The first five miles of the race went according to plan. But it was really disheartening to get to the five mile mark and see the clock already at over 56 minutes. I knew I started well after the gun, but as I said in my last post, I didn't see a clock at the starting line, so I had no idea what that time was, and I couldn't calculate what my pace was for the first five miles. I knew I had to get to the clock at 10 miles before I could get an accurate idea of my pace, which was hard to deal with mentally.
Miles 5-10 were a little more challenging. The course description on the website said that the course was relatively flat, but I thought it was quite hilly! I thought I remembered the description saying something about one hill or one section with hills, so each time I was going up a hill I thought to myself, "This must be the hill they were talking about. Get up this one and there will be no more hills." But the hills kept coming. They weren't very long hills, but after each one my butt was burning! From miles 5 to 10 I was calculating in my head what I needed the clock to say if I was keeping a 10 min/mile pace. I don't remember what the clock said, but I know that it was enough to stop worrying about the 56 minutes on the clock at mile 5.
Crowd support was awesome. My running group had shirts made, which turned out to be awesome because people would call out specifically to me yelling the words on my shirt. This is one of the main things that helped me have a great race. Stopping was not an option.
Miles 11 and 12 were really rough. I felt like I was crawling along at some points, and I couldn't get my legs to go any faster. My knee was acting up. Up until this point, I was enjoying the crowd and didn't listen to any music. But around mile 11 I needed Ke$ha or Bruce to energize me. Unfortunately I had some trouble finding the playlist on my mp3 player because I have never used the playlist function before, so I was going really slow while trying to figure that out...but still running. Finally I got it working and listened to Born to Run. It helped a lot.
Finishing was great. I was pleased with 2:17 and change. I ate a huge cookie and a soft pretzel at the finish line festival with lots of water. My group found me almost immediately and there were congratulations all around.
I've been obsessively stalking the website for official results and race pictures :)