May 19, 2014
My last week of preparation for the race was uneventful. Here was my summary:
Mon – 3 miles outside at lunch
Tues – Yoga at lunch
Wed – 3 miles outside at lunch
Thurs – out to lunch – my bday!
Fri – quick 2 miler at lunch
Sat – REST
Sunday – RACE DAY!
I got up about 4:15am in order to have time to get dressed, eat breakfast, use the bathroom, etc and leave the house by 5am. My awesome husband and son were up too as they were dropping me off and staying to cheer me on! I was meeting Angie downtown at 6am. On Saturday night before going to bed I got the idea to wear Laura’s scarf (the one I got her for Christmas this past year) on my race belt in order to have her with me and be a reminder about why I was running. Mike liked the idea so I put it on me it all its purple glory!
Par for the course I slept terribly the night before the race -tossing and turning and almost having panic attacks over getting a good time, disappointing my runner friend, Angie, etc. I’m not sure why I do this to myself, but it happens! Angie and I had agreed a couple days before that we were just going to run have fun with it and just do it together. So, the pressure should have been off, right? Right!
We got a great parking place downtown and were at the meeting spot 10 minutes before 6am! Hey, I’m just glad I didn’t have to park myself and have the “epic fail meet up” that happened in Columbus with Angie. It is so helpful to have someone else drive on race day. I’m directionally challenged as it is and there is just too much else to think about!
It was a chilly, but clear morning (about 38 degrees), so I started off the day in running pants, my new “Challenger” shirt, a throw-away zip-up hoodie ($5 from the Thriftstore) and a garbage bag.
We started off and things were pretty uneventful. I ditched my sweatshirt and my cheap gloves about 1 mile in and the sun was a welcome site coming up ahead of us. The weather actually was perfect for running. We talked a bit here and there, but mostly just ran at the beginning. We stopped at the first 2 water stops just to make sure we were staying hydrated. Every now and then I would be aware of the scarf moving around to my front a bit and I just moved it back. It didn’t bother me at all – it was just a reminder to me of my intention for this race. We got through the 10K marker without incident and we were both feeling good. We were enjoying the sights and sounds along the route and the people along the way. I was in rare form yelling cheers out to the fellow runners, etc. Hey, someone has to stay peppy, right? I remember telling Angie that I wished I didn’t even have my watch on me. I kept checking our pace, but I really didn’t want to focus of that. I just wanted this race to be based on how I felt. I started talking about Laura then and how she had so many, many friends from around the globe. It dawned on me then that that is what this race should be about – friendship! After that point I relaxed more. I actually got physically hungry around mile 9 so we took a little stroll and ate our Gu stuff and drank water. Then about mile 10 we passed the lake and it was absolutely beautiful! We decided to stop and take a selfie!! Now, those who know me well know that I would NEVER do something like that during a race! I’m always so focused on time and in the zone and I have always poo-poo’d people who did stuff like that. I mean, have fun? Hey, this is a race – it is serious business!!!
But I’ll tell you what – it was FUN and a very freeing feeling!! I’m so glad we did it! I mean when else can you take a pic in the middle of the shoreway in Cleveland??!!
The last 3 miles were a struggle for us both in different ways. Angie was struggling to keep on going due to a less than stellar training experience (by her own admission). I, on the other hand, was struggling to slow down a bit and fight the urge to give my 100%. I had committed to my friend and that was more important than time. We came into the finish holding hands and that meant the world to me. So, no, I did not leave it all on the road this time, but I did give my all for my friend and I think Laura would have liked that. It was my slowest time for the half at 2:35:21, but the most fun I’ve ever had in a race. Thank you for the lesson, Laura!