Here I sit comfortably on the couch one day post ING Hartford Marathon. #2 in my marathon career. I'm feeling good! Sore of course but good. I'm still able to do the normal mom stuff... cleaning, dishes, laundry, etc. with minimal discomfort. My stomach was in knots yesterday but that's from the GU and Gatorade cocktails I was ingesting during the race.
I'm feeling sore but empowered! Love the fact that I have two marathons under my belt. 5 years ago I never would have thought I'd be able to say that. I was a lazy, pot smoking couch potato... now I'm not!!!
So, I started yesterday with the 4:05 pace group. Having stayed with them, I would have averaged a 9:21/mile pace for the entire race. I WISH I stayed with them. At the first few water stops, my group stopped to hydrate. I did not since I run with my water belt. I kept them in my sights though and kept at the target pace (so I thought). A few more water stops... they stopped I did not. I kept looking behind me and saw the bright yellow shirt my pace leader was wearing so I kept on, knowing they were right behind me. Then the group started to pass me. As they passed I saw on the back of the bright yellow shirt "3:55 Pace Group Leader". WHAT?? I had been running ahead of the 3:55??? I was averaging an 8:something mile! Woah, better slow down.... I didn't want to slow down though. I felt good.
I had made arrangements with my mom to meet me at mile 12 with a snack. I told her I'd meet her around 10:00am, assuming I was with my group. Since I was ahead of my group, I started to worry she'd not be there yet. It was 9:50 or so and luckily for me she was there. Holding up a big sign and holding my Mojo Bar. THANKS MOM!!
I saw my Aunt Gila next at miles 14 and 20. She lives just off the race route and goes to watch it every year. Saw my mom again around mile 22.
After mile 14 I had to pee. I pulled over to a port-o-potty. Ahhhh... relief! While I was in the bathroom though is when the 4:05 Pace group passed by. Mile 17 is the turn around point and just as I was approaching mile 17, the group was on their way back to Hartford. They had already turned around.
I almost started to cry. I had used so much energy at the start of the race that what I had left was escaping me. I held back tears. I made it to 17...18...19...20...22...saw the 4:10 group pass me...GRRRRRRRR!!!!!
"Get yourself together!!!" I kept on. I'll be honest, I had to stop and walk for a minute or so a few times. My feet were killing me. If I stayed with a group, I'd have moral support and probably wouldn't have stopped. Oh well.
Mile 24....25...There's Hartford!! I see it! I'm no longer in the suburbs. The finish line is CLOSE!! No more walking...People are watching....there are cameras everywhere. Can't let anybody see my weakness!
Mile 25 was soooooo long! Then 26... but it wasn't over....still .2 to go! LOL. By 25.5 I was back at a strong pace and form. Definitely the crowds were to thank.
Coming around the bend to the finish line, I saw my dad! then I heard Joe. I waved. I couldn't wait to cross the line and see my hubby and little boy!!
Oh goodness! and finally the finish line was under my feet!! Official finish time was 4:12:26. More than a half hour shaved off my time from last year! Disappointed I didn't finish with 4:05 but considering my original goal with the race was 4:20, I'm satisfied.
Maybe next year I'll do a sub 4:00...hmmmm
So another "victory" is had. I'm so thankful for my family... You all grant me not only the time to run but the motivation to. Without Joe, my parents, Justin and my sister, I'd have never ever entertained joining such a crazy culture!