The thrilling conclusion…
Yesterday’s post pretty much sums up what I wanted to say about this race: I haven’t been running much this year, but I managed to whip myself into good enough shape to PR, and that gives me hope that I can BQ or at least PR at Marine Corps after all. You can read all about the race itself on Amy’s blog. I was with her, B, and Dash all weekend long.
I guess I can add a few details. I should have known something was up when I went outside in my long-sleeved shirt and thought, wow, I don’t even need this. Amy, B, and I started out strong with an 8:26 mile that felt suspiciously hard. At one point I had to run around a woman texting, and it took every ounce of self control not to just swat her little flip phone out of her hand. How do you text and run? She didn’t even have a keyboard! And she was in the middle of the very crowded road!
Anyway, by mile 2 (8:09, right on George’s recommended pace) I realized I was sweating. Uh oh, I thought. It’s hot out. Apparently, George had called some of his other runners off their original planned pace when he realized how warm it was, but I didn’t see him outside of the hotel lobby, so he didn’t tell me to take it easy.
Just as well, since we went on to bust out 5 eight-minute miles as planned before dipping into the high 7s and staying there for the rest of the race. If it had been cooler, we might have gotten some more mid-7s, or I might have felt comfortable at some point, but that didn’t happen.
I could see Amy and Beth running strong the whole race, so I just dug in and held on to them. I never found a great groove, like Amy did, but I welcomed the pain, because I expect it on marathon day, and I can’t back down then. As we passed one mile, I only thought about the next, and the fact that, when you run 8-minute-miles, they fly by!
By the end though, I was hurting in a big way. I had to pee, and I was foaming at the mouth a bit. I had also started to cramp up around mile 10, so I really was just hanging on for dear life. At that point, Amy had pulled away. I could see her just ahead of me, while B and I ran side-by-side. It was so great having her there. I figured she must hurt like I did, but I knew we’d get through it together, and it was helping me to think that I might be helping her. A few times I wanted to tell her how sick I felt, but I didn’t want to mess with her mind like that.
Mile 12 to 13 was our fastest at 7:39. We passed Dash, who was having some GI issues. She called out cheering us on, and I turned around and told her to come on. When I realized she must be having problems, I DESPERATELY wanted to stop and run with her. Who could blame me for helping out a teammate? But instead I closed the few steps between me and B and passed mile 13 with her. She then promptly said, “Loser buys lunch,” and I tried to shake my head no, but she was already gone. I was sure I would puke right there, after all, but somehow I found the mysterious kick to chase her. We ended up finishing 3 seconds apart and about 20 seconds behind Amy.
Now that’s teamwork!