Also - this post will be kind of one-sided. Nick and I ran separately, so these are my thoughts on the race. Maybe if you all ask nicely Nick will recap his thoughts on the day, too.
But then we were at the starting line! It was a huge race, and we shared the course with the Monster Dash 10-mile race, so all together there were about 7,000 people running that morning. Nick started up by the 9 min/mile group and I started back by the 10 min/mile group. I have a bad habit slowing down a lot over the course of a long run, so I knew there was no way I'd finish at a 10 minute pace, but that's where the pace I start running and I didn't want to spend the first 5 miles weaving through slower runners.
Miles 1-4 were great. Amazing, really. Especially considering I couldn't feel the front half of my feet until mile 3 (it was a little chilly that morning). The first four miles flew by. I kept a great pace (well, for me. I'm not exactly a speedster) and felt strong. I spotted Nick's parents at mile 3 and was SO thrilled to see a familiar face. It's amazing how alone you can feel in such a huge sea of people.
Mile 6 my ankles were hurting (a new pain for me!) and it was hard to mentally accept that we weren't even to the halfway point yet. The 10:41 pacer passed me at mile 7, which I felt good about. I should be slowing down to an 11 minute mile by 8 or 9 and I'd be right on track with my training runs.
And then at mile 10 there was the "other" finish line. Right about then I was half wishing I would've signed up for the 10 mile race. But, to be honest, there was part of me that was also thinking it was "just" 3 miles left and 3 miles is totally doable.
I'd heard that miles 10-13 were all downhill. Turns out that was a big fat lie. There was a long, slow UPhill at mile 11. It wasn't steep, but that late in the race it was mentally tough. And then I saw Mom & Dad G cheering from the side. Oh you guys, they got me up that hill a heckuva lot faster then I was going on my own. Nick's dad ran right along with me for a couple minutes and that was exactly what I needed to get moving again.
Then I saw the mile 12 flag. ONE MILE LEFT. Just one! I'd be across the finish line in mere minutes. But I just couldn't move any faster. My hips were lit on fire, my ankles felt like they were going to collapse with every step and my shins were hurting. (Running is fun!) Apparently my limp was pretty obvious, because a girl came up behind me and asked me if I was ok. Ha! Mile 12 seemed to drag on forever, but eventually the finish line came into view and I dug deep (really REALLY) deep and sprinted in. Nick jumped in from the side at the very end and crossed the finish line (a second time) with me.
My official chip time is 2:29:19. It's right on target with my training runs and I'm happy with it. Nick ran a great race and finished at 2:01:21. He was hoping to come in under 2 hours, but overall he's happy with it.
Will we do it again?
Yup, I sure will. I want to be faster and I want to correct my form so it doesn't hurt this much. Nick will probably run another half at some point. He's more focused on triathalons for now, but I'll probably drag him back in for another half at some point in the future.
Will we run a full marathon?
No. At this point in my life I have no desire to run a full. I can't even imagine that amount of pain! But seriously, I'm not at a place in life right now where I want to commit the training time required for a full marathon, and I don't really see that day coming any time soon. I have a lot of respect for people that can log 26 miles on their feet!
A huge, huge, huge thank you to our friends and family who came out to the race. Having people on the sidelines meant a lot more to me than I thought it would and it definitely made for some fun memories. We felt really loved!
Us with Jack & Laurel and some gorgeous Fall colors
Overall, this was a great experience. THANK YOU ALL for being so encouraging and supportive along the way. There were many Saturday afternoons collapsed on a couch after a long run where I really appreciated the encouraging tweets and comments. Plus, you haven't sent me hate mail for being a terrible blogger for the past 12 weeks. So, thanks. We're a little bit relieved to have this adventure over so we can get back to knocking down walls and putting up cabinets. So here's to the next adventure - a kitchen!
Beemer's really proud of us.
We asked him.
ps - story behind the post title - my favorite t-shirt of the day said "I'm only half crazy. 13.1"
I thought it summed things up pretty well.
pps - I definitely don't recommend running through pain that you're concerned about. I'm working with a chiropractor and personal trainer to make sure I'm not doing permanent damage to my achy body. Fixing my form issues is at the top of my list before I tackle any more long races!