Teammate Kevin Sullivan and his family were kind enough to put my husband and I up the night before the race. With a full belly and everything laid out for the next day I tried to sleep. Saturday morning race check in went smoothly and before I knew it we were lined up for the start. The marathoners and the fifty milers would start together, but before running the full 12.5 mile loop the marathoners would run an extra mile loop. After the field split I spotted Amy Lane in front of me who was tucked behind the lead male group. I tucked behind her and said hello. At this point I was surprised that the men’s group wasn’t going out harder. I was tempted to pass them to see if they would respond, but figured that instead of the intended response of a smile and a faster pace I may get bad karma for toying with them.
Eventually the pack of lead male runners picked up their pace and disappear ahead of Amy and I. From here Amy and I took turns setting the pace and at times were joined by a male runner or two. The first lap went smoothly and we pulled into the start/finish around 1:41. I took a look at my first bottle and realized that I hadn’t really hydrated enough the first lap. I quickly dropped my jacket, grabbed a fresh bottle and headed back out on course with Amy.
The second lap was more comfortable as the temperature started to rise and the frost started to disappear. I continued to remind myself to drink and cracked open a gu about 17 miles into the race. Immediately after I opened the package I stubbed my toe and did a superman. Landing on the package it squirted covering me with gu and pine needles. If there is one thing that I cannot stand it is being sticky. I tried to eat what I could of the gu, dust off and continue to keep pace. The rest of the lap played out like the first with Amy and I chatting and taking turns leading the way, we pulled into the lap area around 3:37.
Again at the start/finish I checked my bottle to make sure I was taking enough in and went to grab a new bottle. As I was in the process I saw Kevin walking towards me and I thought he yelled to me “go get her”. Panic set in and I took off thinking Amy was in front of me. I ran a pretty aggressive pace for about two miles before being told by several runners that there were no females in front of me. I settled back into my original pace and tried to focus on the footing. I ran alone but had the chance to chat with other runners as I passed them along the way. I knew there were two male fifty mile runners a few minutes in front of me and I hope to narrow the margin so to have some company. In the attempt catch the runners I missed a turn. My immediate reaction was panic, but then I calmed down, corrected my error and got back on course. Again wanting to make up for lost time I started turning my legs over at a high rate. This paid off as I caught one of the fifty mile male runners in front of me. He was excited to see me because he was starting to slow and needed someone to help him continue to hold the pace. As we got close to the start/finish area at the end of our third lap I spotted my pacer who was waiting patiently, but eagerly.
|Theresa & I Still Smiling|
All said and done I couldn’t have prayed for a better day, it was a beautiful New England fall day, a great race and great support.