First thing, I misspoke in my last post on what my last goal was. It was one that I thought was totally unachievable. My last goal was a 9:59 pace which I said would be sub 2 hours, but I was wrong.A 9:59 pace would put me at sub 2:10.
So how did the race go? The weather was just about perfect. It was about 40 degrees at the start. Hubby dropped me off, since we were running a little later than we wanted, so I could warm up. We were meeting some of our training buddies for a picture before the race and since he wasn't running he took his time. His plan was to meet his dad and take the kids around the course on his bike (with the trail-a-bike and the bike trailer) so they could see me.
After the photo op, I went and used the porta-potties and went to find the pace group where I wanted to start off with. First I found some people I work with and stood with them for a while, wishing them luck. Then I saw some of our other training buddies and wished them luck. They paced themselves behind me and I started to wonder if I placed myself too far in the front. All of my long training runs were paced around 10:40/mile. I placed myself with the 10:00 pace group. What was I thinking?
Pretty soon the race was starting. I was running my own race and told myself not to go out too fast. That sub 10:00 goal was in the back of head the whole time. So, when I started off running lower than that, I didn't give in and didn't slow down. I was feeling pretty good. Around mile 5 is when I started to realize that I was pushing it pretty hard. I really had to control my breathing more than anything at this point. I was still feeling good, but knew I was pushing it and that I might have problems later.
The last time I saw Hubby and kids before the finish line was between mile 10 and 11 (I think). It was after a few mile stretch on a bike bath from a metropark back to the college campus. This was rough because it was all straight, no major scenery changes (we saw a fence on one side and trees on the other), and it was difficult to have many spectators--they were definitely few and far between here. So when I saw them, I started to get emotional and teary-eyed. I'm such a girl....
After I saw them, my breathing started to get difficult. I have asthma, so I could start to feel it straining and a bit of a wheeze. I had to work through it and control my breathing here. I wanted to give up. Between my breathing and just overall exhaustion, I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish. But I knew I couldn't quit either. I kept trucking along.
Finally the campus was back in site, but as I was approaching, the two friends from work that I saw at the starting line passed me pretty easily. That was a downer for me. I really wanted to beat them but when they passed me, I wanted to quit so bad. I still kept trucking away and pushing myself to finish.
The wind started to pick up here, and we were out in the open from about mile 12 on. I started to get chilly, even after 12 miles of running. Luckily, there was a nice downhill at one point and we were able to get the momentum going for the last 1/4 mile.
One of the best things about the run was the support on the course from our training buddies. Along with Hubby and the kids, they also placed themselves around the course to see their loved ones, but also to offer support for their training buddies. It definitely made it easier to keep going. Every time I ran past someone, I looked down at my Garmin and noticed I was going way faster than I should have been. But it definitely was a motivation.
I used two gels on my run. The first one, I almost forgot about, I was feeling so well. I took the first one at 5 miles and the second one at 9 or 10, I think. I made myself take water at every water stop, even if it was just a sip to get my lips moist, or clean the gels from my cheeks :) I do have to say the course had plenty of water stops. They were set up just about every 2 miles. Unfortunately, gels were not available until mile 17, so it was a good thing I brought my own.
So how did I do? Did I keep you in suspense long enough? Well, my first goal was to beat my time from the half last year n Cleveland, which was 2:27:02. Beat it? Check. Second goal was to get 2:15:00. Beat it? Check. My totally unattainable, unrealistic goal was to get a sub 10:00 pace, which would put me sub 2:10:00. Beat it? Smashed it! Okay, no smashed, but I beat it! My time officially was 2:09:53! I'm still in shock!
I feel completely different after this race than I did last year. I couldn't move when I was done. I got my medal and my mug and dropped down on football field because I couldn't move. Then I was a afraid I wouldn't be able to get up, so I started stretching a little. I figured I'd better go find Hubby, so I had to get up, but I'm still sore two days later... I need to go for a recovery run, but yesterday's was a major fail (went out too close after a big meal, tried treadmill) and today's scheduled didn't work out so I'll have to go tomorrow.