I spent the early morning hours before my race listening to the rain come down outside as I lay in bed trying to get Ella back to sleep. I was dreading the race. When I woke up at the crack of dawn, I saw my car covered in snow and light rain falling, but there was a hint of the sun. Just the tiniest spot in the sky where it was trying to shine through.
I began my pre-race ritual with my peanut butter and jelly toast. I debated for a good 15 minutes on whether I wanted to wear pants or shorts. It was time to leave long before I was ready. I kissed Josh and Ella and begrudgingly got in the car.
When I got to the Park-N-Ride I got out and realized I had to put on shorts. I was going to overheat in no time with my pants on. This resulted in a comedic attempt to get my pants off and shorts on without removing my shoes in the driver’s seat of my car. Pretty sure several guys in the car that pulled up next to me saw my ass. Probably because they looked after I accidentally set off my car alarm. Winning.
Pants situation resolved I hopped on the Light Rail and arrived at the starting line. It was kind of lonely. Not going to lie, sometimes it’s hard running a race without a starting line buddy. The gun went off and so did I…way too fast! I had turned off all alarms on my watch so that I just ran the race at a pace that I felt comfortable with. Apparently in the first half mile, that was 7:30…slow you’re roll there Jess.
I settled into my pace by the 2nd mile and enjoyed the lovely day it was turning out to be. Sunny, cool. Perfect! Yeah, not by mile 4. This is when the headwind started picking up. I hit the half way point with an average pace of 8:45. Channeling my inner Joey Lawrence I found myself saying Woah! I could not believe it.
I decided that I didn’t want to wear my fuel belt for this race since conditions were favorable for not overheating and needing 40+ ounces of water. About mile 4, I walked through the water station and decided to do that every 2 miles to hydrate. It was working perfectly. I took my first Shot Bloks at mile 4.
By mile 8 when I took my second couple of Shot Bloks it was blowing pretty steadily (25 mph I found out later). I kept going but was getting tired. Mile 9.5-10.5 was my slowest of the race. I walked twice and accidentally turned off my watch when I took off my jacket. Oops. I ran about a half mile before I realized what had happened. I looked down and thought, this is the longest mile ever. I decided not to take my final Shot Bloks when my stomach started grumbling.
We turned a corner about mile 12 where we started going straight up hill. Cruel, cruel race planners. It was at the top of this hill when I got blown into a chain link fence. I wish someone had it on video. I’m glad that fence was there because otherwise I would have been blown to the ground. I walked again to get my bearings back.
One last turn and I was in the shoot. I really just wanted to crawl. My muscles were totally seizing up. I’m not sure if it’s because it was cold and windy or if it was that I ran at a faster pace than I usually do for this distance, but I was hurting. About 15 feet from the finish line I saw Josh and Ella. It gave me enough power to pick up the pace just enough to finish under 2 hours with 13 seconds to spare.
Time: 1:59:47 Avg. Pace: 9:08 min/miles
For a moment I was disappointed that I hadn’t pushed it harder and gotten the 1:55 half I was on track for until mile 11. By the time I had my chip cut off; I was over it and ready to meet our friends for lunch. Unfortunately the pics Josh took are on our camera at home. I’ll have to post them later.
Getting on a plane a few hours after a race sucked. I was really sore when I had to stand up after a 4.5 hour flight to Ft. Lauderdale. Planning on avoiding that one again if I can. I haven’t run since the race only because I’ve been in meetings all day and work events at night. Can’t wait to run when I get home though!
Looking forward to the Lincoln Half in a few weeks!