Me and Ang looking ready to go in our green.
Me and Megan.
Some of the Dailymile crew.
1st day of school photo er.... pre-race photo.
Kier and find our place in the starting line. Kier was calm and excited to go, and I was just ready to rock out my 9 minute miles. The sun briefly peeked out from behind the clouds and we were on our way. Marathon #3, let's do this!
The first couple of miles were fairly congested, but Kier and I made our way through the people while staying on pace. In the midst of mile 2, I saw our pace ~8:47 and knew I needed to slow down and let Kier go on her merry (fast) way. :) I started up my iPod and settled in to my 9 minute pace. There were a ton (and I mean a TON) of turns on the course, so I made sure to keep my head up to see which direction the next turn was to make my way to that side of the road. No tangent failing here!
Some of the early miles were in to the wind, and I started to wish I would've discussed a windy race plan with Jason. Back off slightly in to the wind, and let the wind at my back make up the time? I tried to find that "comfortably hard" pace and zone in on it. My legs did not feel very fresh from the get go. I'm not sure if I should've scaled back the first couple of miles until I was warmed up or what.
I knew my first split was at the 10k mark and that was going to be the first update some Team Green and Team Glitterfart members were going to see.
10k split: 56:26. 9:06 pace.
Around mile 7 I was feeling like my legs didn't have it in them for a sub 4 finish. I'm not sure if I was on my feet too much at the expo, or if I'm doing something wrong with my taper, but definitely something I need to evaluate as my legs were shot at mile 1 of the Vegas Marathon, as well. However, a 9:15-9:20 pace was still feeling easy, so I knew I could hang on to a slightly over 4 hour finish, and still knock out a monster PR.
Because there were so many out and back portions of the course, I got to see almost everyone I knew who was running the full. This was such a great motivator!
It was a fairly warm day (especially compared to what I've been training in) with 65* temps at the start, and 80-90% humidity. My one complaint for an otherwise really great and really well organized race, was that there weren't nearly enough water stops. especially early on in the course. If I could go back in time, I absolutely would've carried my own handheld. On my long runs, I usually only have a little sip every couple of miles, but I am also sweating much much less than I was on this warm and humid morning.
Around mile 9 I randomly saw my friend Justin, and was super de duper happy to see him. I barely got his attention before I went barreling by. Seeing friends on the course make so much of a difference when you're racing. Seriously. I get so spoiled at local races, I don't even realize it.
Around miles 11 or 12 my IT bands started to get... I'm not sure how to describe it.... stiff? labored? tight? I feel like my stride started to get a little bit choppy at this point. Right before the halfway point, the 4:00 pace group passed me. Sniffle.
Half marathon split: 2:01:53. Pace of 9:19.
It was here that my hopes for a PR were dashed, very abruptly. I began to have a sharp pain in my left hip, almost feeling like my hip bone was popping out of alignment. Neat-o. I continued to run, but had to shorten my stride drastically, we're talking 10-10:30 max pace. :( Some quick mental math had me bummed out.
I totally wish I would've had my phone with me, because I needed some support big time. Also, I wanted to let Jenn know that she could finally head off to bed (she was up at like 2am trying to follow my sub 4 finish on the other side of the world :P). I just tried to keep my head down and block out the pain as best as I could.
Around 16 and 17 I started walking through the water stops so I could drink a couple of glasses of water at a time. I was so thirsty and salty. Getting going again made me realize that not only was my hip hurting, but my right knee was sporting some shooting pain of its own, likely from me changing my gait to alleviate some of the hip pain.
20 mile split: 3:15:27 (just slightly behind the 3 hour mark I originally was hoping for :P). 9:47 pace.
I thought to myself, hmmm.... if I could run my originally planned 9:40 pace for the next 10 miles, I could have a Fargo Marathon twinsy time with Jenn! And I was off! This pace lasted for about a half mile before I thought I was going to start crying from pain. Hah. (So not funny at the time, but ya know....). I kept calculating my estimated finish time based on a 10 minute pace, even though I was clearly incapable of maintaining a 10 minute pace.
These last 6 miles seriously lasted sooooo freaking looooooong. Cumulatively, probably the slowest 6 consecutive miles of my life, so that's something exciting too. :P The crowd support was awesome. Almost shoulder to shoulder for the entire race. Amazing. There were people out handing out freezy pops. Little dixie cups of water. Kleenexes. Jolly Rancher Candies. Seriously...the best. The bibs had a place for us to put our names, and hearing someone cheering for me when I wanted to die helped me to smile and put an ever so small pep in my step. :)
Through some of these water stops, I walked and also took a small stretching break to try to loosen up my hips. It would help ever so slightly but the knee pain really kicked it up a notch, especially after the walk breaks. With about a mile and a half to go, I realized that if I could run a 10:00 min pace, I could come in under 4:25.
True story: When the race started falling apart for me, I told myself I HAD to finish under 4:30, because I had heard the rapture was to begin at noon (7:30am race start), and I was going to be damned if I posted my first race DNF! (pun intended).
There were so many people lined up the final mile of the race, it was great. Coming up to the Fargodome I was ready to be d.o.n.e. I knew I was going to hurt whether I walked it in, or ran my hardest, so I tried to kick it in to gear. Luckily, I wasn't very tired since I had been slacking off the final 12 miles. ;) I ran by a girl at mile 26 who was walking and told her that she had 2 minutes left, and she could do anything for 2 minutes. About 10 seconds later she ran past me..... uh no! Competitive Jeri kicked it in to high gear and flew by her. The finish line is a bit of a blur, but I do remember throwing my hands in the air and screaming out "whooooooooo!" (Whoo girl for life, yo!)
Final time: 4:25:09. 10:07 pace.
To be honest, I'm really bummed out and shed a few tears writing this up. I felt really confident in my ability. It's very obvious that there are issues with a) my running form causing these issues during race/post race/and in training and/or b) I have some weaknesses in my legs that are causing other muscles to be too fatigued to quickly causing the pain. Very much a wake up call to get it diagnosed and remedied asap.
It's definitely not the end of the end of the world, nor will it be the last time that I take on 26.2 miles.
And finally, the biggest and most sincerest thanks to all of you that were cheering me on. Seriously, I get all teary eyed just thinking about the love and support that you all have given me leading up to this race. Reading back through the tweets from during the race crack me the EFF up. And the thing that ran through my head the most during the latter miles was how bummed you were all going to be for me that I wasn't going to make my goal. You're all the best, and as a thank you present, I'm sending glitter farts to each and every one of you. :D Bahahahah.