But - I am skipping ahead. Let me start at the beginning.
I woke up at 6:30 and after standing outside for 5 minutes trying to get a good feel for the temperature, I got dressed. (Doesn't every runner stand outside before a race?) After changing my outfit about four times - I finally settled on a tank and a running skirt. And I was glad I went with the tank. It turned out to be a warm day. I had some peanut butter with a banana and I went to pick up Felice. Then we headed over to Karyn's house, and her husband drove us to the race.
|Me, Felice, Karyn and Karyn's sister-in-law before the race.|
I was nervous. Really nervous. In fact, I felt so nervous it reminded me of how I felt before the full marathon in New Jersey. I really wanted to do well. I wanted to run sub-two, and I just wanted to go out and start the race and get it done.
Before the race started, we met up with some other Strong Running Mamas for a photo.
Soon after, we lined up and the gun went off at 8:30. And we were off. And I made a big mistake. I started off too fast. I am not sure why I did that. I know better. But, I couldn't help myself. I ran the first 4 miles in the 8:05- 8:30 range. Big mistake. I needed to run a 9:05 pace to come in under two hours. So what was I doing running in the 8:30 range??? I am not really sure. But, I trucked along and gave myself pep talk after pep talk about how I really needed to hold back. And then around mile 6, I started to slow up because I was tired. Of course. I knew this would happen. I predicted it. But I figured I had a big enough cushion from the beginning of the race that it would carry me for the last half of the race.
I continued on, and I started to feel kind of "off." Around mile 8, I was really wishing that I hadn't taken my gel. My stomach just felt full. And my legs felt like dead weight. I was tired. I wish that I could say I felt like a rock star through the race. But I was struggling. And I was trying to ignore my "I can't do this" voice.
I continued on and hit mile 9. I was still on pace to finish in under two hours. But my cushion was becoming less and less. I didn't have much time to waste. Around mile 11, it was getting close. Really close. Too close for comfort. I decided that I had to dig deep and really push. I was so close - that it would have been a huge let down for me to not come in under two hours. So, I increased my pace. And I ran my as fast as my legs would carry me. I hit mile 12.5 and that is always a screw with my mind kind of moment. Mile 12.5 is at the parking lot. And on a normal training run, that is where our long runs end. But the end of the race is another 1/2 mile. So I had to keep going. Luckily I saw Melissa H. and Danielle and Melissa D. cheering. They gave me that adrenaline surge that I needed. Thanks ladies!
Then as I got closer to the finish line - I saw Janis cheering me on. She gave me another adrenaline surge. And then I saw the clock. And I knew I was good. I was safe. I was going to meet my goal.
I crossed the line with over a minute to spare. 1:58:44.
I had done it. I had worked for months on this goal. Lots of icky speed work. Lots of hill repeats. Lots of fast runs. And it paid off. I was on top of the world.
I placed 248 out of 800 runners.
I was 17th in my age age group.
My pace was 9:04.
Not only did I run a sub-two half, but I had a BIG PR. Last year, I came in at 2:05:55. I cut around 7 minutes off my time! Holy cow. I am a happy, happy girl. Congrats to all my other running friends who had great races. Lots of PR's today and lots of happy moments!
|Felice and me - post race! Both of us had personal records!|