When Kris and I talked before the race, we both said we wouldn't be chatty during the race, and it was nice to not feel "expected" to talk but to know I had support right beside me. We spoke here and there, mainly comments about being right on pace. There were slight variations in our splits due to the elevation variations, but we were clipping off miles right around 6:20 pace. I was also pleasantly surprised that the course seemed less hilly running it than when driving it the day before. The field was thick enough that there were always many other runners around, but spread out enough after the first couple of miles that it wasn't crowded; it was the perfect balance. I made it a point to run the tangents when we turned, but the course had minimal turns, which was really nice and one of the reasons I selected this race. I grabbed a bit of water or nuun at almost every aid station; I think I missed two through the whole race. My legs were ready to roll, and I kept telling myself, "Anyone can run a good first 10K; it's that last 10K that matters."
My family was on the course around mile 6, and I flashed them a big smile as I ran by. I passed the 10K clock in 39:27, a shade faster than planned but nearly perfect. During the race I never even looked at that meticulous pace band I made, but I knew it pretty well. I thought about how my friends and family tracking me would get their first notification for the 10K split. I took my first gel, which I never feel like I need, around the 10K. My dad took this video around mile 6, although in reference to the audio I can't explain why he and my mom were so concerned that I was okay, haha!
|All smiles around mile 6|
|A photo of me also showing my dad taking a video |
of me - classic. Kris is just to my right.
Mile 10 was a turning point in the race for me; I guess the endorphins suppressed my doubts and I decided that I could run the rest of the way at 6:15 pace and go for that 2:45. I reflected back on my husband's advice of "You should go for the 2:45; if you lose it at the end, you lose it at the end, but you will never get it if you don't try" and my coach's encouragement of "Don't be afraid to drop your pace as the race progresses." It was still a very intimidating thought, so I started praying, "God, please make me brave and strong." I quickly corrected to, "God, please make us brave and strong" as I ran along with two very brave and strong women.
|This isn't a spoiler since I already wrote the summary post|