about 15 minutes before the race started i looked at my garmin & realized it was frozen. it was stuck on 6:05 am:( i don't know how to restart it without plugging it in to charge so i started freaking out. but, i decided not to focus on that & just concentrate on running. i knew that there would be mile markers along the way, so these was not the end of the world.
(i took these before we started)and before i knew it, it was time ... & i was off! i was immediately surprised with the racers that i was running with. they were fast, realllly fast! this was a completely different class of runners from the broad street run. these were real runners. i was scared, i'm not going to sugar coat it..i thought i was doomed! but in what felt like 10-15 minutes we were already at mile marker 3. because my garmin was not working, i really had no way to track my mileage besides the mile markers along the road. i can usually figure my miles out by the number of songs that play...but i couldn't even focus on my music, i was just trying to keep up with the runners around me! when i saw mile marker 3 i was thinking, "ok, i got this!"
but, i was tired already. and it was only mile 3...then 4 came and went...around mile 5 i felt like i needed my gel. i only packed one (figuring i would need it around mile 8..wrong!) so i listened to my body & took it. i knew they were offering one around mile 9-10.
the whole time during miles 4 & 5 i was keeping my eyes PEELED for shawn & chris (shawn's best man)...turning corners, it was hard to search the crowds so i focused on the run banking on the fact that they were looking for me & would scream my name as i went by. and then i heard it... ALLLLLLLLLLLISONNNNNN!! seeing them gave me a much needed boost!! i felt a smile that lasted a few miles.....that is until we headed towards drexel and the slight incline started. and this was when i started hating myself.....and just when i thought it couldn't get any worse - it did. and if i thought i hated myself before, well now, i literally wanted to die.
and i'm not exaggerating. i was hating life, questioning why i would ever want to pay money to torture myself, wishing i could fast forward time & be out somewhere sippin' on something yummy & be done with this hell! at this point i was around mile 9-10 and we were near the phila zoo & please touch museum. i had to pee. i was hurting. i was dead tired, i couldn't catch my breath, i could feel my heart pounding. but i pushed through it. i don't know how. but i just kept going and then it was sweet relief, because there was a light decline and the rest of the race i just kind of coasted through. i took the cliff shot they offered around mile 10, i definitely felt like i needed it after those hills.
the last two miles of the course, i was pretty familiar with. they were part of the end of the kelly drive loop that i had run many times during my training. and before i knew it i could hear mayor michael nutter cheering on the half marathoners approaching the finish line. i could see the clock & it said 1:47. could it be true? could i have really run that fast? and then i sprinted. i put everything i had left into getting there as fast as i could. i thought, ok i didn't make 1:45, but I HAVE to make it under 1:50. there were not many people coming through the finish line at the same time as me, so i was able to have my moment & high five the mayor (which i'm still pretty excited about! i am easily star struck, what can i say?) i tracked down shawn & we high fived & fist pounded...that's how we do;)
and then he took these extrememly dorky & over excited photos of me:
(hello bean pole in the back)
post race, i showered and we were about to head out the door for celebrations when i remembered to check my official results online:
Allison Libby #21131Philadelphia, PAAge: 26 Gender: F
|Overall Place||967 / 9413|
|Gender Place||318 / 5898|
|Division Place||96 / 1459|
it was at this time that i started jumping up & down with excitement! i was wayyyyyyyy closer to my goal than i ever thought i could be. this was the fastest i have ever run for that distance. as i mentioned, i trained hard in that i had logged a lot of miles but i have never really focused on my time. knowing that i can average a mile at that pace really changes my future race goals! i wish my garmin had been working because then i could see my actual splits, the % incline & calories burned..but whaddya gone do!
and then we celebrated!