Marathon #4 is in the books. Although I did not PR, I am very happy with my time. This race also made me realize that getting a PR doesn't have to define if my race was successful or not. My time was 4:33:57 -- last year was 4:26:58. I was MUCH happier with my performance this year. Sure, being seven minutes slower could have contributed to the feeling, however, it was crossing the finish line happy and satisfied. SWEET!
The weekend got off to a rough start when I dropped off Pirate and Percy to the dog sitters. Got them all settled and when I went to get in the car to take Lily to the other sitters my car wouldn't start! I sat there in a stunned not comprehending what was happening state for a few minutes. The car is only 4 yrs old and only has 40K miles on it. This cannot be happening!
Called the husband to come pick me up. Then called the tow truck. Long story short -- it was the battery.
**Edit: Awkward paragraph transition. I am tired and sore so cut me some slack!**
A couple words of advice if anyone that happens to stumble across the blog looking for information about the Hudson Mohawk Valley marathon:
If you are staying downtown be prepared for EVERY restaurant, coffee house (including Starbucks) to be closed by 6 p.m. on Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Saturday night 12 of us walk into a pizza shop at 5:45 thinking that they would be open to at least 8 p.m. As soon as we walked in the place we got an immediate vibe of weirdness. Why? Because we walked in 15 minutes before they closed! I knew something was up when the guy at the register wouldn't make eye contact with anyone. We decided to get everything to go, which made the owner happy.
Race morning was very chilly and perfect for running. No rain, cloudy and cool, but not freeze your ass off cold. Shannon and I decided to start with the 4:30 (10:18) pace group, but wasn't planning on sticking with them. Thank GOD because he started those people out FAST. I really wish I knew what his strategy was for his group. At first they were way ahead of us, then we blew by them, and around mile 17/18 they went by us again. I did find out after the race that he did finish right at 4:30, but he had no one left in his pace group when he did. I can guarantee because he paced them out way to fast in the beginning.
Our strategy was to keep a consistent 10:15 pace for as long as possible (at least till mile 22) and then if we had to back down to 10:30. And for the majority of the race we were spot on.
10:15, 10:11, 10:09,10:07, 10:14, 10:17 -- feeling really good
10:21, 10:15, 10:20, 10:13 - mile 10 I ate a honey stinger waffle
10:30, 10:17, 10:32, 10:16, 10:32 -- here I took a B-complex vitamin at the water stop. I don't know if that is good for you or not, but it seemed to work for me.
10:14, 10:16, 10:21, 10:25, 10:38 - mile 20 - damn it is always the worst. Our other friend, Kris met us here to run us in. This is where I started to pull away from Shannon. I knew she was with Kris so I didn't feel like a total douche leaving her.
10:22, 10:44 (that mile sucked ass), 10:24, 10:56 (and so did this one)
Then....two girls showed up. It was their first marathon. One was SUPER peppy. WAY too peppy at mile 24. We ran together till the end. And the ONLY reason I stuck with them was peppy girl's friend. I knew instantly she wanted to stick with my pace and not speed up. She kept me going as much as I kept her going. When I looked over and saw her face it was like looking in a mirror. She looked like I did in Philly. She had that look....you know...the look of dull dazed pain where you just want the world to end at the very moment. She also was crying. My heart went out to her because I knew exactly what she was feeling. So. I tried to make her laugh and told her to hold on.
When you are in that moment of agony, no one wants to hear you are "almost there." Fuck that. Tell me EXACTLY how much further. And I did. And I told her to curse out loud because it helps. So we did -- SONOFABITCH and MOTHERFUCKER were the two favorite words for those last two miles.
10:33 and 10:11. She gave me a huge hug at the end and I congratulated her for being a marathoner.
Those last three miles were painful, but I felt mentally strong. No meltdowns. I just ran. When I crossed the finish line I had no regrets.
It was way better than a PR.