My longest training run was scheduled for the evening before I flew out to the East Coast for Tour DaVita. I had planned on doing 20 miles but had to cut my run short to 14 when production issues came up at work.
Race morning, I carpooled with my SparkFriend, Jeannie, to the Starting Line.
When it got closer to the race start, Coach Steve assembled the group behind our tent for our body looseners.
We ended with a Sole Runners team huddle before we all headed for our respective corrals.
Mr. Green Garmin was programmed to help keep me under a 13:44 average pace for a 05:59:59 finish.
I chatted with other Sole Runners as we waited for our Corral 5 wave start.
I refused to allow a porta-potty line destroy my sub-6 dreams so I finally gave in around Mile 2 and resorted to ducking behind a vicious bush that stabbed and scraped up my knee.
My body felt really good and my legs felt strong.
I stopped by the Sole Runners Mile 9 aide station briefly and grabbed some of The Green Girl's Famous Salted Potatoes prepared by Sole Runner, Betty.
All of a sudden, I had intense metatarsal pain on my right foot. I had a serious heart-to-heart with my right foot and I let it know I needed it to work with me. It stopped hurting.
I was overjoyed when I saw I had reached Mile 13 in 02:39:16.
The sun was starting to get hot so I increased my sports drink intake at the water stops.
Despite the heat, I was able to maintain a fairly consistent pace and I reached Mile 18 in 03:47:41.
I knew the time had come to pull out my Sole Runners Secret Weapon so I reached into my pocket and opened it up.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Einstein
This was my opportunity to do a sub-6. I took a deep breath, dug deep, and pushed on.
I appreciated the fresh legs and easy conversation.
I watched the 05:30 pace group go by but I didn't have it in me to keep up with them.
Mile 23 was the longest mile of my entire life. It was so long that I gave in to one of the hills and walked.
I was suffering from hypoglycemia at this point and it was a struggle for me to maintain any semblance of a conversation. All I could think about was crossing the Finish Line and then getting some sugar - in that order.
Everything came full circle for me when I crossed that Finish Line.
I followed the Couch-to-5k program and completed my very first race at the Long Beach 5k back in 2007. I remember watching the half and full marathoners crossing the Starting Line. I was simply amazed and wondered if I would ever be capable of doing something like that.
I also crossed two items off my Running Bucket List - outrunning Mr. Green Garmin's battery life and running a sub-6 hour marathon.