November 19, 2012

Race Recap.

So I did it!
I ran and ran and ran.
It was easy, and hard and exhilarating.
Mentally it didn't feel very long
and it was nothing like runs I've done around here.

I was up bright and early, at 5am.
I got all ready and we were on the road by 5:45.  
At that time the drive is easy and we had pulled into the parking lot at 7:10.
I got my bib and a new running shirt
and we huddled in the car waiting for things to start.

At 8:25 we were outside in the cold, around 4 C.
Shane is such a trooper, he was freezing the whole time.
He was my photographer, my banana holder and my cheerleader.
We said goodbye as I joined the growing pack of runners.

2 minutes...1 minutes...3-2-1. Go!
Things were hectic and shoulder to shoulder for the first two kilometers, actually for the first 10 km.
I tried not to think to hard.  A lot of people passed me, 
but I stayed focused on my body.  
It rained hard, the wind blew.
My shins burned.  
Left, right, left again.  
The volunteers cheered us on, they were awesome.

I refused water at every point.  
Never try anything new on race day.
The last thing I needed was an upset stomach.
The hills were slight, I maintained pace.
About one kilometer from the turn-around point I saw the first runners headed the other way.
I ran, and thought about everything it took to get here.
My shins stopped hurting.
I got a text message from my sister "Good Luck!" it said.
I needed that, it made me smile.
Around 8 km I started fantasizing about bananas.
I was breathing easy.  I could have easily had a long winded conversation.
I don't think I broke a sweat for the first lap.
In the pink hat, after 11km.
My first loop was done, I saw Shane to my left.  I ran up to him, threw my gloves at him
and snatched the half banana he was holding.
It was the most disgusting and best banana, I'd ever had in my life.
After that banana I knew I could rock it.
With every downward slope I let my legs fly.
Why not use the momentum?
I began to pass people.  And not just a few.  I passed hundreds of people.  

The 10 km runners joined the race, I passed them too.
I felt like I was flying.  
I took one sip of water (sloshing it all over my face)
It didn't matter, I was soaked.
Up the hills I slowed a little, but I was still passing.
Around 17 km I could feel my feet start to blister,
my shoes and socks were wet.
I pushed on.  

I wasn't tired yet, but I could feel pain.
My knees, my hip.  
I hadn't trained even one day running on pavement, I knew it made a difference.
Around 18.5 km my feet began to scream.
The balls of my feet shot pain with every step.
I'd never felt this pain before.  It was unusual.
[update: I'm fairly certain it was this]
I dug in deeper to my music, I ran hard.
I knew things were coming to an end.  I stopped passing people, 
everyone sped up, it was the last push.  
Turn, turn again,
fast, faster.

There was the finish line, my music was pumping I couldn't hear anyone
but I could see them all cheering.  I could feel the energy.
I was done.  It was over.  I got a medal. I saw Shane.
He had come flying out of the building, he hadn't been expecting me so soon.
2:04:17. 5:54/km.
That certainly worked for me.

I undid my shoes, then I needed water.
Oddly with all the water stations on the course there was only one across the finish line.
And there was a line up.
Oh well.

My legs were cramping up, I had to walk.
What a thrill.
I was here, I was done.  
Everything over the last 12 weeks for this.
From the start when I could only run a 10km, and it was hard.
To this, running a half marathon and feeling awesome.