Fast forward to race morning.
|John and I before the race|
The first 9 or so miles of the course are down East Avenue. I managed to stick with the pace group, which was quite large, with relative ease and with no knee pain. I even ducked into the woods/bushes a few miles in to pee (record speed there too) and caught back up without a problem. I saw my friends Andy and Brett on bikes on East Ave. I saw John and my dad at about mile 5 or 6 (can't remember) and I waved!
|I heard them from the other side of the road!|
|I like this blurry shot on East Ave.|
Once we got onto the canal path, it got a little harder. I hate the unpaved section which goes for a while. Chris, the pace leader, was great! Talked enough to be entertaining/funny, but not so much that he was obnoxious (I've had *that* guy and I eventually had to exit the pace group - not that I am slamming on *anyone* that offers to be a pace leader, but I tend to be easily annoyed in large packs of chatty people anyways). I saw my dad and John at mile 11. We hit 13 miles right on pace and I remember thinking, "this is where the work begins" however it still seemed to be going ok, although my knee was starting to bug me. I can't remember at what point it started raining but it was a relief, as I was starting to get pretty hot. It was humid and I didn't think the aid stations were close enough together, so I was pretty hot and thirsty, especially on the canal path. The weather was weird; it would rain pretty hard, and then stop and heat up, and then rain again, etc. The weather situation was kind of a blur and it didn't really bother me, except for my shoes getting wet, which is never enjoyable.
|canal path running!|
|sadly I did not see this when I was running|
From miles 13 to 19, I hung right on Chris's shoulder because I knew if I fell back, I would be done. The pace group slowly was dropping people but I was determined. I was also questioning my ability to make smart decisions, because marathoning is not always a fun way to spend 3-4 hours. Why am I doing this? I could be in bed right now. This hurts. Why don't I have a *normal* hobby? I want to sit down. I saw Marty and Linda at Schoen Place, John and my dad at mile 17, and then Jennie at mile 19 where she yelled "stick with the group!" (Sorry Jennie, I died RIGHT after I saw you!). I kept the 3:30 group in sight for a while and then slowly kept falling back. I thought for a while I still might squeak in under the 3:35 BQ time but it became pretty apparent that I was running out of steam. Fellow triathlete Kirsten was out there running with her friend, and I tried pacing off of them for a while, but couldn't keep up (her friend went on to run a 3:33!). I was chugging cups of water at every aid station (and walking them) and my quads were screaming, but once I hit Genesee Valley Park I knew I was close! I saw my dad and John again at mile 22 where I was basically alone, dodging some half marathon walkers. I was pretty miserable at that point but managed a smile for them. The river trail is the worst part of the marathon course in my opinion (it's hilly-ish, rooty, and has a lot of people going slow that need to be dodged) but I got a bit of a second wind through that section (I saw Ben - my ex, who was not having a great race) and then before I knew it, I was crossing the Ford Street bridge, running through Corn Hill Landing (where I got a good pick me up from seeing my friend Matt), turning onto Plymouth, and then rounding the corner at Frontier Field to finish!
Somehow, I managed to cross the finish line in 3:39:24 (at least that was what was texted to my phone) which is a FOURTEEN MINUTE PR. I am THRILLED. Of course, it leaves some unanswered questions. If I had chosen to run behind the 3:30 pace group a bit, would I have been able to hold on for longer without drastically slowing down? Could I have tried harder to keep up with them at mile 19? I am not good at pushing through the discomfort of a marathon. Even so, this was a huge breakthrough race for me. I put it out there and gave it a shot and even though I couldn't do it, I didn't miss it by much. AND, I got 2nd in my age group. Again, unbelievable. I know this is a small-ish marathon but that is not something I would have even considered possible. I didn't even know until I checked my facebook later and someone had posted it!
After the race, we went back to John's house, stopping for some supplies (chocolate milk, Coke, Gatorade, and ice - all for me, oh and 3(?) Pepsi Maxes for John, because he's gross) on the way. John had texted his brother to get the ice bath going so when we got there, I had to get in, no excuses. Me and 60 lbs of ice in a barrel is not exactly what I *want* to do after a marathon, but it really did help. I showered (4th best shower of my life) and changed into dry clothes while the men cooked, and the we had brunch (or as my calendar invite says - SuperMegaBreakfast) including: chocolate chip pancakes with homemade whipped cream, some weird flavored sausage and bacon (which I can't comment on because I don't eat meat), biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and scrambled eggs with asparagus that John & David's roommate, Dan, made. It was all delicious. Unfortunately, my stomach does not allow for much eating for hours following a marathon so I had: a lot of chocolate milk and one chocolate chip pancake. I know, I am pathetic.
|the boys and the breakfast!|
|Dad and I at breakfast!|
|John's sister, Jennifer, and her son, Francis!|
As for stats:
Gun time: 3:39:28
Net time: 3:39:24
Pace: 8:23 min/mile
2nd F AG 30-34
Let me just say that it was *amazing* to have both John and my dad out there all day. My parents have always supported my
The day after: I am pretty sore, as to be expected. My knee is not good. I have a pinkie toe that, due to the wet shoes/socks, did not fare so well. (I will spare you the gory details, except Jennie, who got a photo text). BUT, I have a brand new king-sized mattress to flop onto tonight, an exam to take tomorrow, and then I am free from running AND homework for a whole week! (Free from running for however long I want, actually).