Soon, we were off. I've been wavering a bit on what I wanted to attempt to do with this race. I signed up for it to be a long run before Capon Valley 50K (in three weeks which is a long run for Highlands Sky). I also wanted to PR (under 4:25). But, I'm feeling a lot stronger and did not think just a PR under 4:25 was a big stretch. So, I decided to make my public goal under 4:15. My, 'I know I can do it if everything goes right but I'm not going to tell anyone goal': under 4:00. That didn't happen but I still got my public goal and still believe if everything went right, I would have been able to get the other one...next time.
One friend was running this and several others were going to pace him throughout different sections. This was nice because I had people to talk to at various points. I'm not a huge talker but it's nice to pass some of the time. Talking was also a good plan since this was advertised as a 'No Headphones' race. Of course, I saw tons of people with them. I'm fine with the rule but if the rule exists, enforce it, because I definitely would have had my music with me if I knew I'd be able to get away with it and still get a finishing time. Considering it was a small race (455 finishers according to the results), I thought I might not be able to get away with it.
The first few miles clicked by quickly. This is a small race but also has a wheel division. We went up a steep hill early and one of them was struggling to get up with all of us runners going around. I can't imagine what that would've been like. It's a course filled with lots of rolling hills which is actually what I'm the strongest on but most would consider this a fairly tough course if they do not like hills. For me, it's exactly what I'm used to running so it worked well for me. By mile 3, I was warmed up and got rid of the long sleeve shirt.
Around mile 6, I needed a pit stop and stopped at a water station. The port-o-potty was occupied with the occupant showing no signs of leaving soon and another guy waiting in front of me. I ditched the plan but luckily another one appeared shortly thereafter at the relay exchange. Much better. We keep moving through the country roads passing an orchard at this point. The course was scenic and pretty because it was country roads but not exactly what I was expecting since we were in Gettysburg. I thought it would have been more like Freedom's Run where we actually ran through some sections like the battlefields.
I decided to wear a pace band to help me see where I was and also remind me to eat Shot Bloks since I'm not the best at remembering this. I've never had stomach issues with them and not sure if it was them or just something else on this day. At the half way, another stop was needed but otherwise feeling good. I started pulling away a little from the group I was running with but met back up with them after stopping again at mile 17...argh.
My legs were feeling good though and pretty soon I was at mile 20. At this point, I moved in front of the main group I was running with again but met up with my neighbor. I'd been back and forth with him throughout the day as well. I had no idea he was running this but just randomly saw him at the start. It was his first marathon and think he was starting to feel it around mile 21. I left him and continued on my way.
Luckily, my stomach issues stopped after mile 20 and I felt good all the way to the finish. I stopped eating the Bloks several miles earlier, ate half a granola bar somewhere in there (I packed a smorgasbord in the pockets of my skirt apparently) and just took a couple salt pills. Sure, I wanted it to be over and had moments where I thought about walking but never did and passed lots of people in those last 3 miles. I finished feeling better than I have in either of the other two marathons I've run.Must be the Aspaeris Pivot shorts (still convinced). Well, either that or the fact that I'm running a whole lot more this year. That might have something to do with it as well. Official time: 4:09:46. Way off 4:00 but still well under the 4:15.
|I look kind of rough here, partly because my I'm in the middle of eating a bagel.|
|See...this is more the typical post race photo of me, not enough hands to carry all this food I must shove in my face.|
|Self promotion (milesandmutts.com)|
Mile 1: 9:18
Mile 2: 8:51
Mile 3: 9:00
Mile 4: 8:45
Mile 5: 8:58
Mile 6: 9:09
Mile 7: 10:15 (Port-o-potty stop 1)
Mile 8: 9:07
Mile 9: 8:43
Mile 10: 9:06
Mile 11: 9:17
Mile 12: 9:32
Mile 13: 10:17 (Port-o-potty stop 2)
Mile 14: 9:09
Mile 15: 9:31
Mile 16: 9:12
Mile 17: 11:10 (Port-o-potty stop 3)
Mile 18: 9:51
Mile 19: 9:18
Mile 20: 10:44 (Port-o-potty stop 4)
Mile 21: 9:09
Mile 22: 9:42
Mile 23: 9:04
Mile 24: 9:47
Mile 25: 9:49
Mile 26: 9:19
|I now also own a shirt that has a picture of a Confederate flag on it. :-)|