Well, friends, I completed the 25K. I think that was the toughest physical thing I've ever had to do. I knew going in that it was going to be taxing, it was advertised as having "16 crazy hills." Well, they weren't kidding. They were crazy and physically exhausting! The majority of hills were in the first half, which I'm actually thankful for, but my second half was slow and sloppy due to being so tired from the first half. Here's a play by play of the mileage:
Mile 1, felt great! enjoyed the scenery
Mile 2 the hills began in earnest.
Mile 3, up, down, up down
By mile 4, I was already thinking, "What in the world have I signed up for?! There is NO WAY I can finish this course."
Mile 5, "I only have to do THAT 2 more times...or, I could quit. No, I can't quit, I must do this..."
Mile 6, I ate my first snack, energy gummies. They are not as good as they may sound...more hills ensued.
Mile 7, I don't remember this mile...only know that it finally came to an end.
Mile 8, I got two glasses of Gatorade (they were only half full).
Mile 9, I began to really enjoy running along the ocean and thru downtown Rockport - didn't really enjoy the enormous hill coming out of the center of town...
Mile 10, more of the same. accepted a square of chocolate from a delightful older couple.
Mile 11, met a lady also training for Chicago. We chatted for about a mile. Her name was Susan.
Mile 12, I ate my GU.
Miles 13-15, more of the same again. I walked, not the whole thing but quite a bit. My hammies were KILLING me!
Mile 15-15.56, a steep hill, then only about .2mi to the finish.
The Finish!!! in 2:50:45 - 11min/miles. I got an oversized tech shirt (they ran out of my size, ended up with a large), a medal, and a hot dog. :)
*please note, my timing may be off...I maybe a little fuzzy on exact mileage. all events did, in fact, take place.*
Overall, looking back this was a lot of fun and a good experience. The course took us thru parts of Cape Ann that I remembered and also parts that I've never been before. I enjoyed seeing the Lobster Pot where I had dinner with some good friends. I enjoyed running thru Rockport and seeing all the tourists making the most of the last weekend of summer. I enjoyed unexpectedly running thru downtown Gloucester. I enjoyed having a couple friends at the finish line. I enjoyed thinking that I am more prepared for the Marathon now that I have this crazy course under my belt.
I've got a couple more long runs planned for the next two weeks. I can't believe The Marathon, the thing I've been running towards (pun intended...), the goal I've wanted to achieve for years, is only 32 days away. The butterflys in my stomach get bigger everyday...