Today was the day. The day I’ve been training for has come and gone. It was a great day–a day of full of accomplishment, camaraderie, and personal growth.
The weather, however, wasn’t so great. We awoke early, drove for an hour and 15 minutes in the pouring rain, and arrived in plenty of time to get a good parking spot close to the start/finish area. In fact, we probably arrived too early because by the time the race started at 7:00, T and I were both cold and soaked to the skin.
We spent a little bit of time in the starting chute strategizing. We didn’t know if we wanted to run with the 3:50 marathon pace group or the 4:00 group. After checking with one of the leaders, we decided to run with the faster of the two groups–though they left us in the dust pretty quickly. When the gun went off, the weather no longer mattered. In fact, I don’t actually remember how much it rained during the actual race.
Our plan was to start slowly…2 miles at 9:20 min/mile pace. Next we planned on 8 miles at 9:00 min/mile pace. Our last 3.1 miles was supposed to be whatever we could muster. We didn’t stick to our plan very well. In fact, even our first mile was faster than we planned.
I felt stiff and a little tired for the first three miles but loosened up quite a bit shortly thereafter. Miles 4-10 flew by and I was feeling great. The course was awesome and the race was really well organized. There were plenty of water and gatorade stops along the way. The crowd was really fun too. There were bands set up on the route. And in several spots the course was narrowed down to allow the crowds to get up close and personal. They cheered for us, called out our names, and reached out to give us high fives. It didn’t matter that we weren’t running at world record pace, but they cheered for us as if we were. It was really nice, and helped me keep up my pace.
By mile 11, I was starting to feel the effects of my labors. By mile 12, I was pretty much exhausted but knew that I had only 1.1 more miles to go and that I would be able to do it.
As previously mentioned, my goal was 2 hours. But I also had a non public goal of 1:55. I crossed the finish line in 1:53:44. I’ve got sore legs, blisters on my toes, and one of my toe nails is going to fall off. But I ran 13.1 miles today at almost the exact same pace that I ran my first 10K in a year ago. The pain was totally worth the effort. 2 years ago, I never would have even considered running this distance or pace. But today, I’m a different person. I still haven’t decided where my running career goes from here. I know that I’m not going to run for a week, maybe two. And I know that I need to incorporate other activities into my fitness program. I haven’t lifted a weight or done any other type of exercise other than running or golf for the last 4 months. I never thought I’d say this, but I like running. But still, it’s time for some changes.
T and I are still planning on running together once per week. She’s going to sign up for a 10K here in the next few weeks. But I’m not ready to commit to another race at this point.
I received a bunch of text messages, emails, voicemails, facebook comments, and blog comments both before and after the race. It was really nice to know that my friends, family members, and blog readers were thinking about me and wishing me well today. Thanks to everyone who helped me get across the finish line.
Now that I’ve got one of my two personal fitness goals accomplished for the year, it’s back to work on the diet front. Tomorrow, I get back on track for the final 5 pound weight loss push. 5 or 6 more weeks, and I’ll be there. I can’t weight to see that average weight down to 175 pounds. But what do I do for the rest of the year? We’ll see!