Saturday morning, Brian and I loaded up the car with pillows and suitcases and headed to Utica. This was my 6th year running the Boilermaker and yet I was still nervous. We arrived at Kim's parents house (Kim = my college roommate) shortly after noon, had lunch and then headed to the expo.
Just like past years we had a pasta dinner and then lounged around for the rest of the night, drinking lots of water. Sunday morning dawned cool and calm. I had toast with peanut butter before we left the house at 6:15am. The runners left first and headed to park at the finish line and then take the shuttle to the start line. There were seven total runners (six girls and one guy) this year in our little caravan, the most we have had in a while. We arrived at the street we usually park on and saw a man standing in the middle of the road. We parked and began to pile out of the car, while the man in the street came over to the car. He told us that we needed to pay for parking, even though it was a public street. Kim's dad proceeded to tell him that he had been parking there for 15 years for the race. The man backed off said he meant no disrespect, he just wanted to keep the street clear of out of towners. Weird and slightly scary.
The wait at the shuttles was short and soon we were on our way to the start line. Once there, it was a swarm of runners everywhere! A few of the girls in our group needed to pick up their bibs so they went off to take care of that, while the rest of us headed to our usual starting point - under the stop light. I was standing there for a while before I saw Margot (a college basketball teammate) standing nearby. I went over to her and found that she was actually going to be in my corral area so we agreed to stand together. Sadly I didn't see anyone else that I knew.
The corral areas are marked by colors that match the bib colors and I had a yellow bib. There were six corral areas, with yellow being the second to last area. As the race start approached, Margot and I moved into the yellow area and waited. It slowly began to fill up so that we were standing among hundreds of other runners, kind of claustrophobic.
Soon after the star spangled banner, the cannon sounded and we were off. Well not really, we stood there for a bit and then started to move forward. My legs felt tight and nervous and not ready to go.
Mile 1 - 7:36 Starting closer really has it benefits as I didn't do that much weaving around people. It just really makes me angry when I see a person with a bib color that says they are supposed to be running faster than me, but they are going ultra slow.
Mile 2 - 7:42 May have started too fast, but I just tried to keep the pace as this area was uphill.
Mile 3 - 7:39 This area was mostly flat and shaded which made me happy. My legs were feeling good and as I came into the 5k I started to feel the stomach/lung cramp starting. I held my breath and tried to switch up my breathing. The pain lingered but didn't get any worse.
Mile 4 - 8:02 Uphill into the golf course, my favorite hill because it is followed by my favorite downhill. I began to run with a group of about 4 other women and we stayed together until the end.
Mile 5 - 6:49 Wayyyy too fast! This was downhill but still, this mile really took its toll on me. This mile I ran with Elvis for a bit and also passed a few wheelchairs from the wheel chair race.
Mile 6 - 7:29 I took a GU (from the stash I had from winning Miss Zippy's Giveaway!!) in the middle of this mile in preparation for the tough hill in the next mile. It actually worked well and I felt energized.
Mile 7 - 8:19 This hill hurt and I slowed down a ton. I wanted to stop but I just kept telling myself, Get to that stop light (which was the top of the hill) and its flat.
Mile 8 - 7:25 Downhill again!! Yippie! This was also one of my favorite miles, so close to being done!
Mile 9 - 8:14 (+ 0.3 in 2:15) I wanted to walk SO BADLY in this final mile. I was dead tired but I thought about Brian waiting for me at the finish and picked up the pace for the final downhill. I knew I was going to PR but I saw my goal of 1 hour and 10 minutes slipping away. I saw Brian and then ran across the finish line and was done!
I was in a daze after finishing and my legs started to cramp. I walked around aimlessly for a while before collecting water and some snacks. I waited for the others to finish and didn't get to cool down properly.
Surprisingly, my hips and knees felt great through the whole race. I never felt any pain from pounding out the miles which was nice. I just was so tired and my lung was cramping. All I thought about during the final mile was seeing Brian. Just thinking about him waiting for me, waiting to take my picture, made me run faster.
Today I am sore in the quads and I hobbled around work. Tomorrow, if the weather cooperates I am going to the group track workout after work to stretch my legs and see how I feel. I have some Achilles tightness so hopefully that will be gone.
The worst part about this whole race was that I have been sick to my stomach since yesterday. Every time I eat something, I feel my stomach cramping up. I have had this pain in the past when I have mistakenly eaten dairy after a run or race but this time, the pain isn't going away. My mom things my electrolytes are out of whack so now I am on a Gatorade diet to hopefully straighten things out.
And FINALLY my stats!
My secret goal was to PR at below 1:10:59 and I almost made it. (Last years time was 1:13:07)
Chip Time: 1:11:35 (7:41 pace)
Age group: 65/750
Female finish: 255/5115
Congrats to all the others who ran the Boilermaker!! Thanks for reading!! Pictures will be posted as soon as I get them off Brian's camera!!