My expectations for the race took a slight hit when I woke up on Saturday with a sore throat. I figured it would go away after an hour or two. No such luck. As the day dragged on I felt worse and worse. I had gotten up early on Saturday with the hopes of going to bed early that night. Instead I spent all day fighting to stay awake. I was afraid if I took a nap I wouldn't be able to sleep that night, and with a 4:30 am wake up call, I needed a good night's sleep. Again, no such luck. I woke up at 1:00 am feeling absolutely dreadful. I managed another couple hours of dozing in and out and then my alarm was going off.
I had planned out my race outfit the night before, so I wouldn't have to make any decisions while I was still half asleep. I ate a quick waffle with peanut butter and tried to sip on some water but my throat was not interested in swallowing. I packed a cooler with some post race snacks and a couple bottles of water, grabbed a change of clothes for after the race, and then it was time to hit the road. I managed a bit more water in the car, along with most of a Clif bar, and, more importantly, some cold and sinus medicine.
|Race Swag: Tech tee, finishers medal, beer stein|
Mr. Shoe got us to Toledo about an hour before the race would start. This gave me plenty of time to get through packet pick-up and stretch a bit before the race. I was very pleased that runners were able to stay inside before the race since it was quite chilly and still dark out. This also meant I was able to use a real bathroom instead of a port-a-potty. Before long it was time to face the cold and get in my corral.
My plan was to line up next to the 1:50 pace team, but I couldn't find them! So I placed myself about halfway between the 8:00 and 9:00 pace signs. As I was looking around before the gun went off, I finally found them about 10 rows back from me. I didn't have time to move back, so I figured I would just make sure they didn't pass me. Then the gun went off and it was time to run!
|Pre race excitement.|
I was feeling pretty good at that point and decided if I picked the pace up now, I might be able to PR. My original plan was to stick with the pacers until 8 miles. So I worked on speeding up a bit over the next couple of miles, which were in a really nice park. Around 9 miles I started to get a side stitch that managed to stick with me for a few miles. At about 10 miles in I realized my lofty goal of PRing was pretty unlikely but I should be able to beat 1:50 if I kept my pace up. I have had trouble in my other half marathons with maintaining my pace for the final stretch, so I knew it would be a challenge.
At about 11 miles in there was a short but steep hill that I (and quite a few others) ended up walking up. I didn't want to exhaust myself just getting to the top. At this point I just kept repeating to myself that there were only 2 miles left and I could do it. I ended up repeating that for the rest of the race because I never saw another mile marker. With about half a mile to go I came across two guys, one was struggling and the other was yelling encouragement to him. While I wasn't Joe, this motivation really kept me going! The next thing I knew I was entering the stadium and sprinting to the finish! I can't believe how strong I felt at the finish!
|Football stadium finish line.|
|Post race exhaustion.|