Of course, the night before my big run I sleep like crap. I always do. I did manage a few hours of sleep; but I swear I saw the clock every hour last night. I gave up at 3:51, got up and dressed, and headed downstairs for coffee and my bagel.
Given the early rise, I had plenty of time to check FB, catch up on twitter, and enjoy my coffee and bagel. I had so much time, I brewed a second cup in a TO GO mug to enjoy on the hour long ride to the race. I met my group at the running store at 4:45 am. The three coaches were there first which I thought was kind of nice. We talked a bit about our trainees and reminisced on the 12 week program we led them through.
We left the store at about 5:15 and began the caravan to DE. We got there by 6:20 and had an hour to kill before the gun for the 1/2 marathon. We got in the port-o-potty line and then walked back near the start to watch the marathoners and relay teams go.
I was excited and ready when the gun sounded. About a 1/2 mile in, I realized I needed to pee. I said mind over matter and keep going. Around a mile, one of the program participants, Kristin, pulled out. She's been having IT band issues and wasn't sure if she could make it. I kept going strong and clocked splits of 9:24 and 9:31 for miles 1 and 2. I'm doing great...but I really, really have to pee. Damn that second cup of coffee. I push through miles 3 and 4 and rationalize that if I can find a bank of port-o-pots with no wait, I'll do it. Miles 3 and 4 splits were 9:42 and 9:49.
I caught up with a woman who was wearing a shirt that said "Always in Memory of Dad". I talked to her for a while. She lost her dad to pancreatic cancer. He was 63. She wished she would have ran with him (he was a runner, she was not). She started running in tribute and memory of him. I wished I could have stuck with her but I saw port-o-potties with 1 person waiting. I said my goodbyes and dashed over. I waited about a minute and saw Heather (my friend) go by. I finally got in and estimate I took another minute to pee. So, in total, I think the pee break cost me 2 minutes.
Mile 6-7 is one giant hill. I ran up part of it with my friend David. My time on that mile was a 9:52 which wasn't bad for the hill. I guess I was just so happy to be relieved of the bladder stress!
You run around a few neighborhoods up at the top of the hill. I was really not happy at that point because of all the twists and turns. You kept passing other people and I just wanted to be over on the other side of the street with them. I did see Leah again (lost her Dad) and passed her. I said "Hey...c'mon....the Dad's are watching, we can't disappoint."
Mile 10-11 is the hill in reverse. I should have been flying...but I don't like running downhills so my pathetic split time was a 10:33. Many, many people turned it on and flew by me. I finished strong with a 2:13:46. That's 1 minute 30 seconds from a PR. That damn second copy of coffee cost me a 2 minute pee break. Do the math...I would have PRed if I hadn't had to stop to pee.
I caught up with Leah at the finish festival. She said my comment really made her kick it into gear. We talked about our great Dads, hugged,and said good-bye.
Despite not PRing, I am pleased with my time on this hilly course. It was certainly a challenging run. I am so proud of all the Fleet Fleet program participants who ran it. They all did great today! Finishing is winning. And also (to Kristin), getting out of bed and trying is better than all those who didn't try. You will be back stronger and better than before in no time!