I got up not too crazy early in the morning and started getting ready. I headed out the door by 6:40 a.m. to make the 7:00 a.m. shuttle bus to the start. This is the part about running a race by yourself is weird. I did not now anyone, so I kept looking around not knowing what to do with myself. Finally, I saw some friends that I did not know were running. It was nice to have someone to chat with while waiting for the race to start. We got on our bus and started to head for the staging area. We were still a few miles away as we passed by one of the aid stations. Our bus drive started to slow down and almost came to a stop until she asked if that was the start. Everyone in unison yelled out “NO!”, and then proceeded to laugh. We made it to the staging area and I quickly headed for the line to the port-a-potties. We did not have much more time left, so we headed up the 300 yards to the starting line.
This was my first race of the year with chip timing! Though, I ended up near the front with my friends and we were only about a second or two off from the gun. My girl friend took off as she is much faster than I and her husband. He stayed back with me. He was worried as he had only ran twice to train for the race. He had done one previous half marathon and finished around 1:45. He was going to be excited to finish under 2 hours if he could. Well, we ran for the first 2 1/2 miles together coming across a half a dozen or so of turkeys just hanging out on the side of the road.
We made it to the first water stop and he took off. I have started to stop while drinking water at the races as I feel it does not make a difference with my time. Plus, it is not easy to drink from a cup and run. As I ran the rest of the race by myself, I was watching my mile times vary between 7:30 to 8:30 usually hoovering around 8:00. I could not believe how great I was feeling. I thought for sure I should slow down, but I kept pushing myself and kept feeling great. I went for it. I managed to push myself up the two or three hills on the route which felt great. I was getting closer to the end and knew that I was coming in strong. For a moment, I was getting emotional with myself as I knew I was going to knock off a ton of time than my previous PR (personal record).
Brent had been around a few times taking pictures and cheering me on. As I ran the last few tenths of a mile on this trail he was trying to get by everyone to speed off to the finish. He did not want to disrupt any runners, so he waited. Then he got stuck behind traffic on the road. By the time he made it to the end, he was already a few seconds late. He missed me. I was too fast speeding in at the end as I watched the clock knowing that if I speed up those last few hundred feet, I would be my previous PR by 10 whole minutes. AND….I did!!!!!!!!! I came in right around a 1:47:40. Take off a few seconds as I did not turn off my watch till I was out of the way of the other runners and had already received my well deserved medal. What a great race! Thanks Bozeman Marathon for a great race. I love running!!!!!!!!
(I will give an update when the race results are posted! Thanks everyone for your encouragement. It means a lot!!)