Okay...so the race did not start until 9 and my friend George was nice enough to drive the four of us down to the start. It is an out and back course and there were wave starts. I started with my running buddy Joe and tried to keep a conservative pace. It was hard, I felt good but I knew the day was long. We kept the first half around 8:45 and headed back. At this point I lost Joe, he was not feeling great..it was nice to have company for the first half.
Ryan thought they might make the half point but he was not sure. I did not see them but it was a little out of the way of any parking so I carried on. I was not feeling super but I think the hardest miles are the last 10. I hit the 18 mile mark and my pace had slowed...I was running through a water stop and I ran right by the kids...it was not until I passed that it hit me that they were there. I instantly felt bad...bummer I should have gone back. I carried on thinking I would see them at the finish.
Backing up a bit...this week Jen and I had a great conversation about family, balance and running a marathon. I struggled this fall trying to figure out what pace I should shoot for. I went back and forth and never really settled on a "set" pace. This week...she said she wanted to take the pressure off this fall and allow me to enjoy the training before I need to focus for IMLP. She recognizes to importance of my family and kids and 5-10 min in a marathon really deos not matter.
Ok...onward so I come to the 20 mile mark and low and behold...there they are again...HOW AWESOME..so I stopped and I slapped their hands and told them how HAPPY I was that they were there. It was great...and then I ran through the park which was a loop and saw them again at mile 21...oh they were so excited.
I knew at this point..I was still on target to go under 4 hours which was my original goal...so I carried on with the biggest smile! How awesome...and then they were there at mile 22 and mile 24...and if you have kids you know in and out of the car with car seats every 20 mins is no easy task. They followed the towpath..honking and waving..it was so much fun. My pace slowed, my legs hurt and i was ready to be done but I made sure I waved and high fived them when I saw them. Jen was so right..this was what makes training so worth it!
So I crossed the finish line in 3:55...35 minutes faster than my first marathon...after having three kids and I am proud of that!
So I owe thanks..to Ryan who thinks this is nuts but made sure my day was perfect! XOXO. Jen who has provided more balance, guidance and TONS of support...I am lucky to have you as a coach. Myse and AnnMarie, at Fleet Feet, I am truly greatful that you have supported me through all of my athletic endeavors this year, 2013 will rock. Kate who helped me with strength training to make this day possible and last but certainly not least...Heather who kept my hamstring and ITB at bay so I could run.
HAPPY OFF SEASON TO ME!