Last year David and I took a weekend trip to Palm Beach and loved every second of our time there. I think we both enjoyed a little bit of quiet and the slowness that doesn’t exist in Miami. This is what lead me to immediately jump at the opportunity to run the Palm Beaches Half Marathon…pretty, calm, nice, friendly people, beach time, easy drive….the list goes on and on.
I’m a little obsessed with the cool sand sculptures that were all around the finish area!
Due to the flat nature of this course there were at least 100 wheelchair participants killing it on the course! I LOVE seeing the diversity of participants that a great race brings out because it’s a reminder that it doesn’t matter if you are fast, slow, new, young, old, short, tall…whatever!
This out and back course runs directly along the Palm Beach intercostal which means the views are gorgeous for all 13.1 miles and for most of the marathon course as well! The downside is that at some point on the course the wind will very likely be in your face and you have to run past the finish line at mile 6.
- Gorgeous course
- Flat, perfect for a PR
- Palm Beaches is a beautiful place to spend the weekend
- Great post race entertainment and views of the water, sand sculptures, etc
- Lots of porta potties along the course!!
- Small field makes for great age group award chances
- Lots of water stops
- Easy parking and plenty of places nearby post race for eats
- Huge walking crowd makes it perfect for a first half marathon if you have any time concerns, you won’t be alone on the course!
- Running past the finish line in the first out and back
- Small field makes for a lonely full marathon if you like crowds
- No where to clean up post race - It was hot by the time we finished and a wet towel or wet wipe would have made it so much better to hang out (luckily I had another Shower Pill in my bag)
- No shade - If the weather were hotter or you have been training in cooler temps this course could be more challenging as the day warms up
As planned, I wanted to use this weekend for a speed session rather than a race. I knew my legs weren’t ready for a PR after doing 13.1 Fort Lauderdale just a couple weeks prior. In the starting corral I ran in to a couple of folks from the NYC marathon and almost convinced myself to just run the full with them…see I get swept up on race day!! Instead, I stuck to my plan and held a moderate pace for the first 6 and then I started to push the pace…the plan was to work down to my new goal pace.
But something interesting happened… I would reach my current HMP of about 8:30 and have no issue. In trying to push past that it was as though I was asking my body to run at 5K pace! I talked this over with my exercise physiologist today and we are putting together a plan to get me speedy before ING Miami. It has some to do with continuing to resolve my stomach and release muscle tension that isn’t allowing my leg to fully extend.
My race photog is still working on his skills, but he managed to snag 2 pictures where I once again LOOK like I’m running rather than race walking. I am a fan of this new trend.
I carried my new favorite mixture of Vega Sport which is a combo of the Pre-Workout Energizer and electrolyte hydrator. It prevents cramps and provides me a small boost of energy throughout with the rhodiola. I also took a ViEndurance gel at mile 7. It tasted a lot like honey and did not in anyway bother my stomach…just the way I like it!
It wasn’t an “easy” day, but it was a fantastic day. The day started out cool and while there was a breeze it was nothing compared to the gusts at 13.1 Fort Lauderdale, so it helped to keep me cool and well the relaxed pace a the beginning allowed me to fully enjoy the views!
I am grateful for a husband who gets up entirely too early on Sunday mornings to take pictures and pretend to be super happy about it.