There was a lot to like about this race and I always enjoy running in familiar places. I'll share my pros and cons later this week.
One of my favorite things about running locally is knowing exactly where I'm going. My parents who were staying at a hotel in a neighboring town (there's just not enough room at my place) picked me up around 6:15 in the morning. At that point, I had already been awake for two hours. I woke up early to have my normal breakfast of cereal before the race.
Before I knew it, I was standing at the start line:
(And yes, I totally creeped and took this picture)
Before I knew it, we were off on our 26.2 mile journey through the city and neighboring suburbs of Rochester. We took off around two quick turns in the city and then began to run on East Avenue. This was when I realized that my legs were feeling better than I anticipated and I picked up the pace. I was able to see my friend Brittany at mile 3. It's awesome when your friends cheer you on. It makes the race so much better (and always makes me a little misty).
A little after mile 6, we approached Fisher and I was able to see two more of my friends Amanda and Kara cheering me on. It was much needed after running up the huge hill approaching campus!
We ran over rolling hills on East avenue until about mile nine where we turned onto the Erie Canal pathway in Fairport. We would be on the canal for the next twelve miles or so. This was the worst part of the course. I am definitely a city runner and having nothing to look at or have cheer-ers for 12 miles was hard. What made it worse was the very visible quickly approaching dark cloud. We could see the storm coming and there was nothing we could do except run into the darkness.
And rain it did. I was glad I made the hat decision. In retrospect, it would have been nice to have had a spare pair of socks. Running with soaking wet socks and shoes was not the best situation for my feet and miles 14-15 were a bit of a struggle.
I broke through that wall and kept going. I didn't end up hitting another wall until mile 21ish. It was at this point that I decided to walk through the few and far between aid stations (more on that in a later post). Even so, I knew I was making good time and tried to pick it up for the finish. Around mile 25, I discovered a burst of energy that I wasn't expecting and I powered through to the finish. Seeing Brittany and my parents cheering for me helped a lot too. And I finished with a PR time! I'm slowly chipping away at a BQ. Maybe next year...
Here's me at the finish!!!
Now I'm officially letting myself count down to my next event: the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World!