For those of you who haven't been reading my blog for very long, I did attempt to run a 15K in November but I was lying to myself thinking that I was going to be able to finish. I hadn't completely recovered from some overuse injuries, including self-diagnosed peroneal tendonitis, and I made it to 2.5 miles before I called it quits.
I wanted my redemption race and that DNF to be gone!
Mike and I made the drive to Utica the day before the race and even hit up the outlet mall on the way there. Mike's parents met us at the hotel, since his mom was running in the race as well, and then we went to the expo. The expo was decent but since we got there toward the end some of the tables were empty. After that we went out to dinner and majorly carbo-loaded, seriously they gave us three loaves of garlic bread!
Before the race!
The morning of the race was pretty uneventful and we made it to the start with plenty of time to spare. As we were walking toward the porta-potties I heard someone say, "hey Jamie!" and I saw Sean, one of the #trailsroc guys, and his dad. We talked for a little bit and then all went our separate ways to get ready for the race.
After hitting the porta-potties, we did a brief warm-up and then stretched. We also took advantage of having Mike's dad there to have a picture of us taken together!
At our first Boilermaker
We got in the line for the porta-potties again and then it was time to get in our corrals. Mike's mom and I were in the same corral but I lost her in the crowd, she ended up lining up ahead of me. Mike was in the corral ahead of us and he went off to line up. After pushing through the masses, I made my way to the "steel blue" corral and waited for the start.
If you have never heard of the Boilermaker, this is a HUGE race. There were over 11,000 finishers in the 15K!
After the gun went off, it took almost a minute for my corral to even start walking. Right before the start line we started to jog and about 2 and a half minutes into the race we finally crossed the start!
The first 3 miles I felt alright, not horrible but not my best, I hit 8:58, 9:20 and 9:34 pace. There were a few small hills but nothing major. One nice thing about this portion of the race was that it was still cloudy at this point.
Another nice thing about the race was that there were 21 water stops along the course, I couldn't even take water at each one! There was also course entertainment and major crowd support.
I had been warned about the hill at the golf course and as we were running along the road you could look up and see runners on the hill. It looked MASSIVE! I started to prepare myself for what was to come and then rounded the corner into the golf course.
I was surprised but I actually felt really good going up the hill, I had slowed down of course but not too badly. I finished mile 4 at 10:07 pace.
After the golf course there were some nice downhills and it made the next couple of miles really enjoyable. Even after we got back on the main roads there were lots of people cheering to take my mind off of running. Mile 5 and 6 came in at 8:34 and 8:51, respectively.
The one thing I didn't like about the race was that I kept bumping into people at the water stops, which later turned out to be sort of funny. At this point I still hadn't taken any nutrition, except water, and I decided that I didn't want to. My stomach felt alright but I didn't want to chance it.
I had slowed down considerably at the start of mile 7 and as I was running along I heard, "is that Jamie?" I turned around and I saw Eric at Roc the Run and his wife Sheila. We chatted for a little while and I told them how I wasn't doing well at that point and Eric told me to just have fun. They told me that if I wanted to go ahead that I should, but I just kind of laughed since I didn't think I had much in me. (Eric later told me that I had bumped into him at one of the water stops, said something and then he later tried to catch up to me and was staring at me trying to figure out if it was me or not. I didn't even notice him! He also said I have a very unique running style, ha!)
After hitting 9:56 pace for mile 7, I somehow was able to leave Eric and Sheila and pick it up. I pushed it at mile 8 and came in at 8:40 pace.
At this point I was getting tired, but I knew I only had 1.3 miles to go. After rounding the last corner I just focused on different landmarks to help me get through it. I hit mile 9 at 9:31 pace.
I tried to give it my all at the finish and when I could hear the announcer I knew I was almost there. I could see the clock at the finish line and it was still under 1:30 (remember I didn't cross until almost 2 and a half minutes into the race).
I crossed the finish line with my pace for the last .3 miles at 8:31. I had finally finished a 15K!
My finishing (chip) time was 1:26:42, which is 9:19 pace.
After finishing the race, I made my way to the post-race party. I didn't like the long walk to the party but there wasn't anything I could do about it. I finally saw Mike and he had done great as well! He finished in 1:18:43, a PR for him!
We met up with his parents and then got some lunches. My stomach wasn't feeling great but I did eat a banana and some Chobani. The Chobani definitely helped me feel better! We also got some post-race beer and while I was waiting for Mike to get his I saw Eric and Sheila!
Happy to be done!
Eric - "smile like you love me"
We ended up hanging out with them for awhile before we had to make our way back to our hotel to take showers and hit the road.
Ready to take showers!
Overall, I am extremely happy with how this race turned out. Even though it was in July I never felt really hot, which was surprising considering I get hot in 50 degree weather, but I know I could do better in a fall or early spring 15K.
If you raced this weekend, how did it go?