This was our 3rd year racing this race, so at this point it was more about tradition than anything to run this race. You can read the 2013 recap of the race here, but the 2014 recap is still sitting in my draft folder. Oops! I started writing that not long after last year’s race, but I was pregnant and no one knew so I felt like I was making things up about how I felt the whole time! In reality it would have said “I felt fantastic and could have run faster, but was scared to push it and hurt the baby.” Anywho, back to 2015….
Leading up to this race my longest run since this same race in 2014 had been about 7 miles. I thought I would have trained better so 3 months ago I set a few goals only to have to change them 2 months later. I had a very relaxed attitude going into the whole race since at that point I was just set on (and okay with) just aiming to finish the race. The Friday before the race was a little different for us. We came in Thursday night because Brice had a doctor’s appointment Friday morning. We had a relaxing morning at my parent’s and then took Brice to the doctor. After his appointment we headed back to my parent’s house to swap kids with my mom (she had Brett) and then headed to lunch and the packet pickup. We got to the convention center around 2 and were in and out very quickly. I actually remembered to print out and bring with us our confirmation sheet so that saved us some time. After the expo hung out downtown for a little while and then headed back to my parent’s house where I stayed for the rest of the night. Colin and Matt went back downtown to dinner.
Until the morning of the race, I hadn’t really thought out race strategy. I didn’t think I’d be able to run the whole 13.1, but i couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a run/walk from the start, or just run until I couldn’t anymore and then do a run/walk. So we woke up around 5:15, I ate a little oatmeal, had some coffee, got ready, fed Brett, and then my Dad drove us down to the start line. Luckily, my parents only live about 5 minutes from the start so we didn’t leave the house until after 6, and the race starts at 7. While waiting in the port-o-potty line I got a text from a friend who was in my same corral, and he asked if I wanted to run with him for the first while. He was doing the full, and the two races split at mile 11.5. It wasn’t until then that I decided I was just going to run until I needed to stop running. We rushed to our corrals, I was in 7 but Colin and Matt were in 1 and we heard them call the 1 minute warning right when I got to my corral. I found our friend and then waited… and waited… and waited some more. We had no idea what was going on but we didn’t end up starting the race until 7:20.
We took off and were maintaing a 9:45 pace which I knew I could do for 6-7 miles. Oh, but then a half a mile in I start sweating buckets. It was INSANELY humid that morning. I knew I would need to hydrate plenty, so I told our friend how I planned to walk each aid station to make sure I got enough fluids in my. (FYI- a breastfeeding running mother is constantly thinking about taking in enough fluid for not just herself but for the baby!!) The first half of the race was rather uneventful. Doing it so many times I knew what to expect for the course and where the water would be. We maintained that 9:45 pace, with the only exception being mile 4 which got really congested and slowed us down a little bit. I saw an old friend around mile 5 so we chatted for a bit but then I had to take off to catch the friend I was running with. At the 6 mile marker I was feeling good. It was at this point I told our friend that at mile 7 I was going to take off and see what I could do with this race.
I was fueling with Gatorade sports chews, and i would eat one every mile. I also had some peanut butter M&Ms with me which I ate at mile 6.5. Once I hit 7 miles I picked it up, but I only focused on the next 3 miles. If I could make it to mile 10 running the whole way I would be pumped. I was able to pick up my pace to about 9:15 average for the next 3 miles. Then I hit 10 and said to myself… “i can do this!” By this point there were SO many people walking, and several people sitting on the side of the road. The heat and humidity got to everyone, bad. In those last 3 miles I just kept picking up the pace. I was dumping cups of water on my head and shoving ice down my bra. The last 1.5 miles HURT. There are a few slight uphills during this part but I just kept thinking that if I hadn’t walked yet, then I sure as heck wasn’t going to walk in that last 1.5 miles!
I ended up crossing the finish line in 2:03:58 and I don’t think I have ever been more proud of a time. This definitely wasn’t my fastest race ever, but this race was all me. This race proved to myself that I am so much stronger than I thought I was. The race conditions were FAR from ideal (they ended up diverting the race and cutting the marathon and half short due to the insane heat/humidity combo), and I still did it. 10 weeks before the race I could barely run 3 miles straight. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would run the whole 13.1, let alone negative split the whole thing! I haven’t uploaded my results from my watch yet, but I’m pretty sure the second half was about 6 minutes faster than the first half. This race not only got me really excited about properly training for my next races, but it was motivated me to get my butt in gear and MAKE the time to train.
What race/event are you the most proud of even if it wasn’t the best time on the clock?