On the train, we had discussed race goals. Lindsay wanted to run the whole thing, and I wanted a 2:30 race time. Mine was a pretty loose goal and any time faster than last year’s time (2:48:30) was fine with me. Since 2:30 was my goal, I needed 11:30 miles, and was a little surprised when I passed mile 1 at 11 minutes. I slowed down a little too much and passed mile 2 as if I’d done both miles at 11:30. Also around mile 2: rain, just a few drops. We had started the race before the sun came up and with the dawn, came the rain. Mile 3 had a steady light drizzle, and that’s when I started doing math. I like to do math in my head when I run, it’s really distracting and miles disappear before I notice. Quickly, I passed mile 4 and realized I was exactly on track for my 2:30 goal. I needed to run a little faster so I could walk when I got Gatorade, but otherwise, doing fine. I also needed to pay more attention to the road- we were getting onto larger streets with reflectors and when a woman near me found first, the reflector with her foot and second, the pavement with the rest of her, I started paying more attention to where I was running and doing a better job of pointing out unmarked potholes.
Despite the rain, there were still a good number of people out cheering. Not as many as last year, and I was disappointed not to see the beer station or as many bands, but those that were out were cheering pretty hard. Around mile 5, in front of 7 Stages, I started playing tag with the 2:30 pace groups. They’d catch up while running, I’d go ahead while they walked… I was beginning to think that maybe the 2:30 goal was a little ambitious. It wasn’t a disappointing thought, more of an observation. I grabbed some Gatorade at the water station before the marathon/half marathon course split and headed up the hill head down, avoiding cups and road hazards.