|Posing like a diva at the expo & my new necklace|
We had plans to meet up with Jesica and Kat for lunch and we enjoyed some good food and great company. I was exhausted from having slept terribly the night before but I really enjoyed learning more about some of the ladies I "know" on twitter and in the blog world. After lunch some of us headed to the beach and I'm proud to say I didn't get sunburnt at all. It was probably the best-spent pre-race day I've experienced yet. Being on the beach especially helped to take my focus off of my nervousness about the race, I wish every race was at a beach location!
This was one of the bigger races I have done and once the race began it took 3-4 minutes to even cross the start line. Once we did it was still rather congested but I hung in there and did my thing. Due to the humidity I was dripping sweat before I'd even completed the first mile! My legs felt heavy and my initial thought was "I'm just not feeling this today". Then I found my groove and the miles seemed to fly by. For this race I did run/walk intervals of 4/1, which is what I'd been training with over the last month, and I chose to forgo music and just focus on the experience. I felt from the beginning that I had started too fast but I felt good and told myself that if I ended up crashing because of it, I'd deal with it then.
Around mile 5 I still felt I was going too fast. Truth be told I started to panic! Why wasn't I tired? Was I really running as fast as I thought I was? Would I hit "the wall"? It was then that I saw a woman running ahead of me and printed on her shirt were the words "when your legs get tired, run with your heart". I did a mental self-check: did my feet hurt? Aside from a painful blister, no. Was it difficult to breathe? Nope. Any hesitation I had was due to the doubt in my own head. It was a huge wake up call to me and I kept my pace and ran with my heart.
There weren't many spectators throughout the course (they were all pretty heavily concentrated in one area) but the ones we did encounter were fun. As I ran by a sweet older couple who were cheering for us around mile 7 I said, "Thank you for coming out!" and the man replied "Thanks for making it this far!" Haha! Then a woman next to me shouted "She's going to make it all the way!" I thought that was sweet. It was a very girl-power type of race, which made for a fun race atmosphere. One runner was wearing a shirt that said "You just got passed by a pregnant woman!" LOL.
The course was the flattest I have ever run with just one or two speed bump-like "hills". When I reached the 10-mile marker and looked down at my Garmin I realized I hadn't even been running for 2 hours yet - I've never run 10 miles in less than 2 hours before. Then I started doing the calculations in my head. If I was under 2 hours with 5k left to go, there was a very good chance that not only would I PR but I could cross the finish line under 2:30:00 - a time I never in a million years thought I would see any time soon. After all, my first half was less than 6 months ago and I had run a 2:47:54 in that one. I mustered up every ounce of strength I could and I ran on.
As those final miles counted down, the spectators began their shouts of "Only _ miles to go!" and "You're almost there!" I felt tired but also excited and I pushed on. Some time between miles 12 and 13 I spied the Divas boa & tiara station where Melanie was volunteering. In my head I knew if it came down to getting a PR or getting a plastic tiara I was going to run right past that tiara. I glanced at my watch and knew that barring catasptrophe I would get in under 2:30. I started shouting Melanie's name until she saw me and I grabbed a boa and kept running. I stuck out my hand and someone put a tiara in it and I promptly stuck it on top of my head, still running frantically. As I turned that final corner with the finish line in sight, I gave everything I had and as I crossed the finish line I made sure to stop my Garmin (I always forget to do that after a race). I looked down at my wrist and almost fell to the ground in disbelief: 2:28:40!!!
|Blue & yellow for Boston. My shiny new PR & shiny new bling!|
|The medal-holding hotties.|