Mile 1-3 went very well (9:54, 9:42, and 9:35). I was following the pace band paces, and they had us going out conservatively. The hills started almost immediately, but I was able to stay strong. Around mile 3, I caught up with the 2:05 pacers and put myself in the middle of the pace group. I took my chomps at mile 4 and was able to hold with the pace group till almost mile 10. Splits for 4-9 were 9:04, 9:25, 9:25, 9:18, 9:54, and 9:31. Not sure why mile 8 was so slow, possibly because I did walk through the water station and did gel, which slowed me down a little. Mile 8 on the pace band had us at a 9:43 anyway, probably due to the hills in that section. This course was hillier than it looks on the chart for sure, BUT i will take the last few miles down hill any day as compensation:)
Around mile 10 or so, I hit a hill that just kicked my butt. I started doubting myself and started negative talking in my head. I had to repeat over and over, strong, strong, strong. I was tired, it was getting hot out, and I was sweating salty. More and more people were walking and I saw my first runner down being worked on by paramedics. It was from then on that I took in water at each water stop, and also poured the remainder of the water over my head and down my shirt. I think that helped me stay cool and finish strong. I got my mental mojo back, and even though the 2:05 pacer was ahead of me at that point and my miles were getting slower, I was able to finish strong (9:41, 10:06, 10:01, 9:25). When I started seeing 10s on my watch, I just reassured myself that I would still get a big PR and that I was going to be super close to 2:05 something.