I was comfortable in a T-shirt and shorts at the starting line, meaning the abrupt warmup I'd fretted about had indeed arrived. And the combination of adrenaline, wanting to break free from the crowd and a prolonged downhill stretch at the beginning meant I started far too strong.
Toss in misleading MapMyRun distances and paces (apparently I ran 13.75 miles at a 9:30 clip!), and you've got the makings of a letdown. Watch the slow, steady downward progress:
My 5K split was 28:33 (a 9:11 pace); 10K split was 58:40 (a 9:26 pace); 15K split was 1:29:30 (a 9:36 pace); and overall time was 2:10:33 (a 9:58 pace).
I'd rather focus on the positives, though, and the good news is that, once I literally cooled down, this wasn't even a struggle.
* Spectator signs were excellent. My favorite was "If this were easy, it would be called your mom," followed by "Worst parade ever :( " and "Run faster, I just farted."
(I would've smiled more at "Don't walk, people are watching," except that I indulged in walking and did not care who saw.)
* The friend factor was off the charts. Emily and Zach ran the half with me; we let Zach take off with the fast kids, but we ladies stuck together for not quite half of the race. Even though we hardly talked (she's an iPod runner), somehow it made the miles fly by.
|No sweat, no scowls: This is obviously a pre-race photo.|
And both of those groups united for a long, leisurely post-race celebration.
* Post-race brunch was beyond amazing. We hit up Jethro's for a $6 all-you-can-eat brunch, and words cannot describe how amazing everything tasted ... for a beyond-reasonable price.
|That first bite of bacon tasted soooo good. I might've wept for joy. The potatoes, which you can barely see, were the real star, though. Yes, those are Bloody Marys; no, I didn't finish mine after the first two sips.|
|Don't worry. I left a tip.|
Overall, while I fell short physically and mentally during the race (I'm really sorry to everyone who heard me ask where the f*** the finish line was, or declare that this length was f***ing bulls***), I'm pleased with the lead-up and aftermath.
I trained my body well; it just so happened that race-day conditions didn't arrive until the taper period.
And with that, plus my embarrassment/frustration/anger at acknowledging hopes and dreams only to fall short, it was less than an hour before I was thinking and saying: "Maybe I can redeem myself at the Des Moines half this fall."
No declarations of "running sucks, I quit forever." It's just time to recuperate and think about RAGBRAI now.