I’ll do another post about the expo, hotel, course, aid stations, etc. This is MY story of finishing the race.
This was a struggle. Literally from the time I registered I hit every road block possible. Horrible weather hampered a number of long runs. Shin splints/stress fracture caused me to miss runs of varying lengths and cut other runs short. Mental demons plagued me and made me question my self every time I thought about putting my running shoes on. It seemed like this race wasn’t meant to be.
But somehow through the encouragement of friends (especially Brent), things coming together that were out of my control (free race entry, a room in the sold out race hotel, miraculous 12 miles without pain), I got to the start.
Sure I finished, but once I crossed the starting line, that was never the question. Getting there was the battle, I know I could go the distance, even if it took me all day.
The morning was rainy. I watched live pre-race coverage as I ate my PB & J and drank a 1/2 cup of coffee. Both 5k heats and the 10k started out in the rain. Brent and I chilled in the Devos Place lobby before I went out to line up.
The first few miles went by without a hitch. I missed the mile 1 marker, so was thrilled when I passed mile 2. I was incredibly hungry and thirsty throughout the race. I drank 2 – 3 cups of fluid at each aid station and ate an orange segment at the ones later in the race. The 1st half of the course is slightly downhill, so that was really nice. I knew I was going slower than I had wanted to (pre-injury goals), but was with a group going the same pace and just stuck with them.
I walked a bit and took 1/2 a GU at mile 4.5 and almost instantly felt a surge of strength. I walked again around mile 7.25 and made the decision to walk most of the up hills. This slowed my time considerably (especially because that meant walking most of mile 11) but I knew that my lack of training and the pain the hills would inflict on my shin it was the best decision. And it allowed me to run more towards the finish.
The crowds between miles 6 – 7 were great! I think my FAVORITE thing to see while running are dogs and there were a number of dogs in the crowd. I even saw a corgie (favorite dog)!
Around mile 12, I started getting really depressed. I just wanted to finish and was doing a lot of walking, making my time until finish that much longer. The 11:00 pace group passed me and my spirits really dropped. I was so tired (like wanting to sleep), thirty and hungry. I ate all my jelly beans and was carrying a cup of water with me for as long as I could, but nothing took the edge off my thirst or hunger.
I finally saw the finish line and gave it all I had. Hearing Brent cheering for me was amazing, it was like pure energy injected into my veins and I was able to check a dude!
Brent found me right away and I was able to hobble back to the room, shower and check-out on time.
Am I thrilled with my time? HECK NO! Was I thrilled that I finished? YES! Just like what we emphasize at Girls on Track, it isn’t about time, it is about doing the best you can on that day. And I did.