Wow. I did it. It hurt, a lot. It was amazing. Kind of like child birth!
The short version: I was amazed at how amazing I felt the first two hours. I didn’t even really start to fatigue until around mile 8-9. But once it hurt, it hurt pretty good. The weather wasn’t quite as terrible as was expected. And my shirt was a big hit! When I could finally see the finish line, I almost cried because it just seemed way too far away. But I made it!
On to the long verson…
I’m starting with Friday night. I was looking forward to a carbo-loading dinner to also celebrate finding out baby is a boy. But packet pick up was in Middleton, at a place that didn’t have adequate parking for such a big event. So it took awhile to get there and then to get everything. I’d figured if we got to a restaurant early, we’d be able to get in. Was I ever wrong. We couldn’t park at Biaggi’s. We all wasted the time getting out of the car at Olive Garden to find out the wait was 25 to 30 minutes. Then we drove that long to the other side of town to find the same wait time at Benvenuto’s, but at least I was the only one who got out of the car there. We couldn’t even park at Noodles ‘n Company! By this time it was way too late and I was out of ideas. Allie hadn’t taken a nap that day. So we fed her a quick PBJ and ordered from Glass Nickel. I was mad, but I got over it and we still got good food for the carb factor! But I had a good amount of bloating after eating and decided maybe the carb loading wasn’t a great idea. Luckily that was gone before I went to bed.
Anyway, it was an OK evening after all, and we’re still going to celebrate with a dinner at Biaggi’s sometime soon. We watched a show and then went upstairs where I got my race stuff ready, including a complete change of clothes, and got in bed by 9:45. The alarm was set for 6.
We woke up to find a break in the rain, and I was encouraged that at least the race wouldn’t start in the rain. We all got dressed and ate, took a few pictures and then it was on to the race!
I ended up wearing a hoodie under my shirt, which was ultimately a good idea. I also wore a hat over my diva band, also a good idea!
We parked and got to the start in plenty of time, stopping to take some pictures along the way. One of Allie’s favorite things lately is pumpkins, and look what we saw on our way to the start!
There was a bit of drizzle as we waited for the start. Doug and Allie left right away to get out of the rain and drive the course to see me. We didn’t have any plans for where he’d go, but in that weather I didn’t think it would be too hard to spot him. It was raining off and on, but it pretty much stopped during the first mile.
I went to the start and lined up next to the 2:50 pace group. I did start feeling a little nervous, but I knew I could do it. And I had a great start. The course was pretty crowded in the first half mile or so, which kept me from going out too fast. I moved off to the side for my first walk break, but didn’t have to worry about that much after the first mile. The field thinned out a lot, probably since I’d lined up so close to the back. I passed the 2:50 pacer pretty early, along with a few other people. It was a much better ego boost to line up so far back and be the one passing people instead of being passed, except when I was walking, of course!
I was amazed at how amazing I felt the first two hours. I was running a decent amount faster than I had been in awhile. When I saw Doug and Allie at mile 3, I felt amazing. I spotted them right away and Allie ran up to me and I picked her up for a big hug! That was so nice!
This picture is blurry, but I like it because it shows that I was feeling awesome! I didn’t have a running interval over 12-minute pace until I stopped to hug Allie and Doug when I saw them around mile 6.5!
The course was an out and back with a loop in the middle. Shortly after seeing Doug and Allie we turned to run through the Pheasant Branch Conservancy, which was so pretty! I was feeling so good, I delayed my first fuel until after my sixth interval, which was right around mile 6. After coming out of the conservancy we went through an industrial area and park/recreation area. It looked like a short turnaround as I got there, but that was the loop, which was actually pretty long. We went a ways up a road to a turnaround, and thats where I saw Doug and Allie the second time. Allie ran up to me again and I picked her up for another big hug! It was a little harder to do at that point, but I still could! They had good timing, I saw them just getting there as I apprached the turn!
After the turnaround, I decided to stop for a bathroom break just before mile 7. I’d been trying to decide when to stop and figured I had to at this point… I’d been feeling like I needed to stop for awhile and felt so much better after! Unfortunately as I came out I saw the 2:50 pacer. So after grabbing a water I set out to try and pass him again. We got on a path that lead back through the conservancy and I did pass him a couple intervals later. I was still running pretty good at this point, and ran a little of the next two walk intervals to try and make up for the stop. There was a bit more rain, but not much. My goal was 4.5 miles each hour, so 9 after two hours. I made it to 9 with a few minutes to spare, even with the bathroom break. It was raining a bit harder at this point, but with the tree cover it wasn’t bad. In fact, it was kind of nice. I’d considered giving Doug my jacket when I’d seen him, but as I was more wet at this point, I was cold and glad I still had my jacket.
I took another fuel and when I got to the aid station after mile 9 they told us the course was a yellow flag, meaning use caution. They said there was heavier rain on the way. We were back into the residential area we’d run through at the beginning, but there were some different areas. I reached the mile 10 marker right at the end of an iterval and I was really starting to struggle. In spite of my support belt, I started having some bad round ligament pain as I was starting to run again. I was running, but it was hard. At this point too we got to a pretty hilly area. I had to walk it. As I approached mile 11, the round ligament pain was dissipating, but my hamstrings were getting really sore. I was also starting to have the now-familiar pelvic pain. I didn’t have the stamina any more to even try to run the hills. I ended up taking most of that interval as an extra-long walk break. Miles 11 and 12 just seemed way longer than they should have been! It was sometime during mile 11 that the 2:50 pacer passed me and I couldn’t catch him.
When I got to mile 12, it was a downhill. The downhill wasn’t nearly as painful on my hamstrings, so I was cruising for a bit. I think I actually ran a good portion of that interval, but not the whole thing. I was really having a hard time as I got closer to the finish. I could hear it but couldn’t see it yet. It was taking a lot at that point to continue moving myself forward. As I finished a walk interval, we were back on a bike path with a decent incline. As I got to the top of the hill, my Garmin beeped to start running again and I could finally see the finish. And it just seemed SO far away! I almost cried! I was determined to run to the finish, so I set out in a slow and determined run. I finally got a little closer and realized the finish wasn’t quite as far away as it had looked. The bike path connected with the road and as I neared the turn for the end, I saw Doug and Allie again and gave them a big wave.
My facial expression in this picture doesn’t really show how much pain I was in. The pain was replaced briefly when I saw Doug and Allie.
I turned and I could finally see it… the actual finish line. Instead of crying I was just focused on the point where I could stop. As I got closer I really booked it to the end! I did try to cry as I finally crossed the line, but I don’t think I had it in me at that point! I’ll be interested to see what my finish photos look like, I’m sure they aren’t good!
And I totally thought about giving birth as I finally crossed that line! I finished one adventure, and now I have the other to look forward to!
I was finished! I made it 13.1 miles! I stopped to get my medal and I think just the booking it to the finish and then stopping made me a little light headed. I almost fell backwards. The person who gave me my medal said lets go to the medical tent. I said no, I just needed to walk. But a more official person had seen me and wouldn’t let me go without stopping in the tent. I don’t know if they were that careful with everyone or because they’d seen my shirt. I think they’re just that careful with everyone, which I think is really good. That was my first time having to get a little medical help at the end and I did appreciate it. In the couple seconds since I’d finished I was getting a little out of it. It ended up being really nice to sit down in the tent next to the big heater. I think it was raining more at this point and it was definitely cold. I sat for a bit and had some water and started trying to get up but that was hard. A trainer helped me gently stretch my hamstrings. I texted Doug and told him I was in the medical tent, but not to worry, I was fine.
Then I left to look for food and for Doug, not realizing Doug would go to the tent looking for me. It didn’t seem like there was much food to choose from, but I think it was just hard to tell because of the rain. I think I heard something about pizza, but that didn’t sound good when it was raining. I grabbed a bag of chips, some cookies and then some hot chocolate.
I probably shouldn’t have left the medical tent when I did. An online friend was there and tried to introduce himself to me, and I didn’t realize who he was and basically blew him off! I felt terrible later when I realized that! I remember being really cold and wondering where Doug was. Then I got the text from Doug that he was at the tent and where was I?
We finally found each other and I got my victory picture.
The medal is the ghost next to the chip bag, blending in with the mylar blanket. Its a pretty cool medal!
My official time was 2:51:34. So I achieved my goal of under three hours. I didn’t quite make the 2:50, but I got close enough! All in all, I was only running for less than four minutes in that final interval, but it sure seemed a lot longer than that!
I’d picked this race because I liked the long sleeved shirts from the year before and I’d heard from a few people that it was really fun. I think some of that was lost in the rain, but I did like it (even though this year’s shirt was short sleeve)! My shirt was a big hit on the course and I got so much awesome support from the few spectators as well as race volunteers and other runners. I could totally see this being my comeback race next year!
We slowly made our way to the car and I was so glad to be done. I will keep running as long as possible, but definitely no more long runs.
As we got to the car and I changed into some of my dry clothes, it was raining the worst it had all day. I was SO glad I’d brought dry clothes. I changed my shirt and my socks and shoes. I didn’t have the energy to change my pants and they were a little wet, but not too bad. We blasted the heat and headed home, picking up McDonald’s on the way home because I wanted a big cheeseburger. I couldn’t decide if I wanted a chocolate shake or Coke… so I got both! It was so good! After my eventual shower and nap, I was feeling pretty good, except for the pelvic/lower back pain. Sleeping last night wasn’t great because it was so hard to turn in bed. But I’m feeling better overall this afternoon. I think an extra visit to the chiropractor may be in order this week.
But I’m still basking in my victory!