I did it! I finally conquered the distance of 26.2! My total time was 4:21:58 at a 9:59 min/mile pace!
I was soooo nervous and stressed out the night before that even though I got to bed early I wasn’t able to get to sleep until about 12:30 AM. Thankfully the race started a bit later than usual at 8 AM, giving me a chance to get about 6 hours of sleep. My plan to stick with the 4:15 pace group as long as possible was foiled when they had to re-work the pace groups because a pacer got sick. I was forced to choose between 4:10 and 4:25… I went with 4:25 because I felt more confident with the pace. My game plan was to run with the 10:07 min/ mile group until mile 16 and then break away if I felt good, and that’s exactly what I did. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to break 4:20, but I’m still very happy with my overall time.
One of my biggest accomplishments from the race was being mentally strong the whole time. Usually I beat myself up about not being on schedule or I tell myself there is no way I can run faster. This was one of the few times I was positive the whole way through. It is really hard to finish strong beating yourself up about a walk through a water stop or a slow mile. I think a little pep talk the night before from Peter really helped. Not only was this race fun because I did well and felt good the whole time, it was also nice to be kind to myself and to be confident that I would be successful.
Also one of the most awesome feelings in the world was cruising past people for the final 8 miles. Since I was conservative in the beginning I was able to control my pace at the end and as Peter says “finish with the gas tank empty”. No one passed me in those last 8 miles, making my heart scream with joy for every runner I picked off ahead of me! I was really worried about my left hamstring and my left big toe. But since there were so many miles on the boardwalk I got a bit of a break from the pounding on the pavement.
The last three miles along the boardwalk I was focusing on not stopping. I knew if I stopped to walk once I would feel that it was ok to stop again. I tried to zone out but just couldn’t, even the ocean views didn’t help! I probably listened to Miley Cyrus “Climb” 4 times!
A big thank you goes out to Peter for being such an amazing “supporter”. He was there to see me at miles 8, 17, 20, 22 and the finish. He had a care pack he toted to each location. The body glide came in handy at mile 20 when a blister started to get pretty painful on my left foot. Also thank you to Brittany and Michael for being there at the start to help relax me.
After the race we chilled out on the boardwalk for a bit so I could eat some food and relax. At the hotel I took a quick shower and rest then we went out for an amazing lunch! Wish I had a picture to share with you. It was also Oktoberfest at Revel so we checked out the roof deck beer garden. So pretty!
A great race, day and weekend in Atlantic City! It was so nice to get out of town and see my friends from Georgia.
Check back tomorrow for my full race review!