Pictures to come. I will spare you some of the icky ones that I could have took afterwards!!!
I was pretty optimistic going into the weekend. I knew I had trained and tapered very closely to plan. Saturday I met MT and Espeed for some breakfast and race talk before we headed up to the expo. I was psyched that ESpeed had signed up to the the full mary and that I would have some company! After grabbing some goodies and a new sweet coat, I was off to go help my sis move. (Yup, so much for a nice relaxing day before the marathon).
I tried to take it easy moving things, but I could feel a little strain in my back and my legs were tired. As usual, things took longer than planned and finally my hubby and I rushed home to get in a late dinner. I had some ceasar salad, garlic dough balls, and penne pasta with marinara and mushrooms which was oh so good at Jimmy Dadonna's and headed home to pack up my stuff. I crawled into bed just after 10 and fell asleep without too much difficulty.
I woke up at 4:45 AM and was ready to go. After my normal mini wheat bagel with some black raspberry jam, I was in the car rocking out with some tunes driving downtown. You know you are up too early on a weekend when the radiostation I like on Sirius still has the club dj spinning tunes b/c some people are still partying! Anyways, I found a sweet free parking spot close to the race finish and met up with Espeed and a bunch of other CTC, SERC and many others prior to the start.
As Espeed and I were feeling ready to go that morning we lined up close to the 3:30 pace group and planned to keep them in sight and stay steady around an even 8 min/mile pace. The temperature was pretty comfortable and although there was some wind, I was delighted that it was not raining!!!
The energy at the start was amazing. Espeed was hollering it up finding all the SERC girls at the start. With the announcements, we were off. As usual with all the people it was tough to get moving at planned race pace and we were OK with it. We were still just bouncing off the walls with all the excitement and taking in the crowd. Mile One - 8:28
Very early on in the race I had the realization that my gel flask on my race belt was never going to work as it was bouncing around like crazy, so I had to carry that. Thank goodness it was light. Later I found that my gel was so thick that it was a project and a half to get the gel out of the flask even though I had put a little water in it which I thought would solve the problem. I will do something different in the future about this!
The first little climb came about 1.5 miles in and with all of the excitement, it really seemed so minor. The second mile remained crowded and we were still totally psyched- 7:59
Mile three was out onto the highway. There was wind hitting your face and although I knew it would feel good to have at my back the middle of the race I knew it would be at my face the last long stretch. (not liking that notion!!!) Espeed and I were trying to reel in the 3:30 group which had gotten ahead due difficulty getting around the tight crowds 7:39
Some of the partipants were great. There was one guy who saw a bunch of kids lined up on the bridge who yelled, "Who has high fives?" and proceeded to high five all the smiling kids!! I would see him later in the race as his high energy must have waned as well.
The miles seemed as though they were flying by effortlessly and I passed Mile 4 to see a split of 6:57. Whoa, I don't think it felt that fast so I am assuming it was short.
Around mile 5 it started to sprinkle and Espeed told me she was thinking she was going to need to slow and for me to go ahead when we hit the 6+ mile water stop. I just wanted her to do whatever was going to work best for her as I felt confident I was on target for a strong race but I was going to miss her company. Mile 5- 7:58
Mile 6 had a bunch of great spectators sitting out in there lawns and lining up the streets. It really makes a huge difference! Espeed and I hit 6 at 7:46. With a parting cheer from Espeed, I was off to catch up to Kathy, one of the other SERC ladies in my sight. About this time I rolled though the water stop and saw TriSara handing out water and with a shout and a wave, I continued on.
Mile 7 I picked up the pace a bit to catch up to Kathy and now I had the wind to my back. 7:25, half of me thought that I really need to slow down as I was trying to run even 8's but the other pig-headed part of me thought maybe I just could hang on and have a really great race.
I was happy having someone alongside to talk to and the miles effortlessly came and went. About Mile 8, I thought I should take some water in as I had not yet had any at this point and I had to work a little to catch back up to Kathy. For me, it is still takes less effort to just walk the water stops so I can get in some water and then try to catch up vs. me trying to get it in on the run. Mile 8 7:31, still fast.
I seem to recall a few uphill grades on the way back on the boring highway and I had pretty much resolved myself to the fact that I better try to level off closer to 8's as I had a lot of race to go. I was chatting along and miles were flying by. Mile 9 - 8:03, Mile 10 7:58.
Around mile 10, I took my first gu and all was well. I had carefully planned out when I was taking my gels based on water stops and I thought I had it all figured out.
Mile 11, we were heading up the long bridge back into town. 7:59
Around mile 12 from out of nowhere I saw JT and I was so excited to her and her smile!!! With a few words as she jogged with me I continued on. By mile 12, I was trying to psych myself up to run the last half alone. I was looking forward to coming into town knowing my husband and friends would be there cheering. Mile 12 - 7:51
As Kathy made the turn to head into the half finish, I wished her well and continued on my way. I saw my friend Bob hollering and waved. Then I saw my husband taking a picture and holding my headphones out. Sweet, hopefully these are just what I needed to get me through. And as quickly as the crowds had come, they disappeared again and now it was just me and my headphones.
For a bit I kept them turned down and thought about starting up a conversation with some random person. I decided it was my race to run and I was going to go ahead and do this on my own now.
Now I will back up a bit....at the start of the race I decided that I really had to pee and I was awful nervous as I had not been able to go to the bathroom that morning. Well after mile 12, I saw a port-o-potty and decided I was just going to go ahead and go, more of preventative maintenance as things were feeling a little off. Mile 13 including stop 8:48.
I crossed the halfway point at 1:43:19 (~7:48 pace even including my little stop!) Now if only the second half was so easy!!!!