I had been leading a sedentary lifestyle for nearly a week. I was resting my leg in hopes the pain that surrounded my entire right hip would go away or at least subside to a manageable level. I had managed some strengthening/stretching exercises and cycling, but that was about it. Saturday, however was time to get back on the wagon.
I dragged my butt out of bed and headed downtown to the Galleria to run yet another race through the streets of Cleveland. I had glanced at the course map and like so many downtown races included the down and up of W. 3rd street and the always windy Marginal road.
I met up with Bambi and her latest flame at registration, chatted for a bit and then went out for a 10 minute warm-up where I ran into BB from SERC. BB had a windbreaker on and I laughed as I had opted for my tank and shorts only. I was probably going to freeze my tookas!! I did accessorize though with my Nike gloves and new shoes. I had never run in them before and wanted to test them out. They were about .5 ounces heavier than my racing flats, but had the much needed support I would need for a marathon.
The race included a 5k, so all the runners started together. The 5ker's were to turn around at the 1.55 mile marker and the 5 milers were to continue down Marginal to the 2.5 mile turnaround. This meant I would not know who was in what race until the half way point.
I saw BB starting over to my left and the plan was to try and keep her in sight as long as possible. I was about 3 rows back. I was hoping to be as close to 35 min as possible. I knew the start would be fast as it was downhill and the end would be rough, which doesn't really suit me as I am better at starting easy and picking it up, but it is what it is.
I got out to a good start and saw BB had immediately pulled ahead about 10 yards. I noticed how high her stride frequency was and I was in awe. We made the turn to go down the hill and there was a fairly decent sized pack with me and ahead. WOW, fast race. I saw the first mile marker and heard... :21, :22 :23 and I thought 7:20's not really where I wanted to be as it would be even harder coming back! Then I heard my time 6:25!!! Oh for the love of God, what the hell was I doing up at that pace?
We made the turn to run down around the Brown's stadium and out to Marginal. I was feeling fine, but new I would not be at sub-13 when I got to 2. I was hoping for 7:00-7:10. I got 7:33. Hmmm, that was weird. I know my pace had not slowed like that. I knew at that point 1 was short and 2 was long. The 5ker's had also broken off and were on there way back at this point so the race got thin at this point. There was a girl though that just didn't look like a runner (but then again I don't look like a runner...haha) that was hanging right with me and I couldn't believe I hadn't shaken her yet!!
I saw the first woman and began counting women ahead. I was sitting tied for 6/7 overall with BB in 5th, just ahead. Just before the turnaround I saw BB grabbing her side. She had a side stitch from hell, but she was forging on.
The wind was now completely in our faces and flashbacks to the Cleveland marathon were running rampant through my mind. I was in a pack with 2 guys and that same girl at this point. I tucked in behind one of the guys wearing a Towpath marathon shirt and ran right on his ass. I felt shady, but there is no drafting penalties in road racing so screw it. I lost the girl at this point and managed to conserve a little energy. Got to the 3rd mile in 7:37.
I was at this point hoping the race would be over. I ran up the little incline at 9th and Marginal behind the guy until the water station when I had planned to breakaway. I focused on BB just ahead. I was comfortably sitting in 6th and clossing the gap. I pushed on the little downhill knowing the big hill was literally just around the corner. I came upon the first mile marker again, but the 4 mile was farther ahead...ha I knew they were wrong!!! Mile 4 was a blisteringly slow 7:54. At this point I caught BB, who was still fighting the cramp. I yelled at her to tuck in behind me and I would break the wind up the hill for her.
Surprisingly, I trudged up the hill in a fairly decent time and with of all things, good form. My hill running was still paying dividends to my races. I turned onto Lakeside and the wheezing began. Whoops, here we go. I surged from one block to the next with little recoveries through intersections the rest of the way. I knew BB was coming or was already right there and I just couldn't hear her. We made the turn onto the last road and then turned down a cobblestone sidewalk. I could see the clock 36:40 :41, :42. No way was I going 37+ today. BB came up on me right then and yelled "C'mon!" I put it down and took off and so did she. :55, :56, :57..come on get in there ... RUN!!!. :58, :59...TIME!! Last mile 7:28 and total time 36:59. A new PR by 1:19.
I did a 10 minute cooldown, changed shoes and got warm clothes before heading into the Galleria for the awards. They started with the best costumes as it was a Halloween run, took a long break, then the 5k, and then another long break and then finally the 5 mile. But they only did the men's stating for the third time they had would be taking another break before finishing. It was getting near 11:00am. It had been and hour and a half since I had run. I was getting impatient as I had to cook and get ready for a Halloween party.
They finally started calling the winners. I knew I was the 5th woman overall, so I figured I won something. The first woman was 35:25. They made it to my age group and called out the winners starting with 3rd, 2nd and then 1st. My name was NOT called! Had 2nd, 3rd and 4th overall been 30-34? What were the chances? They also stopped calling women's winners after age 49. What had happened to BB? No way she didn't win an award. She was 6th overall and none of those girls were her age. We approached the announcer and looked at the results. First in my age goup was 38:15. WTF!! (I have to put one of these in every race report) They didn't even have BB listed. We told the announcer our discovery and she replied, "Does it really matter? It is for charity." BB and I looked at each other and immediately bee-lined it for the Hermes people. As we walked over to her BB said exactly what I was thinking "F*ck her!!" We had run hard and wanted the correct results posted. Hermes found the error. We were both in the 5k. Man was I having some mishaps at these races lately. Luckily, Hermes is very thorough and competent and fixed our results. I also received an email asking for my address to mail me an award. I responded stating I just wanted my results right (which they are) and I know they had already given my award to another woman, so I appreciated the follow-up, but not to worry about sending me one.
The leg is definitely not right, but I have no choice but to fight through it for the next month. So wish me luck :)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I will start by saying...I PR'd and I felt decent for the entire race with no nagging aches or pains...and from there it was uphill (which to a runner is not good).
I arrived at the race around 8:15am to discover that I would have to park about 1 mile from the vineyards and ride the bus to the start. I asked the lady parked next to me if they had a gear bag drop at the start as it was cold and walking around with a tank and shorts pre-race did not appeal to me at all. Luckily, the answer was a yes. There was already a bus waiting to take runners and spectators, but not wanting to forget anything I opted to double check my pack job and wait for the next bus. I made my way across the parking lot and waited in line for about 10 minutes for the bus to show up. It was a little after 8:30am now and I was getting nervous. Should I have just run the mile to the start? Finally, it pulled back up and about 30 or so of us boarded. The driver however, did not pull out. He decided to wait for a minute, which turned into another minute and another. WTF?!?! It was getting later and later. One guy came runnning to the bus and informed us he had a few friends he was waiting for and the damn bus driver waited. It was 8:52 by now!!! Pull out for God's sake! Three non-runners finally boarded the bus and we pulled out. I was so frickin' pissed. I knew the race wouldn't start without us, but how much time would we actually have when we got there?
The bus arrived and dropped us off at the entrace to the vineyards. We had about a 200 meter walk/run up to packet pick-up and the drop bag area. I asked an official if we would be starting late and we would have time to get ready. He nodded and said "yes." I sprinted up and hit the porta-john and dropped my gear, when this woman told me to "hurry up" as they were going to start. I retorted that maybe they should get there buses to the race on time from now on!!
I began running back up the driveway to where I had seen the group of runners, but they were gone! An official told me to turn left and go up the road a quarter mile to get to the start. This was my warm-up. I saw a crowd of people up ahead and breathed a sigh of relief. I had made it. However, they were walking toward me. I aksed a man where the start was and he replied that it had already started a few minutes ago. What?!! "This is bullshit!" I said and kept running. I arrived at the start only to find one of the officials was about to remove the mat. He stopped and I asked him to confirm that my time would not start until I crossed. I was correct. I hit my Garmin and crossed over the mats. There were no runners in sight. I had no idea how many minutes behind the clock I was. I was furious. I ran about a quarter mile up the road to see to cycles "sweeping" waiting for me on the side of the road. I was angry and wanted to yell "don't worry it wont be long before you can follow someone else!!" I continued to run alone and then at about .75 miles in I caught my first walker. I started counting people as I passed, but when I hit 50 by mile 1 I lost count and had to focus on maneuvering passed runners and conserving as much energy as possible.
I made my way passed more and more people and was starting to settle in, when I unknowingly dropped a glove out of my pocket. Thankfully, a guy I had passed picked it up and ran it over to me as I slowed and turned back to grab it.
I continued on, but there were more mishaps to be had. The first water stop was at 2-3/4 and then there would not be another until mile 6, so it was important to take in some fluid. As I came upont the aid station a gentleman was yellling "water, gatorade." I yelled, "Gatorade!" He pulled one arm back and just as I went to reach for the cup he pulled that back too and threw out his other hand. CRAP! I missed the cup. Arrrgghhh!! Was I going to get a break today?!!!
We moved on down through some neighborhoods before the first relay exchange point at mile 4. I refused to look at my Garmin and when I saw their clock for 4 miles it said 33:48! I knew I was not running that pace, figuring I had about 2-4 minutes on the clock. The next section of road was a bit windy and I was still easily passing people, which was a good sign that I was safely under 8:00/mile pace. I did catch this one guy that I had seen at the Huntsburg Pumpkin Run, whom I believed to be a NERC member that absolutely did not want to get passed. As I passed him, I saw out of the corner of my eye that he dropped his head down and seemed to dig in like a bull and sprint up ahead of me about 10 meters. I thought nothing of it at first, but when I caught and passed him for the second time, he did it again. This occurred two more times and on the third pass he grunted loudly and pushed ahead. I debated telling him that I had 3 minutes on him anyway and he was just blowing himself up before the race was half over, but stayed silent as I did not feel obligated to provide advice to any runner today, but myself. I knew he wasn't going to be able to fend me off any longer and as I passed him on the fourth try I ended this cat and mouse by surging letting him know he should forget trying to catch me and focus on his own race. I never saw him again until he finished when I congratulated him as I was going back out for my cooldown.
I continued to advance my position runner after runner. I saw to my right that runners were already coming back along the towpath and new I was still way behind.
Mile 6 was at the start of the towpath and so was the aid station. I took my first gel and some water, hoping to keep my energy level up. I was just getting my gel down and dripping water from my mouth and chin when I noticed a photographer taking pics. Oh geez, what a Kodak moment that will be!!
The towpath was beautiful I must admit, covered in colorful leaves of fall (there was some horsey dung too, but that wasn't really pretty). It felt great on my feet and legs and I was still passing people, but fewer and not as quickly, so I knew I was A) tiring or B) catching those near my pace. I was of course, hoping for option B. I came upon the second course clock at mile 8 and forced myself not to look at it or my Garmin. I still had no idea what my pace or time was and I didn't want to know now for fear it would be disappointing or I would run too hard too soon.
Just as we hit mile 10 I hit the 3rd aid station and took my 2nd and last gel. I had heard the last 5k of this race was the hardest part of the course and I wanted to be as ready as possible. Mile 11 started with a HILL and ended with a HILL. It was tiered and just kept going up. I could see a few people walking up ahead and there was girl I had run behind on the towpath passing guy after guy going up this hill. I focused on her and began taking the same guys down one at a time. After what seemed like forever (as it turns out forever is 8:16). I finsihed the hill and mile 11.
The wind picked up a tad coming down Carmont before making the turn onto the last street and there were rollers the entire way back. By this time I was pooped. I was wheezing and realized I had left my inhaler in the truck. I wasn't really worried about having an attack as my wheezing was minimal and consistent. I have been able to really put the hammer down the last 3 miles of my races lately, but today the hammer had put me down. All I could do was hold pace and focus on markers up ahead every 200 or so meters, a mailbox, 5 telephone poles an intersection. I forced myself to push on the downhills in hopes it would negate the uphills. I was ecstatic to see mile 12 just past the crest of a hill.
I had less than 10 minutes to run. I could do this. I was hurting and losing focus. I told myself you ran hard for 12 miles, don't give up. Everybody is hurting now! You are not the only one...MOVE!! It is this moment in a race where you must decided to push or hold on. I pushed. All these days of training needed to be worth something. I hit one more freakin' hill before you could turn into the driveway and head for the finish and pushed passed one more guy. I ran with everything I had until I hit the mat.
Total time was 1:44:50: Garmin and Net time was 1:41:12. I had PR'd by over 15 minutes in the half and on a hilly course!!! I quickly threw my finisher's medal in my bag where it is still sitting unopened today, drank some water, took an endurolyte as I was crampy, and headed back out to cooldown and run in with Jules. I found her about 1.6 miles from the finish. I chatted with her and KZ all the way back to the finish. I had hoped to get in 20 miles today, but with less than a mile warm-up and the trashing of a half marathon I only managed 17.
We hungout and pigged out on Subway, bananas and wine before heading home. I was extremely happy with my performance all things considered. I had really hoped to be 1:40:00 or faster, but after hearing from Daisy that it was definitely hilly, I knew it was going to be a little bit harder.
I got home to find out that even though the race was chipped you were still ranked by your total time and not your net time...Sh*t!!!
I was ranked 66th overall, 17th for the woman and 6th in the 30-34 women.
My net time ranks me 55th overall, 12th for the woman and 5th in my age group.
I am really happy with my performance, but all these mishaps and rankings irritated the heck out of me. I am glad I did not run a net time to place in my AG or OA as I would have felt cheated. I know as a runner things happen, so I am going to chalk this up as a success and assuming I park at the vineyards where I don't have to catch a late-ass bus if I ever run this again...it shouldn't be too shabby of a race.
1 - 7:38 (angry about the start of the race)
2 - 7:35
3 - 7:25
4 - 7:32 (still angry)
5 - 7:25
6 - 7:34 (and still angry)
7 - 7:40 (maybe not so angry anymore)
8 - 7:48
9 - 7:49
10 - 7:57 (definitely not angry)
11 - 8:16 (big hill)
12 - 7:53
13 - 7:47
.1 - :45
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
My leg began when I heard Solar Squirrel yelling for me as I started out, but I couldn't see her so I threw my right arm up and waved in acknowledgement. I was furiously focused on the 3:20:00 pacer up ahead.
I had split my watch when Twizzlemiester gave me the bracelet and I came through the first .5 in 3:29 and I knew that was way too fast for me. So I split my watch and tapped the running brakes. I tried to tell myself to run easy and if need be admire the scenery a little as I ran through Sand Run. As I looked around, I did not recognize anything, even though I had run the full marathon only 2 years ago. Mile 17 went by at 7:32. It hadn't felt that fast, but I had been in the shade and it was still early. I hoped I wouldn't pay for this. I decided to tap my running brakes a little more for the next mile.
I could see the 3:20:00 pacer had managed to put some distance between us and I knew I had slowed. Mile 18 7:58. Ohhh!!! I hadn't wanted to slow THAT much. I had 8.2 miles to go and I needed to get it together, not just for me, but for my teammate. Mile 19 7:46. I could tell I was starting to settle in and my hamstring was at bay. The twinge I had felt earlier was non-existent. Somewhere around this time I had crossed the final relay point for the 5-person and left the park. I like nature, but in a race it does me no-good. I like crowds, noise and especially hype. As I have said before, I am an emotional runner and coming into the neighborhoods with the crowds of people cheering and screaming gave me a push to stay on target. I saw salty hanging out at the last relay point waiting for the 4th Speed Bump to arrive and heard her cheer for me as I ran by (thank you). I had my sunglasses on, but was scanning the crowds of people, feeding off their energy and pushing forward. I popped a gel and a little after that, I hit Mile 20 7:43
Now, this is where I faltered, became distracted and lost a little focus. I had just come through an aid station when a cyclist rode up next to me. I thought he would continue on by, but that wasn't the case. I knew he was part of the race because he was wearing an official's vest, but I didn't know why he was with me. He then began talking to me, literally in the middle of my race!!!
Cyclist: "Are you in the women's 2-person relay?"
Me: "Yes" (Why was he bothering me? I had a race to run.)
Cyclist: "I am going to ride next to you, tell you when a turn is coming up and give you the inside line."
Cyclist: "Because you are the 2-person women's leader."
Me: "Really? I AM!!"
Cyclist: "Well, right now. We can talk or move in silence, whatever you like. I am just here to monitor you."
And that was the last of the conversation. I was dumbfounded. Twizzlemeister had really set me up to look pretty. I was shocked and nervous. I did not want to blow this for us. Mile 21 7:43.
As I ran on I noticed how distracting this guy was to me. Riding next to me, I could see him change gears, or change his cadence which indicated a speed change or lack there of on my part. It was unnerving. I was letting it get to me. On top of everything else, my stomach had started acting up. I wanted to hurl, uugghh!! I hit "Heartrate Hill" and went up it easy trying to keep my stomach from getting any worse. I knew an increase in my heartrate would make the nausea worse. My time for mile 22 reflected the ease 8:04. Sh#t! I was going to have to run harder and take the chance of puking on myself like it or not.
We entered Stan Hywett and looped aroud. I saw JC, running just ahead. She was in the full so I yelled some words of encouragement to her. She waved and smiled, but her form had definitely faltered from when I had seen here in the earlier miles.
As we left Stan Hywett, a woman wearing 2-person relay bibs passed me and without out even a nod or a good-bye so did my cyclist. He began riding by her and all I could think of was..."you had the lead handed to you and now you blew it! Idiot!!" I was not going to give it up without a fight. She wasn't running that much faster than me and I was going to do my damndest to stay with her. Maybe, she was running too hard and would falter at the end and I too would be hurting, but just maybe I could get her. I picked up my speed and went after her. Today was not going to be easy, but I wasn't going to hand over the lead. Mile 23 7:38.
That had hurt. My stomach had gotten 10 times worse at that point. I had resorted to taking in only water at that point, no more gels or sport drink. I had also grabbed an extra cup at each aid station to pour on my head. The humidity was taking its toll on my body. I had to stay cool.
But then, the cyclist dropped back!! What!?!?! He explained she was in the mixed relay. Oh God! I had hurt myself for nothing. Well, not nothing, but I took that as a warning that there were other women behind me and if I slowed they would get me. I caught JC at this point and as I ran by told her to keep going and hold on. Mile 24 was 7:57.
I made the turn onto market street and new I was in the home stretch. People were screaming and cheering yelling "go girl" and "get 'em girl" and "you look great." I was 2.2 from the finish. I was overdue. It was time to go. I picked it up. I began thinking about how this marathon had hurt me 2 years ago and I picked it up even more. I was not to be stopped this time. Mile 25 7:12.
I was excited. The anticipation that the finish was less than 10 minutes away was all I could think about now. I made the turn down Main Street and remembered someone saying how you don't realize how far down you have to run to get to the stadium. I didn't care. We had done it. I knew no one would out run me to the finsih from here on in. I could see the crowd ahead blocking main street. My cyclist turned to say it was a pleasure running with me this was where he got off as they would not allow him to ride into the stadium with me. He asked for my name and our team name. I smiled and said, "it's Elizabeth" and our team name is "We Got the Runs!!" He said he would look for us in the paper tomorrow. I thanked him and with that I ran the last block alone. I was looking for Twizzlemeister so we could finish together at this point and then I saw her. She was walking with my other roommate and she was in a sweatshirt and pants!! I slowed and yelled at her "let's go!!" She brushed me off and said "nah" and to keep running and finish it. I must admit I was a tad disappointed. I picked it back up and ran down the little hill before turning into the stadium.
It was different than 2 years ago. Back then we had run down the side by right field, but as I entered the stadium this time there was the FINISH banner straight ahead down center field (this was way cooler). I ran in and immediately heard party boy yell "Yeah, Beth!!!" over the thousands of other cheering spectators. I smiled and saw the clock was at 3:21:xx. We had done it! We had won!! I started screaming "YAY!!!" and pumping my arm in the air all the way down. I even slowed a bit to take in the moment of what a great experience it had been to do this with my roommate. It was an amazing day. We had came, saw and conquered in 3:21:02 and I couldn't have done it without the Twizzlemeister :)
Friday, October 3, 2008
The Twizzlemeister as you see to your left was my partner for the 2-person (women's) Akron Marathon this year.
We had jokingly discussed being partners early in the summer should she be recovered from her first 100 miler. Little did I know she would be up and running, as she put it " a few miles" (~15 miles) by the end of the week after the Burning River 100. Working hard to regain her speed she began hitting the track once a week for a few 400's and 800's. Before I knew it she was out clipping off 3:00 for an 800 meter.
We had decided she would do the longer leg, which for some reason I had thought was the second leg through the hills. That was of course fine by me, but alas I was wrong. It was the first leg. I asked if she wanted to switch but got shut down instantly. I begged her to meet me on Main Street then at mile 26, so we could run into the stadium together. She hesitantly agreed. Now we just needed a cool name.
Some suggestions were...
Witness the Quickness, Run like You Stole Something, Miss Steaks (since we both work at steakhouses), but nothing seemed right when one night our other roommate had been teasing us about our #2 problems and voila. Twizzlemeister suggests "We Got the Runs." Completely, appalled and surely cursed I signed us up.
Now, I had looked up the course record for a few years back and it seemed to be 3:26:00, which seemed fairly easy. We decided we would go for it and see if we could put up a better time. We figured with the hills and what not we would shoot for 7:45-7:50. Knowing I had the shorter leg I felt a little pressure, of my own doing of course, to run my ass off. Twizzlemeister, of course modestly told me she would do her best, but not to be mad if she didn't come through on pace. I was worried, usually when she says such things she is underestimating her talents and blows through the course faster than expected. I told her to do her best and have fun and I would lover her crazy ass either way.
Friday my roommates, a friend and myself hit the expo and picked up all our gear for Saturday. That's when the nerves set in for me. I could feel the anticipation and excitement building. I felt ready to rip it up until I saw the humidity was supposed to be 90%!! Oh sh$t!! Thank goodness for party boy. He texted me to chill out and I would be fine and when it got tough to remember "MOM THE MEATLOAF.....F*CK!!!" - Wedding Crashers. I laughed and it worked. We made it through the expo in about an hour and as we left I asked Twizzlemeister if she picked up a snap bracelet. Nope, we get them at the start tomorrow. Onto dinner and bed early, not even a little debate watching...nada for me.
Race day hit and the 3 of us piled into the car and made it at about 6:20am. My other roommate was doing the half so they bailed on me to run a little warm-up and meet me at the start. I wandered around saying hi to friends and wishing them luck. I felt awkward. I was racing, but not yet. My body knew it was race day, but not my race time. I found Twizzlemeister in line for none other than ... the port-0-johns. "We Got the Runs" was in full effect!! I asked her if she had picked up the snap bracelet and of course she had not. I jokingly, told her WTF, she had one job that morning before the race. She busted up laughing at me stating she had to stay in line to use the bathroom. I ran over to the tent and wrangled one up for us. Sheesh!!! I swear she does that crap to me on purpose just to get a good laugh :)
When she was done it was nearly 7:00am. The countdown had begun. We walked over to the start, which was jam-frickin'-packed. She wanted to station herself between the 3:20 and 3:30 pacer, so I told her I would see her soon and it was on!! She hurried off and I lost sight of her. The start was awesome. There were bells, rock music blaring and people hollering. I was pumped.
It had begun. I knew her goal would to be to be at the relay point in 2 hours so I had time to hit the bathroom myself and head down one street to see the runner's come through at the 3 mile mark. My mom and JL were also there cheering and snapped some pics of both my roommates. I checked my watch and both were on pace! It was on. I had faith my roommate was gonna rock it!!
Bummed, I couldn't wait for her to come back through campus at mile 10 we headed to the car. I wanted at least 20 minutes to warm-up, 10 minutes to walk to the relay point and additional minutes for a lot of bathroom stops. I could feel the thickness of the air...oh boy.
Party boy called me when we got to the relay point to wish me luck and tell me he would be waiting at the finish, even though he had, yep you guessed it....stayed up all night to party. My mom had offered to watch my racing flats and gear while I warmed up so I headed out for 10 easy minutes. My body felt relaxed and ready to run on the way out, but then on the way back I felt a twinge in my left hammy. I was not pleased. It must have been a heat/humidity cramp because I was peeing like crazy and it was crystal clear. I had eaten oatmeal, a banana, had a little bit of coffee and had been sipping on water for almost 3 hours. It had to be the humidity. I popped an endurolyte just in case then I changed into my racing flats. I could see runners coming through now. They were yelling out numbers, but I was at the very far end of the relay point. I hit the bathroom ONE MORE TIME and told my girlfriend to keep a lookout for 290 (that was us). She started laughing, thinking about how funny it would be if I was on the toilet when Twizzlemeister came through. Hahaha, yeah really funny.
After making my final drop before my leg began I nervously stretched and bounced around. My mom was on the other side of the road looking, camera ready. I kept thinking "C'mon Twizzlemeister, you can do this!" I checked the clock 1:58:00. I had started my clock at the start of the race and figured she had some time on the clock, but didn't know for certain. And then it happened I heard the announcement.... "290!!!" Time to go. I knew in my heart she had run with everything she had and would be coming in fast, but she would be hurting. I left my assigned gate and began sprinting back to her (screw the rules, my gate was way passed the mats). I was on clock and I needed that bracelet. She had it off and out ready for me like a baton. I yelled at her that she was frickin' awesome and with that I turned away from her and was off. I saw 2:00:00 hours on the clock. She was right on the money, but I was wrong.
She had run a 1:59:00 I would later find out. She had not run a 7:45-7:50 pace. She had gone 7:40. YEAH BABY!!! I knew she could do it, but now it was my turn.