I did it! I qualified for the trials with a time of 2:42 (a 17 minute PR)! I am still feeling it, physically and mentally! I am so excited, relieved, happy, and motivated to run harder and faster next time (Rotterdam Marathon April 10th 2011). I guess that means I have to update my blog header.
The race went really well. It was a lot hillier than I thought, but the hills kind of broke up the miles and made it go by quickly. The first 10 miles clicked off like nothing, I ran a sub-60, and felt totally under control. My half split was 1:18:16 (which is faster than Big Sur). After mile 14, I started to feel a bit tired (at mile 16 I caught a second wind) and hung behind this awesome guy with a runner tattoo on his shoulder. We ran together until mile 18 when he made a pit stop and never caught back up.
I was planning on picking it up for the last 10k and I honestly tried, but I was suffering. I was glad that I had a cushion to make my time, because my legs were heavy and exhausted and I fought hard against them to get to the finish line. I did pass two women in the last 10k, one of which was in the last .2 (after Coach Lisa screamed "go get her!") and finished 5th overall. I was so excited when I made it to the finish line and saw 2:42 on the clock!!!! I gave my coach, Lisa, a huge sweaty hug right after I crossed the finish line.
My coach cheering me on and giving me tips at mile 10. She was out there several different times on the course helping me keep my head in the game.
The BEST part of the whole thing is knowing how many people I have behind me cheering me on and pushing me to the finish line. I know the greatest people in the WORLD and I am so grateful to have so much support. I knew how many people were using the online tracking to virtually watch my race, from Afghanistan to Hawaii and everywhere in between, and I was not about to let you all down!
Hazel and Grampie Bob were tracking online at breakfast in Manitou. This was her reaction to the news!
My phone was blowing up with texts and calls after the race. The first call I received after the race was from my middle sister, Kristen, who was balling. Before I had even had a chance to process it, she was yelling into the phone, telling me how proud she was. I love her!
Next call was from my parents, who were also shouting! My Father, who has done multiple combat tours and had 3 children, told me that the tracker stopped at mile 20 and that the time in between that and the end of the race was "the most nervous he's ever been in his life."
My Dad had a reason to be nervous! I look like I am dying in this picture!
While on the massage table post-race, I got the call I most desired: my husband Chris. He was able to use the virtual tracker despite the low-bandwidth in Afghanistan. However, he was only able to track the race until mile 20 and then he had to go out on a patrol (if I had known that I would have been more nervous for him than myself). He claims that he was so confident that I would make my time he didn't worry at all. He was so excited to get back to base and call that he almost left his weapon behind!
I certainly could not have done it on my own. From my amazing Family to my Coach, from my Father-in-law who came out to babysit, to WCAP and ACEP, all of the pre-race good luck wishes and post-race congratulations, and everyone who believed in me, I am so lucky to have such incredible people behind me every step of the way.
If you were tracking the race, let me know where you were and what your reaction was by leaving me a comment below!