I'm going to apologize now for the lack of photos - they will be coming shortly.
Here's the mile by mile breakdown (I know you are all holding your breath in anticipation):
Start of the race - HOT & HUMID (started at mid 70's and quickly got to be mid 80's) . . . WOW it was crazy hot. Prior to the race I assisted the director by putting out a few course signs - I worked up a sweat just shoving them in the ground. I felt considerably rushed in the 15 minutes leading up to the start - I was tasked with carrying and filling 2 water jugs; I went with "C" to get her ipod and then I got mine, then we got in line for the potty (big line) and ran into a few peeps, then we headed to the start - snapped a couple of quick photos and we were off.
Miles 1-3 felt pretty easy. We were using a 2:30 & 1:30 interval which felt fine - especially at the beginning (later in the race I questioned if had malfunctioned as the 2:30 felt like eternity!!!). We ate a serving of chomps prior to the start and swallowed a little water. We also drank at the 2 mile water station and 3 mile water station. We leap frogged with several people which made it fun: power walker man, sweaty tank guy who saved us at the end, and headphone lady are the few I can remember. At mile 3 we saw "T's" little girl who is just the most adorable girl in the world, and her sister and her mom - we got some added cheers and a high five. Perfect timing - thanks!
Miles 3-5 still felt pretty good. We had been and remained 2:30ish ahead of our goal pacing time which was a nice cushion, but also worried me a bit that perhaps we had gone out a bit too quickly. We hydrated at mile 4 and 5. We ate chomps at mile 4. At about mile 3.5 we were passed by Jenn (who writes Running For My Life) and she said she didn't have any fuel so . . . I circled around and ran about 25 yards to deliver her some of our extra - it wasn't her preference in type or flavor but any port in a storm I guess! I was happy to share - I know I would have been thankful if someone shared with me.
Miles 5-7 felt a bit more challenging - we had been battling the heat and sun on the first 5 miles and I think that really taxed us quite a bit. We hydrated again at mile 6 and mile 7. We fueled just before mile 7 and dang - they had gel on the course at mile 7. . . oops, we had just fueled - oh well, we grabbed water and headed for the final 3 miles.
Miles 7-8 I think I drank too much water at the mile 7 water station - on top of my chomps it led to some minor tummy troubles that thankfully I was able to run through it (with a few extra seconds of walking a couple of times). At mile 8, "L", her husband, and 3 grandchildren (cutest kids EVER!) were there to cheer us on. Good thing because the last mile seemed to really be challenging! It was a route we have at least 90 times so although it was familiar - with the sun, heat, and humidity - it certainly didn't feel easy. A few feet away from "L" and her crew was "T's" crew - another round of cheering and high 5's really perked us up. We hydrated at mile 8's aid station as well.
Miles 8-9 felt more challenging, but we had gained ground on sweaty tank guy so that was kind of motivating. I continued fighting off my tummy issues, but seriously was feeling whipped.
Mile 9 - I am one of the most enthusiastic and LOUD racers you'll ever meet, but at mile 9 (yes, I know there was only a mile left) I totally lost it - I seriously yelled aloud "I CANNOT DO THIS!" "C" was like, of course you can. I was like, um NOPE I CAN'T!!!! We walked through one interval - our one and only- and I was never so thankful in all of my life. I honestly thought there was a good chance I was going to collapse or die - I honestly could not wrap my head around 4 more runs and "all that way" (yes I know - at this point it was only like 3/4 of a mile). The walked through interval was exactly what I needed in order to get my 2nd wind. It was at this point when Jenn from Running For My Life came back and started running with us - ohhh I was thankful for the distraction. We had turned on our ipods at mile 9 but since every step was feeling impossible I was thankful for as much as I could get. Sweaty tank guy had even given me a high 5 and said that he knew I could do it. We hydrated at the mile 9 station.
Mile 10 - Felt a LOT easier and passed much quicker than mile 9 - wow that was an epic physical and mental battle. Despite our walking through ONE (and only one) interval - we were still more than 2 minutes ahead of our goal time of 2:15 - woot! We crossed the line unofficially in 2:12:51 (2:09 ahead of our goal time) which allowed us to have a PR SMACKDOWN - OH YEAH (Previous PR 2:18.28) - YES, our time today was 5:37 faster than a year ago!!!!!!! WOOT WOOT!!!
Photos coming soon!