I was super busy Thursday so I ended up running 3 easy miles before work Friday at an 8:34 pace on the treadmill. Nothing felt too tight or achy and I knew come hell or high water, I was going to at least cross the finish line on my own two feet Sunday.
Saturday morning, I picked up Megan (my amazing chauffeur/support team/manicurist) to go to the expo with me. Adam had to work all weekend. Boo! Anyway, Megan registered to run/walk the 5K--yippee! We spent about an hour at expo and picked up lots of great swag:
I came home to eat lunch on the patio:
My plan? Um..... yeah, about that....
Having run a 3:52 the week before on an elevation like this:
So I decided that because my course PR was 3:43, I was just going to run as near to the 3:45 pace group for as long as I could hold on. Bank and bonk, right?
I wasn't running with friends this time so I popped in my ear buds and waited for the gun. Within the first mile, I spotted the 3:45 pace group sign and decided I would try to close the gap by mile 2.
I was kind of a weird place mentally. There was a lot of self doubt and not knowing a soul of the course was disheartening. My tutu was too big to stay around my hips and was riding up around my waist. But how could I be sad wearing a tutu?! And I knew I could run/walk to the finish and still reach my Maniac goal!
By the second mile, I was running near the 3:45 group and waiting to feel warmed up. It took until about mile 4 before I started to feel loose and comfortable with my pace. Then, I started to pass some of my favorite sights on the course. Going through Little 5 Points, tackling the hill leading to the Carter Center, and the now-comfortable silence of splitting from the half-marathoners around mile 7:
Snacking Sidenote: I'm not sure exactly where all the snacks were along the way, but I sure did eat a lot of "real" food on the course. Partly because calories=energy, partly because I am sucker for cute kids, and partly because I knew that it would keep me from taking this too seriously. It's really hard to maintain Type A brain while eating jelly beans in a tutu. Doable, but more difficult. I ate jelly beans, peanut butter pretzels, cut up Snickers bars, orange slices, and an extra GU. I drank Powerade (red, ew!) once by accident, but stuck to the water otherwise.
Once we got closer to the Emory campus around mile 15, I was feeling good about this race. I was keeping a steady pace comfortably and decided it was time to make friends. I started running next to this guy from Philly, Dan, and we talked about his 50 states conquest and my Maniac-ness. We were running a nice steady clip downhill and I was relieved to chatter away happily. Unfortunately, I dropped him when we got to the climb at mile 16 because some crazy energy surge came out of nowhere and I went with it!
There were 2 girls with 2 donkeys (yes, you read that right, donkeys) standing in their front lawn during this stretch. I yelled "I like your donkeys!!!!!!!!!" and they yelled back "I like your tutu!!!!!!". At this point, a girl came running up alongside me and told me she thought she'd never hear that being yelled in a race. Jo and I ran together until around mile 19. She was on the conquest for 50 states as well and a joy to run with. I was pumping up the spectators and she was as smiley as a runner as me. She had a ton of kick and I was feeling the hills making my legs heavier so I sadly let my friend go racing ahead.
It started misting a little heavier at this point and I realized I was actually wanting my arm warmers.
But I kept smiling and moving my legs forward, knowing that I was going to be getting a sub-4 even if the final miles got tough. I saw my friend Jo at the turn around point around mile 22 in Piedmont Park and we yelled at each other with big goober grins. Totally uplifting!
Megan and I met Heidi at The Vortex for burgers and beers:
I really haven't planned too much for the next few weeks. Probably 2 long runs of 16-20 miles and maintaining 25-35 miles per week depending on how I feel. I have no goals at the Pig except to have fun again!!!