My Spring Marathon curse continues. I kind of got lucky and got an actual race bib (for Free) from someone who had to back out of the half marathon at the last minute - thank you facebook and all the random run clubs' groups on there, and especially the person who gave it to me!! So I was Samantha Steele and I was wearing a half marathon bib. I only got yelled out 3 or 4 times by race volunteers at the half/full splits... :) I'm just glad the bomb squad didn't tackle me at some point!
Caught up with Tim Proctor and a couple random strangers prior to getting in the corral. Tim was going for sub -1:18 in the half! I warmed up a bit by jog-weaving in and out of the crowd in the corral about 15 minutes before the start. I made a conscious effort to go out at a pace that felt comfortable, whatever that might be. Fortunately, it was about 6:30's. This course is pretty neat - it goes through (around the infield) of Churchill downs, and through mostly nice shaded neighborhoods in downtown Louisville. I found a group of guys to latch on to at about 6:30's, but had to leave them when we started hitting a couple of 6:38-40's. Which was wierd, because they came back later on at sub 6:30 in a hilly portion of the course. Yes - the dreaded Iroquois park is a part of this course. Fortunately, it was in reverse of the difficult lap direction. So, you climb from 8.5 to 10.4, and then a huge climb from 11.5 to 12.25, and then rolling hills (mostly down) through the next 3.25 miles. Unfortunately the second place female was right in front of me a decent size group of guys. She happened to be wearing a tutu!! Well, this really threw me, and several other guys off apparently and we decided that we were'nt going to get left in the dust by a girl in a tutu !! :)
6:29, 28, 31, 38, 31, 28, 34, 13, 23, 31, 26, 53, 36, 43, 31, 25, 39, 54, Girl in tut has crushed my spirits !!
I realized at this point that I was in trouble. I had put too much effort in through these hills trying to keep up with the group and tutu. I try force down a horrible chocolate Clif Gel or two. I won't use these again - even with water, they are very hard to get down. The strawberry and mocha caffeine clif gels were awesome however, and really went down easily and propelled me on to fight through later in the race.
It got ugly after that, but I was really giving a good fighting effort: 7:02, 7:23, 7:31, 7:35, 7:31, 7:04, 7:19, 7:13, and 2:27 for the final 0.35 miles. 2:58:56 for 26.35 miles
Good luck to everybody in Boston tomorrow - I am jealous!!