So after a maddening week of deadlines at work, skipped lunches (a phrase rarely uttered out of my mouth), multiple 4-hour sleep nights, one stinkin training run, an uncooperative right calf muscle, and 150 cookies later….there we were at the start line. Me, Lou and Megan…and Lou’s practically identical little sister who just ran a half marathon last weekend (official bad@$$ in the bunch), and Annah, although she elected to start in her Corral N, and not my Corral T. Corral T? For real?! And when I can figure out how to upload pictures from my cell phone, I will insert a few pics from the start line.
Dinner at Iaria’s Italian Restaurant. Reservation screwed up. Ate outside, under tent, but rainy and 50 degrees. No biggie, I guess. Food? Decent. I'd go there again, it definitely served its purpose.
Hampton Inn. Nice, but small room. Shared room with Annah and Meg. Falling asleep, I noticed myself already started to talk and mumble. Tried to stay awake until I heard the other ladies sleeping. Sorry, Annah and Meg for any disturbances, sleep-talking, gastrointestinal or otherwise.
Pulling up my 3-year old running pants, ripped a hole right in the crotch, which called for BodyGlide galore, either that or some very unfortunate chafing later on. Slathered—lathered it on.
The start line was crowded. For some weird reason, I guess race organizers thought it would be festive and jovial to toss around beach balls of all different sizes. Yeah, well NOT! I hate beach balls when they’re anywhere but at the beach, and even then I'm suspicious. The whole “jarring my peripheral vision” thing with the beach ball headed towards my face is just not cool, makes me jumpy, so any ball that landed near me “mysteriously” lost its air. Call me a party pooper, but beach balls have nothing to do with running, racing or Indianapolis. (Rant over.)
Anyway, it took us 33 minutes to reach the front of the start line, but I don’t think any of us were really nervous since we all knew we could do 13.1 miles. Nervous? No. Bladders beginning to fill up from the long wait? Yes.
Miles 1 through 3:
Boo-ya! (and now this is where my report may veer wildly from Lou’s as this is just my take) The three of us, because Sarah left us in a cloud of dust like one second in…the three of us were like a machine…like back in the old days of 2007, moving in tandem. Uh, well whatever that would be for three people moving together flawlessly. Ducking and dodging the thousands of walkers that SOMEHOW MADE IT AHEAD OF CORRAL T WHICH IS A TOTAL CROCK. (Now mind you , I'm all about the slow runner/walker, but you really should pay attention to your Start Corral, no?) But anyway, ducked and dodged and veered, we did it together, and at a decent clip, right around 11:30’s, I would say.
Meg informed us to go ahead, though, at the first sign of port-o-potty, she said she had to break from the pack, but for us to keep going. So we did. Me and Lou…doing our thing, duck, dodge, but on point. Aaah, like the old days. (At least to me.) Then a little after mile 3, Lou made a port-o-potty break for it, also. On my own….busted out the iPod, although it had been in my ears the whole time, just not on. Ok, just not on very loud.
Miles 3 through 6:
Perfect, still on point. At the 100+ water stations (and I’m not complaining, I swear I’m not), I hydrated. Oh yes! I forgot to mention that I made the executive decision (for myself) to NOT wear my fuel belt, since there were so many water/Gatorade stations on the route. I carried my Gu in my coat pocket, which ended up being wrapped around my waist even before crossing the start line. Anyhoo….So at each station I took just a bit of water and Gatorade. Mile 6: 1 hour and 12 minutes and a few seconds, TOTALLY on pace! I only fell victim to the super-long starting line process by fiending for a Gu ata round 3.5 miles Go figure?
Miles 6 through 8ish:
The longest 2+ miles of my life! So we entered the Indy 500 racetrack, you go in and there’s this huge downhill slope, followed by a slightly less huge incline and voila, you’re on the race track. Then I swear to you like all of the sudden, the sun came out from the clouds and said “hahahahahaha, I AM going to come out today, and you only have another half of the race to complete, ah-HAAAAAAA!” and it suddenly felt kinda hot out there. And I suddenly felt equally as foolish for pondering the rain/slightly cold weather gear.
So we (me and 35,000 other runners) are going around the track and I’m trying to put some pep in my step, imagining that at any moment there would be a car racing towards my backside. Didn’t work. I walked a few times on the track, but always maintaining some dignity with that whole “pick a point up ahead and start running again right there” thing. Then Meg came along, catching up to me…and we were together all of about 30 seconds before I shooed her along, because I knew I needed to walk again.
Around 8 miles I decided it was time for another Gu. (I generally go every 4 miles anyway, bidding on the low end of the Gu package instructions where it says “every 45 to 60 minutes of extended exercise.” Around that time I glanced up at the jumbo-tron screen and was watching the race footage. Somewhere on the track, some chick had fallen, and she was screaming and writhing in agony. Her friend tried to help her get up, and she fell back to the ground screaming. Then the camera abruptly changed scenes. Jarring! Never saw that scene again as I moved on. (And if I can figure out how to upload pictures from my cell phone camera, I will show you a cool picture from the racetrack!)
Miles 10 through 12:
During this time, I pretty much walked through EVERY water/Gatorade station. And there were lots of them, too. I kept hoping to get my running mojo back. My “middle miles” tend to be bad, but I’ve had many runs where I struggle thru miles 5 and 8, and then suddenly run “on air.” Not this time.
Miles 12 through 13.1:
Self talk: “Okay! Get it together! You’re going to slow down and run the remainder of the race, no walking!” But somehow that talk didn’t make it to my legs, or in particular, my right calf. Because when I saw that ¾ mile sign (you have ¾ of a mile left to go), I don’t know…my heart sank even at the same time that I was surprised to be that close to the finish. (And why I was surprised, I don’t know, since I did have my Garmin on.) I walked a little more, then ran. ½ mile. THE AGONY. “WON’T THIS STUPID RACE JUST END ALREADY?!?!?!” Feeling anxious and short of breath. “Calm down, you idiot, before you give yourself an asthma attack!” ¼ mile. “Ok, no more than 3 minutes and you will be DONE!” And finally, the finish line. DONE. And not happy about it, but glad I finished. 2:49:14.
Stats: 12:56 pace, blech! DOUBLE BLECH! Self talk “You are going backwards! Your last few races have been well over a 12:00 pace! Are you sure you're a 12:00 pacer?!”
Garmin: 13.24 miles (lots of weaving around those walkers, I guess.)
Chafing: NONE! Well there's something to cheer about! Hooray!
Overall: 5th half marathon. Two better times, two worse times. So mediocre at best.
The others: Annah 2:04ish; Sarah 2:13-ish; Megan & Lou 2:37-ish (RIGHT ON PACE!) and special shout out to Meg's first long run since the 2007 marathon debacle, knee surgery and some heart-health issues. If you know her, send her an email with a big WOO-HOO!
I said I wasn’t going to worry about my time given my barely adequate training and my calf hurting for like the last month, but I guess I lied, because I’m not too pleased with that time. Oh well. I shall live to run another day, and another race. And that’s the truth, Ruth! (say that in your best Samuel Jackson voice from Do The Right Thing! Ya Dig? Sho Nuff!) ok, enough with the reverence to Spike Lee.