I knew I needed an
11:25 pace to meet my primary goal.
I'd run most of the route before, so I knew what to expect which was a big
help. The weather was quite chilly at the start, but once the sun came out it
warmed up to the mid 60's. It stayed dry throughout.
Nearly all of my training runs were solo, so it was a big change to have so many
people around. Getting cheered along was a huge motivator, and just seeing
people along the route kept me going. There was someone playing the trombone,
and someone else was dressed as a cow with a sign that said "Moo-ve it". They
made it a little easier.
The first few miles I ran with a friend who was taking part in the 5k. He's much
faster than me, but hadn't trained for distance so he kept his pace slower for
me. The first mile was slow and pretty hilly, plus there were a lot of people to
navigate around. Things flattened out after that and we found a good rhythm.
It was nice having someone to talk with and to keep me focused.
After he split for the 5k I stuck on some music and got myself mentally prepped
for the next couple of hours. I didn't put together a proper race playlist which
I regret. Towards the end I really needed a boost, but I didn't have the mental
energy to mess around trying to find music.
Everything was fairly smooth in the early miles and I felt pretty good - my pace
was faster than my training runs and I felt full of energy.
I made sure to take on a little Gatorade at each aid station, and I had some
energy chews that I ate every couple of miles near the end. I don't know if they
actually worked, but even if they didn't they were still a useful placebo. They
also gave my mind something to focus on, and I counted down how long to go until
I could eat the next one.
Mile 5 and 6 were extremely tough. It was a little hilly, but nothing out of the
ordinary. I felt like someone had wrapped a chain around me and was pulling me
back. The pack had really spread out at this point and there were already people
running the other way (the race looped back on itself at mile 6.5). It was a
Once I'd got through this part I was back to familiar territory for the rest of
By mile 10 I was starting to slow down considerably. I knew that my pace was
good enough to get me over the finish line in time, so I eased off a little. I
did try to run faster for the last mile but just couldn't muster up the energy.
When I finally turned the corner and saw the mile 13 marker, I felt a huge wave
relief. All I wanted was to stop moving. I did manage a final speed up for the
last few meters as I crossed the line. They had an announcer calling out times
and congratulating finishers, but I was so focused on finishing that I didn't
hear a thing.