The race swag this year: long sleeve tech tee (with my two monkey kills on the sleeve),
short sleeve cotton tshirt, various stickers, magnets, etc).
The forecast called for rain (who cares) and for temps in the 60s (OMG freaking out) and when I woke up, it was already 61 degrees.
Well, thank god it's cloudy!
Luckily, it was a cooler, damp 61, so I wasn't too worried at the start.
My strategy was simple: Don't DIE. More specifically that means to start slow and steady and stay that way.
Things started off fine. I felt pretty good and I was with two friends, Matt and Melanie, so that made things go by much quicker. There was one problem though... I HAD TO PEE. I rarely have to pee during a race. But luckily, Melanie had to pee, too. So we hopped off the road and took care of business behind a tree stump (uhhh not together) and after that (around mile 6) I was golden.
It started raining around mile 3 and didn't quit until we hit mile 25 or so. And most of the time it was raining pretty hard.
First half in 2:27. Looks like a 5 hour marathon!!!
Overall, I was feeling pretty good. My head felt great, my body felt great. We ran a lot of parts that I think we walked last year. We just took it slower overall, which I think was smart.
I was also fueling pretty regularly. I was carrying a baggie full of dried cranberries and apricots and I had also brought along a Hammer Gel (I don't think I've done a gel in 2-3 years). And I had some gatorade at every aid station (although, I think that's why I had to pee in the beginning). I ate the Hammer Gel around mile 17 and guess what! It was the best tasting gel I've ever had! I'm actually going to stock up... Apple Cinnamon. I just concentrated on how the gel tasted and felt like (consistency-wise) the filling of an apple pie (without the apples, obviously) and I had no problems slurping that stuff down. Hooray!
I felt pretty good the entire rest of the race. Sure, there were times when I was starting to get a little annoyed by being in wet clothes and my legs were a little cranky during some of the last hills. But overall, I can't really complain. (<---- I know, this makes for a BORING race report).
How's that for even halves? BOO-YA.
As we started down the grassy hill to the finish line, I noticed my parents car sitting out there and then I saw my mom standing next to it. I gave her a little wave and proceeded down to the finish line with Matt and Melanie...
You can barely see us, but that's the three of us between the two clocks.
Yay!!! A Sub 5:00 Monkey!
I finished, felt like I was going to puke from running up the hill and then down for that last .2 and didn't even realize that my dad was standing right behind me at the finish line! He had been taking pictures at the finish line.
Overall, I'm very happy. I ran smart, I had fun, and finally got to finish a marathon with two of my friends (strangely enough the 3 of us had never crossed a finish line together) and my parents were there at the finish line to congratulate me! It was a great day.
Marathon #15 is in the books and what a great way to cap off the 2011 race calendar!