|Beck, Lora, Jenn and us|
We hit The Westin for 6 and manage to find our SCRR/INKnBURN group and I finally meet sexypolice and tacomaster. YES. Kev leaves to get in his corral but mine (D) doesn't have a closing time so I hang out a bit longer. Oh, it's raining now. I head down an alley through crazy masses of runners (there are 30,000+ today) and pass big lineups to enter corrals A, B & C which are right out into the side streets. I have plenty time to line up for the bathroom then shelter from the pouring rain under a shop front next to our corral.
There is gradual movement forward, Charlie Batch is on the PA and they play Renegade. Black and yellow for the win every time. I ditch Kev's shirt which I borrowed to keep the rain off and we're off and running at 7:30. It really is warm, I'm glad I left the arm sleeves behind. I start out just running the pace of everyone around me, no need to weave or dodge. Given the huge range of paces in my corral (10:30/mile and everything else up) this is a very pleasant state of affairs.
Running in the rain is not awful, it's cooling me down and the wind is light but refreshing. So many people are out watching this craziness, even in the rain. Up Liberty, down Penn then we hit 3 bridges. Push up the hills, enjoy the downs. At mile 5 I'm quite hot and feeling the effort a bit. I reach 10k 2 mins faster than in 2014 then there's a decent climb onto the West End Bridge. The rain is done now.
Mile 7 is the start of the humidity. Something is not right with my Garmin, the pace hasn't been matching the total km time as it clicks off. What? The thing is showing my overall average race pace, not pace per km which is what I set it to. Fixing it is way beyond me so I watch my average pace get shittier as we run past Station Square. I thought this part was flat...
I have zero meltdowns this year on the South Side (more winning) and although I feel kind of sick for whatever reason, I keep the goal of crossing the bridge then attacking the Forbes Hill in mind. This is where the Half splits off, I should not be this tired already. My soggy feet are less than impressed.
|She's handing people little 'F's|
Another small victory, I run most of the hill until the relentless top portion. I get the F up that hill. When I reach 13.1, I'm 4 mins ahead of my 2014 race time. The big difference is that in 2014 I was able to pick it up here, this year I can't get my breath, I feel sick and it's tough as arse. Damn I'm fucking this up.
We're in the university area which is always lively. Students, pretzels and a guy on a bullhorn announcing 'beer this man' as we pass by. The man is beered. Fire hydrants are open all along the course to cool us down, it's magic.
The miles after 15 are a big effing mess. I'm panicking which is making all the problems much worse. The awesome Steel City Greyhounds cheer station (puppies!) makes me cry in a very unattractive manner. WTF am I doing.
|Running & texting|
Ah it's raining again. There's another inflatable alpaca off to the side, what the hell is going on. Should I touch it? Is it a lucky alpaca?? Do all those people over there have beer? There are a LOT of people out supporting this race. I love this town. I can eat whatever the hell I want after this. We're going to a hockey game tomorrow. There will be more beer. My life is amazing.
Marathon 6 complete in 5:27:44. Not my finest hour but a hell of a journey.