Yep...we got up early this morning (6:30) and headed off to the DART rail station to meet Cotton. We rode the train downtown and walked to the staging area and only got there 1 hour early. We walked around and found some water and bananas and listened to the band and speaker, but mostly tried to stay warm in the 50 degree weather :) ... With about 10 minutes left before the start I headed to the porta potty lines and got back to the start area with about 2 minutes to spare. I handed my jackets to Rick, but decided to keep my sweat pants on...a decision I would regret around the 6 mile mark! (It DID warm up!)
They kept announcing that the 3 mile run would start 15 minutes after the 8 mile run - but that does about as much good as telling the walkers, strollers and runners with dogs to go to the back of the start area! They started the wheelchair racers at 8:59 and our gun went off at 9:00 - very nice! Just the way it was supposed to be. Keep in mind that there were supposed to be 34,000 runners this year - Oh wait, make that 33,998 - Rick and Chris weren't able to make it due to injuries :( ... It took me 5 minutes to cross the start line!
My goal was 10:30 minute miles and I did pretty good keeping to that pace. I wanted to finish the race in 1:25 and I needed to keep that pace to do that. The first few miles went without a hitch. I even made it throuh the first water stop without walking more than a few steps. It was amazing to watch the number of 3 mile runners that turned off at the split... Didn't surprise me too much simply by the number of families with wagons and little kids I was trying to get around.
By mile 4 I was starting to feel the hills a little and was about to stop to walk when I topped a hill and there was a water stop! I walked through that (OK because that IS part of my running plan! ) and took off running again. I was still on pace - whew! My next goal was the 10K distance of 6.2 miles in less than 1:07 ...when I looked down at my Garmin I did it in 1:04:44 - I was ready to dance in the street, but I was too worn out by then! HA HA! I looked up and the last 2 miles I had to cover included the two worst hills of the entire race! We had to run up to the bridge - cross over that, and then run up another part of the bridge! I did walk these two parts but I knew myself and I knew it would be better for me to walk a little up the hills than to crash and burn at the top. I followed my plan and I was doing pretty good time wise...
I crossed the 7 mile mark at about 1 and 1/2 minutes over the time I wanted so I knew I needed to pick up the pace just a tad. As I was running this part of the bridge I noticed a small pack of people at the curb - It was really scary when I saw that they were giving CPR to a man down on the ground! Just as I passed one of the emergency personnel on a bicycle came over to help, and as I rounded the corner a little down the road the emergency vehicle was coming the other way and the police were letting everyone passing know that help was on the way...There were a lot of concerned runners! My prayers are with him and his family and I sure hope that he is OK!
I couldn't believe the last part of the race was up a hill. I struggled a little, but I kept telling myself I had less than a quarter mile to go! As I ran across the finish line the clock said 1:30 and my Garmin said 1:25:53...I had made up some, but not all, of the time I was behind at the 7 mile mark. I was less than 1 minute over my goal time - so I was really happy with that. I just checked my official time and they have me at 1:26:02. Close enough :) .... Cotton just barely beat me this time...he ran the race in 1:02:57 - so I was within 30 minutes of him...
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!