I had been paying close attention to my training splits and really figured I would finish in about 2:15. Always having to set a "better" goal, I alerted my family that I would really be trying for 2:10. At the starting line, my father (always pushing me just a tad more) suggests that he thinks I can do it in 2:05.
Final chip time: 2:02:17 I was thrilled !!
The race was great. The weather was great. It was really well organized. Apparently, they have quite a bit of experience since this was the 35th annual race.
My husband, my children and I arrived the night before and picked up my packet. That took one stress factor away because I would be arriving to the starting line with my family in tow and I didn't really want to have to get there any earlier than absolutely necessary. My father even arrived to meet us at the hotel at O-Dark-thirty to drive to the race with us that morning.
I was surprised to find myself a little nervous (and definitely excited) the night before and the morning of the race. I was really praying that my knee would not bother me too much (after an awful trip and fall on the sidewalk in November during an 11 mile training run). After the fall, the pain had been quite intense but I had really decided that I only had a few weeks until the race and I was going to finish the training and run the race as long as I could tolerate it. Glory to God for all things, I was able to get through those last few weeks. I cut out all of my weights, my cross-training etc...and just did the running that I had scheduled each week.
I had planned to start out slow and easy. I have not run races at this distance so I tried to read a bit about strategy -everything I read said to stay slow and steady. That was my plan - not to burn out - so that I could finish strong.
A few weeks before the race, my sweet Aunt sent me an early Christmas present....a Garmin ! Oh, I love this thing.
The first few miles just flew by. I didn't think about my knee, I didn't think about my breathing...I just felt like I was flying through the miles. (I know, a 9:20 pace does not actually constitute "flying" in the world of running...but I never said I was a FAST runner). For me, this was a pretty quick pace to stay with the whole time. But I was feeling good.
I saw my family at the starting area, about 1/4 mile after the gun. I figured I wouldn't see them again until the finish.
Lo and behold, at precisely the 6.5 mile mark I see the gang in the distance. My husband, my kids in the BOB stroller and my Dad ! I was waving, giving the old "fist pump", yelling out my time for them...Oh, I cannot even tell you the joy that little visit gave me. I can't lie, I ran to the side to kiss and squeeze my kids !
The next few miles continued to feel strong. Then I hit mile 10 and I just felt like I hit a wall. I had to start pushing myself to maintain my pace. Mile 11 came and my iPod went DEAD. Dead ! No music. None of the last few energizing, motivating songs that I put on there for the last 3 miles??? I was SO mad I wanted to throw the whole thing to the curb ! But I looked at my watch and noticed I was on course for a sub 2:05. Heck, if I pulled out some speed for the last two miles I could go below 2 hours. Wow, my father would be shocked if I pulled that one off ! While logically, that wasn't possible....I tried anyway (sucker for a challenge). I picked up the pace to where it needed to be for that time, but couldn't hold it. I couldn't hold it for 2 minutes at that point, never mind 2 more miles. I tried that twice. I was done. I pushed to maintain that sub 9:30 pace I had kept the whole race and next saw my dad at the 13 mile mark, with the finish line in sight. He yelled out to me and I could honestly barely raise my arms to him. My hubby and kids were a little bit before the finish line and the sight of my them brought tears to my eyes !
I am already planning on another one...I loved it ! Next time, I'm dragging my sister along with me. Thirteen miles is a long way to go alone !
Mile 1 9:34
Mile 2 9:20
Mile 3 9:37
Mile 4 9:33
Mile 5 9:18
Mile 6 9:17
Mile 7 9:12
Mile 8 9:08
Mile 9 9:24
Mile 10 9:21
Mile 11 9:30
Mile 12 9:17
Mile 13 9:32
plus a smidge...
|It's time to head home...Mama is TIRED !|