Over eleven hundred runners invaded Stuart, Jensen, Hutchinson Island, and Sewall’s Point, Florida for the sixth annual Marathon of the Treasure Coast. I am super lucky this race is right in my back yard. Treasure Coast runners sure know how to put on an event. If you haven’t run this race it should be on your bucket list. As a runner, many factors go into preparation for race day; for starters, your training and training plan, nutrition, rest, the weather, and most of all having fun are important. I live and train in South Florida you would think I’d be accustomed to the heat, right? Well not so much. The weather Sunday was brutal even for South Floridians.
One rule applies when running, “Listen to your Body.” Some days pushing the limits is ok, but when it’s almost 80 degrees at 6am not a wise decision. The Marathon of the Treasure Coast is one of the last races of the Florida racing season. Every year I wish and pray for a cold front to come through. Last year the weather was perfect and I missed because of the flu. It’s not just the weather that’s looked at on race day. Your overall health and how you feel is a factor. This race I struggled right out of the gate. I knew my ankle was hurting for over two months maybe three and I ignored it. Let’s just say it impacted my performance big time! Remember my number one rule, “Listen to your body?” I didn’t listen and it almost prevented me from reaching the finish line and taking a significant break from running.
I knew right from the get go this was not my race. Besides the ankle, calves, and hip issues, I set myself up for failure when I decided to start with the 2 hour 45-minute pacer. I don’t like running with a pacer it creates such anxiety and affects my performance, and on top of it I didn’t know if she was using run/walk intervals. My training for the past 8 months has been a run 90 seconds/ walk 30 seconds, and realistically I could finish around 2 hours and 45 minutes if I stuck with a consistent pace of about 12:40 or 12:50ish minutes per mile. I can sustain that for a 5k and 10k, a half marathon I struggle with sustaining the pace. So, at around mile 2 I lost the 2:45 pacer and around mile 4.5 the 3-hour pacer caught up with me and then by mile 5 I lost sight of all pacers. My mental anguish over pacing slowed me down to a walk for the rest of the race. A joy kill until I saw the finish line and happy to finish anyway I could.
Not only do runners prepare but the event coordinator and volunteers it takes to put something like this on is a tremendous effort. When it’s all said, and done I’m sure they feel like they’ve run several marathons without stopping. No one realizes what goes into an event of this magnitude. Over 300 volunteers devoted their time to make sure all runners were supported on and off the course. It takes a lot of energy the days leading up to the occasion. Since this race is a Boston qualifier every mile had to be measured and the course Marshalls needed to make sure everyone was going in the right direction. The color of the bibs indicated if runners were either participating in the full marathon (yellow) and (Blue) for the half marathon. At about mile 5.5 the full marathon and half marathon split where the full marathoners turned left toward Hutchinson Island and the half marathoners kept straight up the bridge and through Sewall’s Point. I always appreciate the hydration support (especially on a very hot day). The “you are doing great” and the smiles of the volunteers handing out water and gator aide were fun and helpful. All volunteers were trained to perfection. The 2019 Marathon of the Treasure Coast is in the books and I look forward to a successful 2020.