My plan was to break the race into three loops mentally.....first one was going to be easy....second one was gonna be run a little faster....and the third and final loop would be to finish even if it meant crawling.
So we took off and within the first two minutes a guy running in front of me fell.. He went down quick and recovered just as quick. This provided a good laugh for all of us! He said 'well, glad I got that out of the way!" The first 6 miles flew by! There was plenty of water and Gatorade along the course and the volunteers were awesome!
I began the second 6 mile loop feeling very confidant of actually finishing the entire race. Met some really nice runners along the way. Actually ran part of the race with a guy who remembered seeing me at a few races I have done this past year. Its so cool people actually know me when I go to races now. I used to show up and leave and didn't speak to anyone.
As I began the third 6 mile loop I noticed how isolated it seemed. There was no longer anyone else on the course with me. I was just running along hoping that somehow I hadn't missed something. I was all alone. But when I reached the first water station they assured me there were people still on the course. I reached the bottom of those wicked stairs for the third time and I began to slowly climb them. I noticed this third time was much harder but I pushed through. When I reached the top this time I continued to walk for a little bit. I was starting to get tired....I knew I still had a little over 3 miles to go. As I made my descent down the backside of the hill I started having a pain on the outside of my left knee. It was really aggravating but I kept running. By the time I reached the bottom of Cardiac Hill I was glad that I was able to have some time to walk. I had walked Cardiac Hill the first two times and had the same plan for the third time. Surprisingly I had no pain while walking up at all. I took off running and every time I planted my left foot my knee hurt really bad. I was trying to alter my running style but that wasn't working. Running down hills hurt but running up hills didn't. So I finished the race with a run/walk method. It was so hard mentally because after running such a strong race people were starting to pass me on the last two miles. I almost started crying...but then told myself not to be a baby.
Crossing the finish line was the best feeling in the world!!!