A long, steep climb around mile 9 did me in. I lost several seconds on my average on that climb and struggled to get my pace below 7 after that climb. My legs were tired and my quads were hurting from the downhills. This was by far the hilliest course I'd ever run. All goals were out the window and it was survival mode.
The last 4 miles were really tough. I felt slow, tired and weak. Mentally it was tough to keep pushing hard. I hit the finish line 1:33:30 with my quads threatening to cramp. I grabbed some food and water from the finish line, did some stretching and found a good spot to watch and wait for Courtney and enjoy the warm sunshine. My legs hurt more than they do after a half ironman.
Courtney has always struggled mentally with hills. They always get the best of her and she ends up walking so her #1 goal was to run the whole thing. Her other goal was to break 2:20. I told her the first goal was well within her control. All she had to do was get really stubborn and flat out refuse to walk regardless of how slow she was running up the hills. Just don't give in. The second goal would be tougher, but I believed she could do it.
She conquered the hills and ran every step of that race and crossed the finish line 2:18. She had a great race.
Despite coming up well short of my goals, I'm not at all disappointed. The course was really tough and I had fun. And I have a new definition of a hilly run course.
Check out the barrels. Those are the age group awards. I think I was about 6 minutes short of taking one of those home. It makes me want to return next year and see if I can score a barrel...