My running buddy and friend Kim was staying at the same B&B and it was her first marathon. We both were up early and talked and tattooed my arm with race times. It was great and exciting!
We left the B&B at 7am and it only took us 7 minutes to the parking, we walked to the start and got ready. It was a cold morning mid 40′s and cloudy. The forecast was to “warm-up” to high 50′s by the time we finish. Mostly cloudy and potential showers. The good news: It never rained and the weather during the race could have not been better!
We lined up with the 4:10 pacer (9:33 pace) and I noticed I was the only one with the tag on the back. I got asked several times if I was the pacer! Oh no!
We lined up, it was pretty uneventful, all of a sudden we heard GO and then we started.
Mile 1: Went pretty well, we were still cold but we were able to run the perfect mile. 9:29
After the first mile the pacer picked up the pace and ran 9:10′s.
Mile 5: My stomach started to feel off and I was more tired than I should be and decided to settle into my goal pace of 9:30 and let the pacer go.
Mile 9: My GI issues calmed down and flared up. I couldn’t wait to see my BF at Mile 9. I needed a motivation!
After mile 9 my friend Kim stayed with the pacer and they were out of sight soon. I was staying with the planned pace of 9:30 and made some friends along the way. Many people complained about the speedy pacer.
Mile 11.5: I went into the bushes and had a little pit stop. I usually don’t eat during my run (very sensitive stomach) but today even Gatorade didn’t sit well. It took me one minute, but I was still on goal pace.
Mile 13: 2nd time I saw my BF and was happy! Seeing him really helped since it was already tough to run. I even did a jump, which I regretted a minute later. But it was worth it!
Mile 13.1: The course was already off by 0.1, my half split time was just under 2:05. Perfect! Still on Target for a 4:10 finish!
I got more tired and my stomach kept flaring up, but no stops were needed. I started to drink water, which was better. But I was worried if I get enough fuel, since I didn’t drink enough Gatorade.
Mile 16-17: Next meet up with the BF, I gave him part of my clothes and checked in on how my friend was doing. She was rocking it with the too fast 4:10 pacer.
Mile 18: I caught up to my friend and she was walking. Her right ankle hurt and she couldn’t run anymore. She was injured there before and unfortunately the ankle didn’t hold up. She couldn’t even do a run walk. I walked with her for a little bit. She said, she will walk the rest and that I should go on. It was hard to go, I wanted to stay with her. But I knew there was nothing I could do.
At the same time I saw a girl crying and leaning over at the side. Her boyfriend was around and didn’t really know what to do. I asked her if she has cramps and she just nodded. I gave her my last 2 salt sticks and told her to take this. It will help. Not sure if she trusted a stranger, but I hope she was able to finish.
I again checked in with my friend and then I started to run. I told my friend once I finished I will come back and we finish this together. I had my cell phone with me and called my BF. Her husband was with him. Luckily they were only 0.5 miles away. I told them what happened and to stay with her.
Mile 20: I was emotionally drained with what happened and thought about my friend and for some reason had a really fast mile 9:18! I guess I just wanted to be done and go back to her. I knew I had to slow down in order to finish. At this point I was still on time for a sub 4:15. My average pace at mile 20 was 9:37.
The last 6 miles were bad. I started to hurt more and more and the sun came out a little. It got warm. I didn’t see my BF anymore and wasn’t sure how Kim was doing. I was just plain tired and people around me walked a lot. It’s tough to run when you see people walking and all you want to do is walk as well. I did many walk breaks and started to do math in my head. I let the 4:15 go and my goal was to finish with a PR.
The course was a little long and I was worried I mis-calculated my time. I saw the 4:25 pacer and ran with them. It helped to have people around me who ran as well. They kept me going. I walked the last bridge and then ran into the finish area. I finished in 4:23:36, a little over 1 minutes faster than last year.
I was so glad to be done! Unfortunately my friend had to stop and couldn’t finish this race. I was so sad for her! I was still not feeling well and couldn’t eat anything. This race was bitter-sweet. I was very sad for my friend, a little disappointed with my motivation, but still happy to be able to PR.
My friend Renee finished the half marathon!
Time: 4:22:29 ( this does not include the 1 minute “bath room” stop, I forgot to take out the auto-pause)
I still think a 4:15 or even 4:10 is possible but my body and mind has to be ready. Today was just not THE day. I didn’t have the fighting tiger in me, more like a kitty cat!
But there is always a next time, even though I swore yesterday to never ever to do a marathon again!