Ready or not?
But, you start with the quarter marathon (how many races have you ever seen are actually quarter marathons instead of 10ks?!?!? Very cool), so I figured if I felt terrible I could do the quarter race instead.
I got there and got my packet without many problems. It was a WAY bigger race than I anticipated! The traffic line up into the parking area was really long and I was worried for awhile I would be late, but I ended up at the start time with an easy 20 minutes to spare, no problems. It was very well organized at the start with the packet pick-up and such. It all took place in a big stadium so there was tons of space and *gasp* real live bathrooms! That's a major major plus.
And then we were off! I felt fine, so I kept going when the quarter marathoners turned off from us around mile 2.5 - it's so early to make such a big decision! And sure enough, at mile 3, I thought I'd made a HUGE mistake! There was still SO FAR to go! Oh man.
The course is GORGEOUS though. I mean, if you like beautiful meadows and forests and seas of red flowers. If you're into that kind of thing. I say the more cows and horses, the better.
So I had zero plans going into it, but after seeing my split at mile 2, I decided my goal would be to aim to hang on to sub 2 pace (my goal for the year is to get under sub 2 again) for the first half (through mile 6.6) and then I could walk as much as I wanted to the rest of the race.
Well, I made it to 6.6, so then I was like just make it to 7, then just make it to 8, then 9, then 10, and then... running 3 more felt IMPOSSIBLE. It's funny how your brain works. At mile 10 running 3 more felt like climbing Mt. Everest, so I walk a bunch, but at mile 11 I'm like, oh, just 2 more miles, I can do that easy! And then I start busting out my fastest miles yet. I'm a weirdo.
So basically, spoiler alert, I threw it away at mile 11. IDIOT! It would have been close either way, it would have been super tight if I would have even made it without walking any, but I did manage to hit 13.11 (on my watch) at 1:59:21. It's crazy folks! How did I do that?!?!
Splits: 9:04, 9:03, 8:54, 9:07, 9:02, 9:09, 9:00, 9:00, 9:03, 9:12, 10:10, 8:43, 8:58, 8:07 (.26)
SO consistent! Well, except for when I threw it away - can you spot that?!
This was just the motivation I need to get my butt into gear. I want to train! Think of what I could have done if I had trained for this race?!?! (The lesson here might be that I do better when I don't train than when I do?!) I definitely want to keep working and train for the next one. I want to train for that triathlon! I don't want to just hope to finish! I want to race! Now let's see if I can get this plan into action.
Now let's talk about the race. Folks, this is THE race to do if you want to PR. It is FLAT AS A PANCAKE.
Speaking of pancakes, they give you a free pancake breakfast after the race! Speaking of breakfast, they also give you a free beer! Speaking of beer.... they also give you a ton of free chocolate! I don't know how that relates but it does. :-) You also get a necklace instead of a medal, and I'm pretty sure all participants got the necklace, not just the half marathoners.
Here's the caveat though - if you want to PR, I think you should carry your own water. I thought the race was fantastically run in every area EXCEPT the hydration. There were only three water stops during this race - at miles 4, 6, and 10.5. I know I am high maintenance in that I prefer more stops than most (I think 6 is ideal!), but even keeping that in mind I think 3 is a bit low. I also only got Nuun at mile 10.5 - no electrolytes anywhere else that I could see (maybe they were refilling?).
I think there was supposed to be one more water station:
It was unmanned the whole race. I saw person after person try and fill their own cup from the jugs but it was sad and empty! :-( So there must have been some sort of mix-up. By mile 10 or so it had been 4 miles since the last water, the sun was beating down on us, and I was seriously thirsty. I'm not going to blame my dark times then on this, since I'm SURE it's *mostly* not training (ha!) but I did feel 100 times better after I finally got that glorious Nuun at mile 10.5!
Other than that though, it was a lovely race and a lovely time had by all! I will be back next year! I love local races that don't involve 10,000 people and parking fiascos. It was fun to do an all women's race and feel that energy. It was a great way to kick off my first Mother's Day!