up this morning at 5am then Jake and I went for a 3 minute jog to wake up.
Nerves were fine, ready to race. Forced down a power bar and banana - the only
time I hate eating is before a race. The weather was 51 degrees when we woke up
so arm warmers and headband were out. Still decided to wear gloves, but the
really cheap cotton ones that I could throw away in the race. We left the hotel
at 6:20am to walk 0.5 mile to the start line. It was very nice to be elite -
private bathrooms, heated tent, and no bag drop. We also got to check out the
competition, but I wouldn't say that was necessarily a benefit. But I did meet
up with a fellow Saucony runner - Lauren Uhler (super nice, by the way),
and we planned to go out conservatively together.
got to the start line for a couple strides. Met Dave from the blog for a good
luck. The elite coordinator told the women that there were two pacers - one
going through the half at 1:23 and the other at 1:22:30 (although I did not
know that the 1:23 guy was only going 15 miles while the other ran the whole
distance). I decided to go with the conservative plan and stick with 1:23
as long as he was a smart pacer and didn't go out too fast.
gun went off and then it began. I've heard so many people tell me that the first
miles are supposed to feel very easy, but that was not the case. I will say
that they felt comfortable hard but no way did it feel too slow. There were so
many people running! I immediately tucked in behind the pacer and about 10
other girls going for the trials qualifying time. First seven miles were 6:23, 6:25,
6:20, 6:24, 6:19, 6:15, 6:14. It was nice running in such a big pack and not
having to think much. However, getting a drink at the aid stations became a bit
of a challenge with so many people around trying not to trip while moving to
the side, all while trying to maintain the pace. I saw my parents and Jake's
friends at mile 6 and that was a huge boost. The crowd was especially awesome
at miles 5-7 because the road was narrow and the people were making so much
noise. I took my first Gu at 40 minutes.
8-10 were the hilly ones and the group hit those at 6:29, 6:24, 6:30.
The pace was
still comfortably hard. I kept hoping that the runners would spread out, but it
stayed pretty congested until the half marathon split off around mile 13. The
group dynamic was pretty awesome at this point, everyone going for a common
goal and working together. Four of the girls ran Chicago six weeks ago, when
the 2:46 pacer went out at a blazing 2:39 pace. This was their last chance to
make the time and a couple of them were in their forties.
was pretty uneventful. I took another Gu and was vigilant about getting
Gatorade at every water station. 6:09, 6:22, 6:24 (1:23:15 at
halfway, they put the timing mat at 13, not 13.1 for those checking). Halfway point was pretty
awesome. I had so much support here, from my parents, my brother and his
girfriend, and 10 of Jake's friends). You know, the crowd is awesome, but to
have your family cheering for you means so much. It is such a boost. The girl
next to me said she was impressed by my popularity :).
miles were still good. 6:13, 6:19. Then the pacer said he was
dropping right after 15 miles. What?! I figured he would take us all the way,
so this caused a bit of a stir. The group had narrowed down to only four girls.
We decided that we would work together for as long as we could, take turns
drafting and all.
16-22 were just like this. One girl dropped, but three of us tried our hardest
to cut into that 15 seconds that we were behind pace. We really tried, but it
just wasn't happening. 6:20, 6:24, 6:19, 6:19, 6:21, 6:21, 6:22. These miles had some people,
but nothing compared to the first half of the race. The turnaround did have a
pretty good crowd, but it didn't seem to make a difference because the wind
suddenly became a huge factor. A headwind - not ideal for the final six miles
of the marathon. It wasn't a steady wind, but the gusts of wind were a killer.
Right after the turnaround at mile 20, the road was downhill but the pace still
didn't change a bit.
was pretty sure there was no way those 15 seconds were coming back. Our girls
crew of three got broken up for a minute because of some guys running and
that's all it took for me to lose the momentum. The other two went ahead and
quickly gained some ground on me (unfortunately they missed the time as well). I was tired. I didn't hit the wall, but I was
so exhausted. I tried any and every mental game. Nothing helped - I couldn't
run fast anymore. My body just couldn't go 6:19s and I slowed to a 6:58. The next two miles of 24 and
25 were 7:15 and 7:08.
got a little momentum back once I saw my dad at 25 miles. I picked up the pace
a little for the last 1.2 miles and ran it in 6:45 pace. I saw that clock ticking
towards 2:49 and pushed to get under it. Missed by 2 seconds! What is with me
and hitting the clock right after it hits a new minute? If it was 2:48:59, I
could've rounded down to 2:48!
Even though I didn't hit the OTQ, I am still very happy with my time. To run 2:49 is great, especially considering the fact that I decided to run the marathon 8 weeks ago. Honestly, I would've been thrilled to run under 3:40 just 12 months ago. I may not have hit the A+ goal, but I'll take the A goal with pleasure! Aim for the stars, right?
met me at the finish. I was so sure that he ran under 2:19 and the first thing
I asked him was how he did. 2:25 was not what I expected to hear. I almost
cried right there because I knew how much this meant to him. No way was I
disappointed in him - I know he ran as hard as he could. I just knew he had the
fitness and wished that today would be his day. Still so proud of him!
Seems like it was a tough last 10k for most of the elite runners. Quite a few dropped out and I think most had a second half positive split, despite the course elevation profile favoring negative splits. There were several girls that hit under the the 2:46 mark, but no one in the 2:46 pace group and only one from the 2:45 pace group. No one hit the standard in the mens. Out of a field of at least 10 guys that were more than qualified to run it, no one could run under 2:19 today.
was in so much pain as soon as I stopped. My back instantly cramped up on me
and it hurt so bad. Laying down, standing, nothing helped. You can see how
happy I was in the photo. It took about an hour and a lot of ibuprofen before I
could walk without looking like a hunchback. I will say this - my feet, my
stomach, my injuries, everything held up amazingly. I was very relieved about
showered then went out for philly cheesesteaks for lunch with a big crew.
Walked for probably 4 miles and gradually felt better as the day went on!