Monday, November 12, 2007

So Much Better!

This year's race was so much better!

My only real complaint last year was the weather - something no one could anything about. Still, I really did not want a repeat of that experience. Last year's race was a huge mental trial for me. I used every bit of positive talk and spiritual encouragement, and it got me through.

Lucky me. This year the weather cooperated. It was frigid at 5:30 when we headed for our shuttles and at 6:30 when we took off the outer layers that would not be joining us on our runs. (UPS collects dry bags before the race so we'll have dry clothes to change into at the finish - a great idea, and a wonderful service. They'll even mail them to you if you forget to pick your clothes up!) It was still cold when we lined up to start the race.

I kept a large t-shirt on over my singlet and long sleeved top. I knew I wouldn't keep it on for long but I needed that extra layer of perceived warmth. I settled myself in the last corral (12+ minutes/mile), just as I did last year, knowing I (again) hadn't trained properly for this race. Because we were the 4th or 5th corral they started us about 9 minutes after the first corral. I guess they do that for crowd control, but I'm not sure about that. Anyway, since I don't wear a watch when I run, and there were no clocks on the course, I never really had a good idea of how fast/slow I was going. At one point, judging by the time of day, I thought I was going slower than last year. I was fine with that.

I warmed up and tossed the t-shirt into a pile of others at the 1 mile marker, and ran on. I wore my gloves until mile 4, but kept them with me until mile 5 and 8, where I left them in places where I thought David would see them, signs to him that I was thinking of him during the toughest parts of his race.

I never had thoughts of not making the distance. I felt good, better than I should have, I'm sure. I kept a quick, short step rather than a longer stride, to put less stress on my shins and knees. My knees were fine for most of the race. I saw the bridge, the crest of which this year was the 10-mile mark, and almost shouted for joy. The bridge is a climb, but, being a hill, is the best part of the race. All you have to do is get to the top and you've got only 3.1 miles to go. That's a 5K. You can walk that far!

And I did do quite a bit of walking from the bridge on. My left knee was shot so I would run for a few minutes and then walk, then run again. Gearing up to run again was hard, and every time I did, I'd give a little yelp, and the people around me would stare.

My only real goal for the race, other than to keep from getting too cold, was to try to be on the downside of the bridge before the first marathoner passed by. That was it.

I reached the top of the bridge, then the bottom, then the next mile beyond, and turned the corner. Still no marathoner in sight. I was just about 1/2 mile from the finish when the winner passed by, and another minute or so later the second marathoner ran by.

I thought they must have run an awfully slow race to have passed me that late in the race! As it turned out, I ran a faster race!

Last year I ran 2:53:48 and this year 2:41:03!


Anonymous Rachel said...

Woohooo! I'm impressed!!

7:47 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

Jennifer, I check in on your blog from time to time, and how impressed I was to find the blogs about your respective races! Awesome job, BOTH of you! :) So, so cool! :)

Cat Herrington

11:13 PM  

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