I slept pretty good the night before the Bear Water Run, I had a dream about the race (not unusual) but I don’t remember waking up at all during the night. Which might have been because of the Benadryl I took because I’m pretty sure fall allergies are kicking in. Vinnie got up with me and he wasn’t too happy about getting up. He got over it and curled up while I got dressed before taking him out.
Breakfast was my normal peanut butter and strawberry oatmeal (with egg whites added in) but I had coffee again this morning! I found that not drinking caffeine for a week before the race helps increase my sensitivity to it on race day and gives me an extra kick after trying it before the Lake Minnetonka Half. It was rougher this time around, probably because I’ve been waking up in the night recently, but I made it through. And that race day coffee couldn’t have tasted better.
We got to the race location about an hour before it started (after I almost forgot my salt tablets at home and making a stop so Mike could get kleenex and coffee). It was a little bit early since this was a small race (just over 400 people running, with 280 doing the 20 mile) but it was nice to beat the long, right before the race port-a-potty lines and get in a walk with Vinnie before it was time to start. It was pretty chilly at the start, with a good wind off the lake, so I was glad I brought along a zipup to wear.
Right before they started the race, I took my first Gu (since it was an 8 a.m. start and I hadn’t eaten in the last couple of hours) and then got in the general race start area. No pacers for this one and I just got in place (too close to the start line as I would quickly find out) and we were off.
Right away, I knew I was going too fast. But it felt good and it was tough to slow down because I was in a crowd of people. So I just went with it, not my best plan. Good thing there’ll be pacers at Twin Cities Marathon.
First water stop came at mile two and...I grabbed Gatorade instead of water. There wasn’t any signs about which table was which and by the time I heard the volunteer I had it my hand already. I wasn’t planning on having Gatorade this early but just took a couple sips anyways just to get some fluid in me.
The race was two ten mile loops and I felt really good on the first loop. I ran it without any walking (except through water stops so I didn’t end up with water all over me) and managed to grab water at each of the next water stops! Plus, I made it up the hills and was feeling really confident for the second half. I passed Mike and Vinnie by the starting line and waved while Mike took some photos (and Vinnie laid there because he didn’t realize I was going by).
I kept up the sub-11 minute pace until mile 14, where I slowed down a little bit but was still feeling good. Tired, but I got a piece of chocolate at that water stop which was delicious and I just kept on repeating “sky above, ground below, fire within” when I was feeling like I wanted to stop. And I kept on going. Between mile markers 14 and 15, there was a port-a-potty so I thought I’d stop real quick. But there was someone in there and after a couple of seconds I didn’t want to wait any longer if I didn’t feel like I had to go. Plus I remembered seeing another port-a-potty somewhere in mile 16 or 17.
Found that port-a-potty and made a quick stop, which is where my watch auto-paused so my watch time is off from my race time. I’ll have to remember to turn off that feature for Twin Cities Marathon! I was started to feel it more in my legs at this point, especially my calves. Not cramping but they were feeling tight. Not surprising since Mike had rubbed down my legs the night before and mentioned finding a tight spot in it. I really didn’t do as much foam rolling as I would have liked to this week and could feel it.
Miles 19 and 20 were the worst. I was completely felt it in my legs at that point and started taking random walk breaks. It was really tough. A couple of times I thought “how am I going to make it through 6.2 miles?” And then I remembered, I wasn’t going to be running as much leading up to the marathon. My legs will be fresher. I’ll have done the amount of foam rolling and yoga to make sure there wasn’t that knot in my leg. And there’d be a lot more runners and spectators around my in that last 10K. I’d be fine.
I ended the last stretch running. Not fast but running still. And I saw Mike and Vinnie to give thumbs up to! Vinnie was alert this time (later I found out he’d been playing with a little boy right before I finished) and I called out to him. Which was not the best choice because Vinnie wanted to run towards me!
I felt exhausted after I finished but I still had to grab my shirt (which I got a medium that is a little big on me but will be fine) and I also grabbed a yogurt. The yogurt was meh, I grabbed the key lime flavor but I couldn’t taste much key lime. I threw my legs up against a tree for a little bit (probably my best choice I’d made that day) and we headed back to the car.
Which didn’t want to start. And none of MIke’s family were able to come and get us. Luckily, Mike was able to get a hold of a friend who could jump my car instead of waiting for roadside assistance. The car started and we made it to an auto parts store where the battery was declared dead. $130 later, we were finally headed home.
Mike went and got a late lunch for us while I foam rolled and showered. It felt so good to foam roll, better than it ever felt even though it hurt too. After my delicious salad and beer, Vinnie and I napped for a little bit. Basically, I have the best husband ever. He’s been so supportive during marathon training and today on race day. Between cheering me on, getting lunch, buying me Halo Top and making me pizza, it was the perfect race day. Now let’s repeat it again in 21 days for Twin Cities Marathon!