|At the race expo.|
|Carter taking our picture.|
|Ty and mom making signs on Saturday night for her to hold the next day.|
The first mile has the most amount of downhill of any mile in the course so the race goes out fast. Jeremy took out ahead of me and by the end of the first mile I couldn't see him but I didn't worry about him like I did last year. I just figured he was going to rock the race! I went through the first mile in 7:47. The pace felt really relaxed. During mile 2 I saw April and she cheered for me. We chatted a little back and forth as she went past me. My 2nd mile was 8:00. During mile 3 I caught Jeremy and we smiled and told each other good job. My 3rd mile was 7:50. I was pleased that once I fell into pace I was able to run consistently what I needed. I didn't worry about being under 8:00 pace early because I felt really strong and I wasn't going to hold myself back from a pace that felt right. I love that they haven't changed the course much in the last few years because I know it really well and enjoy looking forward to certain sections where I know there will be a water stop or quite a few spectators. My favorite part of the first section of the race is going through Cascia Hall. I went through mile 4 in 7:56 and then we had the biggest climb on the course at Woodward Park. Mile 5 was 8:11 and I didn't really even pay attention to that. I knew with all the hills in the first half of the race my splits would be up and down and I was okay with that. That ended up being only one of 3 miles in the race that wasn't under 8:00. The other two were 8:00 on the dot! I ate my first Gu at mile 5 and planned to eat one at 5, 10, 15, and 20. I took water at every water stop. Around in here I saw Alicia who was running the 2nd leg of the relay and was cheering before heading to her relay spot. It was awesome to see her and she cheered for me like crazy! I saw one of my favorite signs around in here that said, "Should I call you an Uber?"
|Running past the Philbrook Museum around mile 4.|
Mile 7 was 7:47 and then going down 41st Street toward Riverside I saw mom, dad, and the kids. I had thought I saw them at different points because I was searching the spectators for a blue coat since my mom was wearing a blue coat and saw some before. This time I knew it was them because mom started yelling for me as I came into view. It was so much fun to see them and I was quite excited. We turned onto Riverside and the wind was directly in our faces. I was passing a lot of people who slowed in the wind. I would get up behind someone thinking I might be able to draft but they'd slow down. Miles 8, 9, and 10 were all down Riverside into the wind. This was the only section of the course where I felt a little nervous about picking up the pace during the second half of the race but I told myself even if I just maintained that would be okay. Miles 8-10 were 7:53, 7:56, and 7:58. Then we had the dreaded out and back on Southwest Blvd which usually is awful because the wind is really strong there but the wind was in our face on the way back, not the way out so it didn't seem as bad. Before the turn around I saw Audrey, in the relay, going back the other way and cheered for her. Then I saw Jeremy after I turned around and cheered for him. He looked great! I went through mile 11 in 7:58 and started getting excited that we were close to the half-marathon point where I could start picking it up a bit. I went through mile 12 in 7:46. Then the half-marathon and marathon split. I could see Audrey ahead of me and I was catching up to her. I was excited that I could get her to draft off me and go with me and help her. I went through mile 13 in 7:50 and then the half-marathon mark in 1:44:03. I was excited that I was already a minute under pace and felt like I could pick it up. I decided since I ran under 1:45 pace I wouldn't drop down to 7:45 pace right away but hold steady for a while before speeding up. I passed Audrey a little after the half-marathon mark and told her to come with me, but then realized I was running under 8:00 pace which was her goal.
|Thomas passed his gloves off before Riverside and regretted it.|
|Caught putting my gloves back on during the back portion of Southwest Blvd.|
|Jeremy running past the hospital he was at when he was in a coma.|
|3/5ths of our awesome cheer crew!|
|Smiles at the finish line.|
|Sprinting in to the finish line.|
|I like this picture because you can see my friends finishing the relay right behind me.|
|My friends finishing the relay as I walk away from the finish line.|
|Post-race pictures with my running buddies!|
|Thomas took this picture of dad cheering Jeremy on and it was my favorite picture of the day!|
I ended up running the first half of the race in 1:44:03 and the second half in 1:41:27. I was proud to once again negative split the marathon, that's really the way to go if you can do it. It feels so much better! Now with this time I can finally let go to that little bit of regret I've always felt about not finishing out the marathon when I'd run 22 miles of the Hogeye Marathon Relay and was on pace to run a 3:27. Who cares if I could have run a 3:27 that day because I beat that time on Sunday. That's really the only running-related regret I've ever had so it's really nice to be able to let it go and move on to my next marathon goal. This race was so much about qualifying for Boston but there was also this part of me that wanted to run under 3:27 so I could let go of that lingering "what if," what if I'd finished out that race, what would my marathon PR be? Because that would no longer be my PR! No on to bigger and better things, Boston 2020!
Read about my marathon last year here, 2016's half-marathon here, 2015's half-marathon here, and a post with the run-down of every Route 66 Marathon race we've done here.