Thursday, May 19, 2011

Race recap

Okay, this isn't writerly-related AT ALL, but who cares?


The run was Sunday. We woke up at 4:45 am and stumbled down to the eating area of the hotel. Thankfully, they had warm water for oatmeal or toasters for bagels, so I was able to get some food. I didn't sleep well the night before. The wind gusts coming off the lake were so strong that the thwapthwapthwap of the flag pole outside our room kept met up all night.

The bus picked us up at 6am and we stood around for an hour, bracing ourselves against the 25-30 mph sustained winds. The race began at 7am and about 8 minutes later I crossed the timing mat and was on my way.

I'll spare you all the mile-by-mile recap. The course was beautiful. There were enough turns that when I was starting to get sick of going straight, I looked up and saw the pack turn down another street.

The spectators were AMAZING. I have never seen so many people out to cheer on runners. For that reason alone, I will gladly run this race again next year. Some of my favorite signs?

"The Kenyans are right ahead of you!"
"Way to go, Complete Stranger!"
"Wind? What wind?"
"There's the guy who stole your wallet!" (complete with arrow pointing ahead)

Aside from the wind, the weather was great. My playlist was awesome, and the miles flew by. The wind blew down the mile markers along the road, so after mile 4, I had no idea where I was on the course. I tried to count the water stops since they were every 1.5 miles, but I quickly lost count. Not knowing my location helped relieve the tension around my timing.

Finally, I crossed one of the split timer mats and yelled out to a race official, "What mile is this?" When he said 10 and I saw that I was under 2 hrs on my watch, I was THRILLED. It was just the motivation I needed. I knew it was just a 5K from there.

I finished the run with a sprint to the end. I got my medal and my space blanket to keep me warm and then I wandered around and cried. My friends and family had been following online or through the text service, so my phone immediately started ringing and texts were flying in like mad. I wish I could describe to them how amazing it was for me to see that outpouring of support. In person, I was wandering around, crying and exhausted, looking for my friends. But in the technological universe, I was surrounded by my friends and family. It was surreal.

My official time was 2:37:22, smack dab in the middle of where I wanted to end.

We showered then went out for lunch where we ate like a bunch of pigs. It was delicious. :) Then it was nap time, followed by lounging around watching TV, and we capped off the night with some pizza and drinks and a soak in the hot tub.

I drove back on Monday and when I got home, I had an email from the race organizers. It turns out the course was 800 feet TOO LONG! Ha! They adjusted everyone's time and my new official time is now 2:35:35. Awesome, I shaved off 2 minutes over night!

Here's the official "finishers" photo. Pay no attention to the dried sweat and tears that you probably can't see, or the sexy wind-blown hair...


  1. Huge congratulations! That is a fantastic accomplishment. Woohoo!!

  2. Oh gosh, I love the signs. How cool! And that sounds like a great time to me. You ran for more than 2 and a half hours?!? Yay!

  3. Congratulations! Those signs are fantastic! I like "Way to go, Complete Stranger"-- it may become my new motto!

  4. Thanks, gals! I wish I remembered more signs. There were so many! The run was so much more fun than I thought it would be. I'm so glad I stuck with the training and did it. Definitely a high point of my life so far!

    And Jen, I agree. "Way to go, Complete Stranger" was my favorite as well. :)

  5. See! I told you you could do it! Fantastic! A true accomplishment.

  6. Oh my gosh, I love the signs! It's so cool of these people to come out and cheer.

    And CONGRATZ! That's an amazing thing you did. You win! *confettis*

  7. Love this!

    And I am totally stealing the "Way to go complete stranger!"

  8. Oh my god you're so amazing!!!!!

    I agree with above, I love "Way to go, Complete stranger!" That's too cool :-)

    I'm in absolute awe of you. Go you!

  9. Congrats!

    I've always fantasized about running a marathon, but I'm inherently lazy, so that'll probably never happen.

  10. go you! I'm super impressed and also slightly jealous cuz running is one of those things i really want to like, but i actually hate

  11. Never say never, cookie! I said I'd never do it either and NOW look what happened!

    Sarah, you can do it. If you want a running buddy in the metro area, just let me know!

    Sommer, Lori, Claudie, Libby-- thanks for all the support! I shared more of my fears with my blogosphere/online friends than I did with my IRL friends. Something about hiding behind the computer monitor made it easier to confess how nervous I really was. So the support and encouragement--it meant SO MUCH. Thank you!

  12. Congratulations!!!!!! You did AWESOME!!


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