Michelob Ultra Fort Lauderdale 13.1 Race Recap

If we’re friends on Instagram (@KristinaRunning) then you already know I had a tough time at the Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon yesterday.

I just barely made it to packet pick-up on Friday evening. I think the running shop locked the doors right after I walked in. Maybe I should have taken that as an omen!

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^ I really like this year’s technical tee. I love that it incorporates the little towers that the lifeguards hang out in on our beach. I may actually wear this one!

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Saturday night I laid out all of my gear and got into bed around 10pm. That’s actually later than I normally like to go to bed before a race, but I stupidly took a 2.5 hour nap in the afternoon and I just wasn’t tired! Oops!

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My alarm went off at 4:25am and I had a couple of pieces of toast, a coffee and a glass of water. I headed out the door at 5:50am and walked over to the starting line << a nice benefit of racing in Fort Lauderdale!

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I planned to just take it easy during this race and use it as a training run. I figured I would finish in about 3:10 (or less).

Well, I was served a giant piece of humble pie! My official finishing time was 3:23 on the dot, although I ended up running 13.3 instead of 13.1. My Garmin said I hit 13.1 miles at 3:17. I’m absolutely terrible at running tangents and I often weave in and out of people at the start of races.

From mile two onward I knew I was in for a bad race. It was 80 degrees at the start and my stomach just did not want Gatorade at all. Every time I grabbed a cup at the aid station I would feel gas building up in my chest but it would take me forever to burp which felt super uncomfortable. When I took Gu with Gatorade I actually threw up a little. Sorry for the TMI but I know my fellow runners will understand the gross things that sometimes happen to us!

Mile 1: Yay, it’s race day!

Mile 2 – 6: Oh man, this isn’t going well at all. Stomach please calm down.

Mile 7 – 10: Oh F. I’m going to do 1:1 run/walk intervals.

Mile 11 – 13: It’ll all be over soon!

It turns out even a really good Taylor Swift + Britney Spears playlist cannot always keep you on pace – even what you consider your easy pace!

We had a really windy morning here too. I could tell it was bad but later another runner told me that there were gusts up to 23 mph – and we ran into the wind way more than it was at our backs.

Excuses, excuses!

When the finish line finally came into sight I felt total relief. I made it! After my disappointing DNF in Chicago crossing a finish line felt really good even if my time was 20+ minutes slower than the PR I just set in January! Sigh. There is work to be done.

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Can I give just one more excuse?

I haven’t run a double digit long run since September and I haven’t really done any speedwork since then either thanks to my injury. Considering my only two “long runs” were 9 miles in Chicago and then 8 miles last weekend, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that I finished with one of my worst half marathon times ever.

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There is no point in wallowing in self pity though because what’s done is done and now it’s time to move on to greener pastures!

I’m looking on the bright side and feel sure that this one bad race means I have several good ones in my future!

This race laid the foundation for my upcoming training cycle. I have three months to get back into racing shape and to go after a half marathon PR in February. I have no doubt that I can make it happen, but it’s clearly going to take more work than I thought! That’s okay though, I’m not scared of a little hard work!

…. And even though this was a slow race even by my standards it still counts as race #1 in the Florida Storm Series! 🙂

How was your weekend? Did you race? Did your football team win? 🙂



  1. Susan
    November 16, 2015 / 6:25 am

    I am so proud of you! I think you did awesome especially considering how much was working against you! I think you should focus on the fact that you are pain free! That is success. Now you can work on getting back to where you want to be and get that PR!! I saw your Dolphins won (sorry didn’t pick them in my football pool). My Broncos lost in a bad way. Serious ass kicking. And it was against the Chiefs (UGH!!! Don’t like them…..at all)

  2. November 16, 2015 / 8:11 am

    That sounds like a tough race- I couldn’t imagine running in 80 degree weather right now, plus those winds! You still did awesome, especially with so many things working against you and not having run double digits in awhile.

  3. November 16, 2015 / 8:29 am

    That is nice you got to walk to the start! That’s a good little warm up and cool down! I love racing local. There are many, many races in my area that start on City Island in Harrisburg, which is very easy parking and a very quick drive… less than 10 minutes which is perfect because on race mornings that’s about how often I need to go to the bathroom- every 10 minutes!

    I know I commented on your FB post yesterday, but considering your stomach, the weather, and just getting over an injury, you did an AWESOME job completing the 13.3 miles! And we can definitely learn from tough races. I am JUST feeling back to normal after my tough race last weekend. Seriously, that race sucked so bad pretty much the entire time. And I really do believe a hard race means some GOOD ones are in our future!

  4. November 16, 2015 / 9:51 am

    I think with all that you have been through, coming back from injury, etc. you did well. I would take a pain-free 13.1 as a victory! You have your “starting” point, now you have 3 months to prepare! (and hopefully, cooler weather to prepare in!).
    It is nice to have hometown races, so much easier!
    Good job, Kristina!

  5. November 16, 2015 / 11:23 am

    Ooof, that sounds like a rough race. Windy and 80+ degrees! Yuck! I can’t help but think of the post you wrote after Chicago about people being rude about a DNF. This race demonstrates how determined you are and that your Chicago DNF was about respecting an injury and not about bowing out on a bad day. I think bad runs/races can actually be good motivation for training, and it seems like you are using this as motivation for your training for February, so in that sense you can turn it around to something positive!

  6. November 16, 2015 / 11:34 am

    Congrats on finishing the race and getting back in the game, Kristina! It sounds like it was rough out there, I’m sorry you didn’t have the race you planned but it’s good to see you keeping your chin up about it. That’s not easy to do, even after races we don’t care about as much.

    I remember a couple weeks ago when I ran the MRF Half Marathon – it was an okay race, not bad, not great, just fine – but it suddenly hit me I am running my 8th half marathon! In two years! That alone is worth celebrating. I think we run and train for so many of these races that we forget what a big deal it really is just to run a half marathon. A lot of runners are lucky if they can do one a year, and this year I did 5 (and counting!). So, it may not have been your best time but congrats on your finish!

    Keep going. You’ll get there!

  7. November 16, 2015 / 1:43 pm

    All odds were against you with the weather, your stomach not feeling well, and your recent injury and you still went out and did it! Use it as a learning experience and fuel for your PR fire! I have no doubt that you will crush it in February. Just stay focused and keep yourself healthy.

  8. November 16, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    Great job on getting over the mental and physical hurdles! If you can finish this, you can do anything!

    I love walking to the start of a race. It doesn’t happen very often unfortunately but when it does, everything is just a little less stressful.

  9. November 16, 2015 / 2:06 pm

    Yaaa #6 is in the books! I am proud of you for hanging in there and finishing 🙂 Seriously, in heat you have to give yourself some slack. I sure hope you have better conditions for the next one!! In February it should be a bit better 🙂
    I am sure you have lots of great races in your future!

  10. November 16, 2015 / 9:46 pm

    “I’m not scared of a little hard work.”

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!

  11. November 16, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    Good job on hanging in there! Sorry to hear things were not going your way. Hey, with the luck you’ve been having, the next one has got to be the ONE, right? You did finish, so congrats to that! I don’t think 80 degrees and Gatorade would work out for me either.

  12. November 16, 2015 / 11:12 pm

    It’s very inspiring that you raced and crossed the finish line. Even if it wasn’t the best race, you’ve been dealing with injuries 🙂 Glad you got that great feeling of finishing after the DNF.

  13. November 17, 2015 / 11:34 am

    Looks like bad runs were served all weekend. Hey you finished and this was not a goal race. This is a great building block for your race in three months.

    Weekend?? Uhg….I’ll post about it tomorrow lol.

  14. November 17, 2015 / 12:49 pm

    Stomach problems are the worst! My worst problems were when I combined a gel and Gatorade. And the wind this weekend was no joke. They aren’t excuses–just the reality of external factors you couldn’t control! Sorry the race didn’t go as smoothly as you’d have liked, but congrats on getting out there and getting it done on a day with so many challenges.

  15. November 17, 2015 / 4:19 pm

    Congrats on finishing! You did a great job, even if it wasn’t the race you wanted. Unfortunately, not all races can be perfect, especially when weather and stomach issues are a factor. It’s nice to have a half marathon time before you begin your training for A1A. You’ll really know how far you’ve come through your training. Seriously, though… you should be really proud of yourself!

  16. November 18, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    I’m so jealous that you can walk to the start line of this race!

    I know it was tough, but I’m glad you persevered and finished. I know that burp-y/hearturn-y feeling all too well. It sucks when nothing can combat it. I’ve taken tums right before a run before, and sometimes I think it makes it worse! Congrats on another half under your belt!