Start of race: 7:00 AM, 70 degrees, sunny.
You gotta love it when 8000+ runners are packing the street at the start of a race! If you've never experienced a big race before (either as a participant or spectator), the start can be comical the first time you witness one; the gun sounds, but no one moves (back by us) for a few minutes. For those of us hanging back at the 10:00/mile starting "gate," it can literally take about 5 minutes to actually CROSS the starting line! LOL. (5 min. 30 sec. to be exact for me today)
Runners, as far as thee eye can see.....
Life was going pretty okay for the first 6 miles, averaging about a 10:10/mile pace
After some on-course texting with my family (LOL!-Gotta love technology, right?!?!), the first sighting of my cheering crew was at mile 6.8.
The day was heating up nicely (if you weren't a runner)....
It was heating up too much if you WERE a runner... starting to hit upper 70's...
So, I started slowing down my pace; now averaging about 10:30s (my realistic goal pace).
And no... I'm not saying "talk to the hand." :D I was simply waving a goodbye to my family after they met up with me at the Mile 10 marker. The next planned cheering spot: halfway point.
But shortly after departing, a text came in from my sister that traffic and roads were blocked off, so they were going to jump ahead to mile 20 and wait.
Oh boy... 10 miles until some happy faces could greet me with some motivation.
Miles 10-15 were tough. A lot of open areas; head wind (maybe 10-15 mph at times?)), and.... HOT. Officially breaking 80. My pace was certainly slowing down, although I came into the 13.1 checkpoint clocking 2:20, which isn't a shabby Half time for me.
But after that......major slow down!
Holding 11:00's when running.... with lots of walking breaks between running spurts.....
In the meantime, my crew diligently awaited, cheering on other runners and trying to pass the time as best they could...
Little did they know that they were actually sitting at about 19.3, so when I saw them after the water-stop, I was a bit surprised. Mom caught me sucking on some ice cubes here.
And little Candace was going to get her way---she wanted to run a little bit with me!
After about 200 meters, I sent them back to Grandma after final hugs and goodluck kisses, telling them I'll see them at the finish line.
I wish my iphone hadn't died! Afterall, the ONLY reason I ran these 26.2 miles was for the final half mile! All runners were able to run through the Green Bay Packer stadium tunnels, followed by a lap around Lambeau Field. I WANTED PICTURES! Whaaaa, whhaaaaaaaaaaa.....
.... but then, working our way back through the tunnels, we were 200 meters from the finish line.
And even though I was welllllll off my goal-mark today, I am happy with the finish. I simply slowed down and ran a smart marathon. It wasn't worth killing myself over. (I guess lady-in-blue here moved at the last minute. It's okay Mom!!!!! I appreciate all the candids from today!) :D
The AWESOME finisher's medal and finish line Rootbeer :) And even a smile ;^)
My amazing girls!
And.....the shake down....
Thanks for reading!!!!