This was another race I wasn't sure was going to happen. Apparently half the population of the USA has come down with a stomach bug, including our original babysitter, and my entire family. Back up to last weekend, a kid projectile vomited on Susanna when we were at Chuck E. Cheese. Two days later Jamie got the bug, and on Thursday afternoon both kids got it. It was short lived -- 12 hours, really. For me, even less. After calling the 5 people we normally use for babysitting, then another 10 people they suggested, I was about to give up, when someone recommended using Care.com. I put a desperate plea on there at noon, and by 3 p.m. I had 15 available babysitters. How had I not heard of this before? I found a lovely young lady with two years of au pair experience, and the kids loved her.
Last year when I did this race, my chronotag malfunctioned but I think I finished in around 1:44. It was snowing like crazy and I was wearing YakTrax. This year the race had ideal conditions, with a dry trail and a starting temperature of 43 degrees. Jamie and I did a warm up mile, stripped down to shorts and t-shirts, and headed for the start.
I pressed "start" on my Garmin and nothing happened. It said "Searching." AURGH! I took off at what seemed like a 7:35 pace (that was my goal) and hoped for the best. After what seemed like quite awhile I saw a sign that said 2.5. Ah. Wait a second. It said 2.5K. Not miles. What? Seriously? Because I felt like I'd been running quite a ways -- we were only, like, an eighth into the race? This was not good. I glanced down at my watch and it still said "Searching."
I noticed I'd been running with men the entire time and hadn't seen a woman anywhere near me. I think there may have been a couple ahead of me, but I had a sinking sensation I'd gone out way, way too fast. Because I was already feeling like I was getting tired.
Finally my Garmin found the signal. I glanced down and it said 22 minutes, but of course no distance. Then I looked ahead and saw the 5K marker. Oops. My fastest 5K is 21:47. I still had 15K to go. This was not a good sign.
I slowed the pace down and tried to keep it at 7:35 to the turnaround. As I slowed down, I got passed by three ladies. Fine. Because there is no way I was going to be able to finish that race going at whatever ridiculous pace I started.
I was so tired. We hadn't passed any of the fasties on the out-and-back, so I knew I wasn't even halfway done. My legs were screaming at me. Finally I saw the speedy men bolting towards us. Jamie was maybe a minute into that pack of runners, so it was nice to see him although he was so focused on running he barely gave me a wave.
Finally the turnaround, which mentally I needed because I felt like I literally had been running forever. I crossed it at 46 minutes flat.
The next couple of miles were right on that 7:35 pace. And then we hit the climb. Yup, I remembered why I hated this course last year. It has a gradual downhill on the way out, and uphill on the way back, but the last two and a half miles are definitely the toughest. Not enough of an incline to call it a hill, but apparently enough to completely destroy my already exhausted legs.
I pretty much gave up at this point. People were passing me left and right. My Garmin was registering a pace between 8:00 - 8:30. Blah. Meh. Whatever. I just wanted this race to be over.
Finally, the finish line. Jamie was waiting for me and looked like he'd been waiting for awhile. I booked it when I saw him and crossed the finish line in under 1:36, but just barely. Which means I didn't even hit the pace of my last half marathon.
Jamie had a good day though -- he finished in about 1:25:30, which was under his 7 minute/ mile goal. And, my day wasn't terrible. Just not where I wanted it.
We got home, and I did the sloggiest four miles ever to get in my "17 mile long run" prescribed in the marathon plan for today. Then I made Ghiradelli Chocolate Shakes for everyone. Which were seriously amazing. Best recovery drink ever.