Eric Van De Vens Blog

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A1A 1/2 Marathon wrap-up

It is time to reflect on this event. When it first started, at the Expo, which is detailed in a previous post, I didn’t have very high expectations for this race. After running it, my opinion is quite different. Let’s get to it…………………………


2:30 AM: I woke up on time and had my usual mix of NoExplode and joint medicine. After taking care of some bathroom issues, time for the hot bath.

3:30 AM: After poking my head outside, just to make sure the weather forecast was correct, I began to pick out what I was going to wear for this race. Although the report said it was 50 degrees, there was also a wind chill warning. And, it was a good one!


I had to briefly check on the GPS exactly where I lived as temperatures in South Florida rarely reach this level! A long sleeve shirt and “leggings”, actually some long underwear I got at Target, were added to my normal running attire.


4:00 AM After getting dressed, time to make the trip to the Beach.

4:30: We arrived at the VIP parking lot. Zipped right in, put on the water belts and, got on the shuttle bus to the starting line. Someone had said to me at the EXPO that many had problems getting to the bus or that the buses were not there. There were two buses and as far as I can tell, there were no problems.

5:30 AM: We arrived at the starting line. The bus dropped us off right at our corral! Sometimes it pays to be slow! 😉 The temperature was 50 degrees according to the accu-weather app on our phones. The wind on the other hand, was a little more severe than what was stated in the advisory! There was a constant wind of about 10-15 miles per hour with gusts much higher than 20 miles per hour! The wind whipping through the buildings in downtown Fort Lauderdale were at least 25-30 mph!

5:50 AM: The playing of the Star Spangled Banner!!!!

6:00 AM: The wheelchair “runners” were sent off.

6:05 AM: Everyone is sent off. This start was different than the Disney races we have run. Instead of each corral having a starting time, everyone started at the same time, but you were seeded by your projected finish time. I actually preferred this starting method!

2013-02-17_05-26-00_482 (Medium)The starting line

Doctor Dribble. He broke the Guinness Book of Records by dribbling two basket balls the entire distance of the marathon.


Mile one: 14:11 which was with about a tenth of a mile walking until I got to the starting line.

Mile two: 12:52 starting to get into rhythm. A quick stop on top of the Las Olas bridge for a sunrise picture, and we moved on!

2013-02-17_06-40-20_336 (Medium)

Mile three: 12:24 and time to make the turn north on A1A!

2013-02-17_06-44-56_650 (Medium)

After mile three, it dawned on me, that I was not in any pain. And, each lap seemed to be getting faster.

Mile four: 12:22

Mile five: 12:35

We were now in Birch State Park. Unfortunately, this is where the course narrows from the roadway we were on, to a slightly larger sidewalk path. I didn’t have time to take any pictures as I was really concentrating on running, and avoiding other runners!

Mile six: 12:45

Mile seven: 12:08 Fastest mile…I think……

Mile eight: 12:32 This is where we exited the park and headed north to the turn-around.

Mile nine: 12:34

Mile ten: 13:09 We are now at the turn-around and it is just a 5K home!

It was at this time, I looked at my phone as it made some bizarre noise through my headphones. On the screen, was the  warning “10% battery remaining”!!!!!! During one of the previous runs, this same thing happened only I caught it early. It appears as though for whatever reason, the screen wouldn’t shut off and that is what drained the battery. I shut off Endomondo and just left the music player and the run/walk interval programs running.

Miles 11,12,and 13, I have no data, but, I am guessing they were all in the 12:30 range. The last mile was probably my fastest as I was running with this “young thang” and our run/walk intervals were the same.

As I entered the parking lot, which doubled as the finish line, there was still the .2 miles to go. When I had about .1 of a mile to go, I sprinted to the finish and had plenty of power left!

Final results: Distance 13.1 miles. Time: 2:46:24. Pace 12:42.

This was a little slower than I hoped, but pretty close to the 2:45 I was looking for. I was faster in this race than I was at the Wine and Dine and had I not lost six weeks of training due to the shoulder surgery, I am sure I would have been able to get to a 2:30 finish.


After I finished, I went to the Durango, which was in the parking lot and actually part of the race course, had a beer, a gluten-free nutrition bar, and some Cheetos! I was waiting for the wife to finish and cheering on the other finishers. After about forty minutes, I spotted the wife and ran the final .2 of a mile with her and we crossed the finish line together. I hope the photographer got a picture of that.

This race was the best race so far. At the finish line, there were several vendors who had their products available for consumption for free. Publix had a big spread, but the only thing I could have was a banana and an orange. Michelob Ultra was available for free as well as many other snacks. Other races could take a cue from these guys!!


After the race, my left knee was hurting, but that was about it. The race itself was run totally pain-free with the exception of a slight irritation in my hips. This morning, my left knee is swollen and very painful. It is on the outside of my knee, not the ACL side, so it isn’t much of a concern and will probably be better by the time I see my doctor on Wednesday.

The next race has not yet been determined, but the Wine and Dine is the next confirmed race. In the meantime, I will begin marathon training. Stepping up the distances and frequency of runs as well as working on weight loss. Somehow, I gained seven pounds during the race!!

Next year, when we run this race, I will be running the marathon version and the wife will be running the half marathon. This will be after I run my first official marathon at Disney in 2014.

Now this is a medal!!!!



Special thanks to all of those that have supported me, commented on this blog or my Facebook page, and sent e mails. It is greatly appreciated!


February 18, 2013 - Posted by | Health and Fitness, Home, Running | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Tomorrow is a workout in the morning. Speaking of which, today was the first day I felt that great feeling. The feeling of soreness in my chest and arms. I always feel better when I work out with weights and, also, have an abundance of energy after the workout! In the afternoon tomorrow, I have physical therapy and then, dinner at Carrabas for the pre-race dinner. Saturday is 15 miles and I see the weather fairy has arrived with temperatures expected to be in the 40s! Why does that sound familiar? A1A 1/2 Marathon! […]

    Pingback by 3.5 more miles …. « Eric Van De Vens Blog | February 28, 2013 | Reply

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