On Friday I tried to have carbs with each meal-not tons, but enough to keep me fueled the next day. That night I went out to dinner with Zack and Katie (pasta, of course!) and stayed at their place because it's only a 1/2 mile from the start-I live 45 minutes from it and that was really stressful last year. We all got up at 5am, were out the door by 6, and met up with friends. The starting area was super crowded but really did seem well organized. This was a new course, so I wasn't sure how it was going to work out-it looked really twisty on the map and most people I talked to felt like those turns would get crowded and slow people down. But that didn't happen-there was none of that "oh, we're running...no we're not...we're off!...nope, slowing down again...ok, finally we're actually running." As soon as we started running, we stayed that way for the next 13.1 miles.
I ran with Katie the entire time-I rarely run with people, and certainly didn't think I'd be up for running that distance with someone-I'm always afraid I'll feel like one of us is holding the other back. But I'm so glad Katie was there, because she'd trained so much better than I had. A couple of times, I thought I was going to have to fall back, and even told her at one point that I didn't think I could stay at that pace. She pointed out that we were going up a hill and to wait and see how I felt after that. Her pacing was incredibly helpful to me because I think that without the friendly competition, I wouldn't have stayed at that pace the entire time.
It was hot out and I think we took advantage of every fluid station after mile 4 or 5-especially important along Ocean Parkway. After the 8th mile, I would get a cup of Gatorade, then water, and feel awesome for about a half mile then start wondering when we'd get to the next one! I also started to feel a little heavy with all of that Gatorade in me! But honestly, at that point the miles seemed to go by pretty quickly and we were feeling good. We both picked it up in the last mile (hard not to with all of the cheering and "only 800 meters to go!" signs) and definitely pushed it in the final stretch. Crossing the finish line felt amazing, and it was definitely the proudest I've felt in quite awhile! We found out we'd finished in 1:55:08. I'd wanted to beat last year's time which was...1:55:09. So I guess I did that, just barely! Big thanks to Katie for keeping me going!!!
No pictures yet, so here's a hilarious and awful picture of Katie and I finishing the women's mini last year!
Immediately post race we met back up with friends, then Fiona and I went with her friend Ali to find beer and the rest were supposed to join us but the cell towers were sucking and we didn't find each other again. Boo. :( But Fi, Ali, and I did have a couple of beers on the boardwalk near the finish line-probably smarter than last year's funnel cake and pina colada!
WARNING: I'm about to ramble: I haven't been as consistent in my training as I'd like to be. I've been pretty good about my long runs, and really proud of the couple of +14 mile runs I've gotten in over the past month or so-it feels amazing! However, I've been slacking on my shorter runs during the week. It's hard with school-really, really hard. I did so well last week when I didn't have classes or homework, so I know exactly what my problem is. Do I focus more on school, which includes getting plenty of sleep-and you know, is probably more important for my future? Or focus more on running, because succeeding there makes me feel so damn good? Ok, honestly school wins out but it's still hard for me to accept that I can't progress in my running the way I'd like. I try to keep in mind that this isn't my job, it's something that I like to do and I'm proud of it, but I don't need to beat myself up about it.