I would have written something sooner if 1) I hadn’t spent Saturday post race boozing until I fell asleep, 2) spent any real time awake on Sunday and 3) If I could get up and down the stairs easier on Monday. Admittedly, I had a much stronger run this year than last (with a real strong finish) but man did I feel all of it so much more this year.
All in all it was a lovely day for a run. The sun was shining and there was absolutely no wind. I started out sluggish but that could have been due to the fact I only worked out twice in the past two weeks (neither of which was a run) and I worked the Health and Fitness Expo Thursday and Friday tiring out my legs. It wasn’t until I reached Patterson Park with its huge showing and music on every corner that I started to get into a groove.
It also didn’t help that Heather took off like a bat out of hell at the start. Being that we never ran together, I wasn’t sure if she was just that much faster than me or if she got caught up in the excitement. I wasn’t trying to hold her back, but being that it was her first race I decided to err on the side of the later and kept telling her to pace herself. I made the same mistake last year and got a horrible side stitch within the first two miles. I think I made the right choice because when we got to Lake Clifton Heather was lagging behind me (though that is a pretty nasty hill regardless and there is nothing to distract you).
Somewhere around mile 4 we heard a familiar voice say, “Hello ladies,” and turned to see Matt next to us smiling. It was definitely a nice diversion. He said he’d run into us but I wasn’t so sure. This is actually the second year in a row I saw him during the race though. He paced with us for about a mile and took off. Even running a full marathon that boy is still faster than me. Maybe next year I can work on speed.
I tried a few new things this year and I think they aided in me having a better run. I like the mix of Gatorade and water. I carried a bottle with me for half of the race and that kept me peppy. Around mile 9 I grabbed some candy corn and instantly felt a burst of energy so the next batch of candy I grabbed Swedish fish and gummy bears and felt pretty good to finish. I also alternated pure Gatorade and water from water station to the next but I think the pure Gatorade messed with my stomach. I was a bit sour toward the end.
I think all in all Heather and I did really well together. She didn’t talk much and I might have chatted too much, but she said she didn’t mind. When we did talk we recited our mantra, “Beer…Beer…Beer…Beer,” eliciting a few chuckles. I rocked the hills passing people left and right but I had to keep slowing down so as to not lose Heather.
As usual, toward the end of course there are always those idiots who yell, “It’s all downhill from here!” (LIE!). The more people yelled it the more Heather shuddered. It eventually became the “H” word at that point. But we did it. And we did it strong. And we didn’t pass out or puke which I saw other people do. We both had great pace and energy toward the end and I definitely had fuel to keep going if I had to.
Later that night, Heather and I, still wearing our medals, were joking with a bunch of guys who ran the relay calling them wimps. I think we earned our bragging rights at this point. (Though “Mister 4:14”, ie Matt, earns the most bragging rights).
We’re all already talking about next year’s race and possibly a half-marathon in New Orleans. I also think Matt and I might run the Cobble Gobble Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning and I’m already checking out the Iron Girl web site for some sort of doable triathlon. Excited as I am, I don’t think I’m ready for a full yet though I am jealous I missed the sign on Matt’s route that said, “If it were easy it’d be your mom.”