As most of you know, I am trying to run the 50 states. Charlotte provided an opportunity for me to knock out NC and is within driving distance. I wanted redemption on Chicago b/c I was so mentally beat from that race. Let's get to the report.
K drove in a driving rain storm Thursday afternoon and evening all the way to Charlotte. We arrived to our hotel around 10:30, only to have someone back up into my car. Luckily, minor damage was done, so officials were not needed. Bad luck, still????!!!!
Friday I met up with two totally cool guys from MRT on RWOL and we did an easy 3 miles on part of the race course. My legs felt good and loose. The three of us showered and went to lunch. I never get to talk running, so this was a nice treat for me. We had a lot of fun. Next David drove us on the entire race course. He even tried to show us what it would be like running backwards and drove in reverse for a few blocks. I tried to make mental note of the very steep of this rolling course. The hills weren't as steep as the pig, but still lots of ups and downs. After the ride, K and I went to the expo. Not too much to write about there. That night K and I ate at an Irish pub, where I had a veggie & polenta dish. I literally slept 10 hours Friday night and I woke up feeling very rested.
I woke up and got some breakfast from the hotel, the usual fruit and toast w/ PB. After that I bundled up and walked to the expo. It was really nice waiting inside the convention center, as it was 32 degrees outside. I found Steve and we made out way to the start. For whatever reason, I wasn't too nervous. All the pace groups were jumbled together, but we lined up near the 3:15 group. Keep in mind, the 3 hour group was right in front of us. I wore a long sleeved shirt, shorts, and gloves. I was so cold. At home in this temp, I would've worn pants, but oh well.
We were off:
I really tried to keep in under control in the beginning miles. It seemed as if they were all down hill.
1- 6:39 (6:39) I said I was TRYING to keep it under control. I didn't say I was actually able to do it.
2- 6:57 (13:35) I was aiming for exactly 7 min pace, so this was about right.
3- 6:41 (20:16) Ugghh- My body won't slow down! For some reason I am staying with this girl with a headband that is doing the half. Why won't I let her go? She seems nice, though.
4- 6:55 (27:11)
5- 7:08 (34:18) attempting to get things under control so I don't blow up later
6- 6:57 (41:15)
7- 6:56 (48:11)
8- 7:02 (55:12) Mini report- I wanted to have my Clif Bloks to prevent my usual "Gu makes me sick" feeling. The package was too bulky, so I wrapped them in saran wrap and put them in my pocket. Now I couldn't get them out! I had to take off a mitten, then unknowingly dropped it. Too much time had passed to go back for it. CLUSTER! I ate 3 bloks here.
9- 6:57 (1:02:09)
10- 6:57 (1:09:06)
11- 6:58 (1:16:04)
12- 7:05 (1:23:08)
13- 7:05 (1:30:13) My "lap/mile" beeps are WAY off the course mile markers.
We finally split from the half marathoners. I am running right by a girl and a pack of 3 guys. I remember thinking how strong and runner-like she looks. Why can't I look like that? She's chatting and having a great time. I try to small talk for a moment, but they start slowing way down. A girl on a bike comes and tells us she "thinks" we are the first two females.
14- 7:04 (1:37:17) If I remember correctly, there is a pretty steep hill here. The group is slowing and I pull away. I remember thinking they would be back. (They wouldn't)
15- 6:53 (1:44:10) I am feeling really pumped at the idea of being in the top 3. I still need to use self control, as I can feel a slight fade coming on. I think Steve caught up at this point. He was so amazing being able to make up that kind of time!
16- 7:11 (1:51:21) falling off a bit; take 3 more bloks, easier this time without mittens
17- 7:09 (1:58:30)
18- 7:10 (2:05:39) We see K and I tell him I think I'm winning. He holds up two fingers; guess I'm not.
19-7:02 (2:12:41) I tell Steve my behind is hurting. We are running with a pack. Everyone looks so strong, but me! It's too early for this!
20- 7:06 (2:19:47) The pack of guys pulls away from Steve and me. He's such a gentleman to stay with me. I'm a little worried.
21- 7:44 (2:27:32) Um, yeah, walking here. I tell him to go on and he does, but keeps checking back on me. At this point, I have a mean talk with myself. It goes like this:
Me: What in the world is your problem? You always do this!!!
Body: This hurts!
Me: So what! Suck if up, you slow poke! You worked hard for this. It's all mental.
Body: I know, but this is no fun.
Me: You will be glad when you finish strong.
It worked and I turned it back on.
22-7:22 (2:34:53) I think I catch back up to Steve. I ask him for the Gu I turned down earlier. So nice of him to give me that!
23- 7:22 (2:42:15) I am running with this guy who is trying to BQ named Will. His friend is pacing on a bike. They are nice guys, too. He even offered me some of his water. There is a big question whether or not I am winning. Apparently, there's another female up there, but she might be doing the relay.
24- 7:29 (2:49:44) Uggh, this really hurts, but I press on. Slowly but surely.
25- 7:43 (2:57:27) There is a big hill right before this mile marker. Nice, real nice.
26- 7:15 (3:04: 42) I should be finishing right now. At this point, STILL don't know if I'm winning, but bike girl and new bike boy are with me discussing the matter. One is on the radio asking someone. I really don't care; I just want to finish at this point.
26.44- 3:04 (3:07:46)
I crossed and found K. I realized how much the hills had taken out of me. Wow, I hurt. I tried to get back to cheer on Steve, but by the time I got out of the chute, he was finished. After that I showered and went to the awards. I did win overall female. I felt good about this race b/c I didn't give up mentally. It was a PR by a minute, but in my mind so much more. I am realizing how long it will get me to sub 3. I guess I can be patient. I am making progress, so that is the important thing. Here are some pics of the race: