I was excited to get to bed on time last night. Maybe a little too excited.
Even though, I wasn’t nervous about the race, I could NOT fall asleep. I even had Sleepytime Tea beforehand so I would be able to drift off easily. Yeah, that didn’t work.
I was in bed by 9:30 because I wanted to get up at 6:30 in order to have breakfast and get dressed before I had to get T Junior dressed.
At 11 p.m., Mr. T was trying to help me go to sleep. I was hot, so he moved the big box fan on top of a desk chair so I could feel the breeze. It wasn’t helping, and at 11:30, he told me I could turn the light on if I wanted to read or something. I did.
At 12:13 a.m., I decided I better try to sleep again. I still felt wide awake, though, but my body eventually shut down, probably around 12:30.
It didn’t occur to me until after the race today, that maybe I was excited. I think I was revved up. I couldn’t slow my breathing down and let my body relax. I hope that doesn’t happen next time.
This morning, I dragged myself out of bed at 6:25, got dressed in my Adidas capris, a tank top and my Old Navy track jacket. The good news was that the golfball-sized lump of phlegm that’s been living in my throat for the past few days, seemed to be gone.
I went downstairs, had a glass of water, and made an egg white and put it on a Thomas English muffin. I also brewed a small cup of coffee in the Keurig, just like I usually do before my long runs with Heather. I chased breakfast with another water and I made sure to go potty before we left.
We were all in the minivan by 7:30. I needed to pick up my bib and chip between 7:30 and 8:45 in Issaquah — about a 30-minute drive from our house. Mr. T was feeling the time crunch because he knew we still needed to get gas. I was blissfully unaware of that fact until after I got in the car. Still, I wasn’t worried.
But then Mr. T forgot to look in the rearview mirror as he backed out of the garage and the minivan and his little black Chevy kissed. We exchanged some words. I felt near tears, not because of anything he said, but because this wasn’t the fun and exciting pre-race atmosphere I had envisioned. (Luckily, Mr. T thinks the scratches can be buffed out with wax.)
About 5 minutes down the road, I had to go potty again. I almost made Mr. T pull over at a roadside Honey Bucket, but I decided to wait till I got to the race. I texted Heather something about how I won’t be taking my phone because I don’t have anywhere to put it, so if I don’t meet you at our meeting spot, it’s because I’m in the line at the potties!
We got to our destination with plenty of time, though. Mr. T dropped me off and he went to look for a spot to park. For some reason, the line I was in to pick up my shirt, bib and chip was short. Other people were complaining about their lines. I felt lucky, ’cause I really had to go!
I got my stuff and (whew!) there weren’t any lines for Honey Buckets! I almost had a portable potty malfunction, though, when a man opened my door when I was in there! I guess it wasn’t locked all the way. Luckily, I had just got in there, so I was decent. That would’ve been so embarrassing! OMG! I would’ve died!
Anyway, right after that, I found Mr. T and T Junior, who was chilling (literally) in his BOB. Heather, her husband and J had found them, too, so we were all together.
This morning was cold, especially in the shade. But it was a beautiful, sunny fall morning and it didn’t take long for the sun warm it up — just a bit though. It was crisp, clear, sunny — perfect running weather! Anyway, I had a difficult time fastening the teeny safety pins that hold on the paper race bib displaying my number: 467. I stashed my race shirt in T Junior’s BOB and said goodbye to my boys — they were headed for breakfast at McDonald’s because the race didn’t start till 9, about a half hour away.
Heather’s boys left, too. I am so glad I had Heather there with me. We had a good time chatting and trying to stay warm before the race. It was really great to have someone who knew what they were doing! And, she didn’t seem to get annoyed with my random, nervous questions — like the obvious one on how to fasten the race chip to my shoe. (Zip tie, duh.)
After a lot of standing around, finally the National Anthem started, although we didn’t hear it right away because the “pump-you-up” music was blaring behind us. I held my Zune over my heart, my headphones already in my ears — ready to go. (I made a playlist in the car.)
And, then, we were off! Cake’s Going the Distance was so loud I couldn’t even hear my music. But that’s okay, I like Cake! It was hard to not get psyched out by the music, though, I wanted to GO! I didn’t see Mr. T and T Junior anywhere, so I was a little bummed about that.
Heather and I took it easy: An elderly man with a cane crossed the street in front of us at about a half mile into the race.
“That can’t be a good sign!” I said. We laughed.
I felt good, especially for only having 6 hours of sleep. Somewhere between 1-3/4 and 2 miles, I felt I could step up my pace a bit. I was feeling my playlist, which was full of Gwen, Ace of Base, a little Sheryl Crow, Pink, and I can’t remember what else because I think after 4-1/2 miles, I wasn’t really consciously listening to it anymore.
Just before the 2-mile marker, the race leader passed me going the other direction. Dang! He was hauling! (Mr. T said he finished about 3 minutes before anyone else.)
I was by myself now running through the Salmon Days booths. I smelled Autumn spices from a candle booth, barbecue at another and kettle corn (my weakness).
My right toes were bothering me about this time. And I cursed myself for lacing them too tight while we were waiting for the race to start. The toes were feeling a little numb and with every step, there was a sharp pain. I knew I was going to have to fix it and around 2-1/2 miles, I did. I checked behind me, scooted to the left, stopped and quickly pulled and loosened my laced. And, then I was off again. My body did not like the little stop at first, but I pushed through it.
We wound back behind the area high school over a bridge and through a wooded area. I passed people, including an incredible fast walking woman — her calves were HUGE! I took advantage of the hills, increasing the length of my stride on the way up and letting gravity take over on the way down, something I learned during my cross country days in high school. I actually passed several people that way.
On the way back through the Salmon Days booths, I was a little annoyed at the people who were just strolling along on the course. The race organizers were trying to keep them off, but I was not running in a huge group, so I think some of them didn’t even realized a race was going on!
It was around Mile 5 that I started to catch up to 5K runners and walkers. The traffic was heavy and the walkers weren’t keeping to the right. On my way up one hill, I had to yell, “On your left!” three times before a woman moved. Walkers were taking up the entire course and I had to bob and weave my way through the fifth and sixth miles. It was pissing me off.
My legs were feeling a little numb at this point. I was ready to be done. And, it wasn’t long before I was turning toward the Start/Finish line. I kicked it in, but I really was looking for Mr. T and T Junior. I hadn’t seen them at the start, so I was hoping to see my little cheering crew at the finish. I was so busy looking around for them, I forgot to see what my time was when I crossed the big blue mat at the Finish Line!
I searched with my eyes for my husband and baby, but couldn’t see them. But I didn’t go looking because I wanted to cheer on my friend as she crossed. As soon as she did, her hubby and son rushed in. I felt sad that I couldn’t find my boys.
ut they never saw me start or finish. They’d been camped out just ahead of the turn to the Start/Finish line, but for some reason, missed me. And, I missed them. I won’t lie. I was disappointed because besides me being proud of myself, I knew Mr. T would be proud of me, too, and I wanted him to see me kicking it in! Oh well, next time.
I finished in 1:10:43. That works out to be about 11.5-minute miles on average. I think I started slower and finished faster based on the intervals that were yelled out to me as I ran by. The first time I heard was around Mile 2 and it was like 25 minutes or something like that. Mile 3 was 37, I think, then Mile 4 was 48. And then I didn’t hear anymore. In fact, I never even saw the Mile 5 marker, so that whole stretch between 4 and the Mile 6 marker, I was like, Dude! How much longer!
I learned some things in this race: I need cool weather gear that I can take off as I warm up, I need running tights and gloves and I need zip-up pockets! I’d also like to get an armband or something so I don’t have to palm my Zune the entire time for the Half at the end of November. Also, my new grippy head band didn’t hold up. I had to replace it twice. When I got in the minivan and looked at myself in the little flip-down picture, I saw that I kind of looked like a rooster, all red with random hair shooting this way and that out of my head band.
I forgot to take any pictures. I wanted one of Heather and I together after the race and I forgot. But I plan on getting a race picture if there is one. Hopefully, I won’t look too much like a rooster.
Overall, I had so much fun! I can’t wait for my next race!