[I haven't posted much lately because I've been so busy! With Sean on the road for most of the last couple of weeks, it's been all I can do to handle a busy work schedule and getting Jetta picked up from daycare and walked and make myself a simple dinner before I fall into bed. I have been doing my workouts, and it's going pretty well, all things considered.]
Because I picked up my packet for Monster Dash at the expo for Women Rock in September, I didn’t need to worry about packet pickup for the race on Friday after work. I wish I’d gone, as I heard there was a gigantic wall with the names of all of the racers in the 3 events (13.1, 10 mile, and 5k) on it. It would have been fun to see my name on the wall of around 15,000 runners.
I spent the time I would have spent at packet pickup trying on my outfit for the next day. I had gone to REI and purchased a windproof fleece jacket and pants. I walk the dog a lot, and I hate when the wind whips right through all the layers I am wearing and I freeze. I opted for the fleece jacket for Saturday (It’s October – might as well support breast cancer awareness in pink!), with my C9 tops underneath. I wore my trusty Nike Combat Pro tights with my Piper Aviation shorts over the tights. I decided on my lobster hat for this race, as my “costume.” It seemed like it would be relatively stable on my head, so I figured it would do double duty. Yes, it seemed like this ensemble would work. I’m generally a train wreck as far as running fashion goes. I dress to be comfortable, and it doesn’t always look good. Let’s face it. It rarely does. But this one wasn’t bad, as outfits go.
I figured that if I got up at 4:45 am, I would have enough time to eat and do the rest of my race-morning ritual, before leaving at a little before 7 am. The race started at 8 am, I thought, so if we left a little before 7, Sean was dropping me off, so I didn’t have to worry about parking. I got to the Cathedral at 7:30, right on schedule. This was the view as I walked up the hill.
It’s easy to find your starting point when you’re a back of the pack runner. 12+minutes per mile, baby! This is my last photo for a while.
At 8 am, when I thought the race was supposed to start, I found out that the race start was at 8:30. I could have sworn it was at 8, and though I checked the race course online, I never thought to check the start time. I was freezing after 30 minutes in the 29F weather, and did not relish another 30 minutes. I did survive, and it was time to sound the starting gun.
We inched forward. Finally, 11 minutes and 57 seconds after the start of the race, I crossed the start line. I was so cold, and I probably ran the first mile faster than my plan of 13:20-13:30 because I was cold. It felt good to start warming up, and the sun was getting higher and warming things up a little.
Mile 1 was done in 12:48. I knew that this was too fast, so I slowed down, and just about hit the mark in mile 2 with a 13:29 pace. I know I was feeling good through miles 3, 4, and 5, clearing those in 13:23, 13:09, and 13:15. I told myself to slow down through mile 6, and I did, dropping off the pace to 13:41.
Around mile 6.5, I knew I was hurting. My hips were aching pretty badly, and I didn’t want to sacrifice all the work I’d done thus far. I’d been running 4 minutes and walking one minute, which might have been too big an interval for me at this point, so I reset my watch to 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking. I limped through mile 7 in 14:02 and mile 8 in 14:00. I hated seeing those 14′s on my watch, and I knew there were only a couple of miles to go, so I stepped it up. I quickly stopped to take this photo in mile 8ish, for Sean. We watch a lot of Family Guy, and one of my favorites is the salesman who does periodic advertisements in the show for his extra inventory of “Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube-Man.” This is the Get Lucky version, and I saw the Women Rock one later.
Mile 9 was faster than mile 8 at 13:50. I took this photo for Sean, when he texted me to ask how I was doing. I was hurting, but I knew I’d finish. It was nice to know there was only one more mile. I thought about how many times in training for races, I’d be in the last mile, thinking “ONE. MORE. MILE.”
Mile 10 was faster than miles 7, 8, or 9, done in 13:41. It had the benefit of having most of the last half-mile downhill. Thanks go out to the woman in the blue jacket who passed me in the last few feet…. thanks to her, I had someone to keep up with while I sprinted, and she crossed the line just ahead of me.
I grabbed my medal, and smiled when I saw the food bags. I’d helped pack them at Team Ortho HQ on Thursday night. I was ravenous in the middle of the race, but wasn’t ready to eat it yet, at the finish line. I stopped at the potty, since there were no lines. I took this photo in the biffy, yes, why do you ask?
The long line was for shuttles, but I didn’t need one of those. I needed to find my way home. I pulled up the Metro Transit schedules and found that if I walked 1/2 mile northeast, I’d find a bus stop at W 7th & Albion, w/ a transfer at St. Paul Ave that would get me onto the 46 bus for a trip to 50th & Xerxes. I walked up the hill from Elway and Shepard and took this photo while waiting for the 1st bus:
While I was making my way home, Sean, Mel, and Jetta were walking the Monster Dash 5k near our house. Sean was wearing a lobster hat for his race, too. They had fun walking the lake, and Jetta was a Very Good Dog. I have a photo of the 3 of them, but Mel would probably kill me for using it. I think it’s cute, though.
I got off at 50th & Vincent, so I had another nice 1/2 mile walk to get to our house. I was very tired, and very, very cold. I took a long, hot shower, and snuggled up on the sofa. Mel, Sean, and Jetta came home shortly thereafter, and I tore into some leftover Thai food from Friday night.
Eventually, it was time to take Sean to the airport, as he headed off for 2 solid weeks in India. Mel and I watched tv and tried to amuse the dog, and then Amanda came over after her yoga class. We headed off to Curry’n Noodles, my favorite Indian restaurant. I ordered all the food, and the lobster hats were able to share in the post-race vittles.
In obligatory Jetta photos news, Jetta is very cute. Witness this, her supermodel pose:
And this: her “Mama, I have a bone. *chew chew chew*” pose.
We spent yesterday doing a whole lot of sleeping in, and doing a lot of nothing, once we were awake, though we did get in a 5.65 mile walk in about the same amount of time it took me to run my race the day before. There are a lot of things to sniff at in the fall, if you’re a dog, and Jetta sniffed them all.
I am really thrilled that this is how my 2012 season ends. I’m going into winter training with a little confidence that if I keep pushing the pace, little by little, I’ll be able to break 3 hours in the half-marathon next year, hopefully by enough that breaking 6 hours in the marathon in 2014 isn’t such a lofty goal. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I am looking forward to it. And, really, that’s what counts. I’m excited about running again! (remind me I said that in the middle of my next long race, wouldja? :P)