I set a new 1/2 Marathon PR: 1:50:08, beating my previous time by more than 6 minutes. I am paying the price 2 days later, still sore and tired.
Woke up throughout the night thinking it must be time to go, finally got out of bed at 4:50. I could hear the wind whipping around the house which made me nervous about how the day would go. I made my bagel and coffee and texted the girls to make sure they were awake. Jennifer picked me up at 5:30 and we picked up Jenna downtown. After a few minutes of driving around we found a place to park for free and joined the rest of the runners heading for the start line at 6:30am. We wished each other luck and found our pace groups.
Go time: 7am the gun goes off. There were 12,000 half marathoners and 6000 marathoners. I was right behind the 3:50 (8:46/mile) marathon pace group. By the time we actually crossed the starting line at 7:07am the pace group was way ahead of me and it took me about 30 minutes to find them again. This is probably one of the most crowded races I have ever done. My plan was to do 8:49/mile, maybe slower depending on the weather and hills. My first mile was 9:14 because of the crowd and I panicked. Then I did something dumb. I was not looking at my "lap time" I was looking at my overall pace time on my watch. So instead of finding my pace and forgetting the first mile, I totally overdid it to catch up.
Mile 1: 9:14
Mile 2: 8:27
Mile 3: 8:15
Mile 4: 8:21
By this time I figured out what I did but I was feeling pretty good. I took a Gu and tried to stay steady up the hills.
Mile 5: 8:19
Mile 6: 8:19
Mile 7: 7:47
Ok, now I'm just being stupid. Must slow down. John, Gwen and my Dad are out on the course and I see them in mile 7 with the big pink sign. I see them first and wave and yell and hear them cheering for me.
Mile 8: 7:59
Mile 9: 8:18
Lots of crowds here and the Livestrong Yellow Mile helped keep me going. I did walk through a couple of water stops to refill my bottle but felt great. Shot blocks to refuel.
Mile 10: 8:32
Mile 11: 8:37
Somewhere in here is a really big fucking hill. It took me a full minute to register the size of this hill as I ran toward it. Pretty much everyone was walking by the time they got to the top. I did "run" up the hill but I might as well have been walking I was moving so slowly.
Mile 12: 8:32
Mile 13: 8:01
I'm almost done! I'm feeling great... but why are there so many hills and a head wind! GAH! The end is killer but knowing I'm almost done pushes me to finish.
Mile .22: 6:59/mile
Final time: 1:50:08, average pace 8:19/mile.
That was tough. The hills, heat and wind were really challenging. I was so glad to get my medal, eat a banana and drink water. The post race are was jam packed and I couldn't find anybody. I had brought a change of clothes and shoes and got myself cleaned up. I ran into Jennifer and caught up on our experience. Congrats to Jennifer on finishing her first 1/2 marathon!
After playing phone tag John picked me up and I joined Jenna's support team as she finished her first marathon. John drove us to a couple different spots and figured out where she would be. I ran with her for a few minutes and handed off water and food. At the mile 20 area she was looking good, talking and eating chips. We headed down to mile 26 and found a good spot. Gwen was being a good sport but was clearly bored with all this marathon business. We waited, and waited, and waited. It was humbling to watch the marathoners struggle through the final mile, lots of crazy eyes and determined faces. I started jogging the course to find Jenna. And there she was... delirious, exhausted and beaten by the marathon. We walked together a little bit and she started to run again. I told her she was almost done, she just had to look good for the pictures. That motivated her to put on a smile and fake the rest. GO JENNA!
We spent the rest of the day hobbling around. Jenna and I both took ice baths (separately) and the kids enjoyed throwing the ice in. We celebrated with dinner at Chuy's and ice cream cake.
2 days later I'm still sore but I don't think there is any permanent damage. I'll be ready to run again in a few days. Up next: Cap 10k and hopefully a new PR.