Good news! My allergies didn’t kill me! Let’s start off with a quick by-the-numbers review before getting into the actual recap:
– Miles covered: 10
– McDonald’s bathrooms destroyed due to pre-race nerves and an ill-advised decision to eat jalapeno mac and cheese the night before: 1
– Same question, except port-a-potties: 2
– Level of rage on a scale of 1-10 when I realized they weren’t handing out medals at the finish: Voldemort.
Seriously though, I really enjoyed this race. Mostly because it contained only one hill, at the top of which sat a DJ blasting “Hot Blooded” on repeat. Because a good song to inspire a pack of sweaty runners who have just crested a giant hill is one that mentions having a fever of 103.
Anyway, the recap. First of all, you should know that I subscribe to the “slow but steady” philosophy when I run long distances. Part of it is due to my heart condition that causes tachycardia (and my addiction to fried foods covered in cheeses might play a role as well), but I have a really hard time sustaining a decent pace for more than three miles, no matter how many sprint drills I do. I finally decided to stop berating myself over the fact that I’m not fast and just let myself enjoy running. And the pre- and post-run fueling it allows me to engage in. Because what IS running, if not an excuse to eat more?
I was averaging a 10:30 pace when I was actually running. However, factoring in short walk breaks, taking pictures of the scenery, digging pebbles out of my shoes, and a visit to the medical tent to inquire about a Band-Aid for a blister, it took me around two hours to finish. See? Not fast. But I felt strong and had zero IT band pain, which tells me I’ve at least gotten stronger since my half marathon last year, when I kind of just wanted to ask the medics to amputate my left leg above the knee.
I also loved that it was an out-and-back course, not only because it didn’t require shuttles, but because I love seeing the leader pass me going the other way. I always get all emotional when I see that person running faster than I’ll ever be able to, and for a few seconds it makes me want to hire a running coach and start eating a raw food diet and get all serious about it. And then I remember how much I like Taco Bell and I’m like nah, I’m good with my mediocre abilities and Nacho Cheese Chalupa addiction.
The absolute best part about this race, though, was the crowd support. Entire classrooms of kids lined up outside a local elementary school to hand out water, offer high fives, and spray sweaty runners with a garden hose. Residents along the entire course were out in their driveways cheering us on, and at one point there was even a senior citizen bluegrass band jamming away and handing out water. How awesome is that? I figured the finish line area would be pretty empty since the leaders had finished like 45 minutes before I even got there, but when I rounded the corner for the final stretch, the crowd was almost as full and loud as it was when we started. I totally had a Chariots of Fire moment for that last 200 meters, as much as you can have a Chariots of Fire moment while Lil Wayne is all up in your ear buds threatening to pick the world up and drop it on your f!$#ing head.
I texted Dave after I finished to let him know that he didn’t need to come ID my body at the morgue, and when I got home a little bit later I found this on the dining room table:
And then I spent the rest of the day watching Netflix. The end.