I started off kinda slow, at 11: something for the first mile, but it was super crowded, so I wasn't too hard on myself. Running through downtown was great, with wide open running areas. Less crowding = more freedom to pass other runners.
But then we got on the bike path, and it narrowed and constricted. I was stuck behind a couple of chicks complaining about men. Not my idea of great conversation. So I charged ahead, feeling great after five miles.
I still hadn't eaten a ShotBlok, so I walked while I ate one, and quickly got back to running. I started to lose some momentum by the end of the trail, between miles seven and eight. I kicked it up again when I saw my support group (the one guy I can always count on) ready, poised to take a picture while he was walking around Old Sac.
Mile ten I hit a wall like never before (and hopefully never again). I could barely keep up my 10:00 pace, and the 2:20 pacer was nowhere in sight. Did I pass him? Did he pass me? Who knew? And really, at that point, if I hadn't seen him for the first eleven miles, I was questioning his existence at all.
This race was never going to end. I knew it. So I texted my guy, "this sucks." He texted me back: "You're right. You should just quit now. Give up. You can't make it the whole way." And I started running again. Yep, I needed that swift kick to get me started again.
I kept going, every once in a while stopping to walk, but eventually, we came up to the bridge and my garmin told me I'd already gone 12.4 miles. There was a girl running in front of me that asked a volunteer, "please, are we close?" After the volunteer told her there was only a little more than a half mile left, the girl let out a sigh of relief (so did I), but then kinda slowed down. Why? Just hearing someone say it aloud made me kick it into even higher gear.
I could see the stadium. Raley. Field. Was. Right. There. Finally. Only 13 miles later, geez! Turned a couple if corners, and ran into the stadium, had a couple of harried pictures taken, and crossed the finish line at 2:24 gun time, 2:22 chip time. I was just overjoyed to be done. Finished.
I walked out of the stadium thinking I'd never do that distance again, but now, less than a week later, I'm re-thinking that. I wish I had signed up for the half marathon that's happening just a couple miles from my house in just over a week.
They should make pills for this.