We got up at 2:30 in the morning to get ready for the race. We had over an hour drive away to the race and we wanted to get there early to avoid road closures and parking issues. We were out the door by 3:45am and had no problems getting a parking spot. Then we had about two hours to hang out, but they really flew by with what felt like 100 bathroom visits (they had the arena open so we didn’t have to use the porta potties) and just going over the race in our minds.
The weather ended up cooperating. The rain held off and the sky was cloudy. There was a breeze but when the sun broke through the clouds during the race it felt so warm and humid. The temps were in the upper 60s.
We ran into folks from our town that are all serious runners. I took this as a good luck sign. 🙂 It was great to get to see them before we headed out.
The 5K race started at 7am, wheelchair start was around 7:30am and then half and full marathon after that. The half and full marathon course was together until around mile 12 then the course split.
I ended up wearing my Nike LunaRacer2s for this race, with my longest run being about 15-17 miles in them (I forget which run it was). And I’m happy to report I had no issues with my feet from them, whew! 🙂
It was quite humid so I made sure that when I drank water I poured any little bit remaining on myself. I was soaked the whole race, but it felt like I helped me keep from overheating. I took water at all stops except the first one. Later in the course I took two cups of water. For fuel I used my watermelon flavored sports beans at Miles 5, 10, 15, and 22ish. I’m not sure that I’ll keep using sports beans for fuel. I may continue to look for other options and see if there is anything else that works for me as the packaging of the sports beans is bulky and they are hard to eat while running. So far I’ve kept with them because all other Gus and blocks have upset my stomach. Right now that’s been the trade-off. Feel free to post me any suggestions in the fuel department.
I had a great race and I was all smiles and just felt so happy the whole way. I was able to thank people along the way. The cheering helps keep me going. It’s funny how at a full marathon women spectators love seeing a woman runner out there going for it. I had so many women at all ages shouting “girl power” and they would get so excited, clapping, bouncing and pumping their fists. They all really pumped me up! I would tap my heart and say thank you. Other times I would give a thumbs up and say ‘you know it!’ Other times I would give a thumbs up or the hang 10 type gesture and say ‘all day baby, all day’.
There were times on the course we were running along the opposite direction of traffic and there were cars full of runners from the half marathon and 5ks leaving and they would stick their heads and arms out of their cars cheering us. I got a lot of ‘you go girl!’ I was beaming with pride and excitement!
I got a little choked up a couple of times saying ‘morning’ to some of the much older generation that came outside their homes to watch us run. One man around mile 22 said ‘You are looking good’ in a very proud sort of way and I shouted back ‘I feel GOOD. Life is good. Life is damn good.’ My smile was HUGE the entire race and people kept commenting now how happy I seemed. I just couldn’t get enough of the pure joy I felt running.
Outside the football stadium a group of guys started shouting ‘Hey!!’ and a man in the group said ‘I paced off you (not sure if he meant for the half or marathon relay)!’ And I responded ‘Sweet! That’s my home! Going home!’ and I pointed to the football stadium. As I approached the turn into the stadium there was a large crowd of people cheering and I said ‘thank you’ over and over as I pushed with everything I had left.
The finish line is the 50 yard line of the Fighting Illini football stadium and just a picture perfect way to finish a race.
I got a new PR!!! 3:25:05 and I was 7th female over all (out of 635) and it appears that I got 1st in my Age Group (out of 108)!!! The 3rd female overall was in my age group so her award will pull her out of the age group ranking. They are supposed to mail the awards. I can’t wait to see what it is!!! 😀
Since I didn’t have to worry about big city building messing with the GPS signal on my Garmin I left it on auto lap and didn’t bother with hitting the lap button at the mile markers. So these split times are approximate as with having to side step people and moving in and out of a water stop cause the mileage to be a touch higher and the Garmin mile split to go off before hitting the mile markers. But for what it’s worth, here is what it showed.
Mile 1 – 7:43
Mile 2 – 7:34
Mile 3 – 7:32
Mile 4 – 7:37
Mile 5 – 7:38
Mile 6 – 7:37
Mile 7 – 7:45
Mile 8 – 7:38
Mile 9 – 7:45
Mile 10 – 7:45
Mile 11 – 7:39
Mile 12 – 7:31
Mile 13 – 7:29
Mile 14 – 7:35
Mile 15 – 7:38
Mile 16 – 7:40
Mile 17 – 7:41
Mile 18 – 7:35
Mile 19 – 7:44
Mile 20 – 7:45
Mile 21 – 7:47
Mile 22 – 7:48
Mile 23 – 8:05
Mile 24 – 8:14
Mile 25 – 8:11
Mile 26 – 7:53
Last .2 – 7:26 Pace
Rob also got a PR!!! 3:37:27 He had some serious stomach issues starting from mile 9. I caught up to him just before mile 19. I’m so proud of him to keep pushing through it. Stomach problems are just awful and he still pulled out a new PR!
Us with our medals.
Me post race, changed clothes and have my finisher’s medal. Still grubby, and happy!
F 30-34: 1/110