Start time - 8:00am
Weather - 66 degrees 94% humidity
Let me start by saying that due to my terrible GI issues lately I was ready to throw the towel in on running altogether. Thursday (after a terrible run) I text my coach that I was thinking about bailing on this race. Pep talk via text changed my mind and I said, "Fine. I'll go w/tp in hand just in case." haha So, I did.
My dr now has me on a dairy free diet as we suspect I have developed an intolerance to lactose. Fun times. So, that started officially on Friday. I already felt better by mid-day Friday but was still concerned about my race and what my gut would decide to do. I was careful all weekend long leading up to Sunday morning.
Pre-race dinner fuel - filet and baked potato topped w/guacamole
Pre-race breakfast - saltines and peanut butter
Race fuel - 2 PowerGels (3 mi, 6 mi)
I got up extra early Sunday morning to allow myself even more time to allow my body to digest my food, hydrate and tend to things in the bathroom. I got dressed and was ready to leave the house by 6:10am. No pre-race packet pickup meant I'd need to be there early to get that as well as to get my warm up, flex and striders in and to the line before the start. No problems there.
There was no timing chip this year so we were to rely on a 1,2 gun start. I had already told myself I was not going to worry about that. I didn't line up quite as close as I have in other races. I was basically still hoping at this point to stay as close to my race plan as possible with the biggest goal being to finish unscathed from my recent GI issues. So, I got it in my mind that I would run by feel as close to my goal pace according to the breakdown of my plan and still treat this as my long training run for the week because in the end that is what this race was about.
I carried my own water/handheld but mostly because I wanted to have some tp for that just in case moment my gut decided to rebel against me. It was good enough that I had the water and my handheld because it had enough room for my two gels and really isn't all that annoying to carry. I did still take water at most of the stops except the first one. I wanted to conserve what I had for the end of the race should I need it. I didn't realize at the time that it was so humid though post race a lot of people were complaining about it. I guess the fact that it didn't seem to be an issue for me means my training IN the humidity has really paid off. Score!
I split the race up (as per my race plan) and decided to tackle it 4 miles at a time and treat the last little bit as a bit of tempo work, if possible. So, without really going into a ton of details on "I felt this way here or that way at this point," here are my splits.
Total time based on Garmin : 1:27:54
Overall I felt great during the race. I didn't have any issues taking my gels at miles 3 and 6 other than my pace slowed while I was taking them. My stomach felt fine and I never worried about the urge to run off course. Positive! I did feel a kick shortly after taking each of my gels, so if there is any question about them working.. YES! I maintained my goal race pace (for marathon) the entire race so that too is a plus. Now if I can just do that for many many many (16.9 miles) more miles this marathon will be great.
I didn't struggle physically with any of the hills and the only reason I even walked in the first one was because I looked down to see i was ahead of pace. If I had that to do over I definitely would have given myself a mental pep talk to keep pushing upward!
Friends and my family were waiting on me at the finish line and got some great pics.
Official results :
1:28:05 (from the gun)
2nd/6 in Athena
Really pleased overall with my run and a 2:55 PR over last year. It was a great morning and this really is a great race/course. It was also great to see so many friends and to have my little family cheering for me at the finish.