Sometimes I want to write it all down quickly, and sometimes I just want to digest. Today, I will write it all down quickly. The short version: I went 3:00:17. A bit of a painful time. But at the same time, my second-fastest marathon ever.
The long version: I messed up a little bit here and there with the prep. I forgot to buy pre-race standard breakfast of a Clif Bar, so winged it with Trader Joes' PB cups and half a banana (gag). Then I listened to a volunteer, who told me that in spite of what all the literature said, I just had to go south on Lake Shore Drive to get to the corrals and they'd let me through. I wound up having to circumnavigate Grant Park, running 3+ miles before the start, because walking would have cost me not getting to the start in time.
Brigitte, Todd, Katherine and I started together at the front - the American Development wave is lovely.
Here's a breakdown:
- Mile 1: 7:00 - perfect. Better too slow than too fast.
- Miles 2-6: We ran four across and 6:45 pace was enjoyable. The temperature was perfect.
- Miles 6-9: We lost Brig & Todd when we ran a few 6:39s in a row.
- Miles 10-13: Headwind, but we drafted a little and held steady at 6:45.
- Half: 1:28 high, just like last time.
- Miles 13-16: There was a pause for immodium, and we had a couple 6:55s. We noted that 6:45 started to feel like a sprint or 10k pace. Easy was over.
- Miles 16-19: I was crampy, and I have zero experience with cramping. I shortened my stride to keep my hamstring from stopping me. I begun to lose KN a bit, then surge to catch up.
- 30k: 2:06, still on pace (ave: 6:47/mi) and same as last time.
- 19-20: I let KN go. She was strong and I was sprinting to hold 6:50.
- 20-25: I struggled, but fought hard. I ran as fast as I possible could, and that was giving me 7 - 7:15. I said it all: you are not a girl who gives up and just misses sub-3, you will fight until you fall down, you will not let this go, the-faster-you-run-the-sooner-you're-done, faster, faster, faster.
- But for the last 5k, I ran 7:15s.
- Mile 25: I did the math and knew it was going to be really close. I could still see KN from time to time, up ahead. I saw my parents. I ran as hard as I possibly could.
- Mile 26.1: I turned the corner and watched the clock tick from 2:59:45 through 3:00, sprinting, but it was too far a distance to cover.
- Miles 26.1-26.2: Cruise control, because it's either sub-3, or whatever, I didn't care about the seconds.
The best part? KN went 2:59:19. She did it! It was so great that I don't care that I didn't. It's all good - for 20 miles, I got to be a part of her goal-accomplishing day!
Brig PR'd in 3:03 with zero speedwork and finished strong. Candes PR'd in 3:13. All around, a great day.