Wow. I am still amazed by what I can do. Because I did way more than I thought I could.
I was worried last week that I had set my expectations too high and that I might disappoint myself. That is definitely not what happened.
It was a fun weekend all around. My friend who I met on the runner’s world forum traveled with us and my other friend from TNT ran the race too. My parents and three of my sisters made the trip and my aunt Janet and uncle Chuck came out too. It was great just getting together with everyone. We all went out to dinner Saturday night to this fantastic Italian restaurant and it was just cool to be together.
I went to bed plenty early Saturday night, something that didn’t happen the night before San Diego. I had a hard time falling asleep and woke up every hour, except the hour I had to get up. I overslept!!
I was going to get up at 5 and have a leisurely breakfast and get ready. Instead I woke up at 5:51, later discovering I had turned off my cell phone alarm when I was trying to set it. This time I didn’t set back up alarms because my cell phone alarm always works! Ha!
Luckily I had followed TNT advice and laid out all my race stuff before I went to bed. I had 19 minutes from when I woke up to get on the shuttle to the start. I was able to get dressed fast while Doug made my oatmeal, luckily for us we had a microwave in our room! Too bad the microwave didn’t really come in handy, my stomach was queasy from my rude awakening and I didn’t have time anyway. Four bites later, I packed an extra nutrition bar and ran for the hotel lobby.
Oversleeping was the only problem though, thankfully. We got to the start and hung out inside for a bit since it was still pretty chilly outside. We also got to use the indoor bathroom before the line got super long. Jessica, my other TNT friend, along with her posse, and my family arrived between 7 and 7:15, we took a few pictures and stretched, and then it was the start!
I started with Jessica and Chelsea started way up ahead of us (and finished a half hour sooner, she’s really fast). We walked the first walk interval, but I was feeling really good so I decided to ignore my intervals and just run. I admit this was a really stupid thing to do in a race since I hadn’t done it before. Or I guess I sort of have, but not for longer than 10K.
I ran about the first 4.5 miles without taking a walk break. I felt great too. After that first 4.5 miles, I walked through every other water stop, or maybe every third. I don’t know. I took a gel around mile 5 and sped up a bit and got to this zone I’ve never really been in before. I felt great and I wasn’t really paying much attention to things around me. Around mile 9 I was starting to struggle a bit but I took another gel and slowed down, felt better and sped up again.
As I progressed between miles 5 and 11 I passed a bunch of people. It was a great feeling. I don’t remember a lot of people passing me during this time, but I wasn’t really paying attention either. I was starting to get a bit tired and I was feeling my hamstrings tightening, but overall I was good.
Mile 10 and 11 each had one walk break and then I slowed down for mile 11. I planned one more walk break at 12 and then speeding to the finish. Jessica caught up with me and I decided I could do without that walk break, after all it would only be another 12 minutes or so. Well, I didn’t have enough left in the tank so Jessica ran ahead and I walked… about four times in half a mile before I finally mustered the energy. I started running again and then I got into my sprint as the finish line came into view.
As I got to the finish, Doug was on one side, my family on the other. There were two or three different mats and I didn’t know for sure where the race photographer was, so I was just cheering, screaming and raising my arms through the whole finish chute. When I stopped I must have looked faint, I certainly felt faint… enough that two volunteers walked with me a bit until I assured them I was fine.
I was more than fine, I just PRd by almost 20 minutes!
My clock time was 2:23:06, but my chip time, the one that really counts, was 2:21:45!! My previous time was 2:40:58. Wow.
I enjoyed wearing my medal all day and eating like a champ all day too. I had as much as I could at the finish and then we had culvers for lunch… and I had a double bacon deluxe, cheese curds and a pumpkin shake… completed the day with Glass Nickel pizza for dinner. Yes I admit it, I look forward to eating after a race!
The soreness set in gradually. I was fooled into thinking it wouldn’t be that bad on Sunday night. My achilles was tight and tender immediately after the race, as were both my IT bands, but that went away pretty fast. My hamstrings and glutes were a little sore, nothing I couldn’t handle.
Ummmm, yeah, then I woke up Monday morning and the quad soreness had settled in. WOW! I keep comparing this experience to San Diego, which is silly. Two different races, different circumstances. I ran faster in this race. I also didn’t get quite as sore in San Diego because we were walking all day, versus not moving much at all on Monday.
The soreness has started to dissipate and I was able to go to spin class this morning, not quite doing everything though! Tomorrow I hope to swim and I hope to get out for a run this weekend, but I’m not going to push it. Swimming and spinning are my friends this week.
Such a great experience. I’m already thinking about next time and re-evaluating my goals. I discovered I can indeed run more than six minutes at a time. Granted, the big race isn’t the time to discover that, but it all worked out. This was such a great time, and not just because of the great race. It was so wonderful being there with two good friends and part of my family. It was wonderful! I don’t know if future races will compare. I’m grateful to everyone who had a part in making this amazing weekend happen!