We arrived with time to spare and made our way to the park. I needed a timing chip and restrooms. Jen was looking for a map of the route. I got my chip and we struck out on the rest, the lines at the porta-potties were too long it could wait. We made our way to the back of the starting area and then nerves sent me back to wait in line. I made it back for the race announcements and national anthem, and then we were off. There were 811 finishers and I think I had lined up behind 800 of them. No big deal chip timing evens that out right? Well it has in every other race but I guess "gun start" meant a single start time for everyone. This didn't really matter I had come to do a training run while I supported Jen in her first race over 10K.
So I didn't like the back row, I'm not fast but I'm faster than the back row. It took a bit for the pack to spread to where I could move up and I grabbed a few spots on every tiny hill that seemed to slow others down. Mile 1 went by in about 9 flat and I thought "too fast slow down", I was trying to slow down but continued to see my pace was in the high 8's on my Garmin. My big worry was I'd blow up before the end at that pace. I had skipped the first water stop since I was carrying my 12oz Amphipod bottle but stopped at mile 5ish to top it off. I passed by Jen without seeing her at the Monona Terrace. In my defense I thought she was only going to be at mile 10 and I was trying to maintain an even pace. At the 10K point I decided I felt fine and the near 9 minute pace would be fine. I stopped checking my watch and just ran. I also kept passing people which is way better than getting passed. At mile 10 I spotted Jen and swung by for a kiss as she was taking photos. Shortly after leaving the park Jen came by on her bike and yelled "looking good" which scared me since I didn't hear her approaching. At mile 11. something I thought I was done when the wind hit me but it ended quickly and I kept going. In the end I had passed about 475 people and was glad to be done.
I wrapped up my weekend with another run Monday morning. 14 miles in 2:11 to start my final big week of marathon training. Actually I never figured out if the long run begins or ends the week but it doesn't matter now. 20 miles this Sunday then taper until race day.