**Disclaimer- this is super long so brace yourself, skim or don't read...luv you mean it;)**
The day I thought would never get here...4am game on!!!
Didn't get much sleep the night before not that I expected anything different. I did sleep 10 hrs both Thursday and Friday night. Have I mentioned how important sleep is to me???
Back to race day- the morning was exciting while putting everything on, double checking my list of things to walk out the door with...I'm texting and e-mailing my runner friends who are up & responding...gotta love race day emotions! Before race start pretty uneventful- this is a good thing;)
My one complaint for this race is the starting coral, seriously walkers need NOT be in the front. Everyone has a right to race but if you're slow, you know who you are, move to the back of the line!!! I crossed the starting line and I'll be if I didn't have to go around a line of walkers. I decided to just jump into oncoming traffic, this always seems like good idea to me;) I figure I can jump back on the right side of the cones once I see Johnny Law who is waving my back in...whatever;)
Let's just say the first mile I was busy rearranging all the crap I had on. Gu bouncing everywhere that I thought for sure were going to cause my shorts to drop to the ground, definite problem...tuck all 8 into the shorts, damn those packets are sharp I'm too nervous to feel anything at this point I know I will pay for this later, and I do.
I'm not going to torture you with a mile by mile play just the miles I think I can remember. My plan was to gu every 4 miles. We're hitting the 4th mile and my thumbs aren't functioning at all. I have to stop jump out of the way to get the first one opened...this is NOT how I want to start my race...now, I've got cranky girl (this is me) to deal with. The good news is I hang a right onto 5th street and immediately see Silke & Bobby who start screaming for me...this puts a smile on my face...100 yards and it's the first spotting of Tim and Kenny, ok, things ARE going to get better. My coach said things will change throughout the race.
I can't find my marathon goal pace (MGP) for the life of me. I've got a pace band on that I can't look at just can't take that pressure right now. I'm trying to remember everything my coach said to think about...my brain is like mush and we're not even at 6 miles. Mile 7 is our first hill on Veterans Blvd...not too bad. Hit the hills on Enfield & Exposition at this point I knew it was going to be a long and rough day. Mile 10 there are the people I've been training with (Pam, Kim E., Mark) going bananas for me...I love my cheerleaders...again a smile on my face. I told that handsome man I could enjoy this;) At mile 11 I come to terms that my A goal of 3:40 (Boston Qualifying time) is out the window...I choose to focus on the good and keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep a smile on my face. I was going to fake it until I made it to the end, which is exactly what I did.
I honestly, felt like crap up until mile 13 at which point my coach is in my head saying things WILL CHANGE at this time I said yes, they are GOING to change. It took a few more miles until rhythm finally set in, granted not at the pace I wanted but it was rhythm and flow that I need to keep me moving. I was focusing on the sidelines, the posters (my favorite- toenails are for sissy's), the kids giving high 5s. Anything to distract my mind from what I was actually doing and keeping me from thinking how much longer I would be torturing my body. I honestly wasn't sure how I was getting to that finish line or if I would get there. I told myself at the start I would NOT let the demons in or tell me I couldn't do this...I was in charge and not taking no for an answer...this proves to be a good decision because it took every ounce of strength I never knew I had to get this race done!
At mile 18 I was starting to go cross-eyed...I wasn't sticking to my gu/hydration plan, shame on me. However, once we got to mile 20 I knew I could get to the end and at the time I thought if I can just keep this under 4 hours I'll be satisfied. My first marathon was a 4:04 finish.
Mile 21- I see Tony's smiling face which I'm kind enough to throw him a sweaty shirt to keep. I can be soooo generous at times;) Ruthie has a new megaphone which she's screaming my name- I LOVE IT!! This is perfect timing because I know I'm hanging a left on Ave. H and it's a slow steady incline...have I mentioned this course NEVER stops climbing...someone mentioned elevation starts to drop at mile 18 but somehow we're constantly climbing...this is over my head.
My favorite cheer section, other than the finish line, mile 22 as we're turning onto Red River...those spectators were going NUTS...I got the chills running through there. Anna, another Rogue, was screaming for me and ringing that cowbell. Honestly, we need more cowbell;) Thanks Anna- it meant the world to me!
Mile 24- Jane (aka Banana) on her bike turns around and rides beside me for the entire mile...this makes me perk up, get into form which always helps the running. She's telling me I look HOT! Honesty, need not apply;) I love it!!! Mile 25, this is going uphill mind you, Panther tells me I look beautiful, again honesty, need not apply;)I'm lovin' it!!!!
We're down to the final mile and I dug deep, picked up the pace and took off!!! Coming around that capital people are fighting to hold on and others telling them no seriously, it's all downhill from here. There are fellow Rogues screaming for me and almost in my face at this time I can't wipe that smile off my face. I'm rounding the capital onto Congress and there they are, my training buddies (Pam, Kim E. Mark) again going bananas screaming for me, I'm just trying to hold it together at this point and count down the blocks to the finishers shoot.
I got 'er done by the skin of my teeth. My B goal turned out to be keeping it under 3:50- final time,according to my watch, 3:49:59.
I honestly couldn't be happier with this race. It was a tough course, great weather and I had fun;)