The Go St. Louis Marathon weekend started early Saturday morning as I picked up Rob at his house around 8. We both were working booths at the expo, which was on the St. Louis University campus at the Chaifetz arena. This was my first road trip in my 2012 Ford Focus SEL. I was anxious to see how the mpg would do on the highway. As usual we enjoyed the conversation on the road, mixed in with some on-screen entertainment via Rob's Galaxy Nexus. I, of course kept my eyes on the road. We stopped in Cuba for a bathroom break and to get some food. When we ordered our food at the McDonalds the counter staff asked Rob his name and he responded "Frodo". After she took my order and asked my name, I responded "Bilbo". We thought that was pretty funny when they called both of those names out loud to get our food.
|Our McDonalds receipts.|
We experienced some pretty heavy rain on some sections of I-44 between Rolla and St. Louis. When we finally got to St. Louis, the rain had let up a little. We milled around the expo after picking up our packets. I really haven't seen anything at the last several expos that have "rocked my world". I did meet a couple of contestants that were from Season ? of the Biggest Loser, Jay and Jen. We spoke briefly for a few moments and I took a picture with them to send to Susan. I was slotted to work the Team Beef booth from 2-4. Rob was working the Pacer booth from 1-3. After Rob finished his shift at the booth, he spent some time setting up his brand new MotoActiv watch that was given to him to try out. The features of this watch seem really cool and I am a little jealous that he has such a great new toy. After my time at the Team Beef booth, we headed over to the hotel where I was going to drop Rob off. He inquired for me if there were any rooms available. I had originally planned on crashing at my brother's house in St. Charles, but logistically this made so much more sense that I opted to stay at the same hotel where Rob was staying. After chilling for a couple of hours in my room, Rob and I headed down to Lombardos with the rest of the Pace team. I was Rob's plus one. We had a very enjoyable meal and I was absolutely stuffed after the meal, I just knew that I was ready for a good day on Sunday. I was noticing that I was having a little cough, so I took a small 1/2 tab of Benadryl to fight off any pollen issues.
Being so close to the starting line has so many benefits. You can sleep later and you don't feel the stress of finding a parking space, etc. After a small breakfast of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I walked with Rob and the pacers toward the start. I was hoping to make the Marathon Maniac picture at 7:15 but wasn't sure where the St. Louis Memorial was. After getting to the starting line, I milled around watching all the people gather. About 7:10 I saw Brian Wright and he was trying to find the MM picture too. We actually jogged down about 1/2 mile looking for it and then decided to turn around. After coming back to the starting line, I attempted to connect with Stephanie Davenport and Cara Whitney. Cara was doing her first marathon and I wanted to give her some encouragement. The corrals were so packed that it was impossible to catch up with either of them. I was able to get close to Rob and his pacing group. This was a huge day for him as he trying to redeem himself from an overheated pacing at the same event last year in which he through the pacing sign in the trash. He was thoroughly prepared for this one and I was sure that he would do great.
|He takes his job very serious. LOL|
I had originally committed to attempt to run with Rob and the 4:30 pace group. I wasn't sure how I would do that using my 4:1 strategy. I really didn't want to falter at the end, so I took off pretty quick in the first 13.1. The first 6 miles weren't too bad. I had to stop and pee at mile 5.5 and that was my slowest mile (10:33) in the first half. With the temps already in the high 60s, I was already dumping water on myself when I got the chance. At mile 6, I noticed that my bandaids had come off my nipples because they were wet. I was starting to get some abrasions. I decided to take off my shirt and run with it in my hand. I came through the half at 2:09:33 and was pretty sure that I could hold that or be really close. The section through Forest Park was tough as it had some hilly sections. At mile 15, I finally saw a guy with vaseline on some sticks that he was passing out. I grabbed that stick and put the vaseline on. I put my shirt back on and had no more chaffing issues. I knew if I could stay strong until mile 20, the last 6 wouldn't be too bad as they were mostly downhill.
After hitting mile 20, I was able to keep gutting it out at the 4:1 pace. I felt confident that I would be in under 4:25, so I gave myself permission to add a couple of extra walk segments at mile 23 and 25. I came in at 4:22:25 and was really glad to be done. This was my 4th marathon of the year and was very enjoyable.