Hopefully I will have time to sit down and do this properly but I am hoping I can at least capture the emotions I had and the short gist of things here before I head to the track for what promises to be an entertaining attempt to jog.
Sunday morning I woke up at 4:20 before the alarm clock. Had a reasonable amount of sleep and headed straight for the coffee maker and the fridge to fuel and caffeinate. pretty much all business until my parents dropped me off at my friends hotel near the start. Then we got a little silly as the girls prepared to go race. It was just the right amount of goofy and got me pumped up to start.
We headed to the start and I started to worry about timing so I opted to give the girls high fives and get started on my warm up. Turned out to be a good idea. Got my gear bag onto the truck then tried to wade through the insane crowds towards what I assumed was the start before freaking and going to the side and having to jump the fence with Brian Stern and AJ B.
It was great to have some local friends in the coral with me. But there was no way to get in a proper warm up. We were stuck. I kept my warm clothes on until about 2 minutes before the start. Stripping and noting that some jerk had peed right in front of me. I would not have been happy to run through that with my very minimal shoes. Yuck!
My buddy Brian W found me and before we knew it the race had started.
I stayed with Brian through about mile 21. Most of the early miles it was hard to tell how the day would go. It was pretty cold and I couldn't get a good feel of my running legs. They were a bit numb and a bit awkward feeling. Energy was good, right calf was sore, and my shins were not happy about not having a proper warm up. But we settled into our pace and I hoped everything would warm and loosen up.
Shortly after mile 12 and my first gel I started to feel my legs come back to life. Huge relief and I was starting to get optimistic that things were going to go well late in the race.
Hit the half about 25 seconds behind anticipated goal time. Pretty much perfect. We joined a pair of guys who were going for sub 3:10. It was windy so I tucked behind the boys to draft for awhile which was helping me to stay peppy.
We were still just coasting and by about mile 18 I finally saw the first girl coming back to me. I hadn't seen any women since long before the half turned off, so I was getting excited to race. Around mile 19 or 20 I started to pick it up a bit as we closed on the gal in red. At mile 21 Brian let me know that I was looking good and I realized I was losing my partner in crime. It was very selfless of him to help me, but I needed to keep running my race.
My energy levels were great and I was ready to race the last 10k. I started passing people left and right. I had visions of running a slew of 6:54s and getting back the 60 seconds or so I was behind the goal at 20. That lasted for 3 miles and then I just ran out of a little steam. The last 4 miles were a hair slower, but I was only passed by one guy in the last 10k and was still passing many runners, including at least 5 more women. I was completely content knowing I would come in under 3:10 no matter what.
I pushed as hard as I could to the finish, high fiving my parents at about 25.5 and smiling like a fool and putting the hammer all the way down as I hit the 26 mile marker into the finish. Running a 1 second positive split.
3:05:57. Good enough for 12th female and 4th in my age group.
I am so stoked!
That's the short of it, I remember lots more details so hopefully I will have time to get them down but didn't want to leave anyone hanging on at least the minimum details.