Me? I know I'm not going to bust out anything under a 1:44:40 willy nilly, that shit is going to take some training. BUT, everyone else is like... "ohhhhh... are you going to PR?" Hells No, bitches. So... spoiler alert: I DIDN'T PR.
Thankfully, that wasn't my goal. I signed up for this race way back in like May or June and at the time, I didn't have my fall training schedule figured out and I figured it would be a good chance to take a stab at setting a new PR. But then I decided to train for a marathon in February and a sub 1:44 went out the window.
My goals were simple:
1. To race. In the past, if I knew I wasn't in PR shape, then I wouldn't "race," I'd just lollygag around at a comfortable-ish pace for me and smile for the cameras along the course and just use it as a fun training run. I didn't want to do that this time. I wanted to race the thing. I need to get used to feeling like shit for 13.1 miles (whether my "feeling like shit" pace is 8:30s, 9:00s, whatever).
2. To run a sub 1:50. It might be a stretch, but I really feel like I could bust out a sub 1:50 if the conditions were right. I was willing to push for it. Plus, my friend Andrea was running the race, too and she was hoping to run 8:30s the whole way (She had just ran the Twin Cities Marathon the weekend before. Show-off), so I told her I'd latch on to her and try to hold on as long as I could.
The night before the race, I lured The KoB over to my place with some pizza. To be honest, normally on Friday nights, I'm in bed by like 8:30. And for me to race, the less sleep I get the better. If I get 7+ hours of sleep before a race, I wake up well-rested and groggy. I'm much better off if I've had around 6/6.5 hours. WEIRD. I know.
After he left, I putzed around my place a little, fighting the urge to just get into bed at 9:30. I cleaned, I made some phone calls, and finally I went to bed to read around 10:15. I had to get up early to make the 30 minute drive to the race, so this worked out pretty well.
At the race, I hooked up with my friend Theresa, walked all over the place with her and then with about 15 minutes before the race was to start, I did a mile warm up in the parking lot. I felt okay during the warm up. I had used the bathroom a couple of times, I'd had some gatorade the morning of and night before (it was going to be fairly warm at the race), plus, I'd had my pre-race perfect meal: pizza. I got the start line and met up with Andrea.
LOVE the race shirts. Gender sized long sleeve NEON pink Brooks shirts.
The race started and the first mile felt hard. Andrea made a comment about some chick heaving behind her and I was like... uhhh.. are you sure that isn't me? The effort felt like 10k pace.
Mile 1: 8:45
I was pretty pleased with the first mile split. Especially since it felt like I was running a 7:50. I was happy to see that the pace was just fine. I also tried to reason with my lungs... "uhhh... guys... this pace should be just fine for breathing. Stop being melodramatic and cooperate." I was sweating and gasping, but somewhere in that second mile, I started to settle down a little.
Mile 2: 8:13
This mile felt no worse than the last, and I knew that it was too fast to sustain and that we'd eventually settle into 8:30s. And we did.
Mile 3: 8:24
Mile 4: 8:24
Mile 5: 8:28
It was around this point, that I started to feel like the pace was a little too fast for me. Andrea was about a half step ahead of me and I could tell that her legs were feeling fresh as goddamn daisies (despite her marathon the weekend before. damn her), so I started telling her, not to worry about me, that I might fall behind a few seconds, but that I'd keep her in my sights. And that's what I did (for a couple of miles, at least).
It was also around mile 4 where I started to feel like the balls of my feet were ON FIRE. DAMN YOU ASICS. Why the fuck didn't I wear my Brooks Glycerins? UGH. FAIL.
Mile 6: 8:49
It was around this time that my stomach started feeling a little... weird. I pushed through, reminding myself that I had taken 2 Immodium ADs that morning, so, it was just my stomach feeling weird. NOT my digestive system.
Mile 7: 8:55
Except, it wasn't just my stomach feeling weird. I started looking for a porta john during mile 7 and finally found one at the start of mile 8.
Mile 8: 10:26.
RELIEF. God, is there anything better than stepping out of a porta john in a race? (besides crossing the finish line). I started feeling really good at this point and the next few miles flew by. My only issue at this point were my flaming balls of fire feet and I just tried really hard to zen that negativity and pain out.
Mile 9: 8:49
Mile 10: 8:36
Mile 11: 8:41
Everytime I passed a mile marker, I felt really good about my time. And it seemed like the mile markers came pretty quickly. The pace felt hard, but it was doable. Unfortunately around mile 10, I started getting that stomach feeling again. I tried to reason with myself... well, it's only 3 miles... I can make it 3 miles, right? And then I realized that there wasn't really anywhere to jump off and seek cover to use the bathroom, so as soon as I saw the next porta john, I stopped.
Mile 12: 10:25
As soon as I stepped out of the portajohn, I started to try and push it. I knew my stomach would hold up for at least another mile (I hoped) and otherwise, I felt pretty good. Until, I didn't. Around the end of mile 12, I started to feel... a little weird in the head and the stomach.
I started to get that dizzy/nauseous/out of body-ish feeling. I thought I was going to have to puke a couple of times, but kept trying to put one foot in front of the other. Finally, I reached the 13th mile marker and could see the finish line.
Mile 13: 9:29.
Why is it that no one else ever looks like they're in pain?
I crossed the finish line in 1:57:32.
Sweet baby jesus, it's over.
I swear to god, I have the most disgusting race faces.
In the end, I didn't get anywhere close to my time goal. But, I was happy with the effort. I raced, I didn't fall off too much (that last mile... I just felt like shit) and I feel good about the progress I'm making in races. Rome wasn't built in a day... and neither was Fast Amy. But, I'll get there.