I've said this about a billion times already to people not on the internet that it was truly the race you dream of! Leading up to race day the weather was sketchy at best and the day before was a miserable cold, drizzly day so I had my fingers crossed for Sunday. Luckily it was dry and calm when I woke up though very cold. I think it was in the low 40s so I was glad to have a throwaway shirt to wear for the first few miles. Otherwise it was sunny and pretty, a perfect day for marathoning!
I'd forgotten how different waking up before a marathon is than any other race. I put my timing chip in my shoe and planned to attach it in the morning since I always wake up super early for race days and I did but I didn't take into account how long it would actually take to put it on. It was one of the old school chips with the twist ties that affix to your shoelaces. Talk about tedious! I also had to remember to fill my bottles for my fuel belt, put in my applesauce (aka fuel) and sneak some pepto in there "just in case". For a normal race I feel like it's just get up and go but when it comes to carrying fuel it took me a little extra time to make sure I got it right. Finally I was ready and headed out the door with The Colonel who was going to drop me off and come back down to the finish 5-ish hours later. No use for him to stand in the cold on a spectator un-friendly (13 miles out and 13 miles back) course. We had just gotten on the highway when the uh oh lightbulb went on and I screamed "Oh my gosh!" The Colonel who was quite possibly more nervous about the race than me (I kept saying he was really nervous for his marathon...) almost wrecked the car. "I forgot to eat my breakfast!" What a rookie mistake, and one that I've never made before. I told him to keep driving and we'd stop at a gas station for...something. There was a gas station less than a mile from the start so we stopped there and I managed to find the snack bar with the least offensive list of ingredients and we were on our way. So much for nothing new on race day! Did I mention I was also wearing new pants?
Eventually we made it with plenty of time to spare and I met up with
|Me, Melissa, Speedy Ruth and |
I should note that Speedy Ruth did a "fun" olympic tri that our local tri club put on in September and won. Like, finished first OVERALL. I'm pretty sure she was the 2nd or 3rd woman in the Dream Factory Half on Sunday too. We passed her at one point and she had her game face on. It was a great runner growl. Melissa is less speedy but that's no surprise considering she's an ultramarathoner...like 100 mile races and such. What?! Why am I even allowed around these people?
Anyway, it was still cold at the start and we were all just trying to kill time. It was a really small race and it started literally with a kid saying "Ready, set, go..." But anyway, we were off. All 4 of us started near each other but Ruth quickly took off and Melissa pulled away within the first mile.
Shortly after the half turnaround we came up on an older group and I jokingly said "Were you guys too stupid to turn around back there too?" to which the man in the "Marathon Maniacs" shirt responded "THERE WAS A TURNAROUND???!" I love runners with a sense of humor. We hit Mile 10 still feeling amazing! Not long after mile 10 we started to see the leaders come back through and they were looking tough but almost all of them managed a "Good job" or "Doing Great" which I always find to be a nice gesture. At our turnaround point
Around mile 18 or 19 we finally split up which is part of our pact. We always start races together and if we can run together the whole time, cool but if not (like someone is hurting or just not having a great day) we split and race our own race. She stayed about a half mile ahead of me for the next 5k or so and I did some heavy fueling. I wasn't feeling bad but I wasn't feeling good and was down to only water in my belt which worried me a little bit. I grabbed some sport beans (another race day first) and ate a few with some water and took a few sips of Heed (and yet another first) which I did NOT like the taste of and walked a little bit more than I planned to. I knew I still had some ground to cover and was willing to take a time hit if it meant I'd finish strong. By mile 20 I was feeling alright again and picked up the pace. I just wanted to stay under 15 minute miles at that point so broke into a slow trot. At 21.5 I caught
The Colonel wasn't expecting me so soon (soon???!) and missed the photo op. I don't care nearly as much as he does but he took some good ones afterwards. Speedy Ruth stuck around to see us finish and our friend Jennifer showed up for the fun too. Our tri club's social was held at the finish line so it was nice to see a lot of those guys around.
|Getting my timing chip taken off|
|26.2 times 2 No Meat Athlete!|