We left Friday afternoon and arrived at the expo around 6:45 pm so had
about an hour to pick up our stuff and browse. I had ordered a small
shirt and they were out so took a medium instead. I'm not crazy about
white shirts but the tech fabric seems okay.
We headed to our hotel and drove around the parking lot about 4 times
before a spot opened up. We decided we better not move the car so
walked to dinner after we checked in. We tried Panera first but they
were closed. The other 2 options were 2 spicy so we gave Which Wich a
try and it was actually pretty good. We've had a store in Columbia
for several years and I have never eaten there.
We were in bed by 10 pm and set alarm to get up around 5 am so we
could drive to the start around 6 am. The race started at 7:05. It
was only about a 10 min drive from where we were staying. We quickly
found a free place to park and just a short walk to the starting line.
We sat in the car until 6:30 and then walked. I needed a bathroom
one last time and Hugh went to line up. I had just over 5 minutes to
spare but the bathrooms were close to the starting line. I was
surprised they didn't get someone to actually sing the national
anthem. Instead it was an instrumental recording that was cutting in
and out. Eventually people started singing and they were cut off
before they could finish. Temperature was 37 F and I wore a long
sleeve half zip and another short sleeve tech underneath. This turned
out to be just right the entire race.
I saw Andrew up about 20 feet by the 1:30 pacers so decided when we
started I would try to catch him. He is tall compared to everyone
else and easy to see :) We ran together for a few minutes but his
pace group was going faster than me so he went ahead. First mile was
7:34. I lost track of the 3:05 group and I think the 3:15 was ahead.
Soon, the 3:05 caught up and I stayed with them for awhile. I wasn't
really trying to stay with a group since I find I usually do better if
I pace on my own. However, they were using smart pacing so may have
worked it I was actually in shape and rested to run a 3:05.
I actually ran ahead of the 3:05 group. I was feeling okay but not
great and was kind of surprised the pace I was running. The first big
hill was at about 2.25 miles and went up 1.5 miles. Mile 2 was 7:02
and mile 3 was 7:27 so still not too bad considering the long hill. I
continued to run low 7 min pace for miles 4, 5, and 6, and dipped
below 7 min for miles 7 - 9. Miles 10 - 13 were also low 7 min. The
3:05 group did catch back up to me and pass me around mile 11 but I
could see them ahead of me for awhile. I hit the first half in
1:34:38 so about 1.5 min slower than the pacing group planned to do
I started to slow a bit at mile 14 (7:33) but ran okay. I thought if
I can keep up 7:30 pace until the end that would be okay and still
finish in less than 3:10 - 3:15. Miles 14 - 20 I ran around 7:30 pace
so no problem. Then a hill that goes up 2.7 miles that starts just
before mile 21. As soon as I started up that hill, I felt the energy
quickly drain from my body. My legs felt like they could barely move
and I wondered if I should walk. Mile 21 which was a little uphill
was 8:01, mile 22 at 8:50 and 23 at 9:26. Then another half mile up
and the rest is pretty downhill or flat to the end. I couldn't even
run decent downhill. The 3:15 pace group passed me at some point so
then was hoping maybe I could finish in less than 3:30. The top of my
right foot had been hurting for a few miles and felt like my shoe was
too tight, right ankle hurt, and outside left knee felt strange. I
didn't want to stop to loosen the shoe since I was afraid I wouldn't
get started and also the shoe strings are too short on these shoes. I
think I need to get some longer shoe strings since I can barely get
them tied. From the beginning of the race I noticed my footfall had
been louder than normal and my right foot was not cooperating. It
hasn't been tracking well in the last month. But I don't feel that
was really slowing me down. I just didn't have the energy to run any
I'm sure I got passed by a bunch of people but tried not to notice too
much. There were other runners I had seen earlier and as slow as I
was moving I was passing a few. Also, the half marathon course had
met back up with the marathon course and I was passing all of the
people that were walking. I realized that maybe I could get under
3:25. I ran mile 24 at 9:29, 25 at 9:20, and 26 at 9:01. The last
0.6 I had at 8:25 so I did manage to pick up slightly. Overall time
on the GPS was 3:24:26 (this changed on the website since yesterday but now sounds correct).
The finishing shoot had fruit and some kind of bread. I took a very
green banana and water. I ate the banana but only a few sips of the
water. I drank at all but 2 aid stations during the race.
I placed 11 of 147 in my age group and 109 of 1791 overall. So even
though I didn't run a great marathon compared to Heart of America,
still not quite my slowest and another BQ since I am turning 45 soon.
I waited and waited thinking I would see Hugh finish. He was trying
to stay with the 3:55 group. It turns out he was back at the car
waiting for me. He had to drop at 14 miles due to a hamstring issue.
It doesn't hurt to walk but hurt at some point in his stride so he
decided not to continue. We were late getting back to the hotel to
check out but they gave us an extra hour so that worked out. Then we
had Cheesecake Factory for lunch. We laid down for a nap at 7 pm when
we got home and ended up sleeping through until 8:30 the next morning
without eating dinner.
I don't feel like I have injured anything. Just a little soreness and
am walking fine. I'm in no mood though to sign up for any long races
for awhile and it may be time to take a mini-break from running. I
will cross-train, clean up the nutrition, possibly lose a few lbs, and
enjoy the last 4 races of the year. I will probably run the 10K in 3
weeks for the Hunger Run, another 10K on Thanksgiving, 10 miler in
early December, and 5K on New Year's Eve.