Forgive the dream-like state of events, that's just how I remember it :)
The night before: bread and more bread. and one oreo ball at a halloween party which I attended for 5 minutes. Then to sleep!
so. Waking up at 5 am is fun! I set four alarms, 15 min apart from each other, just in case I fell asleep again. And I was a little late getting to the car, only to find my friends waiting in the car. Gill and I were the runners. The others were driving us there, thankfully :) . Daniel even popped down from his apartment (though I don't know why he wasn't sleeping).
They dropped us off near the race start, and we walked around in the dark for a few minutes. We checked our gear, and then I swore a lot because I was cold. We stretched. I used a port-a-potty. The time was 6:20. We did more walking around.
|Me and Gill|
Then the start came. The sun was starting to wake up, too! The white-bibs moved to the front, the blues in back. We sang the national anthem, couldn't quite find the flag, and then the fire truck made a huge noise and that was the official start! Gill and I hugged, walked with the mob to the front, and then we started off nice and slow. Gill's faster than I am, so she started splitting away from me. I avoided crashing into people. There were a bunch of people that were running/walking and their watches beeped every now and then. We ran up to the convention center and turned around. I was starting to get a little dismayed because I am a very slow runner, and so, I was by myself for a lot of the start.
Around mile 2, the first pit stop showed up. I really had to pee, and I figured I'd best get it out of the way so I can concentrate on the whole running thing. There was a bit of a line. I finished that and I was on my way. Some of the 5k'ers were starting to pass me by.
The half-ers peeled off from the 5k and I had my first Gu, since I didn't have one before the race. I threw the packet away in a trash can. I saw Gill and Jason pass me on the other side of the road.
I think around mile 3 or 4 I realized I was running a lot faster than when I trained. I also took out my phone to see if there was any textual support messages. I dropped it while putting it away...oops!
And then around mile 6, I walked through the aid station and grabbed a cup of water. I did have my camelback, but I just wanted water. I don't think I liked running the race with my camelback, but I did like having my dilute gatorade when I wanted it. I started thinking about hydration belts. At this point, the elite runners started coming down the other side of St charles, which meant they were about 6 miles ahead of me. Yeah. I was marveling at how fast they were.
There were a few cute babies and their parents cheering on the racers. There was one woman who was my favorite- she had a box of kleenex. My face was leaking the entire race since it was so cold. I think I held on to that kleenex for 8 miles or so...
By the time I got to mile 7 I was just so baffled at how fast I was going. that was cool.
Once I got up to audubon park, I was like : "hah! this is my territory" since I always include audubon in my loop for runs. It's a half mile from where I live. I walked for about half a minute and then kept going. I decided walking made it hurt more. I had more Gu. I had more water. I carried on.
I passed mile 8, then about half mile later there was another aid station. I had a cup of water.
Coming out of the park, THE SUN WAS BLINDING! and I wasn't wearing sunglasses. Second note to self: have momma send you your baseball hat. that way, you don't really need your sunglasses because you know they can just get in the way and collect sweat. Also, you can show off your cubs pride. (go cubs!)
THEN, I encounted mile marker 9! I was so excited!
Then, I don't remember much! I walked a few seconds somewhere.
Then, more trees came! and there was another aid station! I got 2 waters and a gatorade cup!
I saw mile 10! PR!
There was one of the elite racers, who had finished, running back up St Charles...as if 13.1 wasn't enough for today, haha. There were some other finishers along the neutral ground and a few cheered me on. That was exciting!
Then came 11! PDR! and then 12! PDR!
I was passing people who had passed me earlier in the race... that was cool. I knew my training had paid off, in that moment.
There was one last aid station somewhere in which I grabbed more gatorade and water.
Every step I was taking was a distance PR for me. It felt so so good to accomplish every step.
Then, Back at Lee circle, the final turn came. The course volunteer said it was the last turn and I started tearing up. I was crying and smiling, and of course there were photog's. clearly. I'm sure I look so silly in that last one, so we'll see what comes of that when they're posted.
|Tears of joy|
Uncontrollable tears abated, and I could see the finish line! I think I started speeding up, or at least that's what it felt like. I saw a St. Patrick's church and I said a little prayer of thanks. I think I floated across the finish. That's how it felt.
They handed me a medal. I was ecstatic.
I drank a lot of dixie cups of water and gatorade.
I plopped down in the grass and started stretching and I took a silly photo of myself.
Gill and Jason found me. I think I then picked up my bag from gear check.
I tried to find food to eat, but, surprise surprise, it was all meaty. I'm a vegetarian, so I had a beer. and more water. and more Gu.
Afterwards, my friends and I went to MIDWAY PIZZA! I had another beer! and 4 quarts of water! and delicious pizza!!!!!!!! After burning over 3000 calories, you're allowed to eat all the things. It's true.
I then went home and didn't sleep...my friends were over. Those last 4 miles are really blurry...but every one of them was me doing my best.
My official time was 2:53:25.
[This was originally published on my tumblr Oct 31, 2011]