Let me start off by saying I finished!! For those of you that do not want to read the entire post.. it was a 4:10:00 which was a PR by over 2 minutes. The race was great! Nice small town, BEAUTIFUL scenery AND the weather was perfect. Low 50s start and 70 at the finish.
I drove to Cleveland on Friday to stay with my friend Monica and headed to Erie on Saturday. The weekend was great! Nice and low key with lots of good food and good company. We found our hotel and expo with no problem. Plus we made a great choice to get the pasta dinner at the expo. $10 for a full meal and we were able to eat at the park and enjoy the scenery.
Brrr! It was cold at 5:30 am! We were good little girls and went to bed at 8:30 pm and were up and ready to roll by 5:15 am. There was a lot of wind and it was a little chilly so we rocked our trash bags until the start. We were all able to make our important bathroom stop in the nice park restrooms before it was super crowded then it was wait time.
Miles 1-15 were perfect! Everyone knows that I wanted a sub 4 marathon and have trained my butt off for that time. I was nailing my mile times and feeling PERFECT! I met a guy named Ryan a little before mile 5 and we talked and kept it stead all the way to mile 15. I made a pee stop in the woods and perhaps this was an omen but I PEED in my pants : ( I held it for too long and could not get my shorts down quick enough. Good thing it was hot enough people might have thought it was sweat.
I also left Ryan because he had run 30 some miles the day before at a 24 hour run in Cleveland. He is a marathon maniac and it was so much fun to talk running with him.
If you make this picture big you will see there is no smile on my face at mile 19 : ( At mile 18 I was on the nose to make right at a 4 hour marathon; maybe even a few seconds short. As I got closer to my parents at mile 19 I was super emotional because I knew they were watching my time and I was starting to doubt whether I could hold it or not. I broke into tears when I saw them. They did not think anything of my tears since I cry at every marathon. I did not tell them I was doubting myself and they did not reassure me I was going to make it. Barry knew at that time that I was 90 seconds ahead of schedule. Well I guess my marathon brain was messing with me because miles 20-23 I was doing BAD math in my head. I just kept figuring that I was minutes too slow. The more I thought about it the "slower" I got. I was running 9:15-9:30 but was freaking out because it was not a 9:09 which is what it takes to get under 4 hours. I was not stopping to look at the time I had in the "bank" from running some miles under pace. Mile 23 a time truck pulled up beside me and I figured I had 29ish to run the rest of the race. I told myself that was a good pace on a good day when you are just running 3 and convinced myself I did not have it in me.
This is when I did something I NEVER do. For the first time I stopped and walked. Not only did I stop and walk but I pulled out my phone and called my parents to tell them I was walking it in. At this point I was crying so much they did not know if I was hurt or not. I then called Scott and told him I was "F***ing pissed". In a very nice way he told me to get it together and run it in for a PR which was still very much attainable. I fixed my stupid iPod and started listening to my favorite running songs on my iPhone. At mile 24.5 ish I told myself to kick it in for a PR. It took a while to jump start my legs again but I was able to knock out some 8:45 paces : ) My stepdad had ran to check on me and found me a little after the 25 mile marker and I was running so "fast" he could not keep up with me. I was super ticked at myself for so many reasons! It took me a few minutes to find the joy in finishing a marathon in 4:10:00
Notice the lack of shirt as I finish. I was so mad that I took my NEW Saucony dry fit shirt and threw it down! Seriously I must have been out of my head from low blood sugar or something. I learned many lessons this past Sunday and am still reflecting on the whole situation. There will be more blogs about this race for many reasons! I need to re-look at my strategy to take sub 4 and I need a small attitude adjustment after the way I reacted to failure.