I also wanted another opportunity to avenge the marathon in a way - I knew I was capable of running better than I did at Newport, despite the ridiculous weather conditions. I also was familiar with the course, as it began and ended a few blocks away from my house, and one of my good friends was registered, so I would have a companion. [Sidenote: I felt like I was cheating on Ange by running with Katrina....I talked to her the next day and said "It was just this one time I swear...I was thinking of you the whole time."]
Yesterday I described my less than stellar training plan, which basically consisted of overeating and binge drinking. Two thumbs up. But race day came along and I was feeling pretty good. The weather was a little colder when we started out than I would have like (low 30s), but honestly, after Newport I was just giddy that I didn't have freezing rain stinging my face.
This half was SO well-organized. It was night and day compared to Newport. The expo was better, we got more/better swag, there were pace groups (I didn't do one but it was nice to know they were there and it was a good way to gauge my pace along the way), and the aid stations and all around organization was fantastic. There were clearly marked areas to drop off and pick up belongings (perfect considering the freezing temps, we wouldn't have made it without wearing sweatsuits beforehand), the aid stations were well-stocked (including orange slices at mile 8.....I wanted to kiss the man who placed one in my hand...seriously never so happy to see an orange in my life) and there was so much great crowd support along the way.
As for the race itself, it went well...except for one small part. Around mile 7 or 8, my left knee started acting up. Prior to this, it had been twinging during uphills and downhills, but ok on flat ground. After the halfway point, it was acting up regardless of elevation, so I started having to take stretch breaks and eventually waved Katrina on (sound familiar?). After a few walk breaks and some intense stretching, I decided to just run and ignore the pain as best as I could. Then I hit the 15k marker and decided that was close enough to the finish to pick up the pace. So I started running HARD. There were timers every 5k along the course, and at the 20k mark I realized I had just managed to run a 28 min 5k between 15 and 20. To illustrate how huge this is, that is only a minute slower than my fastest ever 5k. Which was not done after running 9 miles previously. Insanity.
Long story short, I ended up finishing at 2:16, which is not at all bad considering the full I ran two weeks before and the knee pain.
For your daily laughs: go here and enter bib number 2385. Seriously, some of the worst pics I've ever taken. But in my defense, I think the truly horrid one was taken at the height of "oh dammit my knee really hurts." And sadly the knee pain has not left.....more on that tomorrow.