Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Wow- what a race. Like most races you kind of have a plan in your head of how the race is going to go…and usually there are some twists in the reality of it. My plan was to stick with Jenny Hitchings who I had run stride for stride with at Eugene until I slowed and she sped up in the final miles. Unfortunate, I lost Jenny around 8 as she had some GI issues. I was thankful that I had met a couple other girls at dinner the night before that were planning on racing smart so I decided to stick with them. When we started out I felt a little flat compared to Chicago so that concerned me a little bit. However, by the half I was feeling really good and the pace felt painfully slow but we were clicking off sub 6:20 pace so I figured I would stay with these gals. Ashley- the most vocal one of our pack kept telling us to relax and chill out because the goal is 2:46 and not faster. I was happy that she constantly reminded us of that. By the time we got to mile 20 I was so excited because I knew we were going to get the time. However, I still worried a little because in my other marathons I have felt very good and then all of a sudden crashed and burned. With three miles to go I knew I was going to get it. The last mile I just was smiling and so happy. I was so surprised to break 2:46 by 86 seconds. I thought I was just going to squeak under the 2:46 mark. I attribute some of this to my fueling and some to running a conservative race. I forced myself to make fuel and drinking a priority even if it slowed me down in the short run. When I grabbed a water bottle I would not throw it out until I had finished it (these were 6 ounce but still). I also took a gel before the start and took five more during the race. This was much more than the people around me but I think that my metabolism is such that I need more fuel than the average person. Anyway- I always felt energized and never hit the wall. That was a big accomplishment for me since I have died the last couple races. When I crossed the line it was such an amazing feeling. There were a few of us girls and we were hugging and lifting each other up. Some were crying. Some were in shock. I was jumping around like a euphoric little kid on Christmas morning! Wow- lesson learned- go for your dreams with all your heart.