We rushed to the massive lines at the port-a-potties and I listened to everyone around us worry about getting through in time. I knew I had a chip and would not make it far without needing to stop so I stayed. We then walked the 1/2 mile to the start and saw it had started 9 minutes earlier! Oh well, let the fun begin...how many people can I pass as I run?
The start was slightly crowded since the race combined both full and half marathoners until those of us running the half split off at the end. I just ran, got a good playlist going on my iPod and focused on me, not those around me (don't worry I still knew what was going on around me), not the spectators and surely not the pace groups. I just ran what felt good. I tried not to look at my Garmin and frequently missed my splits (have yet to look).
|Photo from Team Ortho|
I fell into a pace that felt good (okay I peaked at times and was consistently 7:40s-7:50s), my goal was first to run pain free and second marathon pace. I began with small amounts of Huma Gel at each water stop: 4, 6 & 8 finishing one gel by that point. I continued to run past people searching for friends who were running as I went along, I passed pacer after pacer and it felt good not to worry about what their signs said knowing I was running my own race and they did not matter. Mile 6 was back to back hills which brought a little leg pain and cause me to slow for a short time to shake it off and feel better. Before I knew it we were crossing the Stone Arch Bridge and there was Mile 12
|Photo from Team Ortho|
I grabbed ice for my leg, just to be good, and walked back to watch for Matt who was running the half thanks to a friend's bib transfer (a perk of this race is they allow bib transfers). I wasn't sure how his race would be considering he had just done his first sprint tri of the year the day prior after 3 weeks off running due to a knee injury. He managed a decent race too (6 minutes faster than his half 3 weeks ago).
We finished and he went to grab beers at the post race party only to find out they weren't opening until 10a and it wasn't even 9am, what?! I guess the half marathoners are out since we all started at 6:30. Instead we walked back through campus to get the car and head home, it was chilly out anyways (notice the blanket in the picture?).
After the race I summed up my feelings in a running group I am part of and thought I would share parts here too since I know I am not alone in my frustrations...
"... Today I ran for me, no one else, without focus on the end I stayed in the moment and remembered why I love this so much, why I run and how much crossing the finish line and seeing the excitement on O's face when she gets to cheer me on......I needed to get back to that place and away from the negative. Sometimes the only answer is to focus on the world around you, get out of your head and just enjoy the run. A run brings clarity and answers and is often the only thing we need. Remember why you run, who inspires you and bring back the joy when it gets tough" :) ♥Now that you know my pace and goals, make sure to go enter a guess for my marathon time on Sunday. Happy National Running Day! How are you celebrating?