I've looked at the results at least a half dozen times and I still don't believe it. But there it is...
That's my time for my second marathon ever - completed yesterday morning in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Holy crap! Did I really do that!?!? :-)))))
This race was amazing from registration to post-race celebration. I highly recommend it. Don Kern and his crew put on a great event. I mean, who'd want to miss a race with free Culver's custard, Wendy's chili, hot dogs, soda and free beer!? Yes, free beer!
Though I hate to admit it, there is one more thing that makes my accomplishment even more incredible. I was still feeling the effects of too much tequila from Friday night. What an idiot I was. Saturday was horrible. Most of the day I was wondering if I'd even be able to run a marathon, let alone kick some major marathon butt. My head was pounding and if there had been anything in my stomach, it would not have remained there long. I ate nothing all day Saturday until 3pm, when I forced myself to eat a Clif bar. It stayed down somehow. Saturday night I also made myself have dinner. It also stayed down. Somehow. So at that point it was about 12 hours until race start and I still felt awful. Dumb dumb redhead.
Went to bed fairly early Saturday night. I set out everything for the next morning. Pinned my bib on my shirt and attached my D-tag to my shoe. By then I thought I could probably run the race, but I was seriously thinking of making it an easy training run and I was wondering how I could possibly handle Gatorade and GU.
Sunday morning came and I was feeling MUCH better. I still wasn't 100%. My headache was completely gone, but my stomach was still a little bit queasy. I had my banana, granola and Powerade and they all stayed down. So far, so good. Got dressed and ticked away the seconds to race start.
We got to the start corral and found the Pi Pacers (3:14 pace team). I figured, what the hell... Matt was going to run with them regardless of what I did, so why not start with them and if Friday night rears its ugly head mid-race, I'll drop back. The race started fairly well. My stomach was not made worse by running, surprisingly. I figured the first aid station would also be a do-or-die test. I cringed as I poured the first cup of Gatorade down my throat, but it felt fine. As the race went along, my stomach felt better and better. Probably not what I deserved, but I'll take it! As it turned out, I stayed with the Pi Pacers until mile 24 at which point I just couldn't hang with them anymore. I had too much energy!!! I said goodbye and rushed ahead beating the entire pace team (though there weren't many left!) by over a minute!! In fact, my poor Matty fell off at about mile 22, but still managed to come away with a BQ time with 7 seconds to spare!!
Matty is going to BOSTON with me!!!!
Maybe I should make tequila a pre-race ritual??
One more thing to add for anybody thinking about trying a pace team. It was GREAT! It made pacing one less (major) thing to think about. All I had to focus on was fueling. The only problem I discovered with pace teams is crowding at aid stations. I quickly learned to drop back or run ahead just before the aid stations to help with this problem. I also found this became much less of an issue further into the race because so many people dropped away. The three guys who led our group were great. They'd take turns dropping back to motivate people or just chat. They always grabbed extra GU or other goodies at aid stations and passed them out if people needed them. It was awesome. It was like running with my own crew!