Saturday, September 21, 2013

Post Race - Part 4

Hello Beautiful People,

4 am came mighty early last Sunday. Even though I had gone to bed early I couldn't get up right away. I snoozed a little. Soon I was up and ready to tackle the day...and in the shower. The bonus is that I remembered to shave while I was in there. HOLLA!  No need for sparks.

I forgot to mention that Hannah and I had been discussing our post workout/runs stink. She suggested that I use a men's deodorant. So we stopped on our way home on Saturday and I picked some up. I lathered it on Sunday morning and smelled very manly. Look out Ladies!

I had done a test run on the outfit for the day. I love my new pleated running skirt. I had tried on the new running jersey that is a medium. I didn't love it with the skirt. And so in the test run I wore the one from March. It was a large. And it was a little on the big side so I wore a white camisole underneath it. When I had done the trial run it was after work. My body is so different in the morning.  I liked the medium. And it was a little on the loose side. For the record, the Large was on the snug side in March :-)

For some reason I couldn't find the camisoles that I liked that morning and could only find one of my older ones. I put it on under the medium. The skirt looked cute. The only problem I have is that the draw string makes me look like I have an outtie belly button.  I put on my white and blue knee socks and my guitar earrings. Let's get ready to Rock'n'Roll!

We left a little later than I had hoped, but there is no one on the road so it's not a big deal. We were parked within an hour. I love this parking garage. $5 all day on weekends. Thanks to Mr. Wil for telling me about it for last year's race. The day before I got a spot on the ground level. Sunday we were parked on level 7. And guess what. One of the elevators was broken. Um..No big deal before the race, but So not looking forward to after.

We stopped at the fountain for my now second-annual pre-race photo.

 I love walking towards the start line with the sea of people. That fires me up. It was a tad chilly but I was bouncy. I had mentioned that we found out that our cousins Laura and Tommy were also running. I knew Laura was two corrals in front of me so I thought we would look for them there. But, the funniest thing happened. By some miracle I looked over to the left just as we were approaching the start line. And there on the median stood Laura, Tommy, and their dad, Tom. Seriously? What are the odds of that happening? 19,000 runners...10,000 spectators...and I find them!

We were waiting for their mom, Mary Ellen, and Aunt, my cousin Amy, to arrive. And before we knew it the race was getting ready to start. So we stood before the start line and watch the runners take off. Before the runners there were to racers in wheel chairs. #inspiring

After the race started Laura, Tommy, and I walked towards the corrals. We found an opening in the gates and decided to wait there until it was our turn. We left Hannah and Tom so we knew where to look for them running by.

At the finish line there are designated Letter areas to make meeting up easy. We chose L.

Tommy went first. Then Laura. And soon it was my turn. I had trained for this pace, but wanted to hang at the back of the corral. That didn't happen though. My feet jumped right in.

I like to take pictures of the start line, but I also wanted to put my phone away so that I would have a free hand. Dang it. I want that picture!

And we're off!

I knew where to look for Hannah and Tom, but I didn't see them. Although they saw me :-)

Okay, so I started running. I couldn't seem to slow down to put my phone away. haha. I finally managed around mile 2. I figured I had already taken the scenic pictures last year. I was focused on maintaining my pace. In fact, I was almost past Independence Hall before I knew it.

I was also having some wardrobe malfunctions. The straps to my camisole kept falling down. The body of the camisole was riding up. I was distracted and kept trying to pull it down. At one point I considered slipping my arms out of the straps and shimmying out of it.  The thought of me leaving it on the streets made me giggle. But, I'm not a litter bug so I kept it on.

I was on mile 3 still maintaining when I heard it. I heard the distinct sound of basketballs. Dr. Dribble was coming up behind me! Quick get your phone out! I literally couldn't move fast enough.  I barely got him, but I know he's there.

There was a water stop during mile 4 that made me cringe. It was a gatorade stop too. I got sprayed with some as people were tossing their cups to the side. First of all, shout out to the Gatorade people. LOVED the bigger cups for gatorade.

There were signs all over saying no parking during that time. Dummies who parked there had cars splattered in Gatorade. Dudes, Read The Signs!

One of the issues I have in races is my dry throat. So I carried a water bottle with me. I drank sparingly, but I was able to keep running because I didn't have that dry throat. I would fill it with a cup of water at every water stop.

Okay so before we parted there was discussion of Hannah and Tom standing by the fountain which is at the beginning of mile 5. I was waiting for my mile 5 energy boost to hit feeling like I needed to slow down. And then I started looking for them. They weren't there. :-(

And then just as I rounded the circle I saw them! Amy and Mary Ellen were there too. OH I needed that. I saw them first and was waving madly. When they saw me I just lit up and felt their support.

So around mile 5 I was having the debate in my head. What do I do. Keep running? Slow it down? I had told a friend, Jenn, that I would be at a specific area around 10am. I was on pace for it. It was a really REALLY good pace for me. But, I had not trained this way. My brain was screaming slow down. Take a break. My body would not listen.

On mile 6 there was internal screaming in my head.

Brain: Slow it down!  You don't want an injury!
Brain: Slow it down!


And so I kept it up. But then I started to panic. I wasn't going to make it to see Jenn on time. I was off by 7-8 minutes. What? How did that happen?  And then I realized that I had the mile marker wrong. I was off by half a mile. So really I was only off by a few minutes.

My steadfast rule for all races is that I don't run through water stops. The ground is wet and there are cups everywhere. I have slid on them before and pulled muscles. So coming up to the stop on mile 9 which is the fuel stop I prepared to slow down. My hamstring was getting tight and I needed to get some rest in.

A lot happened at once. Right before the stop I came across my friend Ken, who was running in his first race. And then as I got my energy gel pack there was a kid in the middle of the road saying "Free Hugs" I got one. I think I was the first to do it because his friends couldn't believe it.

Just as I was turning the corner I heard my name. Jenn was there! YEAH.  I ran over for another hug. How the heck am I seeing all of these people? I love my supporters!

I had planned to walk across the bridge that crosses the Schuylkill River. It was my time to text Hannah where I was to let her know when to look for me. I love this view.

My hamstring was still feeling tight so I thought I would walk a mile, but I wanted to run. And BAM. Calf cramp. WHAT????  S$***&)*U)$*$()*$ Although it was unlike any calf cramp I had ever had. It was like a calf wiggle. It felt like my calf was slithering like a snake. I do believe I screamed "BANANA!"

I pulled over to stretch it and walked a little more. Every time I attempted to run I could only take 3 steps before it started again. I'm out. I had done so well and then this. It killed my first two mile walk times. Argh. I was able to pick it up on the last two, but not enough.

One of the reasons why I love these races is because of all of the support you get from strangers. I was limping with half mile to go and this guy comes up and puts his arm around me "Only a half mile to go. Come on. You Got This!"

It was killing me. I wanted to run sooooo bad. And I kept trying. And kept getting only 2-3 steps before the cramp. It was so painful. I have seriously defined calves and really wondered if you could see it happening from behind.

So the last .1 miles is up hill and a straight shot to the finish line. I tried to run and couldn't. I was so deflated. I like to finish strong no matter what. Was this going to be the first race I didn't finish running?

And then I saw them. My family was on the side Cheering me on!  Cramp or no cramp I am RUNNING!  I had tears streaming down my face.  It hurt.

I limped over to the food and grabbed as many bananas as I could. I think I ate two before I even left.  I got the rest of my snacks and headed towards Letter L. I got my hugs!  Lots of them. LOVE my family! I'm still waiting for them to send me some group photos. 

My time wasn't want I had hoped for. But I still beat last year's pace by a good time and finished ahead of more people than last year. Mentally I was upset. I was happy to have that medal, but I was disappointed. I know that I could have nailed it if it weren't for the calf.  I'm going to be happy though. I finished in time to see the Headliner concert. Walk Off The Earth was awesome. I had to fight the urge to jump up and down.

While we were watching the concert Kristin and Ken found us. Seriously, I didn't find anyone last year. It was my lucky day.  Even Dr. Dribble was hanging by us.

Hannah and I stayed with the family for a little while visiting and catching up. We talked about running together in future races and just running in the park. I could have stayed all day, but I had to get home for a shower and rest before taking Hannah back home. But first, we had to go stop by the Run for Autism tent.

They were starting to pack up as we were walking up, but they welcomed me with open arms. They gave me my second medal of the day and took some pictures. Since they were closing up they offered us all of the snacks that we wanted. Hello Oreos...I took all three packs!  I also grabbed a bag of pretzels and some water.

The walk back to the car was LONG. LONG. LONG. I was pretty much shuffling along. There was still lots of encouragement with other participants. I love that.

When we got to the fountain I needed to sit. I hadn't sat since I got out of the car. Ahhh...just five more minutes!  We took my post race picture by the fountain. Thank goodness for the most beautiful day. I even got some sunburn.

So ride home was rough. I was hungry. HUNGRY. We hit the oreos. And got super giddy over the grapes that we had packed. I wanted a burger something awful. I was trying to think of a place to stop when we saw a billboard for a Salted Caramel milkshake at Arbys. Um...I know where we can stop!

We stopped for some beef'n'cheddars with curly fries and a shake. OMG. We split the shake and it literally took 30 minutes for us to finish. It was Soooooo good though.

When we got home I showered first. We hadn't made the bed before we left and I was sitting in a towel on my bed joking that I would probably still be sitting there when Hannah got out of the shower. I was. But I had managed to make the bed and put on clothes. It just felt so good to have my feet up. They were sore.

We were running later than I had planned to get on the road, but when you can't move you can't move. And we wanted to stop by Grandmom's so that Hannah could get in a little visit. God Bless that woman. She made stuffed peppers for us. YUM.

It was a long day and a really long drive back to the mountains. But, I did it. And man did I pass out in bed when I got there.

And the icing to the cake? When we got home from the race there was an envelope waiting for was my ACE Certification! :-)  It was a good day!

*Fun fact, I didn't need to pee the whole race! 

Have a Blessed Night.

Check out my Facebook Page for Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

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