1:54:35.... A new PB by 58 seconds! I was planning on using Davids tried & true race day strategy -start out slow, pull back, and then fade completely ; >)- but I had a resurgence of energy and confidence after following a very chipper pace bunny for a mile or so. I surged past this group at the three mile mark and settled into a nice 8:00 to 8:30-ish pace which sustained me pretty well to the end. I ran alongside David and Melissa for a awhile and told them of the eager pace bunny. We laughed. I started out taking 10/1 walk breaks, but I decided to ditch that strategy at mile 4. I walked a few times during water breaks and when my heart rate increased to the uncomfortable zone, but mostly I ran. The weather was perfect; overcast, + 6 celsius, a breeze from the north, and a light drizzle. A perfect day for a race! I crossed the finish line feeling strong.
Waiting in line for dry clothes the rain clouds opened and the wind became stronger. I felt the chill enter my bones while I stood there exposed to the elements. I was growing impatient with the slow line. I was cold and wet. I dropped my head and stared at my feet. I remembered something Anya wrote in The Daisy Chronicles ... sometimes we forget how lucky we are... life is about suffering, but it's also about happiness. In life there is balance. Pain and joy. It's true, we sometimes do forget how lucky we are.
Linda, I ran for you. You sustained me. You gave me focus. Many people asked "who's Lovely Linda" and I told the story of a young mother, her daughters, and a strong family. We runners sometimes visualize the finish line to ease the pain. I encourage you to visualize the finish line, Linda. This will pass and you will hold your daughters once again. In life there is balance. My medal is for you.
It's a good day to be alive! Mike