Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tulsa Route 66 Marathon - Boston Qualifier

It's been almost 6 months since I ran my Boston qualifying race, but I thought, if not for my own benefit, it would be fun to do a nice race recap. Ya know, to help me remember. 

To start off, the race was in November. November weather in Tulsa can be kinda iffy and I had been checking the forecast everyday for the week leading up to the race. Sure enough the weather prediction said 26 degrees with the opportunity to get up to 28 degrees. 

Running in 26 degree weather is cold. And icy.

Luckily, with my legs frozen numb, I couldn't feel all the knee pain that I usually get after I cross that mile 13 barrier.

John (the older brother of one of my closest friends from middle school) is an amazing athlete and runner. He, himself, qualified for Boston at this very same marathon the year before and volunteered to pace me. 

I told myself I would stay at an 8 minute pace or faster for the duration of the race. The first 13 miles went by fast and I was feeling pretty good. Around mile 16 I started to hurt. Around mile 17 John dropped off (he had given me a good start!) and I kept at it, checking my garmin often to make sure I wouldn't slip.

Mile 18 I started to drop to about an 8:05-8:15 pace. When I hit mile 20 I saw my friends and wonderful fiance cheering me on and couldn't help myself from getting a little emotional. I must have looked a mess with my face bright red and swollen from the cold with tears streaming. 

6 miles to go. I heard my fiance yell, "you got this, baby!" So, I kept on trucking. 

Mile 24 and 25 I thought I was gonna lose it. I knew I had gone out fast so I had some cushion time, but I hit the point where my legs were starting to give away. I just couldn't get them going. I think my last mile I was at a 10 minute pace. I went under a bridge and something with the light change made me start to feel as though I was going to faint. 

I thought about me having to do this all over again if I did not qualify at this race and decided that I better keep my butt moving! 

At the last stretch before the finish line I literally gave it my all. Oh boy, when I saw my time flash I KNEW I had it in the bag. Literally one of the best feelings. 

Finished 26.2 in 3 hours and 32 minutes. I qualified for Boston.

My fiance met me through the fence at the finisher corral and I, again, had tears coming down my face. But so did he. He was so excited :) 

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