I did my usual morning pre-race routine: get dressed, eat a banana, get Starbucks coffee...and took off to Bainbridge, alone. Erik had to work and it was my daughter's birthday that day so I didn't have my support crew. :( I got to packet pickup way too early and sat in my Jeep waiting for the race to begin. Twitter and Facebook kept me company...at least I had the support of my friends and family online! :)
About 20 minutes to race time, I got out of my Jeep and went by the community center. I met several other Half Fanatics who either introduced themselves to me or waved at me. I forgot to mention, this was my first race as a Half Fanatic! I was sporting my new tech shirt...yeah me!
Mile 1: Not bad, I made sure I didn't start off too fast or too slow. 9'27"/mile average pace. The road was slightly uneven but nothing too bothersome.
Mile 2: The beginning of my first hill. I was able to maintain pace up the steady uphill climb. Other runners were already beginning to walk this portion and I just went steady and kept climbing a little slower than mile 1. 10'15"/mile
Mile 3: Still uphill then a big downhill grade. This was the beginning of my IT band pain. The downhill portion was torture on my knees. My tremor started to act up at this point too. Quads started shaking. I didn't want to go all out on the downhill but I think I would have done even more damage by letting my legs run! 10'38"/mile
Mile 4: Perfect song on the perfect road. It was a beautiful road (very uneven though) with lots of greenery and James Blunt "Stay the Night" was playing. A really great tempo for this road. I was able to pick up the pace. 9'48"/mile
Mile 5: Fort Ward Park. Along the waterfront, very beautiful, very flat, very deceiving for what was to come in the next mile! 9'57"/mile
Mile 6-7: Toe Jam Hill! OMG!!! I turned the corner at mile 6.5 and there was the biggest hill I have ever had to run before. My legs just stopped. There was nothing my mind or heart could do to get my legs to move any faster then walking pace. It was just horrible. Nobody within my eyesight was running, everyone was walking and not just walking...holding their quads bent over struggling to make it up this large hill. 9'58"/mile and 12'07"/mile.
Mile 8: Relief! Some energy came back to me. Able to run again. 9'01"/mile
Mile 9: Another huge hill. Seriously, enough already! I dropped my water belt at the water stop here. The little extra weight that I was carrying with that was too much at this point. More walking. 12'03"/mile
Mile 10: I noticed I was still on pace to PR if I could just will myself to run a little faster. Some smaller hills that I did walking/running intervals through. My tremor and IT bands were really starting to freak out now. 11'12"/mile
Mile 11: "Please body...you can do it. Finish strong. You can still PR. " I pulled every ounce of energy out of myself and RAN! Best mile of the race. 8'43"/mile
Mile 12: My knees were killing me. I moved my IT knee band over to my left knee. I looked at my watch and decided my health was more important than a PR. I walked. 11'11"/mile
Mile 13: I finished running, as fast as I could. 10'58"/mile
Final time according to my GPS: 2:16:50
Time chip time: 2:17:01
Overall Place: 98 of 142
Overall Womens Place: 37 of 71
Age Division Place: 18 of 27
I had hoped for a better race but I know I did the best I could do. Leading up to the race I had only run 2 miles all week because of my IT band issues. It wasn't my worst race and it wasn't my best. I am still a smiling runner through it all. =D