After the split, we went through Virginia Highlands and I was feeling a bit beat. I didn’t know when mile 7 was coming up, but I estimated I was about 6 minutes behind in pace, 2:30 was just not gonna happen. My sock was rubbing and that didn’t feel good, my jacket was wet and kept hitting me and that didn’t feel good, my shorts were riding up in the crotch and had too much room before the inseam started when I pulled them down, causing chafing, and that didn’t feel good, and my watch + math said that I was really behind on pace and I felt like mile 6 was a really long mile. Bleh.
Finally, I saw a mile marker ahead. I blinked the rain and pity party out of my eyes and couldn’t believe the number. Really, that’s an 8? Mile 8! I’m not behind, I don’t need to run 2 really awesome 5ks in an hour, I need to run 5.1 miles in an hourish! 2:30 was back on! I refocused, did some math and kept going with a figurative spring in my step.
As the half marathon and full joined together briefly before splitting again in Piedmont park, I looked for marathon runners, as this was the point that they had passed me last year. Near the split, the police escort passed me. I saw the marathon runner in the distance after the split, and knew that I was definitely beating my time from last year compared to this year’s marathoners. Yes! Mile 10 was upon me faster than I anticipated and TCB was at the College of Management, cheering, and I handed him my jacket. Since I’d finished my food and the weather was holding off, I didn’t need the large, empty pocket for the last 2.5 miles.
I was pretty much on track as I headed into GA Tech campus. But I’d forgotten about the hills. Oh, the hills! As I neared the Tech water station, I saw the holding-hands runners and worked to pass them. (I’d seen and passed them just before this point of the race the year before.) I had lost a bit of time in mile 12 through campus, and with 10 minutes left to do 1.1 miles, I wasn’t hopeful of 2:30, but I thought I’d get close. Rounding the corner onto Marietta, I thought about walking for two steps, but kept going.