Who else ran EQT yesterday? How did you do?
Last year I cheered the participants on while they ran the EQT 10 miler race. Last year, I had just completed my first 5k & had never run any farther than that. But I was determined & made it my mission to be ready to run 10 miles by the following year. Little did I know I’d have 2 half marathons under my belt by then!
Some of you may have read, last weekend I PR’d huge at the Hershey Half marathon. I had no idea how EQT was going to go, as I don’t really recover as quickly as everyone else seems to. After Hershey, I walked with a limp for 2 days & it took about 4 days for me to feel about 98% better. I ran 3 miles on Saturday with the group & that went horribly. My legs felt like garbage, & I had to walk a ton. Great, I was not feeling confident about the race.
I woke up around 6am Sunday morning & had plans to get down to Station Square to park by 6:45, since they were planning on closing the roads at 7am. I got down to Station Square just fine, parked & had no problems. I sat in my car until about 7:15 when I met up with Jenn to use the bathrooms & meet up for Elite’s pre-race picture at 7:30am. The weather forecast said the rain was to stop by Saturday evening, & I’m thankful that it did. The temps were in the 50s, so I didn’t even bother wearing a long sleeve throw away. Thank goodness I didn’t, as I was hot the entire race!
The race started at 8am, so we were in our corrals shortly before. Me, Jenn & a few of the ladies from Elite stood around right behind the 13 min mark, neither of us were planning on staying there, but we figured instead of fighting the crowd we would just stay there. They sang the National Anthem, & we were off!
Of course the race starts off going up a hill. I was feeling alright though & my knee & hip weren’t bothering me… yet. We saw Lyndsay from Elite dressed as superwoman & she was cheering all of us on. It was great to see her & she got awesome pictures of me & Jenn! Jenn & I wanted to be around a 12:30 pace, as we both ran Hershey last weekend & she’s running a full marathon next weekend! (GO JENN!)
We eventually caught up to the 12 minute pacers right before we hit mile 1. Our watches beeped at mile 1 & it said something like 11:40. What? Ok, Jenn & I figured it was because we were trying to catch up to them. Let’s see what mile 2 looks like. We continued over the West End bridge & ran around the north side. Mile 2 beeped & showed us still sub 12 min pace. By at least 15-20 seconds. Crap. We need to slow down. We both said we didn’t know how & we laughed cause we had happy feet! The first half of this race was hilly. It wasn’t too bad & we were still cruising along. At mile 4.5 was the relay exchange & we were still on the 12 minute pacers heels. Little did I know, & that I would find out later, we ran the first half of the race with an 11:36 avg pace. UGH! Those dang 12 minute pacers! They were NOT going a 12 minute pace. I also found out that almost all of the pacers were going at least 30 seconds faster than they should have.
We should have slowed down.. I should have slowed down. Because mile 6 or so was when I started crashing. I remember it was mostly right before we got into the Strip District where I started struggling. The gummies I chose to eat for fuel was upsetting my stomach & giving me some sort of acid reflux feeling. I thought I was going to throw up for miles & kept looking at the sides of the road wondering where it would be acceptable for me to puke. Really not having fun at this point. I had to keep taking walk breaks also due to the humidity being a little higher than usual & I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. By mile 7.5 or so, Jenn was doing everything she could to help me keep it together. I felt so bad holding her back, but bless her heart, she kept telling me she wasn’t going to leave me. But, I had to keep going because she wanted to bring me in at the pace we were keeping for this last part of the race.
My bib said “Hot Cakes” on it which is an inside joke with a couple of fellow runners. I definitely had more than a few shoutouts from spectators (when there were spectators. I was disappointed that there was barely any one out cheering us on) & one guy in front of the McDonalds in the strip said “I love your hot cakes!” Gross. I guess I deserved that haha.
Mile 9 comes along & I am STRUGGLING. At one point I started crying because I was so frustrated that I had to keep walking. I didn’t know what our pace was & I just didn’t care. I just wanted to finish. We turned the corner onto Liberty & the finish line was in our sights! It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. But, it was still so far away. It seemed like it took forever to get there but I was determined to run the entire way there. We got to the finish, Jenn grabbed my hand & we crossed it together. I have never been so happy to finish a race in my life. This was by far the most mentally tough race I’ve ever done. I beat myself up the entire way. & afterwards, was so sad. I don’t know why but I was so disappointed in myself, even though I finished in a great time of 2:00:31. It was the time I wanted! but now that the race is over & I’ve had a chance to sleep on it, I’m happy with my time. But, I have for sure learned my lesson of doing 2 big races back to back. Never again! Now, thankfully I have 3 weeks until my next race, the Hot Chocolate 15k in Columbus. I hope that race goes better! Thankfully I don’t feel like I need a wheelchair today. & I’m not limping. So I’ll take that as a win 🙂
I also don’t want to end this blog post without sending prayers & thoughts to the fellow runner that collapsed at the finish line & later passed away. Too many of us take things for granted. Life is short.