"Got to get back now to Florida; lay out in the morning Sun.
Got to get back to Miami; have a whole lotta fun.
Going back to Miami; going back to my girl." Going Back to Miami-The Blues Brothers
Its taper week before next weekend's Miami Marathon. I've signed up for either the full or the half every year since the inaugural event in 2003. When the marathon course was first announced in the Sun Sentinel back September, 2002, what struck me about the course was its great layout. It was the exact route I drove out of town guest to show off the Miami area. Starting off in downtown Miami, going over the MacArthur Causeway past the cruise ships, past the beautiful Art Deco buildings of South Beach, then looping back to downtown before heading south for the second half of the marathon through the tree canopied streets of Coconut Grove and back up Brickell Avenue to the finish at Bayfront Park. Just beautiful scenery.
I consider this course the most beautiful marathon course in the State of Florida. Yes, the A1a Half in Fort Lauderdale is also gorgeous, but that's basically my training route. Disney is nice through the parks, but is kind of barren between the parks. Tampa, with its run along Bay Shore Drive is also pretty. But for my registration money, Miami has the most interesting and diverse landscape to keep a runner's mind occupied over the whole 26.2 miles.
The past two years, I paced my paralegal's daughter through the half marathon. This year, triathlon buddy Tony was going to attempt his first marathon. Coming off the Ironman in November, I wasn't planning on a full marathon this soon. However, as Tony was doing the Galloway run/walk method, I figured I could do the training without beating myself up. Unfortunately, the marathon mileage placed too heavy a training load on Tony's hip and knee joints. He realized its was better to back down to the half marathon distance than risk injury. However, by the time Tony made the decision to back off the full, I'd already run a couple of 20 mile training runs, as well as a few 15 to 16 milers. What's a guy to do?
Last year I trained to run the full marathon for A1a in February. However, race weekend ended up forecast as a hot day, so I ended up switching to the half instead. It was frustrating to train for a full, then only run a half. Its like loading a musket with gun powder. You kind of feel a need to aim the thing and fire. You don't want the powder to go bad. Plus, I've made a commitment to run an ultra in November. Its like my buddy Wayne says, "Train hard, run far." I feel I should run the distance I trained to run. Thus, I've decided to run the full in Miami.
As for pace, buddy John will tell you I can make a promise on pace and go rogue while on the course. Stupid is a stupid does. Like in Seattle, I'm probably not speed trained for anything much faster than about a 4 hour run. I'll try to keep it smart. Perhaps I'll pace with John or run across fellow triathlon blogger Chloe, who is scheduled to run the full. Then again, if the weather is cool and I'm feeling good....no, no, no! I promise to keep it smart. Really. Honest. Scout's honer. Cross my heart and hope to...wait; better not tempt fate. Anyone know a good sport psychologist?
Anyway, this weekend's training schedule is an easy 50 mile bike ride on Saturday and an easy 10 mile run on Sunday. After that, its off to coach my son's basketball game and watch some playoff football. During the week, I may even get back to the pool for a swim. That would be good cross training. Then, next weekend, I'm going back to Miami.