Race day recap

Wow what a day!!!! Woke up at 4am even though alarm was set for 5am not sure what is up with the no sleeping. I did not feel nervous just excited to go give it my best.  Ate my breakfast of oatmeal, decaf coffee, rice protein to get about 400 calories in made sure I had my bottle of gatorade/carbopro for the last 200 calories to be drank before the race.

Joshua wished me luck then clasped his hands together and said “here is all my luck mommy I am giving it to you for the race, you just give it back when  you are done” How sweet!!! My very sleepy Katherine gave me good luck wishes and Kevin drove me a couple miles to the start. Bless his heart they had to deal with some major traffic issues to get out of there and head to Duluth. It was chilly and light rain when they dropped me off. I walked to the elite starting area hoping for a tent, no such luck. I met several other women that morning that were trying for the same goal. In the few minutes before the start we all got together and agreed to do what we could to help each other out. Huge mental boost right before the race. Thank goodness for facebook so I can look these girls up and tell them how amazing they are!!!

A few quick prayers and they started the race. Coach John had told me it would be ok to be a little slower in the first 3 miles if I needed to warmup, in other words dont panic. I felt so calm as the start usually my heart rate is 110 and it was 86.  I did not feel any pressure. My plan was to just run 618 pace as long as I could and hold on til the finish. My previous best time was in Austin 308 so I knew whatever happened today I would have a huge PR.

I stayed with the girls maybe about 5 miles and they just seemed to be going a tad faster than I wanted to and I had the confidence to run my own race. At several mile splits I hollered out some mantras: Believe, Yes I can, Where the mind goes the body will follow. It gave me a boost to hopefully lift up the others.

There were lots of runners in sight to try and catchup to or hang with for a bit. I came into aid station at mile 3 looking for my elite water bottle missed it but kept going. Next mile I slowed down just a bit to grab the bottle and drink it up. I had about 8oz in each bottle with some gatorade/carbopro mix. I took my first gel at mile 7. Any time doubt crept in my mind I pushed it aside and thought of all my strong workouts. The mental training I did for this race was so helpful, I will step it up in this area next time.

I took gel at mile 11, 15.5 and I think it was 20. I was able to get about 10 of my 15 water bottles that I left out on the course and that really seemed to help. Even though the weather was in mid 40’s and rained for a while I still felt thristy. There was hypothermia warnings on the course and I was running in shorts and a sports bra, shoes were soaked from rain did not feel cold.

When I hit mile 13.1 half way mark I was a little off what i wanted to be but felt confident I could get it done. I did some running alone and just get my eye on the Garmin watch that gave me splits each mile. This watch was my life line!!!!!! I knew mile 22-23 had some hills that I would lose a bit of time on so I was trying to make up some ground. I knew I was running in unchartered territory with my pace and was willing to risk it all to get my qualifying time.

Around mile 19 I surged a bit to catch a guy and quickly told him “hi 41yr old mother of 2 trying to qualify for Olympic Trials today help hold the pace” He did for about 1/4 mile and fell back. Ok find someone else to pace on. I learned this would be super helpful the day Susan and I ran the time trial on the Beeline. I still was feeling good just fatigued legs. I was concerned about pushing it too much and tried to be patient. The plan was after the hill about mile 23 to run like I stole something. I knew my family would be there around mile 24. Each time I thought of them I got teary and emotional and little fast breathing. For the 1st time ever I was not going to try and high five them and wave I was afraid of an emotional melt down. I ran by Katherine and she was screaming super loud “Go mommy you can do it” I think they knew how close it was going to be.  I hit a short downhill at 25 followed by an uphill and some wind just trying to run as hard as I could I was definitely in the zone. Saw a clock out of the corner of my eye must have been mile 26 and it said 2:46 something which is when I guessed I did not make it. I kept pushing all the way to finish.

I was watching my watch like a hawk and my watch read 621 pace near the final mile so I thought I was definitely going to make it. When you finish the race your watch never is exact I had 26.49 miles ran. Even if those last 2 were a little faster they still could not have helped. I missed it by 1 minute 57 seconds. My brother told me I passed 5 people in the last mile.

I felt strong and ran a smart race for me. I am super proud of my 21 minute PR, for non-runners reading this that just does not happen very often at all. I am going to take what I learned and build on it and try again. My body needs some rest and then probably California International Marathon Dec 4 in Sacramento. This dream will take me lots of places this year.

My friend Ariana Hillborn ran a PR of 2:37 and got the A standard for the Olympic trials so proud of her!! She was the first person to greet me at the finish line.

Here are my mile by mile splits

1 6:23
2 6:20
3 6:13
4 6:18
5 6:13
6 6:13
7 6:19
8 6:25
9 6:19
10 6:14
11 6:28
12 6:21
13 6:22
14 6:13
15 6:19
16 6:20
17 6:25
18 6:23
19 6:16
20 6:26
21 6:19
22 6:23
23 6:31
24 6:27
25 6:33
26 6:21

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. David Whitlach
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 04:36:17

    Kerry- I’m extremely proud of you and all you have accomplished. Congratulations on a fantastic race and such a HUGE pr…amazing. Rest is very important. I have no doubts you’ll accomplish your goal later this year. Congrats again- Cheers!


  2. Barbara McCullough
    Aug 01, 2011 @ 20:05:42

    EVERYone who knows you is SO proud of you…I can’t even imagine!
    accomplishing what you have — at ANY age…What a great role model
    you are for your kids…Keep up the GOOD work! You WILL achieve your
    goal…As YOU said, just BELIEVE!


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