On May 12th, MarathonMike and I took on the Providence Marathon. My biggest fear was that race day would be hot and humid, making all of my training pointless. Instead, it was a rainy, cloudy, cool morning - perfect for running!
|Hanging out before the race!|
My goal for this race was to get as close to 4 hours as possible. I positioned myself near the 4-hour pace runner. But, I made a rookie mistake. I started out a little too fast because I was feeling good and well-rested after two weeks of tapering. I should have held back a bit more, but being just ahead of the 4-hour pacer felt great! I knew that wasn't a good decision and later on I got my payback.
|Let's pretend my red hat matches my magenta top...|
After the half-way mark, I started to feel the weight of the marathon. The "this race is how long!?!" feeling started to set in around mile 17. I kept walking through every water stop to drink and eat my Clif Shot Bloks. It was at this point that starting to run again was really hard. Oh man, my legs were hurtin'.
The course was mostly flat and followed the East Bay Bike Path to bring us back into the city. The good thing was that the path was peaceful and quiet. The bad thing was that the path was peaceful and quiet. I really needed a kick in the pants to get through miles 17-20. I watched my pace slow down second by second, hoping that my legs would slowly bring me to the finish.
Finally, I got back to the city streets and a large crowd was there to cheer for everyone. I started to choke up as I approached the finish line, reflecting on the months of training and all that had happened during that time. I was thankful just to finish, stunned at my time (4:05:12 - 18:11 faster than Cape Cod Marathon!), relieved to stop, grateful for security keeping me safe, and proud to be a runner. I can't really capture the whole experience in words. But, trust me, it's the kind of feeling you don't forget.