I. Hit. The. Wall.
I considered this one of my "hometown" races, as it was in P'cola, only an hour from me. So, I drove down that morning and breezed through packet pickup. What I didn't breeze through was the porta line. Once again, not enough portas for runners and I didn't get to warm up. I was defending champ for this race, and had aspirations of winning it again.
1. The first mile is always super fast at this race, even though the distance. I call it bayfront mile b/c the view of the bay is spectacular. 6:30
2. I am already not first female. Some gal I've never seen before took the lead early and held it the whole way to run 1:23:xx. Mile 2 begins going under the "graffiti bridge". 6:34
3. The first of 4 major uphills is here. This one is short and sweet, then immediately descending over one of the bay bridges. 6:36
4. We start up Scenic Bld, the longest, but not steepest hill. At this point, I was already feeling "not right." TP was running with me and I said, "Something isn't right." To this he asked what was wrong, I said that it just felt too hard. 6:40
5. I pass another Brooks runner, but he has on the black ID training shirt. He says something about how "brave" I was to wear the bright uniform. I told him that at first I wasn't a fan, but that at this point, I have really started to like the Brooks brightness gig. Still going up. 6:48
6. We make the turn that separates the half from the full and this road is much flatter, but not smooth. We are on one of the most traveled roads in Pensacola; you would think they would repave at some point. 6:40
7. I found myself in No Man's Land. Years of training and running has taught me that when racing, it is ideal to race with/near/behind someone else. It can help keep your focus and focal points in check. 6:41
8. This is where the wheels totally fell off. We approached the biggest/steepest hill of the race and I absolutely was convinced I might pass out. I had that ringing in the ears and had trouble breathing. I began walking a bit. 7:03
Sidebar: I was thinking, "WTH is going on?????" In 22 marathons and hundreds of races, I have only needed medical attention once, and that was due to cold, not HOT. It wasn't even *that* hot or humid. I started thinking about my fueling and hydrating. Hmmm, maybe not enough water pre-race? That could be it. I downed a gel, but thanks to the weirdly-placed water stops, I had nothing to wash it down with.
9. I started trudging again and started feeling more human. Regroup, regroup, regroup, I told myself. A man nearby said, "Nice recovery. You okay?" I think I nodded or mumbled something. Still feeling less-than-stellar. 6:43
10. At this point, I was wondering why I underestimated the hills of this race. We were now going over the final bridge, which was actually an interstate overpass- beautiful, right? Good thing crowd support was good here. Trying to just hold on. At this point, I knew I was crashing and burning, but just trying to finish without dieing or walking. 6:57
11. My least favorite mile b/c it's the road I drive in on almost every time I come to P'cola. I know how far it really is to the finish line, and it's not close enough. 6:46
12. And now the sun is beaming down. The road is divided and a police officer is waving me to move over. There is a car sitting straight in the middle of the lane. I'm not really sure what's going on here, and likely I was too blitzed to understand basic communication at this point. 6:58
13. The last mile of this race is totally frustrating b/c it's residential. I am visual runner and like to see the line from afar. It's windy and narrow, but I hear the announcer in the distance. Death March. 6:53
2nd OA Female, 1:29:02
I was angry and confused after the race. I am still not sure what happened out there. I felt fine on my run this morning, a little tight in the hammies, but nothing major. I guess just sometimes things don't go as planned and it's not our day. So... moving on!
And... I have more things later to share about hiring a new coach! Yippeee!!!!