Paula told me to be there at 12, but she really should have told me 11:30 and I would have been there at 12. Honestly, I tried to GET THERE at 12, but E took a long nap, the kids shoe laces needed to be tied, and Braeden INSISTED on making a loom band bracelet for Melissa. How could I say no?
So, yeah. We got there late, after trekking across downtown. I wanted to hurt people. But it was worth it for these pictures alone…
After lunch, Paula asked if I wanted to join them to get our bibs, but I passed. I think she was secretly relieved. Or not so secretly. I get that though. I would have been relieved as well. So, the rest of Saturday was pretty boring. OR SO I THOUGHT.
Just like nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects the random puking baby. But that’s what happened. We still don’t really know why, but at around 9:30, as I was getting ready to go to bed, Evan started throwing up. At first I thought it was a fluke, but then he kept doing it. Poor baby 🙁 Thankfully, he stopped after an hour and finally passed out (On me, of course. That kids wasn’t going anywhere). At least for a couple of hours. Around 2am he woke up and was hungry – so I fed him and waited to see if he kept it down. If he didn’t, I was going to cancel on the race. There was no way I was going to go run with a sick baby at home. But thankfully, he was fine and he passed out in his own crib – so the race was still on.
Needless to say though, 4:30 came really freaking early and my alarm was obnoxious.
But, instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, I got up, got dressed, did my hair/makeup, loaded some new music onto my iPod, and then pumped. I usually drink a cup of coffee, but I didn’t want to risk waking everyone up (especially E), so I counted on my Nuun with caffeine to give me the boost I needed (it did a little – but I really missed that cup of coffee). I also ate half of a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar and grabbed a Coconut Chocolate Chip Clif Bar (<– my favorite pre-race food) for the road. I somehow remembered to bring EVERYTHING I needed too. #racedaymiracle
Around 5:50ish Paula arrived and we headed out.
Celebration is about 40 minutes from my house and we were running about 15-20 minutes behind schedule, so Paula hauled ass. Thankfully we didn’t run into any traffic and we parked within minutes of hitting the area. We could have parked closer, but didn’t realize it. Instead we run almost a mile to the start. I didn’t mind at the time, but in retrospect, that’s about a mile’s worth of energy I could have used at the end of the race.
So, we got to the start at 6:50ish. Melissa lined up near the front (she is super speedy), I lined up with the 3:55 marathon group (8:53 pace, I think), and Paula hit the porta-potties. I think it was the first time we didn’t line up together. Sad. We did get this stellar pre-race photo.
I know. I am quite the photographer.
After the National Anthem and a few directions/rules (that nobody could understand because it was all gargled) the gun went off and within the first minute I was too.
The first mile flew by, as it always does. I quickly passed the 3:55 pace group and just settled into a fast (for me) pace. Here’s the thing I’ve realize about me during half marathons — I tend to burn out in the last few miles REGARDLESS of how fast I am running at the start. So, unlike a marathon (where I really need to start slow and build on my speed), going out fast works for me. So that’s what I did.
Now, of course, I would have Garmin problems. I’ve been using my Garmin without issue for the past month, but for some reason I hit some button on race day and I could ONLY see my lap time. It wasn’t a huge deal, but like OUC I didn’t know my total time and I had to remember which mile I was on. Oh, and did I mention that I hit the lap button at some point too? So it was even more jacked up? What can I say, I’m special.
I don’t really have a play by play of the miles, but I can tell you that things were going really well until about mile 5. The miles were just zipping by and while I was pushing my pace, it was completely doable. Then my left foot started hurting. Because I’m an idiot.
You know that phrase “You should never try anything new on race day?” Well, turns out people say that for a reason. A really good reason. I, stupidly, decided that race day would be a GREAT day to try out wearing double socks. I really like wearing my compression socks when I run long (it helps with my varicose veins SO SO much), but the Pro Compression socks do not offer much padding. And let me tell you – my orthotics are hard on my feet. So, I tried wearing my Thorlos WITH my compression socks. It sounded like a fantastic idea, until it wasn’t.
So yeah, around Mile 5 something (my sock, my shoe – who knows) started rubbing up against my left 2nd toe. And it hurt. Like a bitch. Like a BIG ONE. And it continued to hurt the rest of the time. I wanted to scream.
Still, I pressed on. Pain wasn’t going to stop me! At mile 7 though we hit some boardwalks, which my coworker aptly described as “the Swiss Family Robinson Adventure Trail.” Maybe they would have been AWESOME if I was by myself (they were definitely softer on my knees), but there were always about 3-4 people running beside me at any given time. Plus, the trail had waaaay too many zig zags. Mentally it broke me and it was SLOW mile.
Still, I was able to press on. I told myself I needed to keep running sub-9 minute miles until I hit Mile 11 if I wanted to PR. Obviously, I didn’t do that, but it kept me going. By Mile 11 though. I gave up the fight. The sporadic boardwalks were killing me mentally and my foot just hurt. I watched the 3:55 pace group pass me and I stopped “chasing” people.
I just wanted to be done. I kept thinking “WHY DO I DO THIS????” and “WHY WOULD WANT TO RUN A MARATHON??”
And then I closed in on the finish. I saw Melissa standing at the final turn and was just SO FREAKING HAPPY that the finish was close. She shouted “It’s RIGHT THERE!” and I picked up speed. I didn’t even look for my family because I wanted to be done. So, I have I mentioned that I just wanted to be done?
(Photo credit: Melissa!)
Apparently, Dan did not expect me to roll in so soon – although he was there at the finish with the kids. I didn’t see them though because I was THAT into getting this damn race over.
And then I saw the clock and I knew — I was going to PR. I didn’t know by how much, but I knew it was enough. And THAT right there? Is why I race.
I crossed the finish line and immediately saw Victoria and Katy and ran over to them. Or hobbled. Katy also PR’d and Victoria did amazing, considering that she woke up sick. I also met Kat for the first time. She PR’d AND got first in her age group! So much celebrating!! Melissa joined us (she won 2nd in HER age group – I am friends with so many fast people!) and we paparrazi’d ourselves.
Then all of a sudden Paula was there too — (btw, she didn’t even look like she fell).
(photo credit for some of these go to Katy!)
After a few pictures, everyone left and I found my family. I was tempted to go, but I wanted to enjoy the post-race party and cheer on a few friends running their first half-marathon so I grabbed a mimosa, some food, and a latte from Starbucks.
After that we went home and I PASSED OUT. So did E. I slept for almost 2 hours. He slept for 3.5 and then we snuggled. It was just that kind of afternoon (I think he two front teeth he is cutting right now are really bothering him).
Later that night I celebrated.
As far as my feelings on the race…
Considering it was an inaugural race, I thought it was REALLY well managed and planned. The course was SUPER flat. Flatter than any other race I’ve done, but at times it was pretty boring and kinda stinky. I don’t know WHAT I was smelling, but every now and then I’d get a whiff and think about how much it stunk when we were in Savannah.
They were forthcoming about the boardwalks and the squeezed sidewalks before the race, but I obviously didn’t know what it entail. The after party was well done (I mean they had mimosas!), at least for the half marathoners. There was still food and drinks left when I left at least! They also had these great signs posted throughout the course (the best was the one that said “This may not be Disney, but we didn’t wake you up at 2am either.” Bwahaha!) for motivation.
Will I do it again? Probably. Will I ever do the full? Probably not. I cannot imagine running two loops of that course.
Do I have goals to run even FASTER? Yes. I don’t necessarily think that will be at my next race, but I’d really like to go sub 1:55 this year. Crazy? Yes, but also doable.
Why do you race? Is it the medal, the glory, the bragging rights, or because you’re a little crazy? Maybe all of the above?