In true Twila fashion my pre race routine was perfect. Arrived early and did the expo quickly. I did get some great deals on 26.2 apparel. Even broke the rule and wore a new shirt for the race (bad idea). We ate an early supper at Old Spaghetti Factory, had some carrot cake for dessert and a cookie before bed. Everything was laid out for the morning and I slept pretty good.
That morning I had a bagel, 2 granola bars with peanut butter but NO banana : (. However, the best thing I did was wear the race pace tattoo! I will not run another goal race without one. I was able to take care of all bathroom issues and we were ready to leave the hotel at 6:45. I was thankful for my garbage bag to keep warm and the only mistake I made was not sneaking in one last potty stop.
Do I look ready for a PR and a sub 4 marathon??
Miles 1-8: The start was pretty crowded and it was slightly slow so there were a few seconds to our disadvantage. I was running with Jeremy and his friend Pat. We did a little talking and were made sure we were always 9:09 or faster. Somewhere around mile 4 I had to take a little stop on the side of the road but I was able to sprint ahead and catch back up with the guys. These miles were fast and fairly effortless. I took a GU around mile 6. We ran thru Churchill Downs at mile 8 and I thought it was a neat experience but it messed with our Garmins.
Miles 9-11: The half had split at this point so we had some more space to spread out and be more relaxed. We noticed we had slowed so were ran a little more aggressive because we knew Iroquois Park was coming and would loose some valuable seconds on the hills. We were consistently 20-40 seconds ahead of pace at all times.
Miles 11-15: The hills in the park were not that bad to be honest. The first hill required some serious effort. The 4 hour pace group was right with us at this point so we stayed with them for the motivation. We ran the park very smart. NO walking on the hills; just dig deep, breathe, use your ams and try not to slow down. We ran the downhills pretty hard and were still nailing our split times. On the last downhill out of the park Jeremy and I were sick of listening to the pace group so we took off and decided to start passing some people. We were as much as 50 seconds ahead of schedule at this point. I took a GU around mile 13 I think.
Mile 16-22: I was feeling great! I love when the count down is in the single digits. I told Jeremy I was going to run hard until 20 so that I could slip a little during the last 6. I was having a tiny bit of pain in my left leg but nothing to slow me down. I put my music in at mile 19 and entertained Jeremy until mile 20.5 when we started to drift apart. We both believe in running our own race so I went ahead. I saw 2 Danville runners up ahead who I know are strong runners so I kept them in my sights. At mile 21 my friend Monica joined me for a minute and I was feeling awesome. Maybe a little too confident but again I was nailing my splits AND my pace was still reading 9:04-9:06 at all times! She left me and said she would see me at Mile 25.
Mile 22-Mile 25: Well I had only taken 2 GUs and I was getting hungry : ( But I didn't think a GU would help me at this point and I was starting to get the I want to puke feeling. I looked back at the pace group was still 2 to 3 blocks behind me. Pace still at 9:05 and my the time was looking good. I was dug deep and tried not to cuss too much. Bad news there were two hills in mile 23ish area. Those HURT in a bad way!!! But I did not stop and I did not walk! NOT ONE STEP : ) At this point I had ran my fastest race ever and the smartest race ever. I was sure the final time would be 3 hours something.
THEN the pace group passed me : ( So I was ready to accept a PR (had to beat 4:03:10) But good ole' Monica popped up and told me to "get across that line" I picked up speed and passed the 4 hour pace group. In true Twila finish line mode I started crying until Monica told me to stop; then I saw Parker on the side of the road and I cried again and Monica told me to stop. I held it in until I crossed the finish mat. At this point I was a mess. Clock time time was 4:04 something but I new I was a good 5 minutes slower because of the start. My watch said 4:00:04 and the distance was at 26.62 miles. Did I break 4 hours??? I would not know until I saw the official time.
The rule was no magnet until I broke 4 hours...
1. I beat the 4 hour pace group to the line
2: My pace said 9:05 which is below the 9:09 it takes
3: My watch was messed up in the tunnels
4: I nailed every mile split on my pace chart
5: I ran my tangets bad and ran more than 26.2
Official time: 4:00:34!!! 35 seconds "too slow" : (
BUT I ran a major PR, I ran HARD, I ran the smartest race ever and I gave it my all. As in I felt like I was going to puke for the last 1.5 miles and I can barely get in and out of a sitting position today. In my mind I ran a sub three marathon BUT the chip time is what is it so I will still have that as my goal.
Next on the list: join a gym, take spin class, swim, run less but faster, PR some smaller distances and then re do this marathon thing in the late fall/early winter. My sights are on St. Jude in Memphis.