I wasn’t sure I could do it! By mile 12, I was struggling. BAD. :( It was HOT! Much hotter than the 22-38 degrees that I had trained in. And the wind they had forecasted that might give us a bit of relief, was non-existent.
The morning started early. I had everything laid out and was ready. We got to the starting grounds and the crowds were crazy big. During my wait in the usual lines for the porta potties, I actually spotted someone I knew (Hi Dianna) and we had a brief conversation before I headed over to the starting line. I wanted to stop at Corral A to wish my friend Sean my best as he was going for his BQ! (He got it!!) Then down to the very last Corral H where I was assigned. On the way down, someone saw me (Hi Cathy and Annette) and we exchanged well wishes. I was loving the excitement as I made my way down the rows. Then I saw the Mr. and son at Corral D. “This is your pace, why are you way back there?”, they asked. Another friend saw me standing there in my quandary (Hello Laura!) and I decided to just jump in. Before they left, I restated to the guys the directions to ‘meet me as close to every 4 miles as they could with my drinks and fuel’.
The first 10k was quick. My family waited at a corner and I went right by without them seeing my arrival. I was running a bit ahead of the 4:20 pace group, who walked through the water stop. I remember as I passed I heard, “do you need water?”, “Nope! I’m good”, I answered as I cruised by with my handheld. I finished mile 4 and my water bottle was empty. Anticipating my family at any time, I tossed my empty and looked for them, And looked and looked and looked. At the 10k, all of the oranges were already gone :( I crossed at 1:01:17, and took a GU. At the next water stop I walked through and drank 2 cups and carried one with me. Finally around mile 8 there they were with my Nuun!! I was hot already, but still at a 10 mile a minute pace. I traded my paper cup for my plastic bottle and away I went.
By mile 12 I was struggling. I had taken my second GU, so I needed more as I went on, but the guys left it in the car. I learned my lesson that not having fluid and fuel on me was not in my best interest, so I was not going to go on without either. From mile 8 on, I simply refilled my water bottle at water/Gatorade stations, and was taking no chances. At future GU stops, I was taking a fuel to go. Beginner’s lessons ;) While I was standing there talking to my son, TooTallFritz came by (Hi Amanda)!! I caught up with her, and we ran a few miles together, commiserating with one another on how tough it was going. I went ahead as she reunited with her family <3
Thank goodness for second winds, (or catching up on my fluids) because my by mile 20, I rounded the corner like a champ! My stride was almost non existent, my inner thighs were SO tight, but I still had a smile on my face and waved to the Mr saying “Only 6 miles to go!!” Yeah. Only.
Reist caught up to me and he too was, as he said “in it for the pain”. He won’t know how much that helped me, but I was downing the fluids like an empty sponge, so ahead he went! I was told about this area being shy of crowd support, but wow! I prefer to run on my own, but this was not what I needed :( No way was I going to quit, shoot, I could the last 5+ miles if I had to. Then this. Upon seeing that sign, I was redirected in my thoughts. My goal time was long out of the question. I watched as the 4:30, 4:45, and even 5 hour paces went by, unable to do anything but keep up my 13 minute mile shuffling. I just didn’t have the strength. At mile 25 I willed myself to just keep it up for the last 1.2 miles. There! Up ahead!! I see it!!! The 26 mile mark and the stadium!!!! I got to the mile marker and stopped to walk. A few steps into it a gal said ‘it’s .2 of a mile. “YOU GOT THIS!” ‘ And I did. The bit of the incline into the stadium about made my hair stand on end as my quads screamed, but I was in the stadium. Never mind the over zealous gal that whizzed by me at about 100 mph, I crossed the line and saw myself on the big screen doing so!!
Lastly. As if they want to get the last laugh, are the flights of stairs up the stadium to the food and exit. Ha Ha Ha, Race directors. Not funny ;)