|Runners Crossing the Drawbridge across The Trent|
The Bridge was still open to traffic, but the road had been coned off and police officers on motorcycles were running back and forth along the course as we ran along the Neuse River bridge and the Highway 70 bypass bridge spanning the Trent River. I felt totally safe on the course and was able to enjoy an awesome view, which helped to steady my nerves. Once we crossed the brides and left the highway the remainder of the course was totally flat. I had my Nathan's hand held H20 bottle, so I skipped right past the first H20 stop at the three mile mark. I had hoped that there would be someone calling out splits but no such luck! My left knee was doing all right and fewer people were passing me at this point.
Miles 3 through 6 were nice and flat. The went by with relative ease. I sipped from my H20 bottle a bit, but the morning was near perfection for running: Cool, hardly and breeze after the bridges, and clear blues sky. I I asked another runner for the time at Mile 4, and it was around 36 something, so I was right on pace for my goal of finishing in 2 hours. A large group that had slowed for the H20 stop caught up to and passed me around this time. I continued to feel good and run strong, and my difficulties of the morning were fading from mind. I took my first Gu as close to the 45 min .mark as I could figure. At mile 5 we had another H20 stop and the port-a-potty both of which I skipped. My pace was still good, and I again gave my thanks to the volunteers but declined H20. At the 6 mile mark, I began to feel like I was in a sort of No Man's Land. There were few runner's around me and the area was the least interesting part of the course visually. The few spectators were waiting for their friends and family. I picked up my pace a bit and hoped that this wouldn't come back to burn me later. At the next H20 stop I grabbed a cup of water and added it to my hand held as I continued to run. Removing the cap and pouring in the water running wasn't an issue at all, but the maneuver did seem to impress some of the volunteers.
|I didn't even notice the palace as I ran past it..|
|Hiro Waiting at the finish.|
I can't drink from cups while I am running -- not at all. I ended up spilling it on myself and what water I did get went down the wrong pipe slightly. I was alright for about a block, and then . . . I coughed! And it hurt. It hurt low. Real low! It felt like some one pulled on some internal band in my low low abs right below my waste band. I immediately slowed down as my brain sought damage control reports from all departments. I managed to keep running, but I knew that 2 hours, which had been slipping away since the no man's land of miles 7, 8, 9 was officially gone. Also, interval dude was most definitely out of my life forever, which was a good thing. By midway through mile 11, I knew that I had tweaked something, but it wasn't bad enough to stop me from running.
I passed a another guy cramping along the road and tried to give him an encouraging word as I passed, but in hindsight, those things probably don't help. The course had now merged with the 10k course and there were more people around. Just at mile 12, a lady wearing a shirt from Raleigh Running Outfitters passed me, and I chatted with her about the Raleigh 8000, which I had run in the midst of Hurricane Irene. I was able to my mind off of all the soreness that I felt and pick my pace up a bit. The last mile was difficult, but I got excited the closer that I got to the finish line.
My pace picked up and the pain faded as I made for the finish line. I saw Hiroko waiting for me just before the finish and picked up my pace even more. As I pasted her, I took off my Raiders hat and yelled out "THIS RACE IS FOR AL DAVIS!""
|Yes, I a wearing A Krispy Kreme Challenge Shirt|
I didn't actually finish in anything near a sprint, but I had picked up my pace enough for the person on the micorphone to comment on how strong I was finishing and for a few people in the crowd to notice. I was beat by the time I crossed the finish and I hardly remember the volunteer putting on my medal I staggered about for a while trying to remain on my feet rather than sitting down. Hiroko met me pretty quickly and helped might fight off the temptation to sit down. Mentally, I was drained and it took me a few minutes to real be able to do much beyond stand there a smile! I later found out that my time was 2:06:07.