What a race!
This is the race I’d been training for all summer. Running in the heat, running in the morning, running in the rain. I really wanted to beat 2:30.
As the race got closer, I felt like my goal was further away. That I hadn’t trained enough. That the almost month off I took in August due to injury and sickness had completely derailed me.
Jen and I got downtown around 6:30 am. This meant I picked her up at 6:15. I was worried (really stressed!) about the streets being closed, and they were supposed to close at 6:30 so I wanted to get there early. It turned out fine, in fact, we ended up with barely enough time to park, find the "rock star" potties, check our gear bags, and then attempt to get to corral 14.
We didn’t quite make it 14, but decided 13 was good enough. We were within sight of the 2:20 pace group.
The race got started, and I focused hard on keeping SLOW. I didn’t want to go under 11:00 minute miles, though I didn’t really want to go over 11:30. It was a morning of math! (I have a Garmin 205 watch). Jen set off slightly ahead of me, and I had the car talk guys in my earphones keeping me company, along with thousands of runners and hundreds of spectators.
Overall the course was fantastic! I was glad it was a different course than the other downtown races I’d done. We went by Powell Hall and the Fox Theater, then headed to the Grove neighborhood and passed Sanctuaria. I knew where we were the entire time, which was good and bad. There were tons of uphills and downhills—every time there was a downhill I tried to relax and let my pace go a little faster. As the miles went by I decided that I would continue to shoot for 11 minute miles. I don’t know if I should have stayed slower at the beginning, but I felt great so I went with it.
I knew that Chris was going to be out at approximately 9 1/2 miles with some other friends. Once we entered my "hood" and were running (uphill) by the Botanical Gardens, I was both comfortable yet bored and exhausted. I had trained in the area so much, I knew how boring the next two miles were!! But the crowd support through there and by Tower Grove Park was fantastic. I saw Dana and Chip and then finally I was near where I knew Chris would be!
He was on the opposite side of the road than he had said, but I ran towards him. My friends Kyle, Melissa, and Vanessa were there too. I kept running!
At one point the marathon course joined back up with us. No one was running on the marathon side at first, but when the leaders came running through, that was amazing! Those people lapped us all.
Next was Lafayette Park. The hills were getting worse, but I knew at this point I would make my goal of 2:30, even if I had to walk almost all of the rest. I saw a few more friends, and finally we were headed back towards downtown.
I’m not going to lie. The last mile was awful. It seemed to be primarily uphill, and I was exhausted.
I finished in 2:25:49.
I went through the "secure area", got water, my medal, energy bars, bananas, etc. I kept looking for Jen as I went to gear check, but finally found her in the family meeting area near the letter "G".
I am so happy I met my goal! I kept telling myself while running that I COULD do this. That I should be able to, and that if I didn’t keep pushing myself I was going to be so upset by the end. So I did it.
Yes, we’re both sitting down. Of course!
We watched the finish line for awhile to see if we saw anyone we knew finish—mainly we were looking for Mike, but finally we got tired of that and were just too hungry to wait (also we assumed after a point that we had missed him. Not sure if we did or not.) I saw Real Fit Mama across the course at one point! We went to Herbie’s, and I ordered a ton of food and ate it all.
Chris made this sign for me. I love it! I love that he came out to support me. It was inspiring!
My race photos were terrible. Oh well! At least I do look like I was working hard!
I would run this again next year, but I believe it conflicts with Leslie’s wedding ;) The year after that, I guess!
Edited to add a few pictures:
Yup, as you can see above, ran the whole race in these suckers. Will I do it again next Sunday? I’m undecided.
Pretty steady pace. Pretty darned good.