The night before the race I was worrying about the weather: it was supposed to be cloudy, windy, and possibly rainy, with temperatures in the lower 50s. Even though 50s typically is warm enough for t-shirt and shorts, I was afraid the mixture of cloud and wind would make it feel much colder. Fortunately, when I walked out that morning it felt only slightly chilly.
That night I did not sleep well. I woke up pretty much every hour, and finally decided to get up at 3:30.
At the starting line I was feeling good and ready to go. Thoughts of a PR were racing through my mind, but I did my best to push those out of my mind as I knew chances were slim for a PR. The first mile started out slow, with jogging behind slower people, passing people, and getting into my groove. Miles 2-6 were pretty good, with miles between 8:15-8:21. But then the wheels fell off. I had begun to struggle in mile 6 just thinking "almost halfway there" to keep me going. It was also in mile 6 that we passed by the first photographer and I remember thinking "of course they have to have the photographer right when we're starting to feel like hell".
Mile 7 I started to hurt. To be honest, I think I started to hurt before then, but mile 7 is when it really became evident in my times and my desire to be done. My knee hurt, my foot hurt, and even my hip was starting to hurt. I finished that mile in 8:28, and progressively slowed down after that, with my slowest mile being mile 10 in 9:02. Once I hit mile 11 I consciously tried to speed myself up, knowing I was almost finished.
in the last .1 I managed to kick in some speed, and sprinted to the finish line. I finished in 1:52:14. 9th place age group, 193 overall (with over 1,000 finishers).
I'm trying to be proud of that time, but all I can think is how out of shape I am, and how irritated I am that I didn't get in the right training. But I went in to the race just a few weeks after serious knee pain, so I should be proud. I guess. I just hope that I can get over the pain once and for all and actually be able to train for races, and hopefully do a marathon at some point... even though after that race I don't know if I could push myself through 26.2 miles.