Friday I headed to the Expo with the kids in tow, in was in a new location at the community college, which made parking a breeze. In previous years it was held outside, where you could spread out and avoid any congestion around the booths or packet pickup. This time we just had to go into two buildings, which was convenient, but there wasn't much room around the booths, so I wonder if it got crowded on Saturday.
When I approached the packet pickup, the volunteer helping me was about 11 years old, and lo and behold, he couldn't find my bib, or Jeannine's bib. Another volunteer started looking as well, and he apologized and said he just didn't see it anywhere. At this point I was starting to panic a bit, and I whipped out my cell phone, about to show them the email that confirmed my registration, when a third volunteer came along, and pointed out that they were looking in the wrong bins. Whew.
I met up with my friends Alissa and Julie, and after getting the kids some ice cream, I went back into the Expo. I wanted to check out the KT Tape booth, they've revamped their product, the tape is now is made of synthetic material instead of cotton. Since my heel was still bugging me, they taped it up for me:
Instead of my usual hot pink, I went for the conservative beige.
I could tell the difference between the old vs. new tape, and although they said it would stay on in water, it didn't. It came off the next day at the pool, but then again, I was in the water with the kids for a while.
Back to the Expo.
My college friend Laurie started a running gear company called My Happy Pace Gear.
They sell earth friendly running and cycling gear, including Honey Stinger (yum!), shirts made out of bamboo (wicked soft) and tech shirts made out of recycled plastic bottles. It was great to see Laurie, who was also running, check out their website here!
Okay, on to the race.
Saturday night I did my usual pre-race antics, like running to Target at the last minute to get a new shirt. I was in bed by ten, and awake at 3:00 a.m. when Mike came to bed after falling asleep on the couch.
And.......you know what happened next.....
Mike fell asleep, and I tossed and turned worrying about the alarm going off, until it finally did at 4:40.
I was up and out of the house in 20 minutes, I even walked Frank and had a fresh cup of coffee thanks to my lovely Keurig. I picked up Jeannine, and we met up with everyone else at our friend Julie's house, got on the road, and made it to the start by seven.
I didn't get the tank top memo, but I did get the bright color memo.
I checked my bag, and a few minutes later I realized I forgot to grab my GU. I figured I could make due with Gatorade on the course, but I wasn't happy. We had enough time to use the port-a-potties twice (for some reason they made rows of them, and everyone was going to the first row, and not checking out the ones behind them. Both times it took us about 5 minutes to wait in line.) We lined up, and I was in my happy place, excited and thankful to run.
And we were off.
As usual the crowds were thick at the start, which happens with 14,000 runners on small city streets. At one point I was running next to a guy, and we had a row of 6 people in front of us. He was pretty much running in place, darting back and forth, saying "I can't get around, I can't get around!"
I felt his pain.
This is the hard part about this race, with all the dodging around that you do, the speeding up, the slowing down, it's difficult to find your pace. At least for me. But I was enjoying the run, although after about a mile I was starting to feel the heat and humidity. I tried to distract myself by paying attention to the spectators and fellow runners, I ran by one guy who had a photo of himself on his shirt, and it said "I used to be 400 pounds." So that was inspiring.
Mile four is a long hill, up and around the golf course, which wasn't a problem. It was after the hill that the problem came. My heel started to hurt, and my arch cramped up, so that I started running on the edge of my foot, because of the cramp it curled inwards. So that was fun.
The rest of the run was hot, and slow, there wasn't any Gatorade on the course, and I was missing my GU. I slowed down for ice and water when I felt like I needed it, and really felt the heat at mile 6, which is a long hill, on the highway, with no shade. I was very happy to get to the top of that, and for the last two miles of the race, I focused on finishing. Although at the last mile, I got a mental boost, when I ran near a guy who was tan, tall, built, with NO SHIRT on, probably 10 years younger than me......and I passed him.
Then I crossed the finish, met up with everyone, quickly changed into my Birkenstocks, and had a beer. My foot was puffy and throbbing, I got a snow cone, and while I waited for Jeannine to use the bathroom, I sat on the grass and stuck my heel into it, which helped a lot.
My time was a personal worst, I don't even want to type what it was. Let's just say it took me seven minutes longer than the last time I ran it, my time then was 1:33.
But you know what? I'm already looking forward to next year.