The start time was 7:30am. I was up before 6am, which doesn't even happen during the week! It was still dark out! I had laid out my stuff the night before as I was planning on being down there by 6:30am. I didn't count on my boys waking up at that time with me. As I headed out the door, I was sure that I had everything. Turns out I didn't have my Polar HRM. This would be a test of me listening to my body and not relying on numbers. I did end up using the Endomondo app on my phone so that I could time my miles.
I ate most of an energy bar, downed an energy shot and some other drink. I don't like to feel full at the start of a race, and I also don't want to have to think about using the bathroom either. I had some energy blocks and gels with me, just in case. I realized I could probably use a better belt of some sort for the next race for gels and a few other things.
Starting the race, I was towards the back with the walkers or anyone who had a slower than 12 minute mile. It took about three minutes to cross the start line. I started out with a slow jog, listening to Rhianna's "S& M". It seemed appropriate as about one quarter of a mile in, my left shin started hurting. I was wearing compression socks and everything. Stupid shin splint! I got over, stretched, tried to massage it, but didn't want to spend too much time doing that. Got going again, and had to stop. Again. This happened probably three times during that first mile and I was really hoping I could just work through it. The road was slightly higher on the left and I think that threw off my gait. Needless to say, the time on my first mile was not glorious, but I was just aiming to beat my 10K time from last year.
Into the 2nd mile I didn't feel any shin pain at all. Eventually the road started going downhill and I was hoping that would help me pick up some time. I noticed my phone was ahead of the mile markers and I figured that would happen with the GPS. Heading to the halfway mark I finally saw one of my best friends pass the other way at a water stop! So happy that she was keeping with her goal!
At the mile 4 water stop, I decided to use some of the energy gel. I'm wondering if I should have tried it sooner, but at this point, we'd be going up the hill that we just went down. I really don't like hills. I'm sure no one does! I also was hoping to start passing people and pick up my pace more. Also, this is when the half marathoners started passing me. They were so focused and doing such a great job!
By mile 5, my mp3 player died. It obviously wasn't fully charged. (Note to self: take extra extra steps to charge the night before!) At that point, I used the music on my phone, which I was hoping to avoid. I also realized, it was a distraction for me to fiddle with all this crap when I was just trying to finish the race. I was trying to give myself a pep talk too and kept repeating, "Dig. Finish strong." Call me a dork, but I think it worked.
As I headed to the finish line, lots of people were cheering and encouraging those of us in that zone. One woman even shouted my name, but I had no idea who it was! Sorry and thank you, if you're reading this! :) I was so glad to be done at that point and just wanted to sit down. I got my medal from one of the fire fighters, got my food and drink and found a patch of grass.
My official chip finish time was 1:41:49. It was a bit slower than my 10K last year, but I'll take it. I think it was not bad for just listening to my body and trying not to check my phone at each mile marker.
|Me and one of my besties, toasting our finish|
Before the 10 Miler, I do have the Warrior Dash this coming weekend! It should be a piece of cake, right?