I know, I know ... My goal was to just to finish the Cox Providence Marathon (Rhode Island) and I end up with a sub-4 BQ?
But I swear NOTHING spectacular happened. Really, this race was about as close to a training run as one could get. Thankfully, as I could use less drama after the Gator Half Iron! So you guys luck out as this race report is going to be fairly short.
Despite being a low key race for me, I decided NOT to run with my camera. I knew I needed to stay in tune with how I was feeling and stay focused on where I was stepping. Believe it or not, I'd already turned my ankle once at the Orlando airport - GAH!
The weather was forecast to be 60-65 degs at the 8am start, getting up to 75-80 around noon. Bleh! At least it was supposed to be mostly cloudy early and training in Florida and Hawaii, heat and I were on a first name basis (although I preferred not to see much heat at a New England race).
A half an hour before the race, I went down to check out the race start/finish area which was pretty much right in front of my hotel. Sweeeet!
Where is everyone?
There were supposed to be about 1000 marathoners plus double the number of half marathoners but no one was really lining up yet. So I went back to my room, put Mr. Camera away and came back 10 minutes before start time. One good thing about being small is that it's fairly easy to wiggle past people in a crowd and go through gaps in corral fences.
After the national anthem, I snuck in around the 9-minute pace sign. 60 degrees felt surprisingly cool with a nice breeze in our face. I ran by an easy feel, even enjoyed a few hills early on, and arrived at the halfway point in 1:54-something (~8:45 pace). Oops!
I knew heat would slow me down later though and I had no plans to push much harder at the end for a negative split or even an even split. Not with a 90% healed up ankle, my longest run in 4 months being only 16 miles and another marathon to run in 2 weeks.
But speed is relative. Around mile 15, folks around me began to melt. I stayed on an 8:45 pace until mile 19 then backed off and began walking through aid stations to make sure I got enough fluids into me. Blue skies, no shade, plenty warm. Still, people were coming towards me. At mile 20, I began to play "How many runners will I pass before the finish?"
Answer: 41, 17 of which were women.
2 guys passed me. 1 woman too, technically, but I passed her back on the final stretch so she doesn't count :-)
The only unusual thing that happened at this race was that my name didn't appear in the posted results. OMG, why am I not there?!?!
I went to the Yankee Timing trailer, showed the guy my race bib (which was folded now but not during the race) and told him my Garmin time. He said I was the third person whose time wasn't recorded for some reason (we were using the new Chrono B tag where the timing strips stay on the bib). He manually entered me into the computer with a 3:55:00 finish and I ended up with a 3:54:20.8 net time. Close enough.
54 marathons, 44 states done. 6 more to go!!!