As per usual, I went into this race with the mentality that it would be a training race. I did just about everything wrong if I had planned on racing it. I didn’t taper until I realized halfway through the week that I was tired and tried a halfhearted taper (I’ve been hitting some high mileage). I went out with friends the night before the race and ran around a maize maze followed by gorging ourselves on Yogurtland (yum yogurt)! I slept terribly because my bro was having a going away party/thing (they didn’t consider it a party) that didn’t end up finishing until 3:30am. But none of that mattered, because I was just going to run it as a training run.
|Maize mazes are cool... but creepy!|
About ten minutes from the race start, I followed a group of sleep deprived runners as we tried to find the starting line. We were soon directed by a voice from above (bullhorn?) and we found the starting balloon arch that was still being pumped up as it lay on the ground. Surprisingly, the race only started a few minutes late.
|Ready for my training race!|
|Watched the sun rise as we ran|
This race was a very weaving out and back, so I got to see the lead runner as he passed. I cheered him on and he actually smiled and thanked me. Usually the person in the lead is so focused that they don’t acknowledge the cheers of others. That was a pretty cool moment.
|Lead guy picture taken by Daddio at the beginning of the race. |
Same mile markers as last month's race!
Miles eleven and twelve were when things started to unravel. To that point, I felt like I was flying, everything was just cruising along and the pace was easy to hit. These two miles it turned into work! My feet started hurting due to a bad taping idea I was trying out that ended up causes massive blisters and my hips started to feel tight and sore. I just kept telling myself that I was almost there and tried to distract myself by talking to each runner I passed, because guess what, I was passing a lot of people (crazy, this doesn’t happen to me). Anywhere past eleven is where you start seeing people losing steam and slowing down. I like to dib it the zombie zone, this is the time in the race I get most chatty (got to love endorphins!). And this time I was gaining speed!
The last mile was brutal. I was now around an overall average pace of 9:04, so I knew I was going to make it unless I fell down dead. My Garmin had been right on at every mile marker, so I knew it was accurate. Each step was hard, but also exciting! I wanted to tell every person I passed what I was about to achieve! As the finish came into view, I passed the last person that was between me and my goal. Shortly after, I hit the thirteen mile marker and my Garmin was off by a tenth of a mile! I was about to have a heart attack! What if I didn’t make it that last tenth in time! What if I missed a sub two hour time by mere seconds! Thankfully what was left of my exhausted brain kicked in and reminded me that I could finish a tenth of a mile in less than two minutes. I decided to jog it in…. which lasted about a second before I heard Daddio yell “Now sprint!” so that’s what I did.
|The finish line! It felt teasingly far away!|
What an after race spread! There was water, sports drinks, cookies, croissants and chocolate dipped strawberries to name a few. I reached the large plate of cookies and stared. The server asked me which type of cookie I wanted… I think I may have mumbled something incoherent, because even I didn’t know what I was saying at that point. I couldn’t figure out what kind of cookie I wanted! I finally just said “something from the middle”, since apparently I couldn’t say sugar cookie. It went just as smoothly when I was offered a croissant and I called it bread.
|So excited that I took a picture!|
|My Dad, the only paparazzi I have|
|Please ignore the boob sweet, this geek girl worked hard.|
Note to self: never wear this shirt to a race again!
Marla Runyan Half marathon is an awesome race, but I might be slightly bias now!
|My cup that proves I'm a winner... or something...|