Columbus race weekend started out on Saturday with a quick zip through the expo to pick up our bibs. I did protest the speed at which we were cruising through there and I made Alan get a picture at the “finish line” with me.
At bib pickup, I was super excited that my name was on the box for the bibs! The volunteer was amazed that I knew my bib was the last in the box. I felt it only fair to tell him that we weren’t psychic, just highly observant.
After the expo we met friends at Bravo for our pre-race pasta dinner. My lasagna was huge, and I ate a ton of bread. Carb loading done, check!
After falling asleep at 10pm at our hotel, the 4:45 am wakeup alarm was actually tolerable! I didn’t feel tired, but excited about the upcoming race. We were on the road at 5:45 am to our downtown parking spot and didn’t run into any traffic. Note to self, do this again next year!! We were even the first people at our prerace meeting spot at the YMCA, which was open to all runners. A nice warm place to meet up, complete with clean, flushing toilets!! I dressed for the weather – which as 29 degrees at the start. Brrr! I planned on keeping my arm warmers on for the whole race, so I wore a nice Brooks pair. We also both had some warm throw away items – a hat, sweatpants and sweat shirt.
With that headband I look like I could tell your future!!
After bag check we headed into the corrals. It was super well organized and I didn’t feel rushed like I have in years past. Ironically I ended up standing next to a guy who had a Glass City Marathon Ambassador shirt on! Technically he wasn’t an ambassador, but he had been helping out at the expo for GCM which was why he had the shirt. He took our picture!
Would have been a great picture… if that shadow wasn’t in my face!! #shortpeopleproblems
I positioned myself near the 3:35 marathon pace group, but before the 1:50 half pace group. Soon the AC/DC music cranked (Thunderstruck natch. Followed by some Springsteen, Born to Run), and the race started at 7:30 as the fireworks went off. I only inhaled a little bit of smoke and firework residue!!
Miles 1 – 2, 8:23, 8:13
Columbus isn’t “hilly” but it does have a few long uphills and downhills. My first two miles were a bit slower than my goal pace for sure. It was crowded and I wasn’t up to speed quite yet. So here’s the thing that threw me off a little. My official pace last year was 8:16, which seemed highly do-able. However, looking at my Garmin data the race was actually 13.2 miles, which translated into a 8:11 pace. Sure, 5 seconds a mile doesn’t sound like much, but really, it is! To get a new PR I figured I would just try to keep my paces with 8:0x per mile. So far, race paces not looking so good!
Miles 3-6 7:57, 8:02, 8:01, 8:02
Yahoo, we’re hitting the downhills now! Not all downhill, but some downhill and just getting into my race groove now. Enjoyed seeing these paces on my watch.
Mile 7 – 8:26
This mile had the double whammy of an uphill, and I was taking a GU. I hate taking GU when I run. I loose track of my focus (running fast!).
Miles 8, 9, 10 – 8:02, 8:08, 8:07
Back on track again! I was enjoying this race for the most part and was super pleased these fast miles were comfortably hard for me. But right about now I was actually thinking it would be good to stop. For some reason I always want to stop when there’s only 3 miles left!!
Miles 11, 12 – 8:25, 8:25
Uh oh, pace slipping a bit here. Some uphill to blame, but also taking another GU righ. Curses! Not sure if I’m making a PR at this point, but knowing for sure I’m not hitting a super PR of 1:45.
Mile 13… 13.1 7:52, 7:44
Dang – one more mile to go! Good thing it’s mostly downhill at this point. Pedal to the medal!! Now is not really the time to pick up a minute or two, but hey, worth a try! Flying into the finish (but really, to the spectators, I’m sure it wasn’t flying!!).
Finish: 1:47:50 A new PR! woohoo!!
After getting my medal and food, and posing for pictures, I went and hit the PR gong. That’s another good thing about finishing the half early – no lines at the PR gong! I was 15th place out of 545 runners in my age group. I’m pretty excited about that accomplishment.
Here comes Alan (on the left), cruising in from the marathon.
While waiting for Alan to finish, I met up with a friend and we cheered all of the runners in at mile 13 (almost mile 26). Since you could personalize your bib, we yelled out people’s names as they passed us. I’d like to think it was encouraging since some of them actually went faster or started running at that point. Others just gave us wild confused looks and tried to pretend they knew who we were! Good times!! Alan came in at 3:07… not quite the sub 3 hr that he was hoping for. But he had a really good effort until around mile 18 when he had some bad GI issues. 😦 Ugh. Still, with all of that misery, this was his 2nd fastest marathon, so that’s reason for celebration!
I would say the scariest part of the race was afterwards when I couldn’t find Alan! I waited for him at the Athlete’s exit, but we missed each other. We never discussed a meeting plan, and I walked all over the place looking for him. I was starting to wonder if he was in the medical tent, and I found out he was worrying the same about me! Turns out he went to the family meeting area and I never thought of that. Duh. So happy to finally find him after an hour or so of looking!!
Yes we did wear our medals to lunch! Hey, you gotta get some use out of them.
We met our friends again post race for burgers and beers. It was a lot of fun, but maybe the best part was being able to wear my “Boston gear” and fitting in with the rest of the group since they are all Boston veterans.
Q: How do you pace yourself for a race? Do you use the pacer on your watch or find a pace group?
I tried to keep the 3:35 pace group in my sight, but eventually I lost them. Funny how they stay on consistent pace like that….
Q: Do you believe in Race Day Magic?
Oh yes I do!!
Q: Do you ever wear your medal after a race?
I typically take mine to work and let everyone check it out. If they want to or not. haha!