Sunday, May 12, 2013

Racing Recap: Delaware Marathon Running Festival

I had been nervous all week leading up to Saturday. On Saturday, the day before the race, we went to packet pickup. That was when nervousness started to turn into a self-pep-talk, hyper mode. I was impressed with all the race SWAG, and I bought a new shirt at the expo from RUseeN apparel. Their apparel is reflective, and I picked a shirt that says, "I'm slow. I know. Get over it." on the back, and a
little turtle sweating on the front. I am pretty pumped about it. After we got home from the expo, I called my running brother, and my "Anything for 10," sister. They both assured me that I would be fine.

When I woke up this morning, I couldn't eat. I tried to have breakfast, but it just wasn't happening. I had read somewhere that there would be pre-race carbs at the staring line, and I figured I eat something there. Funny thing about that, we had trouble finding parking at first, and somehow ended up on the highway driving away from Wilmington with about 10 minutes to start time. I was trying to stay calm so that I wouldn't stress out Matt while he was driving, but I must not have been very good at that since he kicked me out of the car near the start to go find parking on his own. We ended up finding each other just as the race was starting.

"Running for Grandma"
For the first few miles, Matt kept telling me that I should slow down, but I was feeding off the race energy. I knew there was a chance that I would regret it later, but my brother had advised me to just feel out the race, and ride the energy as far as it would take me. I am so glad he told me that. I was also thinking of my grandma, with today being Mother's Day. My mom wasn't always round, but my grandma was, and she was absolutely the strongest person I have ever known and probably ever will. I knew this was the first race I would dedicate to her with it falling on the first Mother's Day after her passing.

I was feeling great, and it seemed as if the whole race was going to be flat. The scenery was AMAZING! We ran along the river, through the zoo area, over the river on a neat bridge, and then it seemed as if they decided to put all the elevation gain in only one spot. Or so I thought at the time. I needed to pee so bad, but I just kept running as long as I could to get to the point where I would let myself stop to go. Matt convinced me to run ahead around Little Italy so that I could stop to use the porta potties on the loop back. He caught up right as I stepped out.

Matt's First Half
After that, I knew I needed to keep pushing because this was one of those races where I only felt how tired I was when I walked, instead of feeling refreshed after a break. I realized Matt wasn't right behind me anymore when he sent me a text message saying that he was cramping some, and that he wanted me to go ahead. I felt bad, but then he sent me a message saying that I was on track to PR. He wore the Garmin today, which I think also helped me. I knew after that message that if I wasn't going to stay with him, that I had to PR. And with his support, I felt the drive to push on and keep going when I was getting tired.

I started losing my resolve again when I rounded the corner at mile 12, and I realized Matt was right when he told me that there was a massive hill at that point. I had to walk again because I was losing my energy, and that hill was a beast. When it leveled out again, I started back into a run, and I finished with a PR 8 minutes faster than my previous PR. Overall, it was a great race, and I couldn't have done it without Matt, Grace, Joe, and all the spectators, volunteers, and even cops who cheered me on!

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