I have never appreciated my teammates as much as I did after the Palos 1/2 marathon.
Ryan's big race (Elite Duatlon Nationals) was the Saturday before my Sunday 1/2. I was so excited/nervous for him but had to control my nerves as we were at Kristi's bridal shower. I can't even explain how sad I was for Ryan when I got his message. He had no power on the bike and was just exhausted. Putting on the race just last weekend really took a toll on him he said.
My running the week after putting on our Egg Shell Shuffle race wasn't the best. I thought I'd be fine though since mine was just running whereas Ryan's was running and biking.
I got to the race 45minutes before. I found my teammate Meg Sullivan right away and she graciously offered me a place to put my bag during the race (parking was somewhat far away). After getting my bib and packet, I went for a mile warmup, did a few drills and strides and found Meg again at the start line.
Looking around, I saw Erin Moffett (incredible), Columba Montes (the nicest person ever, and very fast too) and one other girl that I thought I had seen before. Turns out these three would be the lead pack for a good portion of the race.
I started the race conservatively like Cari had asked and ran two 6:25s. She wanted me to wait until mile 6 to really start cutting down, which was perfect since the wind was coming at us for the first portion of the race. By mile 3, I was up with Meg and her pack. I tucked in and ran with them....it was really fun to run with two teammates!
Right around mile 6, I remembered that I didn't have my gel (I put it in my back pocket..... of my pants, not shorts, ugh) so I better start taking some Powerade. I also started having a real upset stomach. I saw a bathroom and thought about stopping, but didn't want to get out of the pack of four I was in.
Right around mile 8, I really started feeling my stomach hurting. I knew I had to find a bathroom. I was on pace to run a low 1:23, possibly high 1:22, and my stomach was getting me. So frustrating. I saw another bathroom just before mile 9 and just had to stop. To make things worse, a lady was in there...and took five hours to come out. I stopped my watch--it took me :52 seconds to wait for her and then go myself. Great.
The last 3.5 miles were not great. I went 6:21, 6:22, 6:26 after previously going 6:21, 6:26, 6:26, 6:23, 6:17, 6:31, 6:15, 6:12, 6:20, 6:17 and 6:21. Definitely a disappointment to be running the slower pace that I had at the start of the race, but I don't think I would have been able to complete the race if I didn't stop when I did.
To my surprise, I still ran a 1:24:55 official time despite my bathroom break. Even more shocking was the fact that I was the 5th overall female!
The best part of this day was running with Meg, Shannon and the guys. They were SO supportive of me and proud of me, despite not having the best day. It is unreal how supportive teammates can be and how just a simple cooldown with them can totally change your day around. I am very blessed to have the great teammates I do in my life. Thanks, friends!