Monday, December 8, 2008
So onto the race report. It's a little long and full of pictures, so bare with me. A lot of the pics are best viewed large, so click on a picture to see a bigger version. Or view the whole set as a slide show.
Friday night, I met my group for a pasta dinner at Il Pescatore and had a blast. It was nice hanging out in our normal clothes :) When we got home, I got everything ready, set the alarm, and was in bed by 9:30ish I think. I tossed and turned most of the night. I am sure I slept at some point, but every time I looked at the clock it seemed only 5 minutes had passed. I think I finally managed to fall asleep and dream a little around 3 or 4 and magically woke up only 15 minutes late since I forgot to actually turn ON the alarm. D'oh! I sprung out of bed cursing to myself, got ready, and we were on the road by 6:15 ish.
Mile 1 was upon us before we knew it. Despite starting in the back, we still went out too fast and completed the first mile in less than 12 minutes. About a half mile later, we saw the first water stop, and I was pleasantly surprised to see my co-worker Amy cheering me on just before that. I opened the first pack of sport beans, ate a few, drank some water, and we were on our way. I followed this same routine at every water stop.
The weather was great, not too hot or humid, yet not too cold, so I quickly shed my arm warmers and gloves somewhere between mile 2 and 3. People lined the streets throughout and somewhere before mile 2 or 3 (I think), a group of 3 was cheering on runners with such enthusiasm that before we saw them I thought there was an Obama rally going on. We were on a walk break as we approached them, but quickly decided that we just had to run past them so we cut that walk break short. It was so mcuh fun and we were sure to thank them as we passed.
The 2nd water stop had a live band. At the 3rd water stop, around mile 5, they were playing "Eye of the Tiger" and that really got me pumped. Silly signs lined the course as well as spectators and on-course entertainment. The support was simply awesome. On our way to Mile 6, we crossed Colonial Dr. (a major road) where cops had stopped traffic as we crossed. We were greeted by a barrage of honking cars and wondered if they were encouraging us or beeping in annoyance at being stuck in traffic. We chose to believe the former. Jason greeted us once again near the next water stop by mile 6 and took some video of us running by.
sequence of photos. She had been debating whether she could run the last mile straight and seeing her daughter gave her the strength she needed and she determined right then that she would do it.
After getting Jason my 2 free beers at the finish for being such a great support, we headed to the car as it started to drizzle again. I was aching and wanted to get into some dry clothes. I changed in the car into my now fully earned race shirt :) and we headed to the farmer's market for some veggie chips, fresh produce, and an omelet where proudly displayed my shirt and medal. I think I wore the shirt all day, to the celebratory dinner at Shogun, to sleep that night, and in the morning until I showered and headed to my massage :)
Now for some number crunching. Since I did not have my Garmin, I had to improvise my splits.
I tweeted the times for the miles where they had clocks and calculated net times based on the official race results. After mile 3, they only had clocks every 2 miles so I just clumped those 2 miles together and averaged out the time difference to get the average pace. Clearly, we started out too fast, but it worked out because my average pace for the last 2.1 miles was faster than the first so I was still able to finish strong. How awesome!!
And here are the rest of the results:
chip time: 2:38:56
clock time: 2:41:49
overall place: 2062 / 2249
age group place: 167 / 187
gender place: 983 / 1126
In conclusion, it was an incredible experience and I could not have asked for a better 1st 1/2 marathon. I absolutely could not have done this without the support of everyone who has been following my efforts and encouraging me along the way on this blog, LJ, the daily mile, and twitter. I could not have done this without my amazing Galloway group, and especially Brenda and Michelle who were with me to the end. And of course, I HUGE thank to Jason, who supported me and put up with my crazyness and believed in me throughout this whole ordeal and who was there throughout the course more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you everyone!! I can't wait for the next one and to do a full marathon next year.