I had such an amazing weekend. We headed out to Indy Friday morning around 9:00. A little bit of a girl's road trip!!
Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon booth before going to dinner and checking into our room.
We hit up dinner at a local brewery. I had a turkey burger and sweet potato fries which is not my normal pre-race meal but I took a chance. It was delicious and I didn't feel like dying after I ate it. We headed back to the room post dinner to get our race gear all laid out and an early bedtime.
I think we all woke up race morning before any alarms went off. Race day anxiety!!
We headed down to the buffet line to beat the rush. I had originally planned to eat the food I brought with me but ended up eating a few things from the hotel's breakfast. I made sure to go light but get in my cals and visited the bathroom plenty of times just in case.
We had a large group in Indy all doing anything from the 5k to the marathon. There were lots of pre-race pics before heading out to the finish line. The nice thing about the race is that the start line was just a block from the hotel. This gave us time to sleep in, take our time doing our morning routine and enough time out in the cool temps before the start.
Shortly after pre-race pictures there was a prayer (which was awesome, by the way) and the gun went off. I had gone over my race plan for about a week. I had it nicely written on a brown paper sack and then again with a sharpie on my hand. After discussing my plan with a friend on the ride to Indy we decided we would try to run the race together. I loved this idea. Three of us started together. Here we are early in the race..
Things were going mostly well but I ended up feeling the urge to stop for the bathroom just before the 10k mark. I wanted badly to hold on and keep running but my body was telling me to not wait. I waved my friends on and hoped I could catch up to them. Instead I had to make yet another stop just before the half way point. I was frustrated!! Frustrated with my body but also frustrated with the race for only having TWO (2) porta potties set up at each stop. In my opinion, that's just not enough for the first half of a race that big. But oh well. I ended up losing 10-12 minutes between the two stops.
Splits for the first half (not including the stops because my Garmin is set to autopause):
9:01/ 10:10/ 9:40/ 10:12/ 10:12/ 10:07/ 9:40/ 10:04/ 9:58/ 9:56/ 10:01/ 10:02/ 9:42
After the 2nd stop I felt really great but knew I was behind. I wanted to make up for the lost time so I sped up bit and decided to run based on how I was feeling. I remember just feeling good, enjoying the run and my surroundings. The streets were still pretty crowded with both runners and spectators. I would get tickled when spectators would say, "You're almost up this hill then it's downhill from there." There were no uphills which meant it was most definitely not downhill. This was a fast, flat course. There was some incline but it made no impact on me other than giving me the chance to pass more people who thought there were really hills. ;)
Splits until mile 20:
9:46/ 9:49/ 9:50/ 9:52/ 10:18/ 9:42/ 9:50
My goal at this point was to speed up like my race plan called for. I have no idea really what my mindset was or how my body really felt. I was happy that I was closer to being done with my 2nd marathon. However, I started slowing down. I know that between mile 22-23 the sun was out and I was already warm, but then I saw a girl out cold on the ground with medics all around her. Somehow that got in my head. I started telling myself that I was going to pass out because I was tired and hot, but something snapped in me and I said no, keep going. I may have been going slow but I was finishing.
At mile 24.5 I stopped to walk a minute because the ground was uneven and chunky. I hated that. Some girl ran up behind me and said, " I wanna know your race strategy because you're killing it." Ugh. I didn't know whether I liked that or hated it. I wanted to yell, "I'm 10 minutes behind my goal that is NOT a good race strategy and I am NOT killing it." BUT, I kept running that minute and ran until the very finish.
10:07/ 10:46/10:42/ 10:14/ 10:34/ 10:29/ 4:41
As I was coming into the finish some guy was yelling race stats about how "You're xx% of people who ever finish a marathon, Kimberly, how does that make you feel today?" The tears began welling up. Sure, I had done this before but this time was different. Then as I rounded the corner and saw the finish line, the clock, heard all the cheers, then heard my hubby, coach and friends at the finish cheering for me I couldn't help but cry. My awesome hubby caught it on camera to make for some of the ugliest race memories ever. ;)
26.46 miles - 4:25:35
Official finish time - 4:35:40
That was good enough for a 23 minute marathon PR. I was happy with that. I'll have more pictures and marathon thoughts later. It was such an emotional race and fun weekend! I'm already thinking about marathon #3. Yes, I am THAT crazy!!