OK! Let me tell you about the race on Saturday.
On Friday night, both of my little guys decided this would be a good night to stay awake all night and fuss and play and whack Momma in the face while she rocked them... seriously, I didn't get to sleep until about 1:30 am, and then was up with Alex around 3:00am, and then up for good at 5:15am. I was pretty worried about the lack of sleep, but once I got out of the shower and had a cup of coffee, I felt pretty good. Gotta love the race day adrenaline!
The weather when Rachel and I left for the race was not bad at all. Temps hovering right around freezing, light breeze, light rain... we were THRILLED! The night before, sheets of rain were pounding down and the wind was so strong our Christmas tree we chucked out in the yard in January ended up in our neighbors backyard. Payback for all of the piles of doggie business in our yard I guess.... :)
|Rachel, pre-race, pumped about the weather.|
Ah, another note about the night before. Rachel drove into town, and we went shopping for a new watch for me... While we were at the store, we saw a huge display of brightly colored ruffle-bum panties. So, yeah, we figured what the hell. We figured that if the weather was as awful as was predicted, we had to have a sense of humor about the run!
|Ruffle-bum panties, check!|
We found parking, visited the porta-potties, and lined up at the start. After a good rendition of the national anthem that was actually in a low enough key for my man voice to sing along with, we were off!
I hoped to pace right around 10 minute miles for the first half, and then pick it up from there. The first few miles felt a little uncomfortable and there was a bit of weaving in and out of traffic, and I distinctly remember thinking at the second mile marker that this was going to be a loooong race. I began to worry I was getting too comfortable mentally with the half marathon distance and didn't have a healthy enough fear going in.
Anyway, we wound through the UWO campus and onto the trail. As soon as we saw the trail, I could hear the groans and laughter of my fellow runners... this thing was FLOODED. It was hilarious. At it's best, it was about an inch of mud on the surface, and at it's worst, a 4-5 inch deep lake that was just a hair to big to leap over. It was like a trail run, mud run, and steeplechase all rolled together. People had an excellent sense of humor about it, and there were actually times we had to come to a dead stop as someone ahead worked up the courage to leap over a particularly deep puddle.
At mile six, I glanced at my watch and it said 1:00:00. Nice. If nothing else, I can bang out ten minute miles like nobody's business. :)
I can't remember at what mile, but eventually we returned to the roads, and then to paved trails that were in much better shape than their muddy counterparts. By eight miles in, I started to feel a little rough, and then I thought, "Hey, you're running 13.1 miles. It's supposed to be rough". And that (along with a few Shot Bloks) cheered me up quite a bit.
At mile 10, I passed this girl about my age, and I gave her a "Nice job, runner." as I passed. A minute later, I heard footsteps just behind me, and she caught me and asked if she could run with me. Ummm.. yes! I love running company. And I love to chat while I run. And I love to say every twelve seconds "You're doing so great! Look at you go! You're a super speedy runner!". Which is very inspiring, and not at all annoying... right Rachel? Ha. Anyway, she introduced herself (Sam), and said she wasn't a runner. Uhh, she was running pretty damn fast for a non-runner! I told her maybe if we picked up the pace a bit she'd feel better... and we banged out an 8:30 mile for mile 12. It was awesome.... until we turned for the mile long straight shot to the finish... and found our dear friend, The Wind.
Ugh, it was WINDY! We trudged on (probably about a 10:30 pace at this point with equal effort as our fast mile)... and pretty soon we saw the finish about 400 yards away. I wished Sam luck, and took off. I had the fastest finish of any half... I was just short of all-out sprinting, and feeling FANTASTIC! I kept thinking about my running buddies that had driven down to see us finish, and how they would all think that I was a super awesome speedy runner... I crossed the finish line at 2:09:16, and was pretty happy with that. Then came the crushing disappointment of seeing my runner friends walk up to the finish and say "Oh, did you finish already?" They totally did not see my awesome ending! I am kidding about the crushing disappointment, kind of. :)
Rachel took an unbelievable TEN minutes off of her P.R... I'm telling you, this woman is a RUNNER. Bad. Ass. Our other group member Michelle ran her first marathon in a super fast 2:12:xx. I am stunned by their awesomeness.
|Photo evidence of the muddy terrain on my way out of Oshkosh.|
Mildly sore today, but nothing too terrible. I had planned to take one week off from running to show my shins some love, but I'm already feeling antsy. We'll see.
If you live somewhere other than NE Wisconsin, can you please tell me about your weather this weekend so I can live vicariously through you? There was seriously snow on the deck when I woke up this morning. It's April 17th people.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!!