Sure I’ll stand in front of the porta-potties to get my picture taken! Scott was standing on a hill which is why the picture perspective might seem a little bit off. The race this year was jam packed with people. There were 10,000 runners and who knows how many spectators. The porta-potties were the only place we could take pictures without people walking in front of us or bumping into us.
We arrived at the race just a few minutes before it started. I’m not one who likes to get there super early so that I’m hanging around forever before the race. If I do that then I’ll have to use the bathroom more than once and I try to avoid that as much as possible.
I got up at 5:30am and had 2 slices of Ezek bread with PB before we headed out. The weather forecast was not favorable for the race. It was supposed to rain and possibly thunderstorm. Yikes!
It was humid and breezy but so far no rain. The line up for the race was really crazy and hard to get to. The website and emails said that we were to line up not by pace but by what time we think we’ll finish. They made it clear that there would not be pace times but finish times and we had to know where we would fit. However, the day of they had pace times up on the big flags. There were only finish times on very small signs that the pacers were holding.
It was really hard to work your way into the start corral. So many racers already in line and so many spectators on the sides watching that most of the rest of us who were running were actually stuck on the side because we couldn’t make our way to the start. I wanted to be with the 2:15 finish pacers but they crossed the start line way before me. I think I probably started ten minutes after the pacers.
It wasn’t long into the race that I started feeling the humidity hard core. Thank goodness I had my wristbands on to wipe the sweat! I immediately rolled the sleeves of my shirt up as much as I could. I’m not one to run in just a sports bra but it crossed my mind!
There was some sprinkling on and off during the first half of the run. I have to say it was welcome because it helped take away some of the intense humidity. The first part of the race I was running slow because I was trying to warm up and get in a groove. I was in with a huge group of people and actually found it both positive and negative for the same reason. The positive being that you’re constantly surrounded by people so it helps you to keep moving. The negative is that you’re constantly surrounded by people so it can be hard to move around!
We came up to the first water station and I stopped for water which I never do! However, it was so hot and that combined with nerves made my mouth and throat so dry. I knew my bod needed some hydration.
There are DJs sprinkled throughout the entire course which is a nice motivation! When you can hear the music it does help you to pick up the pace a little bit. We got to the first DJ and he said we were at the 2.3 mile mark. I quick looked at him like he was maybe on something because there was no way that could have been right! I know my pace was slower at the beginning so I could find my groove but I also knew that I was running for way longer than just 2.3 miles!
During the first half of the race, there were a few moments of, “Holy crap I’m not sure I can keep going!” The course was hard and it was so hot that I was just stinkin’ crabby. I knew I would keep going but I was crabbin’ to myself about it because the conditions were getting to me.
The next time I would see Scott would be at the half way point, the 6 mile mark. I spotted him before he saw me and so he didn’t get any pictures of me approaching him! I ran past and then he started running to get ahead of me to get a picture. I’m trying to flash my best 6Mile Gang Sign at him.
At this point I knew that I was halfway there and I could totally kick the race’s butt.
The hardest part of this race?
The hills! This race was as hilly as it can get in Ohio! While they might not be super steep, they are still hard because they are long gradual inclines. Did I mention long? Because they are indeed long.
It wasn’t long after I left Scott that the weather turned and it started raining for real and it wasn’t stopping. Thankfully it wasn’t windy so I didn’t have to worry about that kind of battle.
I stopped at several of the remaining water stations along the way for some more hydration.
When I hit the 10 mile mark I knew that I was close to the end and I needed to pick up the speed a little bit. I ran faster and passed on the last water station because I knew that the finish line was close!
When I could hear the music and DJ at the finish I knew that I had to punch it. I ran as fast as I could towards the finish line!
In my head, my goal was to finish the race at around 2:15 but my official time was 2:24:56 which isn’t that far off! I actually had a side cramp since the beginning of the race that would just not go away. However I finally discovered that I could run with it instead of the slower pace I had been running. By the time I crossed the finish line I was definitely ready to be done running! I really just wanted to eat and drink the chocolate soymilk Scott had for me at the finish.
The rain was seriously coming down by this point and I started looking for shelter! I grabbed a banana and some water as soon as I could then I quickly stretched out my hamstrings on an abandoned table. I looked around for Scott and couldn’t find him. I took shelter at some building and just sort of hung out till he found me. He eventually did and it didn’t take long!
I don’t have an after picture with my medal because it was raining so hard and I was soaked through to the point that now that I was done running, I was freezing cold. Scott and I walked back to the car and headed home so I could stretch and shower. Then I promptly stuffed my face with some breakfast!
This is already really long so I’ll wrap things up quick! I ran this race last year and this year they decided to change everything up, from the start and finish location to the course. I have to say that 2009’s race was a lot better and felt like it ran a lot more smoothly. This year was really chaotic and a bit more stressful.
I’m really happy with my performance in this race! I didn’t have any injuries leading into the race and I didn’t get any during the race. I’m taking today as a rest day just to play things safe but I’m ready to keep running and to get some more races under my belt. Whooo!