Sunday, March 25, 2007
3 states, 5 countries, 20 miles, and 1 super coach
Today was a race of numbers. Let me explain.
20: The number of miles we raced.
3: The number of states we ran through.
5: The number of nationalities represented by the GBTC team.
Me: India (kinda)
1: The number of super coaches that drove us and coached us (and ran the half marathon too)!
The race was great, but I was bummed that Laura and David were sick and couldn't make it. If they had been there, we would have had representation from 7 countries (David is from Spain, and Laura is from England)! But really, it would have been fun to have David and Laura at the race, and I know they would have run really well.
Tom picked up me, Lucas, and Kibrom from our doorsteps first thing this morning. What service. We drove an hour or so to the casino near Salisbury, Mass. and boarded the buses to Kittery, Maine, where the race starts. I ran into Aimee Shen, a former GBTC-er who's moving to Palo Alto soon. T'was great to catch up with her.
The boys and I did a short warm-up and jogged to the start. It's a very informal race start -- there is no gun, no megaphone, not even a line painted on the road to indicate the "actual" start. The race director just says, "ready, go!" to cue the hordes of runners to begin their march.
I started the race hoping to run consistent 6:40 pace, which is 2:13:30 for the 20 mile distance. My goal pace for the Chicago marathon was 6:40, although I wasn't able to quite maintain that pace during Chicago. I started today's race easy with a comfortable 6:46 first mile. The next mile was a bit faster, and I have no idea what my splits were after that because the mile markers were not very accurate.
It was a perfect day today for running. The temperature was in the mid-40s, the sun was out, and the views of the water were unparalleled as we ran along the New Hampshire coast. We had a slight head-wind for most of the race, and there are just a few little climbs and bumps, but the course is pretty flat and perfect.
I felt good and ended up running negative splits. Like Emily, I spent most of the race just adding 6:40 to my last mile split and trying to run that pace or faster for the next mile. I ended up finishing in 2:10:27, three minutes faster than I had hoped to run. And I was the first female finisher! My first win ever! 6:31/mile pace. (CoolRunning.com reports a 6:32 pace, but if you do the math, it's 6:31.4/mile pace. So I'm going to round down.)
I was happy. Tom met us at the finish, and I think he was quite pleased. He ran well in the half-marathon, and the GBTC guys placed 2nd, 4th, and 7th overall. Kibrom ran an especially amazing race, averaging 5:48/mile after winning the 10K in 31:34 yesterday and then working the night shift at his job.
After the race, I cooled down with Lucas very slowly and headed back to the Ashworth Hotel for my favorite post-race snack of pretzels, M&Ms, and diet coke. Yum. Hit the spot. I ate about 100 M&Ms. My legs are pretty tired. I am ready for the marathon. Not much more to say.