|heading to start|
Again-as this is a smaller race they only have a set number of pacers for the marathon. In the NJ full they had two pacers for every 5 minute increment. For DE they had one for every 10 minute increment. I knew I would not make my goal if I went with the 3:45:00 pacer so my other option was 3:35:00 or try to go it alone. For my two previous marathons I ran with the 3:35:00 and managed to run 3:40:13 and 3:42:40. I felt strong for this race and wanted the help from the pacer so I started with the 3:35:00. By mile 9 I knew I could not hang with him. Two other women around me said he was going to fast and also were going to drop off. He had mentioned early on that this course was a bit longer, as they always tend to be...but we were already .17 at the mile 9 mark. He said he was going to be picking up the pace to make up the difference. With that I had that moment, and was so proud of myself to realize it, that I needed to run my race. I decided to pull out of the pace group and just run...trying to say sub 8:20s for as long as I could, it didn't last that. I knew that 8:23 was a 3:40 and that was my goal for the day.
My nutrition and hydration were good for the race. I carried two 9oz water bottles on my waist for as needed and planned to drink and dump as I ran from the aid stations. I would have a gel 45 minutes, 1:45, 2:30, and 3:15 in...give or take. I had an issue opening up my third gel, pulled it too short. So I ate my 4th one in that time slot and would hope I could open up the last one when I needed it at mile 22. We came off the board walk at mile 22 and I went to try to open up my gel. I remember feeling very light headed and a bit swirly. I knew I had to eat and I knew I still had four miles left. Ben had seen me coming towards him and was chanting for me to beat the bus. In my mind all I had to do was run to school and run home however I knew my legs were not going to get me to the pace of those easy morning runs. They were tired and I was feeling very off. I tried to open up that last gel and sure enough, it would not open. I was squeezing and trying to just pop it and deal with the explosion all over me...I knew I needed food ASAP or something bad was going to happen. I asked a spectator if she had a gel on her and she did and gave to me. I ate it as fast as I could and got water and just kept on running. Ben took a video at that aid station and I look like I am floating and not really there. I have never had that happen before...I was giving this race everything I had. With the gel in me and water on my head and in my mouth, I was feeling better. I don't really remember miles 22-24 but I knew that Ben again would be towards the finish and that is all I had to do...just keep moving.
|me and JB|
Our trip home was a quick one with minimal leg cramping in the car. I was anxious to see my kiddos and give them all a big hug. I spent the drive replying back to the endless texts and messages from friends who were tracking me along the course. My heart was so full and I was so happy the day was over, everything happened as it was meant to, and my body was at rest. When I first tackled my first marathon in 2009 it was just to have the experience. In 2015 it was to see what the changes to my body and mind would have on my overall fitness level. 2016 was redemption for something I didn't even know I wanted. Well 2017, although self driven on the course, was a community marathon. I have never felt so much support going into a race as I did on Sunday and the weeks leading up to it. To come home and find all of my supporters there ready to congratulate me and share in my joy and excitement for the day...was beyond amazing. This race was felt by more than just my tired legs on the streets of Delaware...and my finish was celebrated by more than my immediate family.
What's next...well I get to celebrate my love of running throughout Canada next month with my Ragnar team of amazing women, there will be no time to keep on pace with or the quest for the perfect race...it will just be my feet and the endless miles of road ahead and lots of smiles and laughter. I will wait to see what will happen in September with my qualifying time and if it was enough to be on the streets of Boston next April. I know it was enough for me on Sunday...it was all I had...all I had hoped for...all I was capable of giving on that day.
This afternoon I am heading to talk to an elementary school's running club. My friend asked me to come as a guest speaker. I have been thinking about what a few of my talking points will be. Pretty sure I will lead with these:
Embrace the suck...choose you...hard is possible...remember the journey.
|One happy girl|
|Splits Delaware Full 2017|