So to catch up, since the Geneva tri I had really backed off the swimming and biking and focused on running.
I was trying to focus more on my quality sessions. It was great to bang out some good track workouts early with Christina and whoever else was actually crazy enough to meet us at dark thirty to run around the Ignacious track!
The Five Fast Femme Fatale Freaks 5 person all female relay team rose again to take a podium position at the Akron Marathon relay with a time of 3:06:38. During that day I ran Leg 1 as a warm-up, my 5.8 mile leg which I raced, ran the next couple miles with my buddy, Nathan who was running the full and then split off at the half mary split and ran it in with my old running friend, Bob! What a great way to get in some miles before heading off to the stadium to cheer in all the finishers and celebrate of course!
In leading up to Columbus marathon, my legs started to get a little more snap back in them and I started to feel more optimistic about what time I would run.
Race morning was filled with some laughs and goofing around as we got amped up to run!
Race day I lined up with the 3:20 group. I was rocking out to some ACDC and was mentally preparing for the work I had ahead of me and glanced down at my shoe only to notice I had forgot to attach my DTag. Rookie mistake but with only 30 seconds before the start there was not much I could do about it then except try to set it aside.
With the gun we were off. Miles were clicking off easily due in no small part to the group I was surrounded with, all the VR peeps that I have run so many Saturdays with, led by awesome VR's own, Jim Chaney! There were lots of laughs and of course I was tossing my hands up in the air in the photographer pics...
I knew I would see the husband on his bicycle around miles 8-10 and so I moved to the front of the pack so I could keep a watchful eye out for him in the hopes I could get him to nab my tag on the off-chance it may still register a time for me.
Mile 10 I finally spied him and sprinted over to send him on a mission! After explaining what a D-tag was I was off to catch back up to my group.
Between catching back up and the hill by mile 13, I was trying to settle back down into my rhythm. Hit the half way point right at 1:40 which was perfect! Mile 14 my courier pulls up alongside and hands me my tag. I stop and am trying to remove the sticker. However I am having major issues with this between my gloves and am loosing a lot of time. I ask the husband who I will just refer to as LS (or Lifesaver) to ride up ahead and get it ready for me, which of course he does! I stop and try to affix it to my shoe but it will not stick. I simply cannot figure out what the issue is and then I finally look at it closer to realize it is the instruction half not the chip half. Poor LS looked so defeated when I told him the news as he had already shared that it was so hard to catch me!
So now I am off again and 3:20 group is long gone. This was a bummer as it was sooo much easier to keep pace with them around. I debated whether to use my Ipod or not but I was really enjoying the many bands they had along the course so I decided to just keep it tucked away in my cool waste pack (or my dorky fanny bag as everyone else liked to tease me!)
I was planning to take more e-caps but it was such a pain to open the pack, open my ziplock baggy and get it all put away with my gloves on. I ended up taking 1 pill before race, one around mile 9 and just had some gatorade endurance on the course, in addition to 3 crank gels (which contains electrolytes) and water of course. No stomach issues to speak of which is good! We did score a perfect bathroom stop on the way to the start as the cold air made us ladies feel the urge to go one last time and we were able to avoid POP lines.
I was focusing on getting to 20 as I knew from the elevation map that it looked slightly downhilll after that. It just never felt that way though! A lot of those miles seemed windy and slightly uphill and I just kept trying to keep moving forward and trying not to fall off pace much further. Aerobically I felt good but the fatigue of the miles seemed to slow me down as my body hurt. I ran in my new Asics DS Trainers which seemed to work out remarkably well. My feet were sore as to be expected but nothing terrible and they were never numb!
Around mile 21 or 22, LS is standing on the street with my Dtag in hand! I run over and stop and plant a sweaty kiss on him and was back off.
Perhaps my finish time will register. Thankfully for me, my garmin was at least recording all my splits.
As I approached the final miles I was just counting down the time. My feet were tired, about mile 23 I felt my IT band hurt (which I had not felt since 2007) and I was focused on the finish. Up the little incline or Buckeye Hill as it is so called now, I took a pass on the candy and just wanted to finish already! I managed a smile and some waves to a few friends on my way to the finish line and upon crossing the line my time was picked up as 3:27:05. So from what I knew at the beginning my chip time would have been about 40 seconds less. Garmin said 3:25:22, 7:46 pace for 26.44 miles. Really it doesn't matter as my previous PR was 3:35 at Pittsburgh and this was a big PR either way! I would be lying to say I did not have regrets of what could have been if I had started with my chip, but nonetheless that was my mistake and I am still pleased with the outcome!
I am thankful to LS and his sidekick for their courier service. Also I am so proud of my regular downtown training girls that I run so often with that both had huge days (Elizabeth and her 3:05 and Christina and her 3:12!). After I slowly made my way back to the room and got cleaned up, we all headed out to celebrate! All and all a super fun weekend filled with lots of laughs like when I had to make this sign for my girl.
And oh yes, this was earned!
Now it is time for some recovery and some downtown as next year promises to be HUGE!