A friend of mine was going to run the Tacoma Narrows Half with me but decided not to a week before the race. I was SOOOO bummed. I really didn't want to be in the race by myself. But a few days later I heard some of my gym friends talking about what time they were meeting on Saturday morning.... I was totally eavesdropping but they were running the same race and invited me to carpool with them. I was grateful that they invited me along but even more grateful when Brenda (blue shirt) offered to run with me because my goal was to finish in 2 hours 20 minutes (or less) and she has a broken toe so she would be running her slow pace (her best time is a good 40 minutes less than my goal!).
Amber (black shirt) told me to carb up Friday night, hydrate, and eat a PB&J in the morning. I ended up eating cereal for breakfast because we didn't have any bread. We met up Saturday morning and drove over to the starting line in Gig Harbor. When the race was about to start we lined up, sang the anthem, and then the race started. It was exciting.
I ran the first two miles with Brenda and Ashley (purple shirt). Right at the two mile marker Brenda and Ashley stopped for some minor injuries and I kept going.
While I was running over the bridge I passed the 2:10 pacer and made 2:10 my new goal. I slowly caught up to a girl in a tie-died shirt -who looked like a good person to pace- at mile 3.
I stopped at every water table and gagged down two Powerade energy gels along the way. Cereal for breakfast just wasn't enough and I could feel myself loosing energy like an incandescent light bulb.... the Powerade helped but I felt new for only eating cereal.
The tie-died shirt girl passed me shortly after I passed her and now my goal was not to let Brenda and Ashley catch up to me.
The race was hard. My right quad was on fire and my left knee and hip were all messed up. (At least it balanced out the pain.) I never stopped to walk although I was tempted a time or two. I remember the mile markers coming a lot quicker than I expected and it got exciting to think that I might finish under 2 hours.
Right after I passed the 12 mile marker I heard someone behind me say, "only 1.1 miles left." I thought about finishing the race and how proud I was of myself. I thought about Jake and Everett at the finish line and I got a little emotional. I got a lump in my throat and tried to pick up my pace a little. And then I saw her... the tie-dyed shirt girl and I started sprinting as fast as I could. I had been trying to catch her for nearly 10 miles and it felt amazing to finally catch her. I passed her as I rounded the the corner to the finish line. I was going so fast I could feel the cheeks on my face bouncing. I saw the clock say 2:05 and I was so happy and a little disappointed all at the same time. I beat my goal by 15 minutes but came short by 5 minutes all at the same time (thinking that I might finish under 2 hours). I saw Amber right before the finish line cheering me on and I could hear Jake yelling: 'TO THE LEFT... TO THE LEFT.'
I finished in 2:05:21 (9:34/mile)
I was the 405th person to finish (out of 836) and the average time was 2:13.
(I must have been in the zone because I didn't even take my ear phones out... and it was the radio of all things.)
Andy, Amy, and Sawyer also came to cheer me on. It meant so much to have some of my favorite people at the finish line.
One of my first thoughts after the race was when can I run the next one?