So here's my post-Hartford wrap up. I FINISHED! I am a marathoner!
That said - it did not go the way I had hoped.
We arrived in Hartford Friday afternoon around 5:30. Parked our car, checked into the hotel, dropped bags and boogied to the Expo. Did a lap there, grabbed my bib and some dinner. Tried to get to bed early, but my tiny human was not cooperating. Bedtime was around 11PM. Not ideal.
I got up around 6 and got myself organized before heading to the meetup point to see some other BAMRs that were running. Meet and greet and pictures! One last potty stop, we did some Silly Toes and we were off!
The weather was perfect; overcast, cooler and I had my gloves and ear warmers on. We were all running roughly the same pace, so Melissa, Sandra and I stayed together. We rapidly fell to the back of the pack - we were READY for that! What we weren't ready for was the sweep and the police officer on his motorcycle to be circling us like vultures. It was incredibly unnerving and my HR shot up from around 150 to 170 pretty quickly. There were moments where I could bring it back down, but largely it was way, way off where it should have been. So were the other ladies'.
Mile five or so, our escort confirmed that we were on pace to avoid being swept and that he was falling back to hang with those that were behind us. We shuffled along and around mile 12 started to separate. At mile 13 I texted my husband to say I couldn't do it. He responded with encouragement and then unbeknownst to me put out a rally cry on Facebook. All of a sudden texts started pouring in from my friends and family - now I'm crying. By mile 14 I was alone and the wheels were falling off. My vision started to get a bit wonky and I slowed way down to try and get it together. I was also having a hard time taking a deep deep breath - I don't know if it was a panic attack or something physical. I slowed to walk until I felt better - that was quite a while.
In the meantime, I met some new BAMRs - Kristy and Carol who recognized my watch and my pace as HR training. We shuffled for a bit before I lost them. Fortunately a bit later, I found them again. We were shuffling along - the course was closing and it was really sad. I was disappointed in how long I was taking, and how I was feeling. We were mostly walking. The company was great - I am so so grateful to these women because without them I would probably have quit. The sweep came to give us a map and told us we were on our own.
At this point the signs were coming down, and my husband was texting to ask where I was. I assured him I was coming. I began to pick up the pace around mile 24.4 and shuffled until I met him and my little guy. Who promptly asked me "Mommy did you win?"...I sure did buddy. He ran me into the city, and then we separated so I could finish. I was almost in tears, trying to figure out where to do. I saw a race volunteer who directed me, and another one escorted me to the finish. The announcer was gone, and signs were coming down but the woman with the medals was still there.
THIS WOMAN. I wish I knew her name. She grounded me with her energy and spoke to me slowly and calmly - congratulating me on my finish, and it was such a lovely moment. I wish I had enough self awareness to thank her more than I did. I hobbled off to find my hubby and kiddo. We hung around until Kristy and Carol finished. High fives were exchanged and they hobbled off to find their gear while we headed back to our car.
Finish time: 6 hours and 42 minutes by my watch. I had hoped to come in around 5:30. I know I burned up the Bonneville on the first half. I don't know that I could have slowed down any? I should have, but...I didn't feel like I could. Next time I am going to pay more attention to course time limits. My husband wants to go back to Hartford next year so I can conquer it. I'm open to the idea - it was a great course, though I wish there'd been a bit more support between miles 15-18. Though, I was so slow, maybe there was initially.
Anyway. I finished a marathon. I did it! The thing I said I would NEVER do. I didn't feel so bad afterward. Sore that day, sore the next day but I scored a massage on Monday so by Wednesday I was 100%.
I am ready to get moving again, and LET'S GO PHILLY! That half has my name written all over it.