On Saturday morning, I took the metro to the expo in Downtown St. Louis. I was in and out fairly quickly as there wasn't really much going on. Compared to the RnR San Diego expo, this one had significantly fewer booths but was still run smoothly.
My friends and I had a pretty fun, leisurely day. Post expo, we went to get crepes and massages. I had never gotten a massage before a race, and I was pretty nervous as to how it would affect my performance. Luckily for me, it wasn't a painful Thai massage and I felt like the masseuse got the blood flowing in my legs to warm me up for Sunday's race. I had decided not to run on Friday or Saturday and leave my legs fresh and ready to go for the race. Then, we went shopping and I got a new race top from GAP, which could have been an extremely bad idea but I didn't chafe! Win.
After a few hours on my feet, we came home so I could rest up and carboload. In other words, I decided it would be a great idea to make triple fudge banana bread from How Sweet Eats. DELICIOUS.
I think i had about a third of the bread that night/morning. Perfect pre-race fuel? I think so.
I made the perfect playlist on my iPod Shuffle. I like to listen to electronic dance music that will keep me motivated and energized. Around 2 am I finally fell asleep...I slept for about 3 hours... from 2am-5am. Excitement got the best of me! I got up pretty groggily, so I had 2 Starbucks' via packets to get me going and then ate a New York City plain bagel. Delicious. Thankfully I had laid everything out the night before so my morning was extremely easy going; I didn't have to worry about forgetting anything last minute. I wore Asics DS racers, Pro Compression socks, Lululemon running skirt, Nike Pro Compression sports bra, and my new Gap tank.
Around 5:45, my friend Jeff (who ran a 1:35! so speedy) and I took the metro down to the race, which was the best idea ever because it literally took us to the start line. It was also so much fun seeing all the other runners up so early in the morning ;) We got downtown around 6:15, and I headed to the Brooks VIP porta potties which were super nice. I had gone to Mizzouri Running Company the week before to get Nuun and the nice guy working gave me the vip pass for free. The VIP porta potties were located in trailers had running water/lights like a real bathroom. The toilet paper even said Run Happy! No long lines= happy runner. After a quick stop to the gear check, some warm up strides, and stretching we were ready to go.
The race started 10 minutes late which bothered me a bit because I had warmed up in advance and had started to get a bit cold. I also didn't feel so great for the first 5 miles or so (the banana bread was catching up to me!), mentally debating slowing down or trying to keep up. I'm glad I ran with Pacer Ron as he kept talking to me and encouraged me to keep running. Around mile 7, I started to feel better and realized that I could potentially hit sub 1:40, so I kept on going. At mile 8.5 I choked down half a gu, and I definitely felt it kick in. I was on top of the world at mile 10, feeling better and stronger than I did at the start of the race. At mile 11.5, Pacer Ron told me to surge ahead. He had been watching me run and said that I looked strong and told me to find my final kick. I dug deep for the final mile and a half and crossed the finish line with a huge smile. THANK YOU PACER RON!!
I finished with an official time of 1:38:56.
Beyond. Ecstatic. Negative splits. Sub 1:40. What else could I ask for?
Everything, and I mean everything played out perfectly. I say perfectly because I don't want to make excuses for why I could have run faster. Could I have? Maybe, probably. Do I actually want to dwell on it? No. I'm proud of my PR and there will be times in the future when I can crush it.
Also, what?? This was on the official website. Sweet. I was hurting towards the end...
Next goal: 1:35. Let's go.