-race decision I made was to leave a bag in their car with a change of clothes, flip flops and my new massage stick. That (and the Dunkin run for iced coffee!) made for a much more comfortable ride back to Delray.

one honkin’ piece of French Toast

And then there was brunch. Original plan was conch fritters at Boston’s, but I wasn’t feeling heavy fried food so we went to Park Tavern. The plan was ahi tuna, but I was hungrier than a starter and it didn’t pair well with anything else, so this became the decision. Tracked and moved on, see also: DQ oreo mint blizzard for dinner. I’m not normally a post-race brunch person, but this was good!

resting my feets

As was this perfect way to rest my feet and then stretch

it’s not a legal trip to Florida unless toes go in the ocean.

and Monday’s walk to the beach to stretch and make it a legit visit.

A few things I’d change, but a really good race weekend overall. I’m in FLL way too often to consider this a race-cation.

On to the next.

What I loved:

  • The Skirt/capris were the perfect choice. Phone was accessible, leaving belt pocket free for sunscreen, extra NutriGrain bar. It was hot, but I think anything would have been hot, and this way I didn’t have to worry about chub rub.
  • I ran a solid 15K in the heat before we lost the shade and entered full sun. I think it was that rather than my recent lack of running that made for a challenging last 5K. Changing to a walk near the end was right, the choice was running or finishing.
  • My running and fueling strategy. Throwing out goals in favor of a race plan sometimes works.
  • At 13.12, this is the best I’ve run an actual course.
  • PT stretches paid off. Although the lack of hills is part of what made this recovery easier, I wasn’t too sore other than walking to the beach Monday. Intracoastal bridges are evil.
  • Reading Meb for Mortals. OK, this has nothing to do with the Half, but I started it on the plane home and loving it.

Things I’d change:

I’m actually not sure if I’m doing this next year, not because I don’t like the race but because it’s moving to January. While Florida > NYC running in January and I think it will be cooler, which solves my major issue with this race, I’m not sure I want to give up Lebow. So we’ll see. Luckily the early registration savings isn’t a decision maker. If I do, or if these help others, some things I’d change:

  • Stay in Lauderdale. a 30m ride to the start is one variable too many on race morning.
  • I’d fly in on Wednesday or Thursday to give myself more time to acclimate to Florida weather.Β  I did this last year, and it also meant I got a run in with the Funky Fun Run group
  • Be a little more detail oriented with the body glide. I missed two spots and oh do they hurt. On the plus side, I know what I’d have looked like if I hadn’t lubed.

38 thoughts on “#MedalMonday, 2019 Publix A1A Half Marathon

  1. Pingback: Physical Therapy: Week 1 |

  2. Laurie

    Congrats on the course PR! Nice race. This one sounds like one I may have to add to my list. I am trying not to be too jealous when I view the pictures of you in the warm Florida sunshine! πŸ™‚

    1. cari Post author

      Not to worry – I”m back in the cold, sloppy northeast now.
      It’s a fun one – I think the move to January is a good one too for the weather

  3. Chocolaterunsjudy

    Wow! What a great course PR! It’s no joke in the heat. I’m LOL at your 13.12 — which was exactly what I ended up with as well, only there were hella turns on my course so I guess I did a really nice job on the tangents.

    One of my meals was an apple pie sandwich (sauteed apples, bacon, cheese, grilled, yummy), and because I needed veggies, I got a seared ahi tuna salad to go with it. An odd combo but it worked.

    I got no vitamin D (aka no sun, which on race day I was happy, but a little more the rest of the vacation might’ve been nice) — and no toes in the ocean, either! That always feels so awesome.

    Chafing is never fun. πŸ™

    1. cari Post author

      Wow, nicely done re: turns. Luckily this one is basically a lasso so turns aren’t an issue the way they are in, say, Lebow.
      I don’t like bacon, but that sandwich sounds fascinating. Savannah was so good for the taste buds but so bad for the waist line.

      1. Chocolaterunsjudy

        I looooove bacon. I actually lean vegetarian, and gave it up completely for a while, but then I decided to eat it (occasionally) and realized how much I love it.

        The damage to the waistline wasn’t terrible, but we were only there a short amount of time.

        1. cari Post author

          I don’t like the texture of bacon. Bacon chipotle salt though on avocado toast is amazing

  4. Darlene

    Yay for a course PR. I love that beach picture.

    I was glad to have arrived on Thursday. Still it was warm compared to our polar vortex.

    Darn about the date change. There’s a tennis tournament in Delray that week. Thought I could combine both. Now i don’t know.

    I think I had dinner at Boston’s.

    So glad we both got away from the cold.

    1. cari Post author

      Boston’s is the best
      We ran into such traffic getting from Boston’s to 95 because of the tournament. Bad planning to go up Atlantic

  5. Deborah Brooks

    Race morning stress is something I like to minimize as much as possible especially for early morning starts. Congrats on your huge PR! Maybe you should have your mom waiting at all of your finish lines πŸ™‚

    1. cari Post author

      Yes. Told her she was absolutely my good luck charm. And probably element of truth too in getting me to run last mile

  6. Kimberly Hatting

    That course PR is pretty golden! Well done! Often times, as you eluded, I have a better finish time when I focus more on the fun than the actual “racing” aspect. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

    1. cari Post author

      I totally agree. There’s value in letting go of stress and just letting the feet hit the road

  7. Shathiso @thegaboronerunner.com

    What a fantastic course PR! I love Kimberly’s comment that sometimes focusing on the fun allows your body to just run freely without the nerves of PR-ing or stressing about pace! And like I said after your last race, your growth as a runner is becoming more and more evident with each race! This is just awesome – well done lady!

  8. Marcia

    Congrats on throwing down a course PR! I now it’s hot for racing but I’ve gotta say Florida looks divine right now as I sit if polar tundra.

  9. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    DQ Oreo mint blizzard for dinner – you are my hero!

    Congrats on a course PR, especially since you weren’t racing it. I LOVED reading your recap, BTW!

    1. cari Post author

      Hah! I am a sucker for all things mint or chocolate peanut butter. When I realized DQ’s peanut butter cup blizzard was vanilla, it was a no brainer. You, Darlene and I would be trouble in an ice cream store after a run together.
      Thank yoU!

  10. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    Congratulations on the PR! I visited FLL last month and had a nice time, but man was it chilly and rainy! Seeing your pics along the course takes me back to my little 3 mile run along the ocean! πŸ™‚ I’m glad the PT stretches helped!

    1. cari Post author

      Thank you! You were there between two of my visits, I think. I stay at the Westin right on the beach so I knew your views well. The weather this season has been so weird

  11. Jennifer

    That’s such an amazing PR, Cari!! Nice job!!!

    I hate chafing. I’m crying and wincing for you just thinking about it. πŸ™

    I cannot remember the last time I had a DQ Blizzard. I think I need to change that.

    1. cari Post author

      Thank you! It was an awesome feeling.
      I chafe in the weirdest of spots. Not the seams or band of sports bra that every article warns, but the top edge. Guess my skin there is super tender for whatever reason. Inside the upper arm was a new to me one, Luckily they both scabbed over quickly.
      Me neither. Haven’t seen them up here but we spotted them so often on the drive down but never got to have one. We remedied that quickly this time. There’s a fancy ice cream shop in town, but DQ > waiting in line for fancy

    1. cari Post author

      Too funny re: Nutrigrain bars. Sometimes I’ll be snacking on one and people think I’m an alien. I said to mom I think I’ve been eating them since high school. And yes, iced coffee is key. That cooled down my insides too
      Thank you!

  12. Coco

    Huge congrats! That’s quite a PR. I’m not sure FL would be that much cooler in January than mid-February? I love that sunrise view on your way to the race – and your feet chillin’ by the pool. πŸ™‚

    1. cari Post author

      Oops missed this. THANK YOU!
      I was there in late January and it was surprisingly cool so I think a week or two might make a little bit of difference. Then again, our weather is drunk lately

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  14. Liz Dexter

    Great report but I can see how the heat would be a shock. Hate missing bits with body glide- did it yesterday! Owwwww.

    1. cari Post author

      My upper arm still hasn’t healed. It’s nuts. Luckily no new from yesterday’s rain frolic

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