First of all, nobody died this year during the race. So that's good. And I had a good time. I didn't think there were as many bands on the course as the last time I did this race, but I didn't count them or anything.
My plan going in was to walk the aide stations only and take Advil about 30 minutes before the race started, then as little during as I could get away with. I also brought some of this pain-relief cream they had at the Expo with me. The guy in the booth gave me 3 packets and they fit perfectly into my Spibelt, much better than the 4 oz. Rock Sauce that I normally carry.
For nutrition, I was going to drink the provided sports drink and water on the course but also bring some little snacks. I brought some Sports Beans that were being given out at the Expo and a Payday bar.
Yes, my plan for nutrition included getting calories from three new food sources.
I know normally that's not recommended but I've used all those items before on the bike and I have been experimenting with eating different things on the run and not having any issues as long as most of my nutrition was in solid form.
So I wasn't too worried.
The night before I had issues sleeping and I finally gave up at 1:00 am and took a sleeping pill. I really should have gone it sooner because I need to get 7-8 hours sleep after or I end up waking up groggy and that's exactly what happened.
I also got up too early and got there too early. I was ready to race by 7:00 am and the race didn't start until 8:00 am! On the other hand, I was able to use the port-a-potties two times with absolutely no lines and found parking on the street. I think people coming later had a lot more crowds to deal with.
I only did my DROM warm-up and then walked around the block. Normally I would have run for 10-15 minutes but I didn't want to waste any calf thumping on non-race activities. I did feel the walking loosening me up, but of course it didn't get my ATP production going like jogging would have.
When I registered for this race, I had no idea how long it would take me to finish it. I guessed 2:55. But by the time the race came around, I figured that it would be more like 2:45, but it could be anywhere from 2:30 to 3:00 depending on how my leg felt. I talked to the corral people and they suggested I go to the 2:30 corral. I think I've figured out that people put down their most optimistic finish times because that corral ended up being perfect for me and I saw quite a few of the people I started with all throughout the race.
My race plan went well. The Sports Beans, in particular, worked well and the Payday made a nice treat later on in the race. There were also people along the course offering all sorts of food. One house had beer and donuts. I didn't actually see any beer and a donut sounded pretty heavy, but later on a guy had an enormous box of donut holes and that sounded perfect so I veered over to him and grabbed one. They were bigger than I was expecting so I only ended up eating half of it, but it really hit the spot.
The Cytomax drink was just okay. I ended up drinking water and Cytomax as Cytomax alone was a bit much. It's not really my favorite sports drink anyway.
The weather was pretty good too. It was a bit muggy but it wasn't too cold or too hot. I was able to stick to my plan and hardly did any walking at all. I had to take one extra "medicine" break at mile 9 but I skipped the last aide station as it was so close to the finish so it evened out.
I made good time at first. I finished the first 5 miles in a about an hour. The second 5 miles took slightly longer and I did have one moment of panic when I started running again after stretching my calfing and smearing anti-pain goop on it when I saw the 2:45 pace group ahead of me. But I was able to catch up to them pretty easily and I never saw them again. Then, when I got to the point where there was only a 5K left, I just poured it on. I was able to make up some significant time and finished at 2:38:08. This was a bit longer than the 2:30 I had dreamed off, but I knew going in that wasn't all that realistic and it was enough faster than the 2:45 I was planning on.
So, in the end, I was happy. I was sore though. So I went home and put on my 110% Play Harder compression gear and laid in bed watching Buffy reruns until the ice was all melted. I don't seem to be suffering particularly for pushing myself in the race either. I can feel my calf more than I like but I think I'll be able to do my normal Tuesday or Wednesday run.
Age group: 187 / 400 - 47%
Female: 3332 / 5416 - 62%
Overall: 7068 / 9831 - 72%
Those are actually not that bad of results considering. I think I always do well on this course and also there are enough walkers that just running at all puts in the middle of the pack.