K (my hubby) and I drove to Birmingham early Saturday morning to catch our flight to Louisville, KY. My parents live there, so we were doing a family visit along with the run. After a bumpy flight, we drove to Cincinnati and checked into our hotel. We went to the race expo and I was on a mission to get souviners for my students. This has become a marathon ritual when I have to miss school. I bribe them to be good for the substitute teacher by promising them a surprise. Luckily, I found pig erasers that they loved. After the expo, we drove the first 8 miles of the course and my family decided where to meet me on the course. We then went to dinner at a place near the hotel (can't remember the name). I have a sensitive stomach during long runs, so I was cautious about what I ate that night, especially after my GI disaster in Pensacola. I went with chicken breast, salad, and green beans. I ate part of K's potato, too. We then went back to the hotel and I showered and prepared my things for the race.
My alarm went off at 4:30 and I was up like a shot. I stuffed my Sports Beans into my pocket, laced my shoes, and went to the mini-kitchen for breakfast. I had my first shock of the morning- I had forgotten my Power Bar. I settled for some of Mom's poppyseed bread and a banana. I also drank an entire bottle of water. The rest of the fam. got up and we headed for the start. I got in the porta potty line first off. I was very impressed that the porta actually had hand sanitizer. This was very nice. I found the 3:10 pace group and waited nervously. Then I met mburns from RW forum and saw Squirrel from a distance. It's funny how you have expectations of people prior to meeting them. I felt like I had to use the restroom again (#1) and I high-tailed it for the bushes. The race director announced a fire on the course and the race was being extended AND delayed. GGRRRR, the nervousness continued.
We were finally on our way. The early miles were very crowded. At mile marker 1 I had to use the restroom AGAIN (still #1) and ducked into the porta. I caught back up with the pace group and stayed with them for the first probably 13 miles. At that point I realized we were almost two minutes behind pace. I decided and aparently others from the group had the same idea. Mburns, an Ironman, and another man in a white shirt stayed together for many, many miles. The hills were worse than anything I had ever run. We chit-chatted about family, other running experiences, and how bad the hills were KILLING me! I passed two other RW forumites and stayed on pace until mile 24. I hit a wall and hard. This is where my problem began.
Take note that I didn't say "problems." This is my one and only problem during marathons- I break down. I don't mean physically, totally mentally. For some reason in the final miles when the tough gets going, I totally doubt myself. I start thinking every bad thought about myself until in my mind I have degrated myself to a piece of crap. I usually end the race in tears because of this. The pace group passed, Mburns passed, and just about everyone I had run with passed me by. I walked, cried, and hated myself. It was pitiful.
Then I finished in 3:11:35. I was totally bummed. I was near sobbing, but managed to congratulate a few runners near me. I grabbed some goodies and went to find the fam. Of course, K was all hugs, telling me how great I did, trying to get it all on the friggin' camcorder. I cried some more. The rest is uneventful. I managed to win the AG and later found that for 26.2 my time was 3:09:48. Is it really? Therefore, my PR is unofficial.
We returned home safely to find cat throw up on the floor of our family room. I went back to work Tuesday and life returned to normal.
Splits are below:
29:28 (4) I had a bathroom break at mile 1 and didn't see mile markers, so didn't hit "lap" on my watch.
7:48 (25) Things started going south here.
8:55 (26) Nice, huh?