Wow. What a race. A week ago today, I was running 13.1 miles in freezing cold rain, for over 2 hours. I don't even really know where to start. Andy's brothers and their families came in on Friday. I didn't fell as prepared for this race, as I thought I should have. My first half marathon, I was a training plan drill sergeant. I followed it to the tee. This time, not so much. But still, I got my long runs in and didn't feel ill prepared, just not as prepared as I had wanted.
I watched the weather all week and knew what was coming. 40's and rain. Nothing you can do about that. The thought crossed my mind for about 10 seconds to skip the run. But when you put so much into it, its really not even an option.
We woke up early and stepped outside. No rain, but we could see lightening in the distance. I told the boys I had seen people run in trash bags, and thought we should do it. So we were all on the living room floor cutting out our arm/head holes from our large black trash bags. Andy of course was running late, so we waited on him, and then jetted out the door. Excitement was high, but I think we were all nervous.
Once we got downtown, we heard rumors of the start being delayed by 30 minutes. Ugh. It was cold and rainy and we had to find some shelter for an extra 30 minutes. So we huddles with about 100 other runners under the eaves of a downtown building. Andy and I left Scott and Matthew to check our gear and agreed to meet in the start corral. It started raining even harder, and we quickly realized there was no way we were meeting up with Scott and Matthew. So we found our place in the start corral, squished together with 25,000 other runners. Finally, the gun goes off and after 7 minutes, we had crossed the start and were off. Andy and I decided to run together for the first 2 miles, but I knew he was eager to pick up the pace so I told him to go on, and good luck. So I stayed content to just trot behind the other runners for the first 2 miles. But as I came up on the first clock, I thought, oh that can't be right, I'm not going that slow. Oh yes I was, so I started weaving and bobbing between all the runners, finding my normal pace. The rain really didn't bother me, and once we got started, I wasn't cold. It was a steady rain the entire time. I had my favorite running visor on, so I never got water in my face. It was actually a pleasant run. At mile 7 I was feel good. Almost euphoric. I felt good, I had my normal pace, it was super fun. At about mile 9, I was at the complete opposite of the spectrum. I was having the mental peptalk, about how I was so close, my legs were tired, and I had shed the trash bag 3 miles before so I was good and soaked. At mile 11, I hit my company's waterstop and saw a few people I knew so that gave me the kick I needed to make it to the finish. As soon as I saw that finish line, I cranked it up. That was the one thing I had been practicing, running hard at the end. With an official time of 2:26, I was done.
My first two complacent miles cost me my goal of 2:20. But I was happy to have done it. I got one lone picture of the guys before the race in their trash bags. I'm already planning on running again next year. I can not settle for 2:26.
Andy and his brothers all finished within 10 minutes of each other around the 2 hour mark. I think it was a great brotherly experience for them. They even want to make it an annual event.
Just Finish Strong. yep. I did.