After this race, the marathon has officially become my favorite distance. It used to be the 10 miler or half marathon, but this race has converted me. I may never go back.
Emily dropped me off at the race start and I stayed warm wrapped up in a yard of fleece fabric that I had bought at Wal-Mart the night before. It was totally worth the $3 I spent on it.
Miles 1-5 (7:44, 7:42, 7:45, 7:46, 7:50)
I had planned on starting a little slower than this, but I get excited about racing and forget to go slow. Emily met up with me and ran along side me while she refilled my water bottle and took my arm warmers from me. All the other runners were totally jealous that I have better friends than they do.
Miles 6-10: (7:50, 7:50, 7:53, 7:50, 7:49)
Totally uneventful. We ran around the Wright Brother's memorial where Emily refilled my water bottle yet again. She is invited to all of my marathons from now on.
Miles 11-15: (8:15, 8:09, 8:49, 7:54, 7:53)
Miles 10-13 were through the woods on a dirt road/trail. This portion was significantly more hilly than I had expected. Right when we entered the woods, I caught up to the guy running in front of me. He saw me and immediately sped up. I don't think he wanted to be passed by a girl. I let him go ahead, since I had plenty of time to catch him again. (Don't worry, I did. I whizzed right past him when we left the wooded section and never saw him again. And I might be using the term "whizzed" loosely.) Usually I love trail running, but I have never been so happy to get out of the woods and see solid ground. That part was tough.
Miles 15-20: (7:55, 7:46, 7:54, 7:51, 8:02)
At this point, I started to get really excited that I my pace had hardly slowed at all. I was sure I would hit the wall and be crawling at the end, but I kept finding people in front of me that I wanted to pass, so that kept me going. (In the last half of the race, I passed more than 15 men and 10 women and was passed by exactly 1. This guy here:)
Miles 21-26.2: (8:04, 8:19, 8:38, 8:39, 8:54, 8:48, 8:36)
At mile 21, we turned and headed west right into a nice strong headwind. Then at mile 23 we ran over a bridge that I totally underestimated. It was steep and long and totally destroyed me. Luckily Emily was waiting for me at the bottom of the hill and ran the last 2.5 miles with me. Don't worry, that's not cheating. She signed up to run the Southern Six, which is the last 6 miles of the race. She didn't feel like running all six, so she started at the bottom of the bridge instead.