Sun, May 6 – RACE DAY!
5am – alarm goes off
5:05 – attempt to make a cup of colored water in the hotel coffee maker in the dark and fail miserably. Put the light on and hope not to wake Mike up
5:10 – eat the whole wheat Panera bagel imported from Ohio with almond butter with my “coffee” and drink 1/2 water bottle of water
5:20 – use restroom
5:30 – decide to take a quick shower to warm up a bit (even though I’d be sweating soon!). I have energy to burn!
5:40 – use restroom
5:43 – get dressed and Glide the appropriate areas (missed a couple – ouch!)
5:45 – fill up the fuel belt and put it on along with the racebelt
5:47 – take a quick pic in the mirror (yes I’m a goober) and post it to facebook
5:48 – give Mike a quick kiss and head out to meet friends one floor down
5:49 – arrive at friends door to realize I forgot my bib upstairs! (that would be tragic.)
5:50 – run back upstairs and have to knock on door and wake Mike up to get my bib!
5:51 – kiss Mike again and run back downstairs to meet my friends
5:51 – in my haste and discombobulation I knock on the wrong door this time (typical Lisa style) and a dude comes to the door in his boxers. Thankfully he was running today too, was already up and waiting for someone else!
5:52 – explain my faux pas to my friends and we are on our way downtown.
So that is how my morning started! We decided to meet at 6am in order to give us enough time to get downtown by 6:30am. The start was about a mile from our hotel. As soon as we got outside we were commenting on what a nice morning it was. Gulp. It is gonna be a hot run!!! I was glad I had hydrated well yesterday and this am. I took some cool pics along the way to the start…
One of the bridges on the route
We got downtown with plenty of time and that was good because we had to wait in line for quite awhile for portapotties!!
Here we are in all our glory!!
This was another cool area that I just had to get a pic of while we were walking to Corral E. The entire courtyard was glass on all sides…
It seemed like we were waiting forever to start. It turns out that we didn’t cross the start until about 30 minutes in! Here is me trying to be patient and calm.
I tied and retied my shoelaces twice. I was SO nervous about how this run was going to go. The last time I ran, 6 days ago, I could only run 1/2 mile and then had to stop because of extremely painful shins. I was hoping the rest and recovery plan I followed the last 6 days would allow me to run and finish the way I wanted to. Only time would tell.
We finally started and I just kept thinking “heel, toe, heel toe”. At first I couldn’t tell how it was, because of the packed crowds, but at about mile 2 I realized that I was not in any pain! It was working! Yes! Then I tried to just not think about my stride – hoping that I would just go back to my normal stride now that my calves were healed. I put my watch on pace mode and noticed that I was going between a 10:30 and 10:50. I decided a good goal would be just to keep it there and stay below 11. It was warm so I knew I would hit all the fluid stops and drink Gatorade rather than water to replenish the salt. We all know that I is a sweaaaattttterrrrr! The route was pretty flat and I was able to hold my pace steady even up the hills. I was feeling really good about this run – YES! At about mile 8 or 9 I was getting tired and kinda wished I had grabbed some chomps, but I would just have to rely on the Gatorade to push me through. I walked through all the fluid stops and a little bit near mile 10. Then I picked it up going across the 11.2 checkpoint thinking only 2 more miles to go. I checked my watch for time and thought I could not possibly get inside the 2:30 mark, but then I saw the 2:30 pace leader right near me so I thought there was hope. That motivated me to keep going and go faster! I pushed it all the way up the big hill at mile 12 and then realized it was all down hill from there. I could see the finish in the distance. I was pumped!! So I yell out to the crowd, “WE TOTALLY GOT THIS PEOPLE, LET’S GO!!!!” Yeah, I’m crazy, but that motivated me and hopefully some others near me!
I only saw one crazy person; a guy in a full suit running with a sign that said, “Late 4 Work”. Too funny! Of course there were tons of funny signs along the way. The best one that I saw was one that said, “You have trained longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage!” That got some giggles from the people around me! The crowd was great and the entertainment was awesome – lots of great music! It was really fun to go away to another city to run a race. I liked staying in the city so we could walk everywhere and not mess with parking the car, traffic and all that. It really was a stress-free event and I’m thankful for that! And even though I missed seeing Zach at the finish, I was happy that we had arranged for him to stay with grandma and grandpa as he hurt his foot on Friday at school and would not have been able to do all the walking and standing that Mike had to do over the weekend.
As I cruised through the finish I was feeling really happy that I was able to run the whole race! I grabbed a cup of Gatorade and got in line to take the medal pic. Then I went through the line of food goodies and grabbed a banana, a small cinnamon bagel and smiley cookie for later. All I wanted right then was water. I found Mike and gave him a big sweaty kiss and he told me my time according to the facebook alerts – 2:31:14. “Wow”, I thought. I’m really happy with that time!!! And secondly, “that sounds really similar to my first 1/2 last year in Cleveland!!”
We didn’t have too much time to hang around the after party. At that point it was 10:45am and we had to check out of the hotel by noon. So, we hiked it back to the hotel – 1 mile. The walking was good, but I was so ready to stop and shower when we got there. Thankfully I had time to stretch a bit before we had to pack up and head out, wet hair and all! It was so nice outside – beautiful day in the Burgh! On our way to grab lunch at Olive Garden I looked up my time on my blog from last year’s half and yes, my time was very similar. Last year it was 2:31:15. I had beaten it by one second. We were cracking up about that!!! All that and I PR’d this year – one year older and with a fudged training schedule to boot! Upon further examination, I realized that my time at the 10K was faster this year than last year also by like 2 minutes! That felt really good!! We had a great time driving home, jamming to some tunes and just enjoying the afterglow from a great race and a great weekend. So, yeah. I’m not quitting running anytime soon. Not even close!!! 🙂