Had a light breakfast of cereal and milk. I was very tired from yesterday's long bike ride and run in the heat. I don't know why I always get nervous before a race, but I do! How silly! This was simply to be a training run, but yet I had stomach cramps and had to hit the Honey Buckets four times!
Once we got there and parked we had to find the start of the 5k. The race packet did not include a booklet about the race, which was VERY odd. I've never been to a marathon where I had no information. They made one announcement to 5kers and then that was it. We finally had to ask a police officer where the start for the 5k was. We weren't alone. Many others were wandering around looking frustrated and lost. I ran about halfway with him, but then realized I needed to find the HB again so bid him good luck and kissed him goodbye.
Did some light stretching, mostly of my back. I had some morning back tightness, which is normal.
My plan had been to do run/walk intervals 1/1 (run a mile, walk a minute). I walked the first mile then shortly after starting into the second someone ran up to me and said my last name in a questioning voice. "Yeah?" "Hi! It's me! Puddyrat!" Puddyrat (or rather, Susan) is from the Weight Watchers online boards and is quite the athlete! We ran and talked together for about two miles just shooting the breeze. She told me about her training for an ironman (psycho...although I am considering one) and we talked about my web presence (as in all over the place for awhile on the WWers ads). It was great to have someone to talk to! About mile three someone else ran up to me and said "Did you do Seattlefit last year?" I said "Yeah!" and she introduced herself to me. She had done Seattlefit last year as well! Another person to run with! We ran and talked for awhile a mile (the three of us). After awhile Susan, who had done a 56 mile hard bike ride the day before, had to take a walk break so J and I continued on. Before Susan left, though, she introduced herself and told her we'd met through Weight Watchers which brought up the subject of my weight loss.
Another lady overheard us and jumped in on the conversation asking for details. Before I knew it I had someone NEW to talk to! We talked about my weight loss and what it's like to train as we get older (she was 53 and kept telling me I was "young"...well she looked pretty doggone young herself!). After about a mile a group of her friends met her on the sidelines and joined us, so I had even more people to run with! I have never run a race with so many people to talk to on the route. It was AWESOME! More questions on the weight loss, introductions around, they talked about their own ironman adventures and how they met (started training for a marathon together 30 years or so previous). It was quite fun. After awhile, though, they pulled ahead. I was reminding myself that I said I was going to run/walk. But then a mile would pass and I'd think "Oh, you're doing so well...maybe walk the next mile." About mile nine I met up again with the girl from Seattlefit and we ran it in together chatting the whole way. Honestly I didn't see a lot of the route because I was so busy yapping. (I will say...I make a GREAT running partner if you want someone to take your mind off the running. I can talk a LOT.)
Just as we were heading up the last hill in mile 13 we heard someone commanding behind us "Move to the right! Move to the right!" I thought "Now why in the world would we need to move to the right?" Then I heard "Lead marathon runner coming. Please move to the right."
This man was amazing. He was like all muscle, but not muscled...just no discernable body fat whatsoever. He ran like a machine. I do believe he was from Kenya. He whipped past us like we were standing still! It was truly a beautiful site...and the best part is, it took our minds off that last hill! Just after he passed me I turned and saw Roy standing on the street cheering and snapping pictures. Yay! I was nearly there! We turned the corner and both of us exclaimed, "Whoa! The finish line!" We'd been talking so much that we hadn't realized how fast that last mile went by! I kicked in the final tenth of a mile, then waited at the end to thank my final running partner! I would have liked to have thanked EVERYONE who chatted with me on the route! It was wonderful to have so many people to talk to!
What would you do differently?:
I would probably have run/walked it on my own, because I definitely finished feeling it. However, I'm glad I didn't. It proved to me I can run a sub 10 min mile long run.
Popsicles, Jamba Juice smoothies, bananas, watermelon, two oreo cookies, and sushi! What more could a gal want?
What limited your ability to perform faster:
The fact that I'm slow...
The race itself was okay. They could have used a lot more pre-race organization. We're nervous enough, don't add "Where is the starting line" to our pre-race jitters! However once on course things were very well organized. There was entertainment in a number of places including bagpipes and a concertina...races need more concertinas!