I made it to the race start at 8am for a 9:45 start because my race pack didn't arrive due to the postal strike.
Pre-race fuel was a disaster. My stomach was so nervous that I couldn't keep anything down. I was snacking on dry cereal while I got ready and managed a banana and peanut butter before the start but I wasn't nearly fueled up enough for my expected 2 hour and 45 minute run!
I got an email about a month ago with my race number, which was based on your estimated finish time so I thought 8,240 seemed fast given that there were 15,000 runners signed up.
Imagine my surprise when they gave me another race number at the help desk and it was in the 1000 range! Umm...that's pretty damn fast!!
Wandering around pre-race I kept imagining people were checking me out and thinking 'damn, she doesn't look like she'd be able to run that fast!'
They even tried to put me up in one of the top pens at the start but I didn't fancy being passed by EVERY runner for the first few miles so I begged and pleaded and they let me go in my original pen (even though it meant I didn't cross the start line until 20 minutes past the gun).
I was still passed a lot for the first mile, but I was watching my garmin and I was running a 10min/mile...I definitely didn't want to go any faster!
The first three miles were awesome, I felt so good. Then the first water station came and they were out of cups. They were handing out 2 liter bottles instead....umm those things are heavy! I took two sips and put it back down again. Now I was starting to worry - what if ALL the water stations were going to be like this??
Luckily, at mile 5 was a gatorade station and they had 500ml bottles so I snagged one of those and carried it the rest of the way. I felt brilliant running all the way to mile 9, the second gatorade station where I switched my bottle for a new (slightly cooler one).
The sun was HOT today, there was NO shade, and the course had more uphill than I was expecting but I actually liked the hills because I was determined not to stop and it's fun to just put your head down and power up those hills past the people who have stopped to walk!
Mile 10 came and I was entering PDR territory - my fastest 10 miles previously was 1:55 and today was 1:57.
My stomach was hurting from all the gatorade and lack of food.
Mile 11 was killer - my legs were feeling heavy and my stomach was killing me. I was starting to feel some rubbing on one of my feet and I contemplated stopping to put a blister pack on but wasn't sure I could start again!
Mile 12 hurt...I was told 3 times that there was just a mile to go and each time wanted to kill someone...I wanted to see the damn sign!!
I never walk during a run - even my long runs but I contemplated it today. It was purely mental to keep that pace up. I was running alongside a guy in the army who was wearing a MASSIVE back pack...I was keeping up with him when he was walking but then he'd start running and I'd lose him and then catch up to him when he was walking again...I tried to pretend it was a game to get me through that last mile.
I hurt so bad!
Once I saw the finish line I picked up the pace, and saw it drop to a 9:30 min pace...I felt awesome!!
I had given myself the arbitrary goal of 2:45 and finished in 2:37 (even though my garmin says that was how long it took me to go 13.26 miles not 13.1!!)
I refueled with a protein power smoothie of raspberries, strawberries, soy milk and tofu and then ate a ton of whole food's brown rice sushi before taking a couple hours nap.
I am WORN out but feeling pretty pleased with myself!