I did it. I went for it, I gave it my all….but in the end, I just didn't have anything left in the tank or my legs to keep the fast pace past mile 9. My garmin splits CLEARLY show where the wheels fell off. I just couldn't seem to get them back ;). I guess 3 half marathons in less than 2 months will do that to ya!
The morning was beautiful, a bit breezy (but thankfully not nearly as windy as it was at my house when we left for the race!). The course was about an hour drive away on dirt farm roads. In hindsight, I probably should have done the other course I was debating over, on the roads. The dusty, uneven roads were really hard for me and I ended up carrying and using my inhaler 3 times during the race because of the air quality. My allergies are still a mess 2 days later.
I ran hard from the get go, but never digging too deep. I was very very happy realizing that not one person passed me from the start and I was running as the 4th female until mile 10 when a girl came flying by me. I tried to pull behind her, but I just didn't have it.
Around mile 11 or so I noticed some random guy running all over the place, looking at me, then yelling at someone behind me. On an out and back section I noticed there was a girl closing in on me, followed closely by about 3 other girls.
So, with less than a half of a mile to go when I realized (yes I actually asked the guy if he was trying to get the girl to pass me) that if I didn't pick it up I was going to get passed and then I would be really really mad so I dug deep, and then I dug some more. I held on to my 5th place and gave it everything I had.
I beat that girl by only :02 seconds AND it gave me 5th OA female and 3rd in AG.
I did not get my NY qualifying race, but I wasn't even remotely disappointed. That goal wasn't really mine, I just tagged along with some girlfriend's goals. After PF Changs 1:38 PR, I thought there was a small chance I could pull it off, but with only 2 weeks to recover and a very stressful week with Baxter ending up in the hospital for a night I was tired, and definitely NOT rested.
I very very proudly shared my age group medal (and an extra one) with Baxter & Juliette and toasted my achievement with a nice cold Blue Moon in my beer mug from NY Marathon, circa 2003 when Shane & I ran and he proposed to me.
I proved a lot to myself with these last 3 races, and while I'm ready to get back to my regular triathlon training…. I can honestly say it sure was fun being a "runner" for a couple of months :)