My finish time ended up being 2:16:13 - I was feeling fantastic!!! I think the key for me was something simple: a pace bracelet.
To use the bracelet, I wore a simple cheap-o watch with a stopwatch feature. As I passed each mile on the course, I just glanced at my watch and my bracelet. At mile 1, I was about 20 seconds ahead of my goal pace. From then on, I got a few seconds more ahead with each mile.
I loved the pace bracelet because...
- At mile 11 when my IT band hurt, I knew I was 3 minutes under goal pace and could afford a few seconds to stop and stretch.
- Knowing how close I was to my goal pace kept me pumped up the whole race.
- I could judge about how far I was between mile markers knowing how fast my mile times were.
- I maintained a steady pace the entire race (my fastest was 9:56, slowest was 10:23, but most miles were right around 10:00-10:10)
- I didn't have to spend mental energy trying to calculate times or splits.