Mini coffee pot was awesome for boiling the water for my oatmeal. I forgot to bring a spoon so my toothbrush stirred it and I tried to pour it in my mouth. Needless to say I was a mess. I taped the crap out of my leg and ankle with hopes of a pain free race.
Yes I know I look silly. I got lots of stares and looks, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to hold the legs together. I was determined not to let my ankle tendonitis or calf strain slow me down!
When we got to the starting line it was already pretty warm out and cloudy but not raining. We dilly dallied for a while but then it was time to head to the starting line. I got right behind the 4:30 pacer who looked all of 18 maybe. But she sure could run. About 25 minutes after the first group headed out at 6:45, I crossed the starting line. Holy hills and humidity. Remember when I said the course is fairly flat? Ha, dead wrong. No the hills weren't big but they were long and steady inclines one after another. The humidity was killer. Apparently 95-98% humidity negates any sort of altitude advantage. Regardless I was sticking with the pacer who was actually moving quite a bit faster than the goal pace.
By mile 6.5 I had to start pouring water on my head. Every water stop, one down the throat, one down my shirt. I could not get my temperature down and it was starting to hurt my pace. I held on and decided well small change of plans, I'll run/walk...no biggie. So that's exactly what I started to do. I passed the 11.2 half marathon turn off and it finally started to get a bit cooler. The wind picked up and the clouds really moved in. A few miles down I heard from some other runners that they had closed the course and were making all of the people behind us do the half regardless of it they were registered for the full. I was so happy that I had made the cut!
Three port-o-potty stops later I was almost to mile 16 which means yeah only 10 miles left! It also was when my calf, ankle and IT started really screaming. I had been stretching my calf every few miles but it just wasn't enough. I think I must have changed my gait which inflammed my stupid IT band. A very nice TNT coach from Tennessee was nice enough to hang with me for a few miles and even refill my water bottles.
Around mile 18 I was told that we were all going to be taken off the course just before 21 miles. At this point I just started walking. My time wasn't going to count so why should I be pushed myself and giving myself blisters for nothing? I don't know if I've ever felt so many emotions at the same time. I was mad that they let me get this far just to cut me short, sad that I even though it wasn't my best race ever that I was going to be given a medal that I didn't really earn, relieved that I wasn't going to have to run 5-6 more miles in the nasty weather especially since I was about 15 minutes behind my goal time...so much was running through my head.