Here is the long and hopefully the short of my Columbus half mary!
I hit the road Saturday around 12 with my sister and my husband and made it into Columbus by 3ish. We hit the expo. I was signed up for the full and knew the deadline to officially switch was Oct 1 but had missed that deadline. Turns out it was OK as they switched me automatically in the results! YEAH!
So anyways, the expo was pretty run of the mill, well-organized with no long waits, despite the sell out crowd! Bonus! However I went to get my black marathon shirt and they did not have any smalls left. They tried to tell me they ran small but I know better. So I asked if they had any smalls left in the half marathon hot pink shirt. They did! Perfect, the shirt was actually the event I was doing, my size and did I mention HAWT PINK! SWEET! I did not buy anything else but as usual I had my eyes on a pair of HAWT PINK compression socks that keep tempting me every time I see them!
Before leaving, I made the girls stop so that I could make our classic door poster basically being a tad obnoxious about the fast females rooming there! Haha! I think I get more pleasure in this because poor CV always gets embarassed as we have to pose for pics with it! Heehee, but we got to have some fun, right! I think sis got a kick out of the cheesiness of it all!
After leaving the expo, the 5 of us hopped in a cab (crazy non-english speaking driver experience) and headed over to Spaghetti Warehouse. As expected, it was slammed but only a 45 minute wait or so, which was not bad considering! Gave us some time for some drinks! ....perhaps I should have passed, but it was only a half ;-)
After some fun conversations, good food and salad, I finally hit the sack at the super late hour of 8:30 ish. [Oh and when we got back, I was sooo excited to see that someone else also had made door signs for us...had to be ESpeed & gang...more on her later!]
Some tossing and turning later, 5:30 AM came and it was time to get the party started!
We fired up the toaster, coffee maker and had breakfast in our room....yes, I again just brought all my stuff from home! NICE!
Then we made our way down to the start less than a 1/2 mile away. It was warming up quick. CV and I did a warm-up back to our hotel lobby for one final bathroom stop and then headed to Corral 1 after wishing my sis the very best of luck (like she needed it!).
I was starting to get excited and even had my chip on! With the countdown we were off! I was planning to run with CV and JV and run an even 6:50 pace to a sub 1:30. Mile 1 was right on and I was feeling AWESOME! As we started into the second mile, my stupid Garmin started beeping non-stop because all my laps were full. That was a pain and I had to stop it for a bit trying to delete some older laps. Ughhh, bad timing. I should have remembered that beforehand! Even dealing with this small nuisance was already making keeping my pace difficult which had now dropped to a 6:43 average. Mile 3, I started to notice my HR had already climbed to 179 (high for me) and I was already starting to feel like I was working hard and building acid in my leg muscles. Fearing total blow-up I started to slow just after mile 3 and watched as CV pulled effortlessly away.
Blah, I am now tired and trying to stay mentally checked-in and there are still 10 very long miles. Yikes! I was trying to keep moving hoping if I slowed a bit I would come around, but in all honesty, I was not feeling very good. I walked a couple water stops. Really I wanted to just start walking and run in with my sister but pride kept me going...I knew if I pushed, I could still pr. JV passed me around mile 4 or 5 as he had lost CV and I right away since we went out a little hot. He asked how I was doing to which I could only respond so-so.
Nonetheless, a group of guys passed me talking and I fell in step with them, enjoying just listening to them trying to take my mind off of the discomfort and dissatisfaction I was feeling. As I rounded one corner around mile 6, I heard my husband cheering "GO Janet". I waved...I had nothing to say...too tired! He had already seen CV and it was quite obvious from my flushed red face, I was not feeling it!
The bands and music were great and always seemed to give me a lift! Finally we hit a downhill stretch around mile 8 and I started to come back around. Oh I needed it! However once it leveled out, again I just felt like I was working harder than I felt like. However, as I kept an eye on my pace, it was still right around 7 min mile avg and I kept thinking perhaps with a hard finish, maybe I could get below a 7 min mile average which would be a HUGE accomplishment still!.
I continued to plod along in my daze, and started to get excited about the finish. There was an uphill before 12 which felt like a major JOB. Then I turned the corner before one final small uphill before the downhill finish. Thank you Dawn, MJ and all the other cheering fans that lined the finish! Right before I heard my name at the finish I heard JVs....he was supposed to be further ahead. Had I known he was that close, I think I would have worked harder to run with him as perhaps it could have helped us both!
I finished with a time of 1:33:18 officially for a 7:07 pace...my garmin had the course a little long (or rather I did not run tight enough) with a 7:03 average.
Anyways, I grabbed my medal, my mylar blanket, a water and headed to find my friends and husband! CV did awesome. She went 1:29 just like she had planned! Sis came in around 1:51, a huge feat for a first timer who has only ran for 7 months! I struggled to find somewhere convenient to change which frustrated me....I am always so much more emotional when I am tired and cold! Then the 3 of us ladies (CV, sis and I) and our boys who played on bicycles the whole morning went to watch the marathon finish!
We were ecstatic to see ESpeed
just beaming as she came around the corner to finish 2nd overall female with a 2:49. Another friend, NC was not far behind and went on to finish 4th in her second mary attempt, having to fight hard those final 3 miles (major props to u girl!) .
Then it was time to shower and hit Barleys to drink beers, eat food and BS over everyone's awesome accomplishments! Another great experience!
As I sit here and type this race report there are a few things that standout in my mind-
1) I am obviously bummed that I did not run a 1:30 as hoped. That said, I knew that was a stretch goal as I was pretty much operating under Operation Wing It plan.
2) I SO was not feeling it from mile 3 on. I keep thinking about how much I was not enjoying those 10 miles very much at the time. I should be pretty pleased that I gutted it out anyways and got a 4+ minute PR despite the lack of speedwork and run training. Not only that I AM SOOO NOT at ideal race weight which I am WORKING ON BIG TIME at the moment!
3.) I AM SO PROUD of my sister, Christina, Elizabeth, Barb, Nicole, Lindsay, Nathen and so many of my friends that all turned in awesome results there!
4) This only motivated me to get my butt moving and just planning out what is next!!!! I think I will sign up for one more half this year. I just can't decide if I want to try to go hard again or enjoy it with sis...hmmmm!