Despite my nervousness that we would be late (I’m always nervous I’ll be late), we got to the Visitor’s Center with plenty of time to spare. Ryan brought Mally along, so I had my own personal cheering section and hunky waterboy. The
I knew I was running too fast from the beginning (thank you Garmin), but I just couldn’t seem to slow down. (**Be advised that “fast” for me is a snail’s pace for most runners.**) I think it was because I accidentally started the race towards the front of the pack and was getting passed left and right like you wouldn’t believe…I might as well have been standing still!! Once things cleared out a bit I attempted to slow down and find a steady consistent pace.
Some how, in the last hour, the hills had grown into mountains. Seriously. The second loop seemed like it was longer and hard than the first time around. I just wanted to be done, so I put my head down and took it one step at a time. And finally, I slowed down!! I wasn’t sure they would ever end, but at the top of the hill (about mile 10), my pit crew was waiting for me with water and big smiles. With 2.5 miles to go, I was fine. On the way back down, as if my iPod knew, I heard ’50 Cent singing –“Hey shorty, it’s your birthday,” and I literally laughed out loud!!
I finished the race with a time of , which averages out to minute/miles. That’s pretty good for me (yes, I’m slow)!! And more importantly, I ran the entire distance -- no walking! That felt great, especially since I was worried that my recent illness had taken a toll on my conditioning. Although it felt much much longer than 12.4 miles, my Garmin said the race was actually 12.6 miles...hmmm. I don't know about that. My splits were as follows:
All in all, the last 500 yards were the worst;my legs hurt pretty bad. Approaching the finish line, some guy I remembered passing half an hour before blew past me. I couldn’t imagine having that much energy left! It was the end of the race and I was completely spent! I guess it’s better to run your hardest and be empty at the end of the race than to have energy left over and know you could’ve done more, but this worried me a little. I’m going to be running more than TWICE this distance for the full marathon in less than three months! Yikes! But, of course, if was easy, everyone would do it. I can’t wait for the challenge!