|Official finish time: 3:42:12|
Not only did I show up and do the thing, I shaved another 25 seconds off that dang BQ time that is still hanging over my head.
Ugh, that BQ time. I really really wish I could have run a sub-3:40 and guaranteed my entry for 2018 but my body was definitely not recovered from the marathon a ran four weeks ago. I'm not even really sure how I managed this one at all, other than pure strength of will. The "plan" was to just show up and see what happened. If I felt like crap I was totally going to take it easy and just use it as a "training run" for the 15-hour ultra I'm running in June. BUT, if I felt good I was going to ride that Boston qualifying pace for as long as possible.
|The Starting Line: Where hopes and dreams live.|
I felt.... eh? Not bad enough to shift out of race mode but also not *good* enough to feel optimistic about my chances. I was hanging on to an 8:20 pace but I knew I was WORKING for it. My heart rate definitely felt higher than it was at the Circular Logic Marathon earlier this month. BUT, I didn't bonk like a chump this time! Sure I faded the last third of the race but I didn't completely fall apart. It was actually right before mile 22 when something clicked. I was already off of a sub-3:40 pace so I was having an internal conversation with myself trying to give myself permission to jog the final four miles in. I wasn't going to get into the 3:30s so why push it? Then when I looped by the start/finish at mile 22 my friend Bill (who was the race announcer) came up to me and pointed out the woman just in front of me and said
"THAT'S THE FIRST PLACE FEMALE RIGHT NOW."
Initially I rolled my eyes and groaned. I think I said something like, "Uhhhhh don't tell me that!" (Or at least I thought it.) I looked at her up ahead and thought there is no way I can speed up and catch her the way I'm feeling right now.
But... I kept at it. I didn't speed up, but I didn't slow down either. I told myself, "I have four miles. Maybe I can slowly chip away at it and then kick it up at the end?"
I should have given myself more credit! It only took one more mile and I realized that while I was holding a steady pace, she was clearly slowing down. I passed her just before mile 23 and promptly FREAKED OUT. I knew I wasn't going to get my PR today but I suddenly had a new, incredible goal. I WAS GOING TO WIN THIS RACE.
I spent the final three miles hanging on to my pace by the teeniest of threads, all the while wondering when the woman I passed was going to find a second wind and come charging back. I literally had nothing left in the tank so if she had made a move I was fully prepared to let her go. I just focused on the ground in front of me, swinging my arms and mentally willing my body to keep moving forward. Part of me felt silly for wanting my 3:4X marathon self to win so bad when it's not a race pace anywhere near worth bragging about- but when else was this ever going to happen to me? And at a race that was practically in my own back yard in Bay View! COME ON.
|Yay! Turn the Garmin off. Try not to barf.|
A Boston qualifying time -2:48 in the women's 40-44 age group. My biggest qualifying margin yet (although not a PR since my earlier, faster BQs were run when I was still in the 35-39 age group.)
I may or may not have signed up for a Last Chance to BQ race in September. Goddammit.