It rained the WHOLE TIME! If you follow my blog at all, you know I'm a big wuss and I hate the cold and I hate running outside in any kind of precipitation. Sunday really tested my limits. However, I do have to say that even though it was raining, it was still mostly warm.
Let's back up...
On Saturday I took my whole family to UT to pick up my race packet. They seemed less than excited by it all. My kids kept asking when we were going to grandmas. I had to beg them for this picture.
We did get to drive up to the front of this beautiful building... it looked so nice there with those warm, sunny skies!
I picked up my packet and saw that they picked the most awful neon yellow color for the shirts this year. I guess if I am running outside and I want to be sure they find me in case I get lost, this will be perfect!!!
I knew we'd be tired, but I wasn't about to let my friend down. I think we got
I was so tired getting up and I probably should have gotten up sooner, but I needed some sleep. We left MIL's house at 6:09am. I realized that there would be traffic, but I wasn't prepared for what we ran into. There were cops at the corner to turn on to UT's campus, but they weren't doing much. The green arrow that lasted all of 6 seconds only let about 4 cars through each time and then if the cross traffic felt rude, they pulled into the middle of the intersection during their green light and got stuck there through ours- preventing us from going at all. We sat in that cluster for 28 minutes. finally at 6:45am, I told my hubby to pull a U-y and let me out! I got out on the sidewalk and walk the 1/2 on to campus and to the runner's area. hubby was going home to get the girls (leaving the baby at home due to the rain.)
I really had to pee again and got in line for the porta-potties. There were 5 lines of about 100 people each for the 20 or so potties there. I waited for what seemed like forever. I managed to get into one just as they started the wheeled division. I peed quickly and ran to the back of the chute.
I had made tentative plans to try to find Scott from Big Daddy Diesel, but with being late, I figured I'd never find him. I tried to look up and over people and couldn't seem much. Just as I turned around, I heard someone say my name. He found ME! We said hello and wished each other luck and with that, the line was moving forward. I lost him quickly in the crowd though and I never saw him again. I wish we could have found each other at the end for a pic. GREAT JOB though SCOTT!! Check out his blog for how he did at the GCM!
Anyway, the rain was really coming down and I remember telling myself that I just needed to ignore it and enjoy my run. I felt great by mile 3 and was surprised how quickly I loosened up. I kept pressing forward and I had to dodge a lot of people. The course was really crowded almost the whole way.
The day before the race, I bought this on a whim...and I'm so glad I did, as it kept the rain out of my eyes.
I passed the 2:30 pace group and wondered if I should stick with them since 2:30 was well under my goal. I wondered how pace groups work.... do they take it slow at the beginning and then gain speed at the end? Maybe I should learn more about that. When I passed them I made a promise to myself to keep going at a pace I felt good with and then if they passed me later on, I'd try to hang with them for as long as I could. I never saw them again!!!
My hubby made plans to see me as I passed through wildwood park around mile 8. When I was at mile 6 I checked my phone and texted him where I was. He texted back that they couldn't get into the park, but were looking for a place in the housing area to park.
At around 6.5, I saw my cute little girls all soaking wet with daddy waiting for me. I saw them well before they saw me. It was just what I needed to keep my spirits up. I told my hubby that I thought I'd finish around 9:30-9:45pm and I was off.
I felt great through the main park and then met a lady named Mary Anne who was from the area, but had moved out to PA. She and I talked for some time and the miles went quickly. As we pass mile 10, the clock said 1:50 and I was surprised. I knew I had crossed the starting line about 5 minutes after the first official start. That left me with 3.1 miles to run and finish WELL in front of my goal. I bid Mary Anne goodbye and told her I felt great and wanted to speed up. She was trying to heal and injury and said she'd play it by feel if she wanted to keep up with me or not. I took off and still felt great. By this time in my other half's I felt like my legs were dead so I was very excited!
I left the trail and was on campus. I couldn't believe it, but I passed the 2:20 pace group. I wondered to myself if maybe they weren't pacing correctly. I mean...do these people slow down and then sprint at the end?? I don't know how they work at all.
I kept going and looked back a bunch of times to see where they were. They were not catching up. I saw the glass bowl ahead of me and took off as fast as I could. Just as I was entering the stadium, the leader for the marathon passed me. I finished just after he did....
With a time of 2:17:22. WHAT??? I couldn't believe it. I must be absolutely horrible at setting goals. I never thought 2:30 was possible really. It was my dream. A 2:17??? My pace was 10:29 per mile- much faster than I ever trained. I don't know why or how, but it's something I will think about for many days to come as I find my next race. I felt great, even in the rain- which I forgot about around mile 7.
a 2:17...who would have thought!