I came into this race with two goals:
1) Come out healthy
2) Break 2 hours.
The second one was certainly not as important as the first. However, after my 15K a month an a half ago, the 2 hour mark was certainly within reach..
So, the night before.. I'm nervous. Lol. That was a fairly sleepless night. "How fast should I go?" "Should I try to do more? Not as much?" Meh.
The alarm went off, and I went to the checklists I'd made the night before. Holy pre-race jitters, Batman.
I worked through my lists, drove the 5 miles to the start line. Here I was, rockin' out a tank and shorts, and holy shizz, it was damn cold at 7am. I don't think we were at 50 degrees yet. I ran into a friend from work, and we agreed to run together.. He was looking for a 2 hour finish as well. Shortly before the race started, the sun broke out, and I felt a touch of warmth. Finally.
The first 1.5 miles was congested. There were a little over 1,000 runners, and it was a tight field. I was glad when it finally spread out a bit. My first couple of miles were faster than we had planned for, so we backed off a bit.
The race organizers did a great job providing beverage throughout the race. Water every 2 miles, like clockwork. At mile 4 and after, the aid stations also had Gatorade. They also did a spectacular job keeping cars out of the way.. I was fairly skeptical of the "traffic being restricted", but it really was. There was only one intersection (and we went through a damn lot) that I even had a hesitation that a car might be going through.
The run is termed the Bridge Run, as the course seems to go over most of the bridges in the area (it's the confluence of 2 major rivers in the area). So along the way, there were some nice sights, especially early in the morning.
I took my Gu at mile 5.5. I haven't been training with Gatorade, but I did drink it along the way. I wanted to Gu up, just because I didn't know if the Gatorade would be enough to keep me going. I think it was the right choice.
Not a lot to report about the terrain, the course was pretty flat:
I mean, really, that's a 100 foot swing at the worst of it.
Around mile 9, my buddy told me to go ahead. He wasn't feeling that great, the sun was starting to warm up, and he's not a huge fan of the heat. Up until this point, we were hitting about an 8:55 pace, on target to hit that 2 hour mark.
I took off, similar to what happened at my last race. I'm at the 9 mile mark, on target to hit a 2 hour finish. As long as I didn't blow it, I'd be OK.....
I just ran. Hard, but not too hard. What could I sustain for 4 miles? What should I do? I didn't want to over-think it. Just run.
About this point, there was probably the coolest set of fan spectators: A dad and his kids were out on the front lawn playing the Rocky theme with a violin, saxophone, and trumpet. I certainly wasn't expecting that.. Nice, original thinking on their part.
I felt pretty good along the way. I hit the 12 mile mark around 1:45. At this point, I said to myself.. holy shit, I've got this. I can walk it in at this point and get my 2 hour mark. I took 2 cups of gatorade, and went on.
I could hear the finish line at the end of the 12th mile. The crowd support at that point was great. Tons of people cheering, even though they don't know you. The feeling of excitement washed over me.. This distance was finally getting knocked down.
So, I finished. 1:52:33. Automatic PR, to boot. 62/113 age group, 218/457 males, 309/1020 overall. I was extremely extremely happy with the result.
Here's my pace chart:
Alas, I didn't spend the rest of the day recovering with my feet up.. I had to mow the lawn, and we took mini-Raul to the hilly zoo.. After finishing up the night with a ginormous bottle of beer, I slept like a rock. I'm a little sore today. Not terrible, though.. I'll give it a couple of days and see where I'm at.
Keep on rockin!