Given the disappointment of not running NYC, I decided that I would not be mentally ready to race this weekend and signed up for the Palm Beaches Marathon on December 2. Sara's brother, who is an amazing triathlete and runs a coaching business, was nice enough to send me a 4-week plan to go from tapered to race-ready. The suggested run for this weekend was 23 miles, so I decided to pace Lora at the City of Oaks marathon instead of going out for a long run by myself. I was fortunate to get a race bib from a friend of a friend who had signed up but couldn't run, so I didn't feel like a bandit and was able to get water on the course rather than wearing the belt.
Lora picked me up at 5:30 and we made it to the race in plenty of time to make it through the restroom line and jog a short warmup. I was a bit worried about the weather when I woke up to a thunderstorm at 4:30, but it turned out to be a perfect day for running. We stayed in the 8:15-8:30 range through the early ups and downs of downtown Raleigh, and came through halfway at 1:50.
After the loop through downtown Raleigh we headed out on a nice greenway, which was downhill and then mostly flat through the turnaround until mile 20, which we hit around 2:50. I decided to pick up the pace for a bit, since I really had only 3 miles left to my training run, and attempted to run it at goal marathon pace (7:40-7:45). It did not help that miles 20-24 are all uphill, but I managed 7:50s. Do not believe the website - "faster and flatter" than the old course does not mean "fast and flat"!
With 5k to go, I waited for Lora and we finished the race together. The last few miles were definitely not easy, but I was happy to have done the 23 I was supposed to in about 3:15. So despite an emotional marathon weekend, in the end I finished my 26.2... just not in the time or place that I'd envisioned.
Big thanks to Lora for the company, and congrats to all my BCTC teammates and friends who ran the full and half today. And a special congratulations to Jennifer, who came back from NYC to run a 2:55 on a really tough course!